Lexus has chosen to launch the new Lexus RZ 450e crossover at Chateau La Coste, just outside Aix-en-Provence. Paddy McKillen’s Provencal art playground is dotted with cutting-edge architecture, art and sculpture (including the late Oscar’s Niemeyer pavilion), creating a more intellectual backdrop than the typical auto industry. increase.
But since then, Lexus has always paid attention to creative art, as evidenced by regular exhibitions at Salone (see 2018 events) and frequent collaborations (including Formafantasma). As a result, we are very pleased to confirm that the RZ is his one of the better looking cars produced by the brand in recent years. Aiming squarely for the space between the Lexus NX and RX models, the RZ joins the first pure EV Lexus, the UX, and differentiates itself by going all-electric (yes, Lexus is very It names the car in a confusing way.
Like its parent company, Lexus got to hybrid early, starting with the RX model nearly 20 years ago. Since then, hybrids have become an absolute mainstay in nearly every Lexus product range, and to date over 2.4m of hybrid lights and plug-in his hybrids have been sold. However, it was not immediately electrified.
The RZ has a sister vehicle to Toyota’s Bz4x, the parent company’s first dedicated battery-electric platform. The Lexus has far more equipment and more advanced systems than its siblings, even though both models share practically the same foundation. As a luxury sector of the business, it’s no surprise that you get these benefits, but there’s also a focus on driving pleasure that hasn’t been featured much in recent company communiqués.
Sure, Lexus has made sports cars (the majestic LFA) and sports grand tourers (the majestic LC500) before, but it’s honestly never been a “performance brand.” Nonetheless, the RZ maintains an inevitable focus on power delivery and dynamic capability without compromising what the brand likes to call the three ‘Cs’: confidence, control and comfort. Arrived.
The power delivery is as smooth and squeaky as you’d expect from a big electric car. Lexus quotes a range of 395-440 km (about 245-273 miles), depending on specs and road conditions. Purists and hypermilers should know that this car can get the best ride and best mileage with his optional 18-inch her wheels. Nonetheless, Lexus expects his 80% of all his RVs to be equipped with large spinners.
It’s a very quiet ride and floats silky smooth. The whole package has a solid feeling. The taut, wrinkled bodywork is a distinct aesthetic advancement over the old Lexus, which has always looked overbodied and clunky, and proportions and detail often struggle to keep up. I was.
Lexus has managed to expand on the voluminous standard specification with even more options, such as a dimmable panoramic roof that lets in just the right amount of daylight, and 64-color ambient lighting for nighttime illumination. Other added features include radiant seat heaters that use infrared radiation to warm your body to save valuable battery power. The latter can be saved using the ‘Range’ setting (in addition to ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’ and ‘Sport’). This keeps performance in check and minimizes any kind of power usage, allowing the car to perform at its absolute maximum potential. mileage.
The normal steering is also direct, though not as snappy as the yoke. The heavy-duty battery block sits low on the chassis, keeping the center of gravity flat on the ground. All of this, coupled with four-wheel drive, makes her RV an easy and predictable vehicle to drive. As you approach the limit, the tires rub a little against the weight, but that’s not the car after all. By revealing the correlation between speed achieved and energy used, EVs are rapidly rewriting the way we perceive performance. Much better to just cruise and enjoy the atmosphere.
The next upgrade to the RV trialed in Provence is a one-motion grip steer-by-wire system, shown by replacing the conventional steering wheel with an airplane-style ‘yoke’. Essentially, this means that the steering rack has no mechanical linkage to the steering column, only electronic to save weight and space. Fewer turns to lock and sharper responses on the road take some getting used to, but the instrument’s unrestricted vision and flight-like feel make it worth the effort.
The Lexus RZ is extremely well put together, supremely sophisticated and at the same time uncompromising in its quest for maximum efficiency. I honestly can’t ask for more.
Lexus RZ 450e Premium Plus Pack from £66,500, Takumi Edition from £72,000, Lexus.co.uk (opens in new tab)