May 31, 2023


3 min read



The new Lexus RZ 450e

Story highlights

    The next chapter of the Lexus Electrified Vision
    The Lexus RZ 450e planned for South Africa
    RZ maintains famous Lexus benchmarks of exceptional luxury and dynamic driving

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THE next chapter of the Lexus Electrified Vision has arrived with the announcement of the all-new RZ battery-electric SUV, the first Lexus BEV built on a dedicated electric vehicle platform.

The RZ will launch in South Africa in the first quarter of 2024. Model grades available for sale will be confirmed at launch timing. The model is powered by an efficient 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery, which deploys 230kW of power and 435Nm of instant torque to all four wheels and a driving range of over 400km.

Following the successful launch of the first Lexus BEV - the UX 300e in late 2021 - the RZ brings Lexus a step closer in its aim of offering a fully electrified range of Hybrid, Plug in Hybrid (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) by 2030.

Within this commitment, more than 10 new electrified vehicles will be introduced by 2025 as part of the luxury lifestyle brand's 'Lexus Electrified' vision. Globally and by 2030, the brand plans to achieve a full line-up of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) in all categories, and by 2035, aims to sell 100% BEVs globally, contributing to the realisation of a carbon-neutral society.

The new electric powertrain with e-Axle electric motors and DIRECT4 all-wheel drive adds to the renowned Lexus elements of luxurious Takumi craftsmanship and impeccable build quality.

Lexus South Africa states: “The new RZ retains all the signature Lexus elements customers have come to appreciate, but now with zero exhaust emissions.”

"Lexus designers have worked to ensure the all-new RZ maintains the famous Lexus benchmarks of exceptional luxury and dynamic driving, faithful to the Lexus Driving Signature. The RZ is the right vehicle for those wanting a luxury SUV that evokes the feeling of Lexus driving with the addition of a smooth and quiet battery-electric powertrain."

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Instant torque and all-wheel traction allows the RZ to sprint from standstill to 100km/h in just 5.3 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 160km/h. Exact local figures will be shared closer to the launch period.

The RZ is underpinned by the rigid and sophisticated e-TNGA platform designed exclusively for electric vehicles, providing a low centre of gravity, excellent handling balance and a long wheelbase.

Nearly two decades of Lexus expertise in battery and hybrid technology has been poured into the RZ 450e, resulting in a battery designed to perform at the highest levels.

A pair of electric e-Axles are mounted at the front and rear of the RZ; each comprising a motor, gearing and Power Control Unit (PCU) to calculate and instantly distribute infinitely variable power to each individual wheel.

The e-Axles operate in harmony with the Lexus DIRECT4 all-wheel-drive system that constantly processes information including vehicle speed, steering angle and G-forces to best deploy motor torque.

DIRECT4 makes precise adjustments in milliseconds for an electric take on the Lexus Driving Signature, delivering a new dynamic benchmark where the vehicle responds faithfully to driver inputs and inspires confidence.

The RZ ushers in new design elements for Lexus, signalled from the exterior with the trademark Lexus spindle grille now more prominent as the shape extends through the vehicle body. - MotorPress

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