The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is the luxury brand’s first electric vehicle. Unsurprisingly, the RZ 450e rides on a similar e-TNGA architecture as parent company Toyota’s first EV, the bZ4X, and Subaru’s Solterra EV. As expected, the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e turned out to be the best-looking of the bunch, and it has genuine substance behind its head-turning style.
Lexus aims to have only battery-electric vehicles in its portfolio by 2035, with the RZ 450e helping them achieve a carbon-neutral lineup soon. However, given the brand’s notoriety for starting the “big front grille” trend many years ago, we were pining for a radically different Lexus EV. Still, the RZ 450e is off to a good start despite having less power and range than premium rivals like the Genesis GV60 and Cadillac Lyriq.
Dual Electric Motors, Standard AWD
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e will arrive sporadically at dealerships with two electric motors and a standard all-wheel drivetrain called DIRECT4. Those two motors collectively churn out 308 horsepower that routes to all four wheels while optimizing traction, drive force, and posture control.
Meanwhile, standard torque vectoring can shift 100 percent of the grunt to the front or rear wheels. Lexus claims zero to 60 mph in five seconds, which is not bad for a relatively cumbersome crossover. The motors draw juice from a 71.4 kWh battery that offers up to 220 miles of range with the standard 18-inch wheels. However, selecting the optional 20-inch wheels results in a dismal 196 miles of range.
When the batteries run dry, the RZ 450e replenishes from zero to 100 percent in 9.5 hours using a Level 2 charger and zero to 80 percent in about 30 minutes using DC fast charging.
Lexus Driving Signature
Lexus promises an engaging drive with its RZ 450e, and the brand insists its Lexus Driving Signature philosophy is at the core when transitioning from conventional ICE-powered to electric cars. As a result, it has a rigid steel body with high-tensile steel body panels and an aluminum hood. In addition, the trailing arm rear suspension features Frequency Reactive Dampers (FRD) that deliver a sportier yet comfy ride.
Stopping power is courtesy of an Active Hydraulic Booster-G braking system that communicates with the DIRECT4 drivetrain and regenerative braking system. Moreover, the Lexus RZ 450e has a steer-by-wire system that turns the front wheels without a mechanical linkage.
It’s hard to deny the Toyota bz4X origins when viewed from the sides. The most prominent giveaways are those black-shrouded fenders, but the spindle front active grille shutters and aero-sculpted panels are pure Lexus. In short, it looks more dignified than its Toyota and Subaru stablemates and wears a sharper-tailored suit than the Genesis GV60.
On the inside, the Lexus RZ 450e’s upscale cabin will delight the senses. The touch points and expansive dashboard feature premium suede and cowhide materials. Lexus is talking about the Japanese concept of “tazuna” (horse’s reign) and “oto-kukan” (sound space) in describing the RZ 450e’s driving ambiance. Still, it does seem to offer generous legroom and an enhanced feeling of roominess, an essential feature in any luxury-themed vehicle. And in case you need to carry three golf bags, the RZ 450e’s trunk is sizeable enough to oblige.
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e has an expansive 14-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In addition, there’s an available intelligent voice assistant, heads-up display, and a Mark Levinson audio system with 13 speakers. Other nifty features include cloud navigation and the Digital Key and Remote Connect features via the Lexus app.
2023 Lexus RZ 450e Safety Features
The Lexus RZ 450e leaves the Motomachi Plant in Toyota City, Japan, with the latest advanced driving assist features included as part of the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0. The package includes dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert, road sign assist, risk avoidance emergency steer assist, and more.
2023 Lexus RZ 450e: Pricing & Availability
The Lexus RZ 450e starts at $59,650 for the Premium trim and $65,150 for the range-topping Luxury variant. Those MSRP figures include the $1,150 delivery charge. Our free and easy search tools* will narrow down which dealers in your area offer the best pricing on a 2023 Lexus RZ 450e.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.
Photos & Source: Lexus.
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