2022 Lexus RZ Will Be the First Electric Performance SUV for the Brand


Lexus has revealed the first teaser images of the future RZ SUV, due in 2022. The first bespoke electric model in the Lexus lineup will use technology from the Toyota bZ4X to become a true performance SUV.

Lexus has released a trio of pictures that make us believe the future electric SUV will retain much of the flair of the LF-Z concept introduced in March. It makes sense, as LF-Z essentially means, “Lexus Future Z,” while the “R” signifies it is fighting in the same segment as the popular RX. The teasers reveal a striking resemblance with the LF-Z, with a long hood and an aggressive roofline.

The Lexus RZ will use the same e-TNGA technical platform as the Toyota bZ4X, although we figure it will be in a more refined version. The RZ will also have a longer wheelbase and, as such, a bigger battery than the Toyota model.

Besides, Lexus will want to feature key technology differentiators for the RZ, to set it apart from its Toyota origin. For instance, the future electric SUV will be available with the Direct4 all-wheel-drive system that can constantly monitor the power transmitted to the wheels and adjusts it based on throttle and steering inputs, as well as road conditions. According to Lexus officials, the RZ will thus be able to “shift from front-wheel-drive to rear-wheel drive and everything in between, in the blink of an eye.”

The Lexus RZ will also feature a steer-by-wire system that will make the odd-shaped steering wheel to be useful. This is because the steering ratio can vary, allowing, for instance, for u-turns to be done with inputs of just 150 degrees. That does not mean that the entry-level versions will not feature a classic, round steering wheel on Lexus RZ.

The performance part of the RZ ‘s career was emphasized by the brand’s officials with words like “incredible cornering and roadholding” and “exhilarating driving performance.”

The new Lexus RZ will launch in the first half of 2022, but we expect more details and real pictures sooner than that.