The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is only the last in a series of Lexus innovation efforts. Since the RX400h’s introduction in 2005, Lexus has led the premium industry in electrification. Lexus engineers have given the brand’s hybrid cars distinctive driving identities and environmental efficiency, much as they did with the initial RX hybrid model.
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The first in a new Lexus segment
Lexus will expand its Lexus Electrified portfolio of hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), battery electric vehicle (BEV), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) products to meet the needs and expectations of a wider range of luxury buyers in order to revitalize all guests’ genuine love for driving exhilaration.
“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 2023 Lexus 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. 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.
The all-new RZ represents Lexus’ transformation into a BEV-centered brand and serves as the company’s first worldwide BEV model. It epitomizes the distinctive Lexus vehicle design and driving experience made possible by cutting-edge, electrified technology.
By establishing appropriate weight distribution via precise positioning of the battery and motor, using a BEV-specific platform (e-TNGA) and a lightweight, very stiff body have improved the vehicle’s core performance.
Additionally, the improved steering control and optional Steer by Wire system, and the DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system provide vehicle control that is more true to the driver’s desire.
Designed for aerodynamic efficiency
The characteristic roof spoiler created by the 2023 Lexus RZ spindle-shaped form reduces the power of the wind acting on the body. This makes driving feel more steady. The back glass surface of the car is sloping, and the center of the roof is designed to enable air to flow easily there.
By balancing the aft air flow, the ducktail-shaped end of the trunk decreases aerodynamic drag. Additionally, the created downforce helps to make driving seem stable. To flatten the underbody and reduce aerodynamic drag, an undercover is employed.
Due to the absence of an engine, the hood is low and the front grille aperture is small. A grille shutter is used by the grille to increase aerodynamic effectiveness. The grille shutter is closed to lessen air resistance when cooling air isn’t needed.
The outward design of BEVs expresses the smooth acceleration and dynamic capabilities of these vehicles. BEV Spindle Body has taken the role of Lexus’ recognizable spindle grille.
Instead of meeting the cooling and exhaust requirements of an internal combustion engine, the new front bumper design prioritizes aerodynamic effectiveness, proportional optimization, and aesthetics. A new Lexus style is introduced with this stylistic development, which also provides a new design philosophy for BEV options.
A simple, roomy cabin located within the spindle body is intended to emphasize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promote sustainable mobility via the use of materials that have been deliberately sourced. Despite being straightforward, the room is opulent because of its fine details and cutting-edge technology.
Additionally, the standard panoramic roof dramatically expands the interior, and a highly effective heating system with a radiant heater—a first for Lexus—improves passenger comfort.
When seen from the side, the front fenders seem to wrap around the wheels and tires before flowing backward to convey a strong forward movement. The bold three-dimensional curve above the rear fenders highlights the breadth of the tires and conveys the DIRECT4’s dynamic performance image.
The flowing contrast of the sculpted curves of the doors also seeks to create a compelling and dazzling surface.
The Lexus RZ rear has a sleek, straightforward horizontal shape that complements the wide stance of the hips; this appearance emphasizes the RZ’s torque-driven performance personality.
The freshly introduced NX and LX have the new spelled-out LEXUS emblem, which is located on the horizontal rear combination lighting. The logo lettering is highlighted and a crisp appearance is emphasized by the red lens’s depressed center part.
Modern, roomy, and welcoming on the inside
The 2023 Lexus RZ cabin is a simple, yet spacious, and lavishly furnished setting. The instrument panel is positioned low and blends with the sweeping form from the doors. A neat, airy feeling is produced by the door trim and console that run between the driver and passenger seats.
Additionally, the top wood-grain console, chairs, and ultra-suede door trim ornamentation create a chic omotenashi, or anticipatory hospitality, setting.
Having a long wheelbase allows for a large back seat with a couple distance of 1000 mm (39.3 in). Additionally, the rearward-peaked interior profile provides for plenty of back headroom, giving the occupants a feeling of spaciousness. The customary panoramic roof adds to the impression of spaciousness from front to back.
There are two different kinds of seat materials, one of which is Ultrasuede, a kind of upholstery made with 30% bio-based sustainable resources that aim for a warm air of refinement. The fusion of a tidy, contemporary setting with plain, texture-focused surfaces conveys a warm feeling of freedom inside the 2023 Lexus RZ.
The front cockpit, which is based on the tazuna idea, furthers Lexus’ emphasis on the needs of people. Tazuna stands in for the reins that riders use to guide their mounts. Drivers can operate features like navigation, radio, and drive mode selection while focused on the road thanks to steering wheel switches that are coordinated with the optional Head-Up Display (HUD).
2023 Lexus RZ incorporates DIRECT4 for a smooth ride
With extreme accuracy, DIRECT4 and the recently created high-output electronic axle (eAxle) motor continually adjust the driving force of the four wheels. Regardless of the road surface or driving circumstances, it operates in accordance with the ground contact load of the vehicle to provide a thrilling driving experience consistent with the driver’s objective.
