We reported on a whole slew of Toyota vehicles that would get electric powertrains, including a likely all-electric Tacoma and compact cruiser, but part of that announcement involved the Lexus lineup getting some electrification, too. This includes what is believed to be called the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e.
This is all part of an ambitious plan Toyota announced called “Beyond Zero” — as in zero emissions. And while the specs and details are quite limited, we can decipher some information together of what this vehicle might be like.
In a photo released by the Japanese automaker, there’s a clear badge that says Direct 4. What this means is this crossover will share the platform with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, a joint effort between these automakers to make EVs.
Though very little has been officially announced by Lexus, here’s what we can glean from the information at hand and draw some logical conclusions.
This much is a certainty. The Lexus RZ, like the Toyota bZ4X and Solterra will have an all-electric powertrain. The Direct 4 badge means that it will get an all-wheel drive, dual-motor powertrain setup. The Direct 4 setup includes incorporating front and rear electric motors to all four wheels. Car and Driver claims that the Lexus RZ 450e will have 200 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque for each motor, for a total in excess of 400 horses.
For several years, Lexus has been known for a somewhat controversial big, bold grille. There’s been love and there’s been hate when it comes to the front-end styling on recent Lexus vehicles and even though the 2023 RZ will be electric it appears to follow suit.
There’s still that hourglass-shaped, bold, almost aggressive looking grille. But, since it’s electric, it’s closed up as there doesn’t need airflow. As such, the electric grille looks better and is more conducive for this vehicle. But, I was always in the camp of loving the bold grille of today’s Lexus vehicles.
Once again, Lexus hasn’t released that information to the public, but the C&D story made a fair estimation that the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e will cost around $50k at a base trim. For a luxury brand, that makes it competitively priced with vehicles like Audi E-tron and Tesla Model Y.
Of course, we do feel the need to point out Ford has come in under that price point with its hot-selling Mustang Mach-E.
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is expected to go on sale mid year 2022. Range and official specs should come to us in the early part of 2022.
Toyota and Lexus have been quite tight-lipped when it comes to details on their upcoming electric vehicles. All we know is this: They’re coming. Heck, there aren’t even interior photos of what this luxury crossover might look like.
So, for now, we wait for more details on this all-electric SUV.