Rather than release a moderately powerful base model or a neck-snapping range-topper that can take on the Tesla Model Y Performance, Lexus has chosen to launch the RZ with a single powertrain that produces 308 hp from dual electric motors. It's not so powerful that it'll terrify you, but it's also got the acceleration and overtaking punch that'll leave the average RX driver behind in a hurry.
Lexus claims a 0-60 mph time of five seconds for the RZ, a number that felt achievable when we drove it. The top speed is limited to just 99 mph, though. The standard all-wheel-drive system also helps to put the power down cleanly. Overtaking is a doddle in the RZ; there's no waiting for the right gear or for an engine to be in the meat of its power band, as the RZ is always ready and willing to zoom past slower traffic.
No trailering rating has been published by Lexus for the RZ.
Two electric motors power the RZ 450e. These permanent magnet synchronous motors produce a combined 308 hp; torque is 196.4 lb-ft from the front motor and 124.3 lb-ft from the one at the back. The motors deliver their power via the Direct4 AWD system, and draw energy from a 71.4-kWh lithium-ion battery. This AWD system has a front-to-rear torque distribution range of 100:0 to 0:100, and this range changes depending on the driving scenario.
There is a new Range mode for the RZ, accessible via the center touchscreen, that Lexus claims can improve range by five to 10%. The vehicle becomes much less responsive to throttle inputs in this mode, though, and we'd bet that few customers would be patient enough to leave the car in this mode. Sport mode or the normal driving mode provide the crisp responses expected of an EV.
|Lexus RZ Trims||Lexus RZ Engines||Lexus RZ Horsepower||Lexus RZ Transmissions||Lexus RZ Drivetrains||Lexus RZ Range|
|RZ 450e Premium||Electric||312 hp||Single Speed Automatic||AWD||196 miles |
|RZ 450e Luxury||Electric||312 hp||Single Speed Automatic||AWD||196 miles|
The EPA hasn't officially published MPGe ratings for the Lexus RZ, but Lexus's own EPA-estimated ratings are one of the major disappointments of this EV. On 18-inch wheels, customers can expect a 220-mile range on a full charge, dropping to 196 miles with 20-inch wheels. Every other EV rival can deliver a longer maximum range, including the Tesla Model Y (330 miles), Audi Q4 e-tron (265 miles), and Cadillac Lyriq (312 miles).
Lexus claims an efficiency rating of 115/98/107 MPGe city/highway/combined with the 18-inch wheels and 102/87/95 MPGe with 20-inch wheels. Of the three rivals mentioned above, only the Model Y is more efficient.
Another downside to the RZ is its maximum charging speed of 150 kW, again falling short of several rivals. With DC fast charging at 150 kW, the lithium-ion battery can be replenished from zero to 80% in around 30 minutes; this isn't bad but is more a result of the RZ's fairly small battery than high charging speeds. For 0-100% charging at Level 2 with 240V, the charging time is 9.5 hours. Level 1 charging at between 110V to 120V with a regular household socket takes around 50 hours.
|Lexus RZ Trims||RZ 450e Premium||RZ 450e Luxury|
|Lexus RZ Hybrid Battery Capacity||71.4 kWh||71.4 kWh|
The efficiency of the RZ is directly impacted by its wheel size. With smaller 18-inch alloys, the RZ 450e Premium returns 115/98/107 MPGe city/highway/combined, making it the most efficient of the two trims.
Unfortunately, all of the RZ's rivals have a better maximum range, as the Lexus can only manage up to 220 miles in its optimum configuration. Several rivals can cover close to or over 300 miles on a full charge.