New era for Lexus’ electrified vision

The all-new Lexus RZ 450e is the brand's first BEV built on a dedicated platform, and it heralds the transition of Lexus into a BEV-centred brand.

A new era has begun for Lexus battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and the Lexus Electrified vision with the world premiere of the all-new RZ 450e. The Lexus RZ embodies the unique Lexus vehicle design and driving experience brought on by advanced electrification technologies and know-how cultivated over many years through hybrid-vehicle development. 

As a result, high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, Lexus-first silicon carbide elements in the inverters and the incorporation of low-loss technologies deliver an estimated single-charge cruising range of 400km. Fundamental performance is greatly evolved by using a BEV-specific platform (e-TNGA), adopting a lightweight and highly rigid body and implementing optimal weight distribution through ideal placement of the batteries and motor. 

A new yoke-like steering control and steer-by-wire, along with the new DIRECT4 all-wheel drive force distribution system, enables vehicle control that is faithful to the driver’s every intention  a key trait of the Lexus Driving Signature. 

The RZ also features the latest Lexus Safety System+, which incorporates new driver-assist technologies, including the ability to bring the vehicle to a stop and notify emergency services if the driver is drowsy or having difficulty driving. The Lexus Safety System+ can also help reduce driver fatigue in traffic jams and activate advanced remote-control parking through a connected smartphone. 

 

 

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. 

The all-new Lexus RZ 450e

Human-centred philosophy  

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. 

The all-new Lexus RZ 450e

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. 

Lexus Electrified 

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. 

A bold new direction

Since 2005, Lexus has been at the forefront of pioneering electrification in the luxury market. Now we get a preview of its next generation battery electric vehicle sports car.