Big Day for Lexus NX, All-Electric RZ Coming Real Soon

Three years after announcing the Lexus NX would be added to its Cambridge, Ontario assembly plants in 2022, the big day has finally arrived: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) has started producing the NX and NX Hybrid for the North American market..

The duo joins the Lexus RX and RX Hybrid, which have had over 1.5 million units built by TMMC since 2003.

A $1.4 billion investment since 2018 has enabled the conversion of the North and West plants to produce vehicles based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, including the Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid, in order to meet the demands of North America’s rapidly growing SUV and electrified vehicle markets.

Photo: Toyota Canada

The Lexus NX is all-new for 2022, featuring more elegant looks, a more modern and technologically advanced interior, enhanced safety and a choice of four powertrain options including the first-ever NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid. That model generates a combined 302 horsepower and provides a zero-emission range of 61 kilometres. Just like the RAV4 Prime, however, it is exclusively made in Japan for now, therefore availability is extremely limited.

First All-Electric Lexus to Debut Soon

Here’s more good news for Lexus fans: the first production model of the “Lexus Electrified” vision will be revealed on Wednesday, April 20. Inspired by the LF-Z Electrified concept, the vehicle will simply be called RZ.

Photo: Lexus

Partially shown in the latest teaser above, it will be a performance-oriented, coupe-style SUV that rides on a specially modified version of the e-TNGA electric vehicle platform, which underpins the new Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra.

Expect a low and sleek silhouette with smoother lines than the bZ4X-Solterra duo and signature Lexus design cues at both ends.

Photo: Lexus

A second teaser reveals a futuristic, driver-centric cockpit with a yoke-style steering wheel similar to the one available in the new Tesla Model S. The company says the Lexus RZ aims to take the driving experience to an exhilarating new level, although we’re a little worried about the use of steer-by-wire technology with no mechanical link between the steering wheel and the front axle. A fully variable all-wheel drive system called DIRECT4 will precisely control the delivery of torque from front and rear electric motors and braking force to all four wheels. 

We don’t have any more technical details to share with you at this point. Don’t miss our coverage of the Lexus RZ reveal on April 20.

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