The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e has made its official debut, arriving as the latest battery-powered addition to the luxury compact crossover segment.
This battery-electric compact crossover shares a platform and other parts with the new Toyota BZ4x crossover, which is also being marketed under the Subaru brand as the Solterra. It will come standard with a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain rated at 308 horsepower, along with a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Lexus predicts the real-world range of the vehicle will sit at around 225 miles. Details on the peak charging rate and how long it will take to fill the RZ 450e’s battery have not yet been provided by the manufacturer.
Inside, the RZ 450e will come standard with the same 14-inch touchscreen that’s offered on the Lexus NX and LX models. The vehicle will eventually be offered with an optional Steer-By-Wire system, which ditches the traditional steering rack in favor of a non-physical electric connection. The electric rack’s tight 150-degree steering angle will give the vehicle a sharper turn-in response and will also eliminate the need for hand-over-hand operation when making tight turns, U-Turns or parking. Models with steer-by-wire will also ditch the traditional circular steering wheel for a “yoke” style steering wheel like that used on the Tesla Model S Plaid.
Lexus plans to offer a battery-electric model in all major vehicle segments in North America by 2025 and, like Cadillac, will transition to a 100 percent battery-electric portfolio by 2030. While Cadillac does not yet have a battery-powered compact crossover of its own, readers can be sure that Cadillac is working on an entry for this segment, which is one of the largest and most important in the North American market. Lexus’ strategy also means it will eventually offer a mid-size electric crossover to directly compete with the Cadillac Lyriq.
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is expected to go on sale in the U.S. towards the end of this year. Lexus has yet to share details on pricing and trim availability.