2023 Lexus RZ 450e Ushers in Lexus’ Electric Era

Lexus has officially unveiled its first global electric vehicle. The RZ 450e will go on sale in Canada toward the end of 2022 as a 2023 model, and while pricing and equipment details have yet to be announced, there is plenty to say about this brand new model.

First of all, you must know that it’s the first step in Lexus’ quest to become 100 percent electric by the end of the decade in the North American, European and Chinese markets, and worldwide by 2035.

Chief Engineer Takashi Watanabe describes the RZ 450e as “a uniquely Lexus BEV that feels secure to ride in, is pleasing to the touch, and is exhilarating to drive.” Let’s take a closer look.

Photo: Lexus

New Design Identity

Built on the same e-TNGA platform as the equally new 2023 Toyota bZ4X, this electric SUV from Lexus is slightly longer (though with an identical wheelbase of 2,850 mm), wider and taller. The spindle grille is adapted for the EV era. In fact, the styling evolution you see here ushers in a new Lexus aesthetic

Some body cladding adorns the sides and rear, while the panoramic roof appears to be floating over the C-pillars. The centre of the roof is shaped to allow air to flow smoothly from the sloped rear glass surface to the rear of the vehicle, which features a ducktail shape and super-slim, full-width taillights.

Photo: Lexus

Five exterior colours are available along with a two-tone colour scheme that lays solid black from the front of the spindle body to the upper hood and roof.

Distinctive Interior

The interior of the Lexus RZ 450e is thankfully not a carbon copy of the bZ4X. The driver-centric cockpit is unique, and the standard 14-inch centre screen is powered by the new Lexus Interface multimedia system complete with an intelligent voice assistant.

Photo: Lexus

There is plenty of space inside, two types of seat materials are used including Ultrasuede (made from 30 percent bio-based sustainable materials), and passenger comfort is improved by a highly efficient heating system featuring a Lexus-first radiant heater.

Lexus engineers created expressive in-cabin sounds by matching sound frequencies to the vehicle’s speed and sound levels during dynamic actions such as acceleration. In addition, the underfloor battery functions as a sound barrier and the entire perimeter of the hood opening is sealed to eliminate noise caused by turbulent airflow. Unwanted noise is also suppressed through the use of acoustic glass.

360 Kilometres of Range

More powerful than the Toyota bZ4X, the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e combines a 150kW (201 hp) motor up front with an 80kW (107 hp) motor in the rear. Energy is supplied by a 71.4kWh battery, and Lexus claims an estimated range of 360 kilometres based on North American test cycles. That’s when riding on 18-inch wheels. How much range is lost with the optional 20-inch wheels is not specified yet.

Photo: Lexus

In order to achieve the so-called “Lexus Driving Signature," a new DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system continuously controls the drive force of the four wheels with high precision according to driving and road surface conditions. As much as 100 percent of the available torque can be sent to either the front or rear wheels.

A Lexus-first steer-by-wire system (with no mechanical link between the front axle and steering wheel) will be available in Canada at a future date. The company says it greatly reduces the driver's workload, but it also means zero feedback from the road. A similar technology exists over at Infiniti, and the result is underwhelming to say the least. 

Photo: Lexus

The RZ 450e rides atop a MacPherson strut type suspension up front, while its rear uses a double-wishbone configuration. Frequency-reactive dampers also come into play, giving a high level of stability without compromising ride comfort, Lexus says.

Finally, we should point out the latest Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 set of driving aids, including Proactive Driving Assist with Steering Assist.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

NewsBig 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 …
ElectricLexus to Become Fully Electric, Previews LFA-Inspired Supercar
While announcing its new electrification plans on Tuesday, Japanese automaker Toyota said its Lexus luxury brand will become 100 percent electric by the end of the decade in the North American, European and Chinese markets, and worldwide by 2035. As you know, Lexus currently has no such vehicles in its …
New ModelsWe’ll Soon Know if the Lexus RX Adds a PHEV Model
Lexus today announced that the next-generation RX crossover will debut on May 31 at 8 p.m. EDT. It also gave us a preview with the teaser above. As the luxury brand’s best-selling vehicle in North America, the RX will be entirely redesigned for 2023. The massive spindle-shaped grille will return, …
First Drives2023 Lexus RX 350: Continuity Through Change
Santa Barbara, California— The 2023 model year marks the debut of the fifth-generation Lexus RX , the Japanese luxury brand’s best-selling vehicle in Canada (which happens to be its fourth largest market behind the U.S., China and Japan). Highlights include new four-cylinder engines with either a turbocharger or any number …
Electric2023 Lexus RZ 450e Priced From $64,950 in Canada
Lexus has announced pricing and equipment details for its first fully electric vehicle in Canada, the 2023 RZ 450e , which goes on sale later this winter. The all-new crossover shares its platform and many components with the Toyota bZ4X , but offers standard AWD and obviously more power and …
First Drives2023 Lexus RZ450e: Making Up for Lost Time
The all-new 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is the Japanese luxury brand’s first fully electric vehicle in North America and it’s based on the same e-TNGA platform ( electric–Toyota New Global Architecture ) as the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra . These three vehicles are admittedly late to the EV party …
ElectricToyota Aims to Triple EV Production in 2025
Toyota recently unveiled a next-generation assembly line for electric vehicles in Japan, with gigacasting, a modular structure and more high-tech systems, looking to significantly reduce the number of parts required and accelerate production. This manufacturing transformation, which aims to make up for lost ground in the EV segment and is …
TokyoLexus LF-ZC, LF-ZL Concepts to Hit the Road in 2026
Tokyo, Japan— Lexus is aiming to go all-electric by 2030 with a brand new architecture that will underpin an entire lineup of vehicles, two of which are being previewed by the LF-ZC and LF-ZL concepts at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo. Both are expected to turn into production …