Already shown in pictures to the media late last year, Lexus is pushing toward the full debut of the new RZ 450e, it’s all-electric crossover based off the new Toyota bZ4X.
The new pic shows the rear of the new model at night against a backdrop of stars. Everyone who wants to see it can simply go online here to watch the debut April 20 at 6 a.m. ET.
“The premiere will feature the joy of driving only Lexus can offer with sounds of nature collected from the real world that stimulates the five senses, under the theme ‘Voice of the Earth,’” the company said in a statement.
Not much has been revealed about the new model in previous teasers, although it has been shown with a yoke-style steering wheel, a la Tesla Model S Plaid, and in a series of pics lit in purples and pinks making it a little less clear.
Based off the same platform as sibling brand Toyota’s new bZ4X, we know it shares many of the same, underlying components but the luxury brand hasn’t offered much else about the new battery-electric vehicle.
“The all-new Lexus RZ, where sustainability meets sleek lines and power,” was the only thing it said in an earlier release — though TheDetroitBureau.com has been able to pull out some of the basic details about the new Lexus RZ 450e.
In December, Toyota officials showed off 16 all-electric models set to arrive in the next few years. However, during that presentation, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda was shown putting the RZ 450e through its paces on the corporate test track.
The RZ, officials confirmed, will become the first all-electric model in a complete transition to BEVs by the luxury brand — clearly a move acknowledging the luxury segment will move faster than mainstream marques. Brands including Volvo, Jaguar and Cadillac have already committed to going 100% battery electric, and BMW, Mercedes-Benz and others are moving in that direction.
As for the RZ, it will ride on the same, skateboard-like platform as the Toyota Bz4X, meaning batteries and motors, among other components, will be mounted below the load floor. The platform will anchor much of the wave of BEVs both brands are planning to launch, though it will offer significant flexibility in length, width and even ride height.
While there may be a single-motor version in the works, the 450e part of the model name indicates the initial Lexus RZ will be a two-motor system. With one on each axle it will use the new Direct4 all-wheel-drive system Toyota indicates will give even more rapid and precise control over where torque goes to handle both inclement weather conditions and aggressive driving.
Almost certainly, the Lexus model will offer more power than the 215 horsepower that the bZ4X is rated at in its initial configuration. And few should be surprised if it will launch from 0-60 in under 5 seconds, perhaps even 4 seconds, at least not if Lexus wants to appear competitive with the BEVs coming from its luxury competitors.