Lexus has revealed the name of its first dedicated electric vehicle, the RZ. The tiny crossover was shown off during a presentation on Tuesday revealing Toyota’s ambitions to sell 30 electric vehicles across its Toyota and Lexus brands by 2030, and it will hit showrooms next year as a 2023 model, first in RZ 450e trim.
The RZ is the production version of Lexus’s LF-Z Electrified concept, which debuted in March, and it’s the company’s second electric vehicle. The first is an electric version of Lexus’ UX compact crossover, which has been available in Europe since 2019. The RZ is built on the same e-TNGA platform as the related Toyota BZ4X and Subaru Solterra models from 2023. This means that features like steer-by-wire and dual-motor all-wheel drive will be available.
Lexus is expected to add performance tuning to the RZ to help differentiate it from the BZ4X and Solterra, notably for the drive system, which should deliver more than the BZ4X and Solterra’s maximum 214 horsepower. We could also see Lexus use a larger battery than the non-luxury models’ 71.4 kWh one. All-wheel drive is expected to become a standard feature on Lexus EVs.
Lexus names its electrified all-wheel-drive system Direct4 and claims it optimizes driving pleasure and stability by automatically adjusting torque to each wheel. Because of the instantaneous torque of electric motors, the system is said to respond faster than non-electrified all-wheel-drive systems with torque vectoring.
The Japanese company says it’s dedicated to electric vehicle technologies. By 2030, the company wants to provide an electric vehicle in every segment in which it competes. By the same date, it plans to sell 100 percent electric vehicles in the United States, Europe, and China, and the rest of the world by 2035. An LFA-inspired supercar, a sedan, and a crossover larger than the RZ were among the Lexus EVs shown off during Tuesday’s presentation.