Lexus unwrapped the RZ full-electric midsize crossover
Lexus unwrapped the RZ full-electric midsize crossover

Lexus unwrapped the RZ full-electric midsize crossover

December 17, 2021
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The models were shown as part of a wider Toyota Motor Corp. presentation on Tuesday detailing the company’s plans to sell 3.5 million EVs a year by 2030.

Lexus will become an electric-only brand by 2030 in Europe, U.S. and China by which time it will be selling 1 million EVs annually, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said. The brand will sell only full-electric cars globally by 2035.

Lexus President Koji Sato said the brand will be at the forefront of Toyota’s push to make EVs more exciting to drive, starting with the RZ. The brand’s cars will “clearly express the evolution of the automobile brought about by electrification,” he said.

Toyota’s presentation included a video of Toyoda enthusiastically test-driving a prototype all-wheel-drive RZ, which shuffles power between the two axles.

The RZ is Lexus’s first EV on Toyota’s e-TNGA all-electric platform shared with the upcoming Toyota bZ4X crossover that is due next year. The RZ was previewed at a Toyota media event in Brussels early December.

It features a yoke-style steering wheel that takes advantage of a steer-by-wire system to switch ratios to give sensitive steering at high speed and fewer turns during low-speed maneuvers.

The EV retains Lexus’ spindle grille, but now blanked-off with strakes on the sides.

The profile of the crossover appears lower than equivalent crossovers, but is otherwise recognizable as a Lexus with creases and a blacked out rear pillar.

The RZ will go on sale in Europe and Japan by the of next year. U.S sales will come later, but no timeframe has been given.

The most dramatic concept revealed on Tuesday was a supercar called Lexus Electrified Sport that “inherits” the driving performance of the Lexus LFA supercar, Toyoda said.

The car will accelerate from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in the “low 2 second range,” Toyoda said. It will have a range of 700 km (435 miles).

Sato said the car will “possibly” use solid-state batteries “to create a truly high-performance battery EV.”

The coupe’s styling includes an eye-catching reverse Z shape on the side that starts at the base of the front wheel arch and finishes at the rear-pillar incorporating vents at both ends.

No mention was made of the other two Lexus EVs shown on stage at the Tokyo event — a sedan and a crossover.

The sedan is likely to be related to the Toyota bZ electric sedan also revealed at the event, possibly using the same e-TNGA platform.

The low-riding sedan features coupe styling and could become the brand’s answer to Porsche’s successful Taycan full-electric sedan.

The bigger crossover looks as though it could be a future replacement for the RX midsize crossover, although no details were given.

 

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