Lexus is getting ever closer to unveiling its first all-electric model for the Canadian market. The luxury automaker has just given us one more tease of what the RZ 450e will look like along with a first look at the interior. Here's what we know and what to expect at the compact electric SUV's full reveal on April 20, 2022.
The RZ 450e was first shown in December 2021 during a massive Toyota press conference where the automaker's president, Akio Toyoda, shared the long-awaited plans for the electrification of both Toyota and Lexus. It closely followed the design of the LF-Z concept from earlier in the year that was full of futuristic EV details including an aeronautical yoke, a high-tech head-up display, and ultra-thin seats that looked like they were floating inside the cabin.
We expect the RZ 450e to be based on the same new EV platform that underpins the Toyota bZ4X EV (and the Subaru Solterra), though it clearly offers more Lexus DNA than just a badge swap. Look beyond the new iteration of the Lexus spindle grille and the roofline is more dramatic than the bZ4X's, especially when you reach the blacked-out rear pillars.
In a single interior photo, Lexus showed us a surprising carryover from the LF-Z concept: a yoke-style design in place of a conventional steering wheel. We're not sure that this will make production – it could also be optional with a conventional wheel also offered – but the rest of the interior looks production-ready. The cabin also shows the new all-new infotainment system Lexus launched with the latest NX, and we can see three USB-C ports in the dash. Aside from the steering column and screen, the RZ's cabin appears similar to other Lexus efforts.
Toyota offers the bZ4X with two powertrains: front-wheel drive (FWD) with a single 150-kW (201-hp) motor and 71.4 kWh battery, and all-wheel drive (AWD) with two 80-kW (107-hp) motors for a combined output of 160 kW (215 hp) and a 72.8 kWh battery. Official North American range estimate have yet to be publish, but Toyota estimates the FWD version to have 400 km of range. We would expect a Lexus version to be based upon the AWD bZ4X, with perhaps even more power output and a larger battery pack.