Lexus is revealing details about the brand-new 2023 RZ 450e. This luxury brand’s first global battery EV (BEV) is now available.
Lexus has been an innovator in electrification in the luxury market since 2005’s launch of the RX400h. Lexus engineers gave the brand’s hybrid cars a great driving experience and improved environmental performance, just like the RX400h. Lexus Electrified is Lexus’ vision to revive guests’ genuine love of driving and will expand its Lexus Electrified range of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), battery electrical vehicle (BEV), and plug-in hybrid electronic vehicle (PHEV). This will allow Lexus to meet the demands of a wider range of luxury buyers.
Lexus will expand its portfolio to achieve another important goal: the realization of a sustainable global community. Lexus will help achieve a carbon-neutral society through offering all BEVs across all categories. Lexus aims to achieve 100% global BEV sales five years later. Lexus will continue to improve its products and the expertise of its employees in order to meet these challenges.
“We believe Lexus, a luxury automaker, should keep creating exciting cars, while also respecting the environment and nature to create a carbon-neutral society,” Takashi Watanabe (chief engineer, Lexus Electrified), Lexus International. The RZ was designed to create a Lexus BEV that is comfortable to drive, feels secure, and is pleasant to touch. DIRECT4, which is the core technology of Lexus Electrified’s ‘Lexus Electrified’, is an all-wheel drive system that responds quickly and linearly to driver input. We will continue to challenge ourselves to provide customers with unique Lexus BEV driving experiences.
The all-new RZ is Lexus’ first global BEV vehicle model. It embodies Lexus’ unique vehicle design and driving experience, enhanced by electrified technology. A BEV-specific platform (eTNGA) and a lightweight, rigid body have enhanced the vehicle’s fundamental performance. This is due to the optimal weight distribution and placement of the motor and battery. The DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system, along with the new steering control and Steer by Wire available, allow for vehicle control that is more in line with the driver’s needs. intention.
Exterior design reflects the BEV’s seamless acceleration and dynamic torque-filled performance. The Lexus spindle grille has been replaced by the BEV Spindle body. The front bumper’s new design is more focused on aerodynamic efficiency, proportions, and style than serving the cooling or exhaust needs of an internal combustion motor. This design evolution marks a shift in Lexus’ aesthetic, and sets a new direction for BEV offerings.
The interior of the spindle body contains a spacious, minimalistic interior that aims to promote sustainable mobility and Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). It uses mindfully sourced materials. The space, though simple, is filled with luxurious touches and modern technologies. The cabin also features a standard panoramic roof that visually opens it. A highly efficient heating system with a Lexus-first radiant heat heater improves passenger comfort.
EVOLUTION OF “LEXUS DRIVER SIGNATURE” – ELECTRIFICATION
Lexus Driving Signature (LDS) is a Lexus-exclusive driving experience. It aims to provide predictable and linear responses according to the driver’s intent. The RZ’s high-precision motor torque control, optimal battery and motor placement allow for ideal weight distribution and high response.
This concept, called “The Natural”, is based on DIRECT4 all-wheel driving system. It adjusts front and rear drive forces according to driving conditions and road surface conditions. This system achieves driving performance that allows the vehicle to respond directly to the driver’s input. It elevates the Lexus Driving Signature to an even higher level.
DIRECT4 SUPPORTS A ENGAGING DRIVING PERFORMANCE
DIRECT4 and the new high-output electronic axle motor (eAxle), continuously control the drive force of all four wheels with high precision. It adjusts to the vehicle’s ground contact load regardless of road surface or driving conditions, to provide an exhilarating driving experience that is in accord with the driver’s intent.
