Lexus Philippines has made this day its first frontier into the world of fully electric vehicles (EVs) with the new RZ. As the brand’s first luxury EV that’s riding on a dedicated EV architecture, the new 2023 Lexus RZ debuts a host of firsts for the brand in terms of the driving experience as well as design.
Sharing the same e-TNGA platform with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, the 2023 Lexus RZ shares a similar cab-forward silhouette as its two stablemates. The RZ that will be sold in the Philippines comes in one fully-loaded version, which means its rakish design compared to its Toyota and Subie sibling has been complemented with 20-inch wheels. The front end is characterized by the brand’s “Spindle Body” because, after all, EVs don’t need a huge grille for cooling. At the rear end of the RZ is a full-width LED light bar that’s now a signature of every future Lexus vehicle, along with the Lexus script instead of the “L” emblem we’ve become accustomed to.
As expected, the interior of the 2023 Lexus RZ is finished in premium materials that you’ve come to expect from the brand. Like the all-new NX, the RZ’s interior follows the “Tazuna” concept, which combines a 14-inch Lexus Interface touch screen along with easy-to-use knobs (albeit few and far in between) and controls. As you’ll also notice, there isn’t a glove box. Instead, the panel there has been replaced by a surface that radiates heat. This, according to Lexus, reduces the amount of energy needed to warm the cabin–assuming you live in Baguio because Manila is currently experiencing sweltering summer heat.
Other features that the RZ gets are a 10-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound system, a panoramic sunroof that’s able to adjust its transparency, an electronic gear knob, heated and cooled front seats, a powered tailgate, and the full Lexus Safety System+ suite of advanced driver-assist tech that ranges from automatic emergency braking, lane centering, full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, just to name a few.
As mentioned, only one variant is available, and that’s the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e which comes with a dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) setup called Direct4. This electric drivetrain offers true independent wheel control and torque vectoring capabilities when cornering, giving the RZ a very athletic and natural driving experience. Its system output is 308 hp and 435 Nm of torque, which is enough for a 0-100 kph time of 5.6 seconds.
With its 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, Lexus promises that even 10 years down the line, it’ll still retain 90 percent of its battery capacity. The RZ can accept up to 11 kW in AC, which is good for a 6.5-hour charge to full, while a 10-80 percent charge via 150 kW DC can be done in 30 minutes. As for range, the RZ can actually drive up to 450 km (hence the 450e designation) but since this is the version with the bigger 20-inch wheels, its WLTP-rated range goes down to 395 km.
Thanks to Executive Order 12 removing tariffs for EVs, the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e has a lower starting price than a base RX. In fact, you can get this RZ 450e for P4,828,000, and it also includes an AC home wall charger.