Lexus RZ: Electric crossover teased ahead of 2022 debut

Lexus has given us an early look at its first dedicated electric vehicle and confirmed the name as RZ.

The electric crossover is due in 2022 which means we should see it arrive as a 2023 model here in the U.S.

A trio of teaser shots released on Thursday confirm a design similar to the LF-Z Electrified concept unveiled in March.

The underpinnings meanwhile should be the same e-TNGA platform found in the 2023 Toyota BZ4X and 2023 Subaru Solterra twins. This means we can expect things like steer-by-wire technology and dual-motor all-wheel drive.

Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept

Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept

Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept

Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept

All-wheel drive is set to become a staple of Lexus EVs. Lexus calls its electrified all-wheel-drive system Direct4, and said the system automatically adjusts torque going to each of the wheels to optimize driving feel and stability. The system is also claimed to respond quicker than non-electrified all-wheel-drive systems with torque vectoring because of the instantaneous torque of electric motors.

Like the BZ4X and Solterra, the RZ should be a small crossover. Expect the dimensions to be similar to those of the Lexus NX.

To help differentiate the RZ, expect Lexus to add performance tuning, particularly for the drive system which should deliver more than the maximum 214 hp offered in the BZ4X and Solterra. There might also be more battery capacity than the 71.4 kilowatt-hours found in those non-luxury models.

Note, the RZ won’t be the first electric Lexus. The automaker has been selling a battery-electric version of its UX compact crossover overseas since 2019.

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