Lexus has released details on their all-new 2023 RZ 450e, an all-electric luxury SUV.

The RZ 450e will serve as the brand’s first global Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), being the next step in their “Lexus Electrified” mission which aims to “invigorate all guests’ authentic love for driving exhilaration” while also broadening the Lexus portfolio of hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. The all-new RZ will signify Lexus’ transition into a BEV-centered brand.

This new vehicle will utilize the BEV-specific e-TNGA platform, incorporating a lightweight and rigid body to achieve optimal weight allotment and distribution. This will be achieved also in part by the battery and motor placement; the battery is rated at 71.4kWh, estimated to be capable of 225 miles of range. The motors include a 150kW front and 80kW rear, making up the 450e’s DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system.

The DIRECT4 drive system works in tandem with the newly developed high-output electric axle motors to optimize driving performance and efficiency. As such, DIRECT4 will consider vehicle speed, acceleration and steering angle information to control front-to-rear drive distribution, anywhere from 100:0 (front:rear) to 0:100. For example, the system will use a ratio between 60:40 and 40:60 to minimize vehicle pitch during accelerations; during turns, the RZ may bias force towards the front wheels for up to a 75:25 split. When exiting a corner, power distribution is sent back into the rear, between a 50:50 and 20:80 bias.

Speaking of cornering, Lexus has announced a brand-first Steer by Wire system, available in the US at a later date, which will enable the electronic exchange of steering and road surface information via electrical signals, as opposed to some form of mechanical linkage. What does this mean? Well, in short, it can make it easier to turn the 450e-- supposedly to the point of eliminating the need for hand-over-hand operation at tighter turns (intersections, U-turns, parking, etc). And when Lane Tracing Assist is activated, it should be even easier to control the RZ.

The all-new RZ is designed via  Lexus’ “Seamless E-Motion” concept, said to “express seamless acceleration and a dynamic sense of torque unique to a BEV.” In practice, this equates to a more aerodynamic design, a “spindle shape” as defined by Lexus. Starting up top, the center of the roof is shaped in a way as to allow air to flow smoothly across. Driving stability is enhanced by a distinctive roof spoiler. In back, the “ducktail” shape on the trunk further reduces aerodynamic drag. Up front, the minimal grille and use of griller shutters calls for more aero-efficiency, as does the underbody cover.

The cabin is headlined by an available panoramic roof with a Lexus-first dimming function. The living space itself is finished in unsurprisingly premium materials: sustainable ultra-suede and wood grain elements, for example. The Ultrasuede material is made of 30-ercent bio-based materials. Said to be based on the “Tazuna” concept, a human-centric philosophy, the RZ 450e interior pursues a driver-centric approach, including an available Heads-Up Display and steering wheel switches for navigation, audio, and drive settings. 

Speaking of displays, the RZ 450e will feature a 14-inch touchscreen. It uses the North American-developed Lexus Interface multimedia system, which has recently seen release on the NX and LX. Safety tech is also included through the latest Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which consists of a Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert and Emergency Driving Stop System. Available Advanced Park with a remote function has been expanded to support parallel parking, as well as back-up parking and forward-facing parking.

The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is expected to go on sale towards the end of 2022. No MSRP details have been released, but we’ll have updates as they come out here on MotorWeek!