22 avr 22

Lexus RZ450e: ready for the heart of the fleet market?

Debuting in the popular compact SUV class, the all-electric RZ450e is set to boost Lexus’ appeal to fleets all over the globe. It’s a more luxurious and powerful version of the bZ4x from parent company Toyota, dressed up for the occasion.

As a technically close relative to Toyota’s compact SUV, the RZ450e offers similar dimensions on a long wheelbase of 2,850 mm. However, its higher-profile design with sharp edges makes the car a tad longer.

The key features of the RZ450e are:

  • Dedicated EV platform with skateboard structure maximizing interior space.
  • 71.4 kWh battery pack, projected to retain 90% of capacity after 10 years.
  • Driving range of more than 400 kilometres (WLTP)
  • 230 kW of power (instead of 160 kW on Toyota bZ4x AWD)
  • Contender for Audi Q4 E-Tron, Mercedes EQC and BMW iX3

Not compatible with Ionity

While the Toyota bZ4X offers the choice of a two-wheel-drive, the Lexus RZ450e is always four-wheel driven. That affects range. Official figures are still under homologation, but Lexus aims at a consumption under 18 kWh/100 kilometres and a range above 400 kilometres. These numbers are reminiscent of the bZ4x AWD.

Similarly, Lexus doesn’t yet communicate charging capabilities but based on the Toyota specs, 10-80% fast-charging should be over in half an hour with peak power of 150 kW. To be confirmed. It is noteworthy that Lexus nor Toyota is part of the Ionity network, undercutting the convenience of long-distance travel in Europe.

Wide array of ADAS systems

Lexus wants to welcome its customers with a more affluent approach as a luxury brand. A 14-inch touchscreen for multimedia features the brand’s latest software. In a later phase, drivers will have the option of a yoke-style steering, with no mechanical connection to the front wheels. Instead, the electronically regulated (by-wire) One Motion Grip ensures the steering angle is always spot on. It can also correct strong cross-winds.

Featuring Lexus’ latest Safety System+, the RZ450e offers a rich array of ADAS. Eye-catchers are a digital rear-view mirror, the automatic bend recognizer (adapting steering to the angel of the road) and a safe exit function. The latter prohibits unwanted door opening when cyclists or other road users are approaching. According to the brand, the safety aid attains an efficiency of 95%.

At first sight, it looks like the Lexus is an attractive - though not a trailblazing - addition to the corporate market. Fleet managers and user-choosers can welcome the new RZ450e at the end of 2022.

Image source: Lexus

Authored by: Piet Andries