Lexus RZ 450e, the new electric SUV with 400 km of autonomy makes its debut

Lexus RZ 450e has finally been presented. It is a new electric SUV we have talked about several times in recent times. For the Japanese brand it is a very important model as it is its first electric vehicle to be developed from scratch.

The SUV represents a new step by Lexus towards becoming a 100% electric brand in Europe by 2030. European customers will already pre-order the new model from today 20 Aprilwith deliveries expected from the end of 2022. In Italy, customers will be able to register their interest by logging into the Lexus website and leaving a payment of 300 euros. This will give you the opportunity to book the car without restrictions and receive a top-up card with 1,000 euros of credit to be used at all public top-up stations.

Prices, for the moment, have not yet been disclosed.

DESIGN AND INTERIORS



Of design of the new Lexus RZ 450e we already know a lot since the Japanese brand had shared several shots of its car in the past.

The design concept is “seamless E-motion”, and expresses the powerful character of a BEV, that is, quick response and seamless acceleration. The result is a new and simple shape that captures the spirit of technological evolution, function and performance.

The Japanese carmaker says that, thanks to the absence of the internal combustion engine, it has lowered the hood line and reduced the air intakes. The typical Lexus hourglass grille has been evolved three-dimensionally and has also been extended to the body of the vehicle. The newly designed headlights are unified with the hourglass body. The wheel arches are muscular and it is possible to have 18-inch or 20-inch wheels.

Behind, we find the roof spoiler and the light clusters that run through the rear from side to side. Among the options it is possible to have the new two-tone finish for the bodywork that extends the contrasting black area from the roof to the hood.

The new Lexus RZ 450e rests on the e-TNGA platform, the same used on Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra electric models. Its measurements are 4,805 mm long x 1,895 mm wide x 1,635 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm.

Speaking of the interior, however, the car manufacturer says that the passenger compartment is “an evolution of the Tazuna concept, and combines the driver’s position behind the wheel and the accurate arrangement of gauges, controls and displays to create a space where only small hand and eye movements are required to operate the vehicle“.

In addition to the digital instrumentation, we find a 14-inch screen infotainment system equipped with the Lexus Link multimedia platform that offers “always on” cloud-based navigation, which benefits from up-to-date information on traffic events, accidents and road conditions. We also find the voice assistant and the inevitable supports to Apple CarPlay And to Android Auto.

The new SUV can also be had with the panoramic roof with low-e coating (low emissivity) which reflects infrared radiation and reduces radiant heat on sunny days, while helping to keep heat inside the car in cold weather. In addition, it has the electric dimming function, which allows you to instantly switch from clear to opaque with a simple touch control, eliminating direct sunlight.

Lexus RZ 450e also features new radiant heaters positioned at knee height in front of the driver and front passenger, under the steering column and lower dashboard. Present in addition to the seat heaters and heated steering wheel, they help speed up the heating for the driver and front passenger. A digital rearview mirror is also available as an accessory.

ONE MOTION GRIP



The new electric SUV from Lexus is also available with the Steer-by-wire One Motion Grip system. There is no mechanical link and no traditional steering column; the system uses an electrical connection to send inputs from the steering wheel and wheels. The result, as Lexus points out, is immediate response and more precise steering control.

By choosing electronic steering, the electric SUV will be equipped with a new steering wheel that features a shape very similar to that of the Tesla Model S steering yoke.

The optional One Motion Grip system features a new steering stick, which replaces the traditional steering wheel. The technology requires less steering effort on the part of the driver: with a rotation of only 150 degrees of the joystick, the complete rotation of the steering wheel from limit switch to limit switch is carried out, and there is no need for crossing hands or additional maneuvers.

ENGINE AND SAFETY



RZ 450e uses the e-Axle first introduced by Lexus in the electric UX 300e. It is a compact and modular package consisting of an engine, a gear unit and a control unit, located between the drive wheels. On the RZ the systems are used at the front and rear and work in conjunction with DIRECT4 all-wheel drive control to adjust vehicle dynamics, traction and power distribution, depending on driving conditions.

Thus, the powertrain consists of two electric motors. The front one delivers 150 kW, while the rear 80 kW. Overall, the electric SUV can count on 230 kW: the services have not been communicated. To feed the whole one 71.4 kWh battery. The manufacturer makes it known that the data on autonomy and charging will be communicated later. In any case, it is expected a distance of more than 400 km with a full load of energy (WLTP). RZ has a consumption of less than 18 kWh per 100 km traveled.

To help customers maximize their vehicle’s range, the RZ’s selectable drive modes include a Range mode. This is based on the energy saving performance of the ECO mode by further adjusting certain vehicle settings: the speed is limited, a different power distribution program is started and the climate control system is deactivated.


Lexus expects the battery of RZ maintains over 90% of its capacity within 10 years, thanks to a series of measures to safeguard quality and performance. And speaking of security, we find the third generation of Lexus Safety System + with updated and additional features and increased scope for accident risk detection. For example, the ADAS package of systems includes Proactive Driving Assist with steering assistance and a new monitor to check driver behavior for signs of fatigue or distraction.

The Proactive Driving Assistspecifically, it uses the front camera to determine the angle of a bend, adjusting the steering appropriately as you approach and make a turn. Then we have the Lexus e-Latch, an electronic door opening system. Its operation is linked to the car’s Blind Spot Monitor and supports Safe Exit Assist, which prevents the door from being opened if vehicles or cyclists approaching from the rear are detected.


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