the electric SUV that drives like an airplane

A concentrate of style and technology for Lexus’ first native model dedicated to 100% electric mobility

Alessandro Pinto

– Barcelona, ​​Spain)

A stick to hold tight to fly aboard the Lexus RZ, the first model designed entirely for 100% electric mobility. After the first zero-emission steps with the UX 300e, Lexus’ green revolution gains strength and stylistic forms from the RZ, developed on the e-Tnga platform in benefit of the three “Cs” that describe the characteristics of the full-size electric mid-SUV. . Great: Confidence, Control and Comfort. Above all, the first two are directly linked to one of the most interesting innovations of the RZ, namely the “One Motion Grip” cloche-style steering wheel with which it moves the front wheels using Steer by Wire technology. The Lexus RZ will hit the market in late 2022, the price is being set.

lexus rz: design

Staying true to the style of the house, the Lexus RZ’s look evolves based on the new floor and the freedom granted to designers by the compactness of the electric motors. The iconic front hourglass renounces the grille for a similarly closed surface, but developed in three dimensions and perfectly integrated between the LED optical groups. The sides show the muscles at the height of the generously sized wheel arches, which house wheels from 18″ (standard) to 20″ (optional). The step of 285 cm on the one hand, it highlights the low center of gravity, on the other hand, it contributes to making the set, enclosed in a length of about 480 cm, aerodynamic and dynamic (official data have not yet been released). The slope of the rear pillars and the roofline that flows into the spoiler also play a role in favor of dynamism. A little further down we find the horizontal light strip that joins the tail light groups, a little narrower than what has already been seen in the latest Lexus.

lexus rz: interior and infotainment

The Lexus RZ cockpit embodies and evolves the Tazuma concept, which in Japanese means the reins held firmly in the driver’s hand. The RZ translates into a cockpit designed to offer maximum ergonomics to the driver, who manages to manage everything with the utmost simplicity. The arrangement of the indicators, the head-up display and the 14-inch multimedia display have been optimized and the instrument panel has been lowered, further improving the driver’s forward view also thanks to the compactness of the One Motion Grip steering wheel. The physical buttons, always positioned within walking distance of the driver’s seat, are reduced to the essentials to respect the minimalist concept typical of Japanese elegance. Among the few present are those dedicated to opening the doors, which are blocked with the help of the blind spot monitoring system in case there is a risk of being run over by an approaching pedestrian or cyclist. The ambient luminosity is guaranteed by the wide panoramic roof, which can be opacified with the simple touch of a button to reduce exposure to the sun’s rays, while at night the scenographic effect is guaranteed by the ambient LED lights. For maximum comfort, especially climatic in this case, the Lexus RZ is equipped with radiant heaters positioned at knee height in front of the driver and front passenger, in the first case under the steering column, in the second they are placed at the bottom of the dashboard. . In addition to the seat heaters and heated steering wheel, they help to speed up the heating of the driver and front passenger, giving the sensation of having a blanket around the legs. the vast 14 inch center screen is dedicated to the latest evolution of Lexus Link infotainment launched by the new NX, which includes “always on” cloud-based navigation. It allows you to receive real-time information about traffic, accidents and road conditions, even through the “Hey Lexus” voice command, and is compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

Lexus rz: technology

The novelty that draws attention as soon as you enter the passenger compartment is the Cloche One Motion Grip which replaces the steering wheel. Take advantage of Steer-by-wire technology, one of the Lexus RZ’s most significant innovations. There is no mechanical linkage and no steering column. The system uses an electrical connection to send inputs from the steering wheel and wheels. The result claimed by the house is an immediate response and more precise steering control. Benefits also include reduced sway when traveling on uneven roads, as well as the minimal effort required by the driver to make a turn. With just 150 degrees of joystick oscillation, in fact, you get full rotation from end-to-end direction, without having to cross your hands. Lexus engineers worked to ensure the system provided the correct communication at all times, maintaining a strong connection between the driver and the car. There is also the presence of failsafe processors and an emergency power supply in case the system loses main power.

motors, batteries, autonomy

The RZ is powered by the e-Axle unit first introduced with the UX 300e. The front engine produces 150 kW and the rear 80 kW, for a total power of 230 kW, about 312 hp. The two engines positioned at the front and rear react to inputs from the four-wheel drive control system. RZ is the first production model equipped with the new Direct4 system. The intelligent system is able to constantly balance the four-wheel drive, distributing the driving force automatically and continuously. The front/rear torque split can be adjusted from zero to 100 or vice versa in a few milliseconds, faster than any mechanical system. Integrated under the cabin as an integral part of the e-Tnga platform, we find the 71.4 kWh battery composed of 96 high energy density cells. Value theoretically lower than some competitors, offset by better performance – Lexus indicates consumption 18% lower than the segment average – and an estimated longevity well over 10 years. In addition to the lower weight that is positively reflected on a dynamic level. Details on the vehicle’s range and battery charging times will be released in a few months, but Lexus expects the RZ to be able to drive more than 400 km in the Wltp combined cycle.

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