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Lexus’ First EV Will Be An SUV, Will Arrive Next Year

The RZ will be equipped with Lexus’ Direct4 four-wheel drive technology, as well as other enhancements to improve driving performance.

The RZ, a sleek, performance-oriented SUV, will be the first bespoke Lexus electric car, launching in the first half of 2022.

  • The Lexus RZ will be available next year.
  • Lexus may employ a twin-motor setup on all of its EVs with the Direct4 system, which can transition between front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive.

Upcoming Lexus RZ: more details

It is built on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform, but with custom changes aimed at boosting “the driving experience to the next level,” and was shown in near-production-ready form as Toyota and Lexus unveiled 15 all-new electric automobiles. It’s the same size as the existing NX crossover and has a comparable appearance.

The brand’s Europe vice president, Pascal Ruch, told our sister magazine, Autocar UK, that giving “exhilarating driving performance” is a priority for Lexus, and that future EV variations will “complement the brand’s athletic position.”

The RZ will have completely variable four-wheel drive and steer-by-wire technology, as well as “excellent handling and roadholding,” according to the company.

The car has been modified to provide “an enjoyable and satisfying on-road driving experience,” with lighter and more compact motors, increased body rigidity, and Lexus’ own Direct4 completely variable four-wheel drive technology.

The RZ’s Direct4 system allows it to distribute power across both axles “in the blink of an eye,” effectively switching between front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive depending on the scenario. This setup will be used on all future bespoke EVs from Lexus, implying that each will have a twin-motor setup.

The RZ has SUV-like dimensions, as seen in the LF-Z Electrified concept, but sits lower to the ground than its Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra siblings. It also incorporates a number of new design elements that are being seen for the first time.

The concept’s short rear light bar and spelled-out brand name, for example, are likely to identify Lexus’ bespoke EVs, but the LF-large Z’s roof fin is already evident that it will not make it to production.

Let us know what you think of the luxury carmaker’s take on the completely electric SUV in the comments.



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