Lexus had more or less fully revealed the all-new 2023 RZ 450e a few months ago, giving us a great look at the manufacturer’s first electric vehicle built on a bespoke EV platform. It is mechanically related to the Toyota bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra, but it is more powerful than either of the two, both of which have just 215 horsepower from their two electric motors.
The Lexus RZ 450e makes around 308 horsepower (almost 100 more than the Toyota and Subaru models). Lexus did not mention torque, but since power has increased, it’s safe to assume twist was increased too - in the bZ4X and Solterra, combined peak torque is rated at 249 pound-feet (336 Nm).
The battery pack that powers the RZ 450e is identical to the one in the other two models, and it has a usable capacity of 71.4 kWh. Lexus expects this EV to be able to drive up to 225 miles (362 km) on one charge, which is more or less the same as the other two - the Toyota has a claimed range of 228 miles (367 km), while the Subaru gets 222 miles (357 km), putting the Lexus in between.
Gallery: Lexus RZ 450e 2022, en vivo
It also doesn’t look a whole lot like either of the other models. Its exterior is closer to that of current Lexus models, although the overall shape is still pretty similar among all three. For the RZ’s front end, Lexus opted not to give it a huge fake grille, opting instead to just paint that part of the fascia black and have the black extend onto the hood - this gives the RZ a very unique look.
Inside, while the Lexus may look like it’s very different to the Toyota and Subaru, all the major points are exactly in the same place and the steering wheel (at least the yoke-like one in cars with the optional steer-by-wire). It also looks like its digital gauge cluster is in the same place, which means it will cause problems for some drivers; if you’re driven a new Peugeot, with its small wheel and high-set dials, you will know what we’re talking about...
Other features unique to the RZ are radiant infrared heaters positioned at knee level in the front, a dimmable panoramic roof (which you can turn opaque in an instant) and Direct 4, which is an intelligent traction system exclusive to the Lexus model thanks to the use of the brand’s proprietary e-Axles for propulsion (this is the reason why it’s more powerful than the Toyota and Subaru).
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e will hit American showrooms in Q4 of 2022, and it will probably be more expensive than the bZ4X or the Solterra; the former starts at $42,080 . It could therefore cost from around $50,000, but we will have to wait a few months for the official pricing information to be revealed.