The DIRECT4 distribution control uses wheel vehicle acceleration, speed and steering angle sensor data to adjust front-to-rear ratio distribution between 100/0 and 0/100. This allows for improved acceleration, handling stability, and low power consumption. To minimize vehicle pitch during launch, straight-line acceleration and vehicle pitch, the system uses an approximate front to rear drive force ratio distribution of between 60:40 – 40:60. This allows for a direct acceleration feeling. The system uses vital information like cornering speed and steering angle to optimize the distribution of drive force according to different driving conditions. This helps achieve excellent handling stability. Drive force is distributed to the front wheels when the steering wheel is turned. This distributes drive force between 75.25 and 50.50. RZ reacts quickly and gives excellent steering feel. To ensure adequate traction and control of vehicle pitch, torque distribution to rear wheels is increased to between 50:50 to 20:80 when exiting corners. Engineers at RZ have created a refined driving experience by coordinating the operation of their accumulated electric and dynamic vehicle movement control technologies.
The new eAxle integrates motor, transaxle, and inverter into a compact unit. This maximizes cruise range, interior space, and design excellence. The rear eAxle has a lower profile layout that allows for more interior space and cargo. A high-efficiency inverter with an element at the rear contributes to an increase of cruise range.
New pressurization units enable coordinated front-rear regenerative brakes through independent hydraulic control. The Lexus Driving Signature directs the new braking system to ensure seamless, controlled and precise braking. The regenerative brake system is based on Lexus’ hybrid technology experience and over-the-year achievements. It improves regenerative efficiency to increase cruise distance while improving brake feel. The driver’s braking intensity affects the distribution of brake force to the rear and front wheels, resulting in stable vehicle posture. For easy pedal movement and pedal depression, ergonomic brake pedal pads can be used.
AVAILABLE STEEBY WIRE WITH INNOVATIVE STERING CONTROL EELEVATE THE HUMANITAR-MACHINE CONNECTION
The Lexus-first Steer by Wire System will be available in the U.S. at some point in the future. It allows electronic communication of steering and road surface information via the advanced steering control and tires using electrical signals and not mechanical linkage.
The steering angle of the control is approximately 150 degrees. This greatly reduces the driver’s workload, and eliminates the need to use hand-over-hand at intersections, U turns, parking, winding roads, and other driving situations. Designers created the compact steering control without the need for a large standard steering wheel. They also lowered the position of the instrument meter to encourage driver engagement.
The cockpit space encourages more interaction with the car by minimizing driver eye movements during driving and naturally drawing the eyes forward. Lexus focuses on quality and speed with Steer by Wire, which allows electronic communication of road and steering information via electrical signals between the steering wheel & tires. By reducing vibrations from tires and brakes and relaying only essential driving information, such as road information, the system is able to deliver a confident and maneuverable performance.
Lane Tracing Assist activates the wheels and allows for smooth steering and vehicle movement. The system optimizes the steering gear ratio to suit vehicle conditions to improve vehicle maneuverability and agility on winding roads.
ENLIVENED PERFORMANCE , IMPROVED FUNDAMENTALS
RZ uses a Lexus-first dedicated BEV platform (eTNGA) in order to dramatically improve vehicle performance and bring out the joy of driving. By mounting the battery below the vehicle’s floor, the platform provides stability and ride comfort. For excellent handling performance, the body was strengthened with reinforcement of the radiator support and a V-shaped brace. The tow bar and fender braces increase steering response while the reinforcement at the lower back section improves rear tracking.
To improve ride comfort and handling stability, laser screw welding, structural adhesives, and laser peening weld technologies are used proactive to join the frame. To reduce distortion of the rear luggage opening, a double-ring structure is added and a rigid foaming agent is used.
RZ’s front suspension is MacPherson strut-type, while RZ’s rear suspension uses a double wishbone trailing arm configuration. Lexus has introduced Frequency Reactive Dampers (FRD II), which is a frequency-sensitive absorber. It alters the dampening force of the extension stroke to respond to road surface frequency input. FRD provides excellent handling stability and ride comfort without compromising on ride comfort. FRD and an optimized dedicated BEV platform enable key Lexus Driving Signature characteristics such as the precise control and adjustment of sprung weight and natural posture changes. They also allow for a tactile steering experience and linear responses to steering, brake, acceleration and steering.
