Representing Lexus' initial attempt at a pure EV, the RZ 450e is essentially its upscale take on the Toyota bz4X and Subaru Solterra, as all three share the e-TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) backbone. Similar to its stablemate, the RX, the spindle body design language takes the place of the previously distinctive spindle grille. This angular theme is carried over to various other parts of the vehicle beyond the front, such as the distinctive pointed roof spoiler.
Sold in three trims in Canada (Signature, Luxury, Executive), the middle one was present at EcoRun sprayed in Eminent White Pearl paint and sitting on 20-inch black and machined finish wheels. Since no ICE is present to cool, nor a "frunk" in place, the lightweight aluminum hood is positioned low, creating a sportier look and, as a bonus, improves passenger visibility.
Speaking of the airy interior, the space is highlighted by an expansive, shade-less panoramic glass roof coated to mitigate excessive light and heat. A slim A-pillar cross section (to smooth airflow), robust gap sealing, sound-deadening carpets, glass and foam and active noise cancellation contribute to a ride even more whisper quiet than the average gas-free offering.
The 14-inch touchscreen runs off the same software as the two aforementioned alternatively-branded siblings and is immediately noticeable when the system boots up. Our tester was equipped with the head-up display beaming navigational directions, speed and safety information directly onto the windshield, and the Mark Levinson Surround Sound stereo sounded particularly clear in the near-silent cabin.
A front 150-kilowatt and rear 80-kilowatt motor propels the compact crossover, jointly producing 308 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. DIRECT4 all-wheel drive complements the strut/double-wishbone suspension nicely, resulting in the RZ having a pretty easy time tackling bendy stretches of road. In this specific spec, the 71.4 kilowatt-hour, 96-cell lithium-ion battery pack allows a total travel distance of around 315 kilometres on a full charge, which at 240 volts requires 9.5 hours.
MSRP: $68,275 (base)
Motor: Twin electric motors (230-kilowatt combined output)
Horsepower: 308 (net)
Torque (lb-ft): 320 (net)
Gearbox: single-speed automatic
Layout: All-wheel drive
Fuel economy (highway): 1.6 Le/100 km (observed)