But Toyota will need to be careful of not cannibalizing bZ4X sales.
A few days ago, we stumbled upon a trademark filing for a Lexus RZ300e, a more affordable and presumably less powerful version of the new RZ450e battery-electric crossover that is coming to the USA. However, that RZ300e trademark filing was filed with the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) so it seemed uncertain that we would see the cheaper Lexus RZ stateside. Now, we have found another RZ300e trademark filing, but this time with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This serves as the most reliable confirmation yet that Lexus will broaden the local RZ lineup and introduce a more affordable trim.
We initially estimated that the RZ450e would start at about $50,000, but the RZ300e could shave at least $5,000 off that price. That might make it uncomfortably close to Toyota's own electric crossover, the bZ4X, which starts at $42,000. Based on this, perhaps the RZ450e will be pricier than we first thought - around $55,000 for this trim and $50,000 for the RZ300e will create a more logical gap between it and the bZ4X.
As for what will power the RZ300e, that remains unclear. We know that the RZ450e makes a combined 308 horsepower from two electric motors, so the RZ300e should come in below that.
The Toyota bZ4X makes 214 hp when optionally equipped with all-wheel drive, so this would make sense for the RZ300e while still giving the RZ450e a comfortable advantage.
For Lexus fans wanting to make the switch to an EV, the RZ300e could be an attractive alternative to the similarly sized RX350 V6. Both would have a similar asking price but the RZ has all the latest tech that is expected of a modern EV.
Since Toyota has recently run out of EV tax credits, it will be crucial for it - and by extension, Lexus - to introduce EVs at more affordable price points, too.