A QUIET SPACE HAVING A SPECIAL LEXUS SOUND
Lexus engineers designed expressive sounds in the cabin to capture the excitement of driving. Engineers created sound frequencies that correspond to vehicle speed and sound levels during acceleration. The underfloor battery acts as a sound barrier, and the whole perimeter of the hood opening are sealed to prevent noise from turbulent airflow. Unwanted noise is also suppressed through the use of front/rear seat acoustic glass, and a new weatherstripping cross section creates quiet, conversation-friendly space, even when driving at high speeds.
HEV DEVELOPMENT BEV SYSTEM INFORMED LEXUS’
Lexus has developed a system that maximizes all the benefits of its dedicated platform using technology and know-how from hybrid vehicle development. BEV-exclusive, high capacity batteries and silicon carbide power semiconductor components in the inverter contribute to the vehicle’s extended single-charge range. The current U.S. manufacturer-estimated range is up to 225*3 miles with 18-inch tires.
*1 Frequency Reactive Damper HTML2 The first use of silicon carbide power semiconductor components in the inverter at Toyota/Lexus
*3 Current U.S. market manufacturer-estimated range
A DESIGN THAT USES A UNIQUE LEXUS BEV IDENTITY, AND PROPORTIONS BORNE FROM A DYNAMIC DRIVING ESSENCE
The new RZ continues Lexus’ design language by seeking a distinctive identity and proportions that are based on a dynamic driving experience. “Seamless E-Motion” is the design concept. It combines seamless acceleration with a dynamic sense for torque that’s unmatched in a BEV. The elimination of the internal combustion engine changed the functional requirements of Lexus’ front end. Lexus was challenged to design a new visual identity by adopting a “spindle-body” design.
Interior design is inspired by BEV’s dynamic performance and presents a clean, fluid image. Even in a space that is focused on functional essence, there is a sense of refinement as well as high-quality craftsmanship. The cabin is based on the tazuna design and offers a comfortable environment for passengers. It also features intuitive controls that are oriented towards the driver. The Tazuna Inspiration seamlessly links human and machine, and encourages focus on driving.
SHAPED TO AERODYNAMIC PERFORMANCE
RZ’s unique spindle-shaped design creates a roof spoiler that reduces aerodynamic force on the body during crosswinds. This creates a more stable driving experience. The roof’s center is designed to allow air flow from the car’s rear to the front. The trunk’s ducktail shape at the end reduces aerodynamic drag and balances the fore-air flow. The generated downforce also contributes to a more stable driving experience. To reduce aerodynamic drag, an undercover is used.
The lack of an engine to cool the vehicle results in a low-hood design and minimal grille opening. To improve aerodynamic efficiency, the grille has a shutter grille. The grille shutter can be closed to reduce resistance and cooling air when it is not needed.
Exterior design reflects the seamless acceleration and dynamic performance that BEVs offer. The Lexus spindle grille has been replaced by the BEV Spindle body. The front bumper’s new design is more focused on aerodynamic efficiency, proportions, and style than serving the cooling or exhaust needs of an internal combustion motor. This design evolution marks a shift in Lexus’ aesthetic, and sets a new direction for BEV offerings.
The interior of the spindle body contains a spacious, minimalistic interior that aims to promote sustainable mobility and Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). It uses mindfully sourced materials. The space, though simple, is filled with luxurious touches and modern technologies. The cabin also features a panoramic roof that visually opens it. A highly efficient heating system with a Lexus-first radiant heat heater improves passenger comfort.
The front fenders appear to wrap around the tires and wheels from the sides. They then flow backwards to convey a strong forward-moving momentum. The strong, three-dimensional shape of the rear fenders highlights the tire’s width and conveys DIRECT4’s dynamic performance image. The flowing contrast between the doors’ sculpted shapes and the smooth surface of the doors aims to create a captivating, striking surface.
