BEV design shaped by aerodynamic performance
Following the recent introduction of the all-new NX, the new RZ aims to establish the design language of the next generation of Lexus by pursuing a unique identity and proportions born from dynamic driving. The RZ’s athletic design conveys a uniquely Lexus BEV identity with optimised proportions and aerodynamic efficiency.
The elimination of the internal combustion engine results in a new visual identity, with the signature spindle grille replaced by a BEV spindle body that signals the seamless acceleration and dynamic performance specific to BEVs.
The distinct BEV silhouette starts with a low nose and moves smoothly towards the cabin, featuring a rearward peak that contributes to ample rear-seat headroom. Aerodynamics and driving stability benefit from a distinctive roof spoiler. The ducktail shape on the end of the boot reduces drag and generates downforce for a stable driving feel. The rear features the spelled-out LEXUS logo as part of a clean and simple horizontal design that highlights the wider rear track, accentuating the RZ’s performance identity.
Based on the innovative tazuna concept, the cabin advances the human-centred philosophy of Lexus by welcoming occupants with intuitive controls oriented around the driver, ensuring maximum concentration on driving. The RZ’s long wheelbase provides spacious rear-seat accommodation with a couple distance of 1000mm.
Three types of seat materials are used, including Ultrasuede, a refined fabric that uses 30 percent bio-based sustainable materials. An electronic ‘e-latch’ system is used to operate the doors, while highly efficient Lexus-first electric radiant heaters, combined with a heat- pump system, ensure passenger comfort. An available panoramic roof provides heat shielding, thermal insulation and 99 percent UV protection and includes a Lexus-first dimming function, which instantly blocks light according to the needs of the occupants.
The RZ achieves a balance between sound generation and a very quiet interior space — the DNA of Lexus. The underfloor battery functions as a sound barrier, the bonnet perimeter is sealed to eliminate noise caused by turbulent airflow, and acoustic glass suppresses other unwanted sounds.
Evolution of the Lexus driving signature through electrification
The RZ possesses impressive fundamental acceleration, steering and braking performance, in keeping with the Lexus Driving Signature — a uniquely Lexus driving experience that aims to achieve predictable, linear response according to the driver’s intentions.
The new DIRECT4 system takes the Lexus Driving Signature to an even higher level. It uses acceleration, cornering-speed and steering-angle information to automatically adjust front- rear torque delivery and braking force to all four wheels. DIRECT4 operation is intuitive and highly responsive, giving the driver a genuine sense of being fully connected with the vehicle. It also provides an ideal balance of predictability and excitement with powerful, linear acceleration and exhilarating cornering.
A Lexus-first steer-by-wire system contributes to impressive vehicle manoeuvrability and confidence-inspiring performance while blocking out unnecessary vibrations from the tyres and brakes. Optimum steering-gear ratios provide nimble and agile performance on winding roads and high-speed stability on highways.
The compact yoke-like steering wheel greatly reduces the driver’s workload, eliminating the need for hand-over-hand operation for the likes of intersections, U-turns, parking and winding roads. It also enabled the lower placement of the instrument gauges by designers.
Dedicated BEV platform benefits from hybrid know-how
The RZ utilises a Lexus-first dedicated BEV platform (e-TNGA), which offers high levels of stability and ride comfort by mounting the battery under the vehicle floor, contributing to a low centre of gravity. A single-charge cruising range is estimated at 400km.
Battery-control technology ensures a world-class battery capacity retention rate of at least 90 percent after 10 years.
Advanced safety technologies
The RZ is equipped with the latest Lexus Safety System+, including Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) designed to contribute to safe and secure driving by providing support for a wider range of driving situations. In addition to the Pre-Collision Safety (PCS), all-speed radar cruise control and Lane Departure Alert (LDA) systems, an optional driver monitor provides a warning when it detects that the driver is drowsy or looking sideways.
If the system determines that the driver’s posture is severely compromised and that continued driving is difficult, it warns other drivers by flashing the hazard lamps while gently decelerating the vehicle. The system then stops the vehicle in its lane, unlocks the doors and automatically notifies emergency services through the vehicle’s connected technology.
The RZ also features Advanced Drive (traffic-jam support) and Advanced Park (with remote function), based on the Lexus Teammate1 concept. Advanced Drive2 can support a driver’s perception, judgement, and vehicle operation, thereby reducing fatigue under certain conditions — such as when the driver is looking ahead and operating radar cruise control and Lane Trace Assist (LTA) during traffic jams (0-40km/h approx.) Advanced Park2 offers expanded support, allowing a driver to use a smartphone to manoeuvre their car while standing outside the vehicle.
The Lexus Electrified vision aims to deliver driving exhilaration by providing and expanding a portfolio of hybrid, BEV and PHEV vehicles that exceeds the needs and expectations of a more diverse set of luxury buyers. The portfolio expansion will see Lexus contributing to the realisation of a carbon-neutral society by offering a full line-up of BEVs in all categories by 2030. Five years after that, Lexus plans to achieve 100 percent BEV sales globally.
The Lexus RZ for South African introduction is currently under study.