With so many cars spuriously purporting to be sporty or have racing genes, it’s refreshing when the presentation for a new one hardly even mentions sportiness. The RZ is Lexus’s flagship EV, and instead it ought to offer “confidence, control and comfort”, says Lexus. Mind you, it still has 309bhp and will out-accelerate quite a few hot hatches.
With the Lexus RZ 450e, Lexus is getting serious about EVs. It’s had the UX 300e for a while, but that has never been a heavy-hitter. This new car is a luxurious alternative to a Ford Mustang Mach-E, Polestar 2, Audi Q4 Etron or Nissan Ariya - albeit a surprisingly pricey one.
The RZ new car shares its e-TNGA platform – which is bespoke to EVs – with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, as well as its fairly small battery. After its sibling brands were more coy on the subject, Lexus has now confirmed that the quoted 71.4kWh figure is the total capacity, of which 64kWh is usable.
Trouble is, 71.4kWh was already smaller than key rivals, and a 7.4kWh safety buffer is much more than the industry average. Lexus says that this ensures the battery should retain 90% of its capacity after 10 years. It’s a noble goal which we applaud – although whether people running cars on a four-year PCP deal will care is another question entirely.