The BEV’s rear features a simple horizontal design that matches the hips to highlight the wide stance. This is a look that emphasizes the RZ’s torque-filled performance identity. The horizontal rear combination lamps feature a new, spelled-out LEXUS logo. It was first seen on the NX and LX recently launched models. The red lens’s center is lowered to emphasize the logo type and give it a sharp appearance.
There are five exterior colors available, including “Ether,” that evokes the agile driving performance of BEVs. A bi-tone color scheme is also available. It lays solidly black from the front spindle body to roof and upper hood.
INSIDE – A EXPANSIVE, MINIMALISTIC WELCOMING SPACE
The RZ cabin is minimalistic, but airy and luxurious. The doors’ flowing form integrates well with the low-positioned instrument panel. The clean and open feel of the door trim and console that runs between the passenger and driver seats creates a spacious, airy feeling. The ultra-suede door trim, ornamentation, and seats along with the upper wood-grain console create an elegant omotenashi , or anticipatory hosting _,space.
With a distance of just 1000mm (37.3 in), the long wheelbase creates a large rear space. The cabin’s rearward-peaked silhouette gives the vehicle ample headroom, creating a feeling of spaciousness. A panoramic roof is available to give the cabin a feeling of spaciousness and openness from front to rear.
Ultrasuede is an upholstery material that aims to achieve warmth and refinement by using 30% bio-based sustainable materials. It is a combination of clean and modern spaces with simple surfaces that emphasize texture and a focus on comfort.
Based on the Tazuna concept for front cockpits, Lexus’ human-centered philosophy is advanced by this one. Tazunarepresents horses being controlled by riders. Drivers can control functions such navigation, audio and drive mode selection while concentrating on driving with steering wheel switches that sync with the Head-Up Display (HUD).
Passenger and driver can choose from Orage, Palomino, and Dapple Gray/Black interior colors. The world’s first Shadowy illumination, which changes the color of the light projected onto the trim ornament on the doors when they are open and closed, adds a new dimension to the interior space.
ADVANCED SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES BASED UPON A HUMAN-CENTERED APPROACH
The Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 set includes the standard Pre-Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Lane Departure Alert and Emergency Driving Stop System are also available.
LSS+ 3.0 for the 2023 RZ comes with some additional features that are available with the driver monitor system.
— Dynamic Radar Cruise Control [DRCC]: Enabled, the driver monitor system will detect if the driver’s attention is on and adjust based upon the distance to the preceding vehicle. There are four levels of adjustment and an automatic brake when the vehicle gets too close.
— Lane Departure Alert [LDA] – When the driver monitor system has been activated, it will detect the driver’s alertness and, if it finds that the driver is not paying attention, the system will activate either the alert, or the steering assistance earlier than usual.
— Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS): If Lane Trace Assist is activated, the system will slow down the vehicle and keep it in the current lane until the driver can drive again. This helps to avoid a collision or minimize the impact of a crash. The system alerts the surrounding area by flashing the hazard lights and gently decelerating until the vehicle stops.
Parallel parking is now possible with the addition of advanced Park with remote function. In addition to conventional back-up parking, forward-facing parking is now supported, enabling forward-facing/back-up exit. Radiant heaters 1 are available to both the driver and the passenger to warm their knees, while the air conditioner provides a warmer temperature at a lower rate of battery use.
The panoramic roof allows for both driver and passenger to enjoy the large-open spaces created by it. It is equipped with a Lexus first, available dimming function that instantly reduces light entering the cabin.
*1 Located at the base of the steering column as well as at the bottom the passenger instrument panel.
ELEGANT, INTUITIVE MULTIMEDIASYSTEM AND CONNECTED SERVICES
The North American-developed Lexus Interface multimedia technology will be featured on the RZ. It was recently introduced on the NX, LX, and LX. It will be available via voice commands as well as a 14-inch touchscreen.
The Lexus RZ 450e 2023 is expected to be available for purchase by the end of 2022.
Main specifications of the new RZ (prototype)