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The Lexus RZ is here, and it’s electric

Lexus joins the BEV party with its first purpose-built electric car, the RZ SUV

Published: 22 Apr 2022

This, ladies and gents of the internet, is the new Lexus RZ. Plainly very Lexus-looking on first glance, but this one’s special because it’s the company’s first proper electric car.

‘Now hang on,’ the anoraks among you will be saying, pushing a pair of rimless glasses up the bridge of your nose. ‘Aren’t you forgetting the Lexus UX300e?’

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Ah, now you see the UX300e was the firm’s first electric car. Half decent too. But that was merely a normal vehicle with the combustion bits chucked out and replaced with EV gubbins. The Lexus RZ on the other hand is purpose-built to be electric.

It’s much better for it too. Sitting on the e-TNGA platform that Lexus shares with Toyota, the bespoke underpinnings allow for a much bigger battery: 71.4kWh to be precise, with real-world range estimated (in the US at least) around the 225-mile mark.

Lexus says the RZ will be all-wheel-drive with a 150kW motor up front and an 80kW motor at the back. If that all feels rather familiar, don’t fret. This is the identical format employed by the new Toyota bZ4X, the car from which the RZ was separated from at birth. Badge engineering and all that.

“We believe that Lexus, an established luxury automaker, should continue pursuing the creation of exciting cars while respecting nature and the global environment to achieve a carbon-neutral society,” said Takashi Watanabe, chief engineer of the ‘Lexus Electrified’ division. “The RZ has been developed with the aim of creating a uniquely Lexus BEV that feels secure to ride in, is pleasing to the touch, and is exhilarating to drive.”

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Forgive us if we take that last bit with an entire bathtub of salt. Anyhow, this is just the first step in Lexus’s plan to have a full line-up of electric cars by 2030, with a target of 100 per cent EV sales by 2035. Are you on board?

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