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Lexus RZ

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By Jonathan Crouch

With the RZ, Lexus at last gets serious about EVs. Jonathan Crouch looks at the latest range.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 56

The RZ wasn't the first all electric Lexus, but it's the first one that really matters, new from the ground up and now offered in both front-driven and AWD forms. As you might expect, it's packed with borrowed Toyota technology, embellished with the usual Lexus sheen and a new-found spirit of driver involvement. An interesting confection.

Backgroundword count: 173

No other premium luxury brand has more experience in electrification than Lexus. Which made it all the more surprising that it took until 2020 for the brand to launch its first EV (the compact UX 300e) and a further two years for the marque to introduce one with a dedicated EV platform, this car, the Lexus RZ. We were pretty underwhelmed by the UX 300e with its feeble operating range, but this RZ proved to be far more promising. As it ought to have been, given the huge investment poured into the e-TNGA architecture it sits on, a chassis we've already seen with the Toyota bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra. The similarly-sized RZ is a more driver-orientated, luxurious thing, though it has the same 71.4kWh battery. Like its bZ4X design sibling, it comes with a choice of front wheel drive or 4WD, a twin motor 'Direct 4' set-up. And there's a clever steer-by-wire system too. This is all more the kind of thing you'd expect from a brand with a heritage in electrification.

Driving Experienceword count: 282

Lexus doesn't really have much of a heritage in pin-sharp driving dynamics, but of late has been prioritising handling much more as part of what it calls the 'Lexus Driving Signature'. We've already seen that approach in latest versions of the NX and RX and it continues here as part of what the company calls a 'seamless E-motion' concept. This was pretty important to achieve if the RZ was not to be seen as merely a plushed-up version of the Toyota bZ4X model with which it shares most of its engineering. There are now two variants available, starting with a front-driven RZ 300e with 201bhp, 266Nm of torque and a 71.4kWh battery offering up to 297 miles of range. The alternative is the RZ 450e, which has 309bhp, uses the same battery and offers a 272 mile driving range. The RZ 450e uses a 4WD system - called 'Direct 4' - which works with Lexus's electric e-Axle set-up and gives you a pair of compact electric motors, one at the front with 201bhp, the other at the rear with 108bhp, together propelling the car to 62mph in just 5.3s. As with most EVs, top speed is governed back, here to 99mph, in order to preserve the driving range figure. Torque vectoring between the axles allows 100% of power to be sent to front or rear at any given time, the distribution governed by sensors monitoring speed, steering angle and G-Forces. Equally clever is the steer-by-wire 'One Motion Grip' system you can ask your dealer about which eliminates the usual mechanical linkage between the driver and the front wheels and can be optionally specified to work with an unusual butterfly-shaped yoke-style steering wheel.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)




£55,000.00 (At 12 Jul 2024)

£66,695.00 (At 12 Jul 2024)

Insurance group 1-50:


Max Speed (mph):


0-62 mph (s):

8 (RZ 300e)

5.6 (RZ 450e)

Electric WLTP-Rated Driving Range (miles):


Length (mm):


Width (mm):


Height (mm):


Boot Capacity (l):



Power (ps):

201 (RZ 300e)

309 (RZ 450e)

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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