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In a move to a more sustainable global society, Lexus has unveiled its first globally available battery electric vehicle - the Lexus RZ.

26 Feb 2023 | International News : France

In a bid to contribute to the realisation of a carbon-neutral society by offering a full lineup of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in all categories by 2030, Lexus has expanded its portfolio by unveiling its very first globally available BEV - the Lexus RZ.

Might as well, since the luxury Japanese carmaker aims to sell only BEVs globally by 2035. The Lexus RZ that you see here on this page is essentially the full-electric version of the ever-popular Lexus RX SUV, a model that was first launched back in 1998, followed by its first hybridised variant in 2005. The Lexus RZ was showcased at the recently concluded 2023 Singapore Motor Show.

The Lexus RZ450e looks matured and modish
At its global launch in Marseille, France, the Lexus RZ has a strong resemblance to its RX counterpart. While many may prefer to have a clearer differentiation between the ICE from its EV counterpart, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering the SUVs good looks.

As a result, like the Lexus RX brethren, the RZ gets an angular and sharp frontal fascia, with a covered grille that's unabashedly massive that comes across as three-dimensional. It's certainly expressive, but in a manner that's more matured and modish. At the back, there's the full-width rear light bar housing a new Lexus badge with huge spacing between its characters.

A new Lexus badge takes centre stage of the rear
Measuring 4,805mm long, 1,635mm tall and 1,895mm wide, with a 2,850mm wheelbase and short overhangs (both front and rear less than 1,000mm), the Lexus RZ450e has dimensions that sit right in between the Lexus NX and RX models.

Size aside, the cabin of the new all-electric Lexus model is, according to the carmaker, an evolution of Lexus' Tazuna concept, inspired by the way a rider can intuitively control a horse using just small adjustments of the reins. Hence, the driver needs only to make small movements of the hand to operate the controls and displays of the car.

Both the regular and all new steer-by-wire steering yoke (right) will be available in Singapore
But what really catches my attention here isn't the large 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system, nor is it the top-notch materials and flawless fit and finish, or even the 13-speaker (10-speaker will come as standard) Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system. Rather, it's the steer-by-wire steering yoke that resembles the ones you see in a Formula One vehicle. Dubbed the One Motion Grip, this steering design should reach Singapore only after the first few batches of Lexus RZ go on sale. More about this when we drive the car tomorrow.

The Lexus RZ has 522 litres of hauling capacity
Space wise, the SUV offers 522 litres of hauling capacity and can be increased a couple of notches to 1,451 litres with the rear seats knocked down.

As of now, the Lexus RZ450e has a maximum power output of 308bhp (230kW), with torque figures of 266Nm and 168Nm being sent to the front and rear respectively. This allows the 2.6-tonne electric SUV to cross the 100km/h mark from a standstill in just 5.3 seconds, which is even faster than the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatch and the lighter 3.0-litre V6 Porsche Cayenne.

Making the ambience of the RZ light and airy is the dimmable panoramic sunroof
Battery capacity for the Lexus RZ450e, meanwhile, remains identical to the Toyota bZ4X, standing at 71.4kWh. Hence, Lexus states this battery will offer close to 410km of range.

The Lexus RZ has already arrived in Singapore but sales of the electric SUV will only start some time in the second half of 2023. Estimated pricing of the car will only be announced then.

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