The RZ 450e is Lexus‘ first model to be developed as a BEV from the outset. The intention is not simply to deliver the benefits of zero emission, all-electric driving, but to capture the potential of BEVs to reinvent the driving experience. To help achieve this, the car has undergone extensive track testing and refinement at the Shimoyama Centre in Japan, soon to be Lexus’ new global headquarters.
It is not a vehicle that simply adopts battery electric power in place of a conventional engine; it goes much further to realise the exciting potential of new technologies that enhance performance and driving pleasure, true to the Lexus Electrified philosophy.
Chief Engineer Takashi Watanabe said: “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. Our vision is to use electrification technology as a means to enhance fundamental vehicle performance, so that we can continue to pursue driving pleasure for all future generations.”
First and foremost, the RZ is a Lexus, retaining all the fine qualities of performance and craftsmanship associated with the brand. The company has leveraged its wealth of vehicle electrification experience to deliver the benefits of a BEV with the essential refinement and driving experience that are unique to its brand.
The RZ also marks the first application of Lexus’ new e-Axles, compact motor units used front and rear that work in conjunction with new DIRECT4 all-wheel electronic drive torque control. High-quality handling and responsiveness are secured with a dedicated new electric vehicle platform, which brings excellent body rigidity, a low centre of gravity and a long wheelbase. A powerful lithium-ion battery unit is fully integrated in the chassis, beneath the cabin floor, its quality finely controlled to ensure performance is maintained long-term.
The platform and battery electric drivetrain also open up new freedoms in design. The exterior reinterprets the signature Lexus spindle shape in the vehicle’s body, while the interior is a light and open space that is both simple and luxurious, expressing Lexus Omotenashi hospitality and Takumi craftsmanship.
With its zero-emission performance, the RZ will help Lexus in its progress towards carbon neutrality and a sustainable mobility society. Here, the focus is not just on the car’s performance on the road; it embraces its entire lifecycle, from parts procurement, manufacturing and ownership through to eventual disposal. Already new methods have been adopted at Lexus’ Motomachi factory, the RZ production centre, in the processes that produce the highest emissions.