The front-to-rear driving force ratio distribution between 100:0 and 0:100 is controlled by the DIRECT4 distribution control using information from the wheel vehicle speed, acceleration, and steering angle sensors. Improved start-up acceleration, handling stability, and reduced power usage are all benefits of this.
To provide a direct acceleration sensation, the Lexus RZ employs an approximate front-to-rear driving force ratio distribution between 60:40 and 40:60 to reduce vehicle pitch during launch and straight-line acceleration. Important details like cornering speed and steering angle assist to provide great handling stability by optimizing drive force distribution according to varied driving circumstances.
The Lexus RZ reacts quickly and has good steering feel since driving power is directed toward the front wheels (distributed between 75:25 and 50:50) when the steering wheel is turned. To guarantee sufficient traction while maintaining control of the vehicle’s pitch, torque distribution to the rear wheels is further increased (between 50:50 and 20:80) while coming out of a turn.
Engineers orchestrated the smooth functioning of their collected electrification and dynamic vehicle movement control technologies to provide a refined driving experience for the Lexus RZ.
In order to benefit from cruise range, a roomy cabin, and superb design, the newly designed eAxle completely combines the motor, transaxle, and inverter into a compact unit.
The rear eAxle has a low-profile configuration that contributes to more interior and cargo space, while the front eAxle is packed with a short front/back system architecture. Additionally, using a high-efficiency inverter with a component in the back increases the cruising range.
Steer by Wire, or when driver and car become one
The Lexus-first Steer by Wire technology, which will be made available in the US at a later date, allows the sophisticated steering control and tires to electronically communicate steering and road surface information without the need for mechanical connection.
The steering angle of the control is adjusted at around 150 degrees, considerably decreasing the effort of the driver and removing the necessity for the hand-over-hand operation in parking lots, twisting highways, junctions, and other driving scenarios.
To promote driver involvement and environmental awareness without being constrained by a large conventional steering wheel, designers created the steering control’s compact form and decreased the instrument meter’s location, for the new Lexus RZ.
By restricting driver eye movement while driving and naturally directing the driver’s attention forward, a cockpit area promoting even greater involvement with the automobile has been created.
Lexus concentrated on the quality and speed of the transfer of critical driving information thanks to Steer by Wire, which enables the electronic interchange of steering and road surface information between the steering wheel and tires through electrical impulses.
By making accurate decisions, excluding extraneous vibrations from the tires and brakes, and only communicating with the driver with essential driving information, such as road information, the system provides nimble and confidence-inspiring performance.
The wheels are regulated as necessary while Lane Tracing Assist is engaged, enabling gentle steering and movement of the vehicle. In addition to the vehicle’s overall agility, the system makes adjustments to the steering gear ratio based on the vehicle’s condition to provide nimble and agile performance on winding roads and high-speed stability on the highways.
Technology designed to offer comfort and safety
The 2023 Lexus RZ is equipped with the most recent Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 suite of supplemental safety features, which includes the Pre-Collision System as standard, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Emergency Driving Stop System.
Some new functions supplied with the optional driver monitor system are included in LSS+ 3.0 on the 2023 Lexus RZ.
Pre-Collision System (PCS): The driver monitor system assesses the condition of the driver, and if it detects drowsiness or distraction based on how frequently the driver looks away from the road, the system will provide an earlier timing alert and automatic braking to help prevent a collision and/or potential damage.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control [DRCC] (with full-speed follow function): When turned on, the driver monitor system will determine whether the driver is paying attention, judge the distance from the vehicle in front of it, and adjust according to the distance (time) setting (four levels are available). It will also automatically brake when the distance is too close.
When the driver monitor system is on, the system detects the driver’s degree of attentiveness and, if it deems the driver is inattentive, the system triggers either the alarm or the steering assist earlier than normal. Lane Departure Alert (LDA):
Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS): When Lane Trace Assist (LTA) is turned on, if the driver monitor system determines that the driver is no longer able to operate the vehicle safely, the system will slow down the car and bring it to a stop in the current lane to help prevent a collision or lessen its impact.
To do this, the 2023 Lexus RZ first alerts the area by flashing the danger lighting, then gradually slows down the car until it comes to a complete stop.
The accessible advanced park system remotely increases parallel parking assistance. Forward-facing parking is now enabled in addition to traditional back-up parking, allowing for forward-facing/back-up egress.
Radiant heaters that gently warm the passenger’s knees while collaborating with the air conditioner to deliver a comfortable temperature at a decreased rate of battery consumption are among the additional driver and passenger conveniences.
Both the driver and the passengers may take advantage of the expansive interior that the panoramic roof creates thanks to its optional dimming feature, a Lexus first that drastically minimizes the amount of light entering the cabin.
225 miles of range
Using technology and know-how from the brand’s hybrid car development, Lexus created a system that leverages the benefits of the specialized platform.
The utilization of silicon carbide power semiconductor components in the inverter and high-capacity batteries that are unique to BEVs, as well as the integration of low-loss technology developed for HEVs, all help to increase the Lexus RZ single-charge cruising range. With 18-inch tires, the current U.S. manufacturer estimate for the range is up to 225 miles.