Lexus’ First All-Electric SUV Features A Tesla-Like Yoke-Style Steering Wheel
It’s Indian debut may take a while, with an estimated launch in 2023
It’s been a long wait but Lexus has finally unveiled its first bespoke all-electric vehicle, the RZ 450e. The Lexus RZ 450e SUV was unveiled in prototype form, but we can’t help but notice that it looks close to being production-ready.
Design-wise, the all-electric SUV looks eerily similar to Lexus’ NX plug-in hybrid, with a similar shaped front-end design that replaces the NX’s radiator grille with a body sculpted panel. It also sports the sleek headlamp design, with L-shaped DRLs mounted on top of it.
Overall, the RZ 450e SUV gets coupe-like looks with a sloping roofline and a spoiler at the back. And you may have also noticed the connected LED strip line complementing the EV’s streamlined design.
Step inside and you’ll be greeted by the Tesla-like yoke-style steering wheel, which uses an electric system to send inputs to the wheel. We also get to see a 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system along with a digital driver’s display and a head-up display.
Overall, things are best described as minimal with a heavy reliance on touch interface, rather than physical buttons, and a rotary drive selector instead of a gear shifter. Toyota has also wrapped the seats in vegan suede for the environmentally-conscious folks out there.
The Lexus RZ 450e SUV gets a panoramic roof that can turn opaque via a touch of a button; Toyota claims this helps in reflecting infrared radiation to better insulate the cabin. Lastly, to make you feel cosy, the RZ 450e comes with knee-height heaters at the front, which the company claims gives you “the feeling of a warm blanket.”
Toyota has based the Lexus RZ 450e on its new e-TNGA battery-electric vehicle platform. As a result, it houses a 71.4kWh battery pack which comes with a claimed range of 400km on a full charge. Propelling it forward though is a dual-motor AWD setup, which makes 308hp in total (203hp at the front, 108hp at the rear).
While Toyota is yet to shed more light on the SUV’s timeline, the Lexus RZ 450e is expected to head into production soon, with an international launch slated for later this year. The India debut may happen only in 2023.