The first electric Lexus RZ 450e slated for 2022 release
Toyota finally budged and announced its electric car plans for the future, after a year of claiming that an entirely electric fleet doesn't make much sense in the current state of battery prices and charging infrastructure. The world's largest car maker surprised with an extremely varied and comprehensive electric lineup, indicating it has given it a lot of thought all the while it was badmouthing EVs. Toyota will have a true electric offroader, FJ Cruiser style, a Tacoma-like electric pickup to take on Tesla's Cybertruck, and a number of other EVs spanning every market niche, including a luxury electric Lexus sports car that can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in two seconds.
The first electric Lexus, however, will be an RZ 450e SUV based on the common platform Toyota developed with Subaru, dubbed bZ4X. An electric Lexus RZ has been rumored since last year, but now the plans are fleshed out more, and Toyota says we will see the first fully electric Lexus released in 2022. That's right, we'd have an electron-powered model from one of the world's most popular premium brands in time for your next Christmas shopping list, but mum's the word on the exact electric Lexus RZ 450e price and specs just yet. If Toyota goes with some of the bZ4X specs for it, we can expect a 214HP powertrain provided by dual motors for an AWD experience, all fed by a 71 kWh battery pack. Since Lexus is Toyota's luxury flagship brand, however, we'd wager to guess that it may up the specs ante and appoint the new RZ 450e with extra features and a more premium interior than the bZ models. According to Koji Sato, President of Lexus International and Chief Branding Officer:
We will deliver a unique electrified Lexus that combines linear motor acceleration/deceleration, brake feeling and exhilarating handling to further pursue the joy of driving. In particular, we believe that the Battery EV will become the future symbol of Lexus as a model that most clearly expresses the evolution of the automobile brought about by electrification. The latest of these models is the Lexus RZ. The process of strengthening the fundamentals and pursuing the Lexus Driving Signature will not change even if it is a Battery EV. The endless pursuit of the Lexus Driving Signature will move to the next stage through development of the new Sports Battery EV. With bold proportions and low ride height essential to a sports car, it will showcase the unique driving performance of a Lexus and become a model that symbolizes the future of the brand. Acceleration time will be in the low 2 second range, cruising range over 700km, and with the possible use of solid-state batteries in mind, we will aim to create a truly high performance Battery EV.
Besides the RZ 450e, slated for a 2022 launch, Toyota teased a full-size electric SUV concept, as well as the mentioned Lexus sports car that can go more than 700 km (434 miles) on a charge, and will have a 0-60 miles per hour acceleration of a bti over 2 seconds. Here's a list of all upcoming electric vehicles from Lexus:
- 2022 Lexus RZ 450e: electric crossover on the Subaru-Toyota bZ4X platform;
- Full-size Lexus electric SUV;
- Electric Lexus sports car: 430+ miles range on a charge, 2 seconds 0-60 mph acceleration.
That's some pretty solid horsepower, but it's not going to land in 2022, while the RZ will. Here are some pictures of the electric Lexus RZ 450e to whet your appetite while you wait for Toyota to fill in the RZ 450e specs, price, and feature blanks.
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