Lexus has given us an early look at its first dedicated electric vehicle and confirmed the name as RZ.
The small crossover was previewed on Tuesday during a presentation outlining Toyota's plans to launch 30 EVs across the Toyota and Lexus brands by 2030, and we'll see it in showrooms next year as a 2023 model, initially in RZ 450e grade.
The RZ is the production version of the LF-Z Electrified concept unveiled in March, and it's actually the second EV from Lexus. The first is the electric version of the UX compact crossover that Lexus has been selling overseas since 2019.
2023 Toyota BZ4X
To help differentiate the RZ, expect Lexus to add performance tuning, particularly for the drive system which should deliver more than the maximum 214 hp offered in the BZ4X and Solterra. There might also be more battery capacity than the 71.4 kilowatt-hours found in those non-luxury models.
We do know that all-wheel drive is set to become a staple of Lexus EVs. Lexus calls its electrified all-wheel-drive system Direct4, and said the system automatically adjusts torque going to each of the wheels to optimize driving feel and stability. The system is also claimed to respond quicker than non-electrified all-wheel-drive systems with torque vectoring because of the instantaneous torque of electric motors.
Lexus is committed to EV technology. The brand plans to have an EV option in each segment that it competes in by 2030. It also wants 100% of its sales to be EVs in the U.S., Europe and China by that same date, and the rest of the world by 2035.
Additional Lexus EVs previewed during Tuesday's presentation included an LFA-inspired supercar, a sedan, and a crossover larger than the RZ.