If you like the Toyota bZ4X or the Subaru Solterra but you want a more premium feeling and luxurious vehicle, you will soon also be able to opt for the mechanically related Lexus RZ, initially revealed as the RZ450e. This is considerably more powerful than the Toyota and Subaru models (and also more expensive) but Lexus is reportedly working on a cheaper version of the RZ, which may feature the powertrain from one of the two non-premium models.
CarBuzz found a trademark filed by Lexus with the EUIPO (European Intellectual Property Office), as well as with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, which mentions an RZ300e, basically a lower power RZ variant. We don’t know what will power this most likely base version of the RZ, but we believe it will be the powertrain from one of the two aforementioned models built on the same platform.
Gallery: Lexus RZ 450e
For reference, the RZ450e (pictured above) comes with a dual-motor setup with 308 horsepower and 320 lb-ft (435 Nm) of torque, enough for a sprint time to 62 mph (100 km/h) of 5.6 seconds. By contrast, the Toyota can be had with just front-wheel drive, driven by a 204 horsepower front motor, or a 218 horsepower dual-motor all-wheel drive setup; the Subaru Solterra is only available with the latter in the US, although in other markets it too may be sold in front-wheel drive guise.
We’re pretty sure that it’s going to be one of these powertrains that will find its way into the RZ300e, and we expect it to be the all-wheel drive powertrain. Even for a base model, buyers may find a front-wheel drive RZ not premium enough a proposition, even if Lexus does offer a front-wheel drive electric version of the smaller UX, which is badged UX300e, coinciding with the recent trademark filing.
The Lexus RZ will go on sale this year, but the RZ300e, which hasn’t even been officially announced yet, will probably debut next year. It will rival premium electric high-riders like the Audi Q4 e-tron or the BMW iX3, although it should have an edge over the latter given that it is built on a bespoke EV architecture.