Lexus today unveiled details of the new “RZ”, the luxury brand’s first globally-available battery electric vehicle (BEV) model.
Since the launch of the RX400h in 2005, Lexus has been a pioneer of electrification within the luxury market. As with the first RX hybrid model, our engineers have imbued our hybrid vehicles with an excellent driving identity and environmental performance. In 2019, Lexus’ fundamental approach toward vehicle electrification evolved thanks to the Lexus Electrified vision. Lexus aims to invigorate all guests’ authentic love for driving exhilaration, and in doing so, will broaden its Lexus Electrified portfolio of hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), battery electric vehicle (BEV), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) products to exceed the needs and expectations of a more diverse set of luxury buyers.
The portfolio expansion will move Lexus toward another essential goal: The realization of a sustainable global society. Lexus will contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral society by offering a full lineup of BEVs in all categories by 2030. Five years later, Lexus seeks to attain 100 percent BEV sales globally. To meet these challenges, Lexus will rigorously improve its products, along with the expertise of its personnel, by repeating “drive and fix” development at Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama (hereinafter referred to as “TTCS”), Lexus’ new operational base.
As Lexus’ first globally-available dedicated BEV model, the new RZ marks Lexus’ transition into a BEV-centered brand, and embodies the unique Lexus vehicle design and driving experience brought on by advanced electrification technology. For driving performance, the use of a BEV-specific platform (e-TNGA), as well as a lightweight and highly rigid body, has greatly evolved the fundamental performance of the vehicle by achieving optimal weight distribution through ideal placement of the battery and motor. In addition, the adoption of a new steering control and Steer-by-Wire system, along with the DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system using electrification technology, enables vehicle control that is faithful to the driver’s intention. An exhilarating driving experience is realized, making the RZ feel like a true extension of its driver. Furthermore, we pursued the creation of an audio sound that seamlessly conveys vehicle condition changes to the driver. These efforts are being carried out at TTCS, Lexus’ new development base, in order to enhance the uniquely Lexus driving flavor, the Lexus Driving Signature.
The exterior design expresses the seamless acceleration and dynamic torque-filled performance specific to BEVs. Lexus’ identifiable spindle grille is replaced by a BEV Spindle Body which focuses on aerodynamic efficiencies, optimized proportions, and style, versus serving the cooling and exhaust needs of an internal combustion engine. This styling evolution ushers in a new Lexus aesthetic and establishes a new design direction for BEV offerings. Within the spindle body is a minimalist, spacious interior focused on amplifying a sustainable mobility message and Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) through its application of mindfully-sourced materials. Though simplistic, the space is luxurious thanks to its crafted touches and advanced technologies. In addition, the cabin features an available panoramic roof which visually opens the space, while passenger comfort is improved by a highly efficient heating system featuring a Lexus-first radiant heater.
“We believe that Lexus, an established luxury automaker, should continue pursuing the creation of exciting cars while respecting nature and the global environment to achieve a carbon-neutral society. The RZ has been developed with the aim of creating a uniquely Lexus BEV that feels secure to ride in, is pleasing to the touch, and is exhilarating to drive. DIRECT4, the core technology of Lexus Electrified, is all-wheel drive system that achieves quick and linear response according to driver input. With the transition to BEV, we pursued a special design with functional simplicity featuring the evolution of the spindle grill to the new Lexus spindle body architecture and a cockpit space incorporating the tazuna concept focusing on driver operation. We will continue to take on the challenge of providing customers with new experiences and a uniquely Lexus BEV driving experience,” said Takashi Watanabe, Chief Engineer, Lexus Electrified Lexus International.
Main specifications of the new RZ (prototype)
|Overall length||4,805 mm|
|Overall width||1,895 mm|
|Overall height||1,635 mm|
|Tire size||18/20 inches|
|Cruise range||Approx. 450 km|
|Battery capacity||71.4 kWh|