Lexus has launched the RZ 450e, its first fully electric vehicle and its first step towards its sales electrification plan.
Toyota and its premium brand have fallen behind traditional rivals in electrification, but they want to change that with their first electric vehicles. The Toyota BZ4X was relaunched late last year, and now, its Lexus counterpart will also be coming to the U.S. market. The Lexus RZ 450e is set to take on the likes of the Tesla Model Y, BMW iX, and Mercedes EQE SUV.
The RZ 450e combines traditional Lexus design and its newest drivetrain technology. Based on the Toyota e-TNGA platform, the electric SUV features a dual motor drivetrain producing 308 horsepower and will excitedly take you to 60mph in 5 seconds flat. However, despite the all-wheel-drive setup, much like other Lexus vehicles, it remains front-biased, with a 150k W motor in the front and a smaller 60kW motor in the rear.
Paired with this dual motor setup is a 71.4 kWh battery, which will provide 220 miles of range on standard wheels or 196 miles on the larger wheel option. Luckily, despite this lackluster range, the Lexus will still charge relatively quickly, up from 0-80 percent in 30 minutes.
Outside of the drivetrain, the RZ 450e brings much of what the premium Japanese automaker’s lineup has been known for, countless features. Most notably, while not entirely autonomously capable, Lexus fits its first-gen EV with a suite of autonomous features, such as traffic jam assist, dynamic radar cruise control, pre-collision detection, and lane tracing (tracking) assist. However, it should be noted that many of these features are only available through a subscription plan with Lexus.
Lexus is launching the RZ 450e at a starting price of $59,560, but it can be optioned up to $65,150. The company notes that the vehicle is “on sale in limited quantities” now in the U.S. but did not specify if more production will be allocated soon. The automaker wasn’t immediately available to comment to Teslarati on the number of vehicles coming to the U.S. market.
While the RZ 450e may have been relatively price competitive late last year, thanks to a series of price cuts from notable manufacturers, including Tesla and Ford, the premium Japanese automaker’s offering is substantially more expensive than vehicles like the Tesla Model Y (starting at $54,990), Ford Mustang Mach-E ($45,995), or even the Mercedes-Benz EQB ($54,500). This is to say nothing of the federal tax incentive, which Lexus sadly doesn’t qualify for due to its Japanese production location.
As Toyota looks to enter the EV market in the United States more profoundly in the coming years, it will need to work hard to battle costs to become more price competitive with traditional competitors and new market entrants alike. Though, if the company can find sales success with its first model, it may be more inclined to dedicate more wholeheartedly in the coming years.
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