NAfter the UX 300e, Toyota’s noble offshoot Lexus will be unleashing its second electric car from mid-April. The expressively drawn 4.81 meter long RZ 450e wants to target premium models such as the BMW iX3, the Genesis Electrified GV70 or the Mercedes EQE SUV. Prices start at 68,000 euros, minus the subsidy.
The crossover SUV shares a specially developed electric platform with the Toyota bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra, which was described on this page a week ago, but is significantly more powerful than its siblings. A 204 hp (150 kW) electric motor is on the front axle, a second sends another 109 hp or 80 kW to the rear axle. The electric SUV therefore always drives with four driven wheels and has a system output of 313 hp (230 kW). The lithium-ion battery lying flat in the floor and storing 77.4 kWh gross should enable a range of 395 to 440 kilometers, depending on whether the vehicle drives up with 18 or 20-inch wheels.
Identical Subaru Solterra failed completely
The power consumption for the RZ 450e is given as 16.8 to 18.7 kWh. On the first test drive kilometers we recorded 21.2 kWh per 100 kilometers, resulting in a range of almost 300 kilometers. An empty battery is charged with 11 kW alternating current in six and a half hours, and 30 minutes are estimated for direct current charging with up to 150 kW. Pleasant temperatures are a prerequisite for this. The Subaru Solterra, which is identical in construction, failed completely in this respect in the FAZ test; in cold weather it repeatedly did not want to charge more than 30 kW.
Other car reporters had already observed this phenomenon. In addition, automatic preconditioning of the battery before fast charging is not possible. An intelligent route planner with strategic charging stops will only be introduced in the electric Lexus with a software update at the end of the year.
Technically, the 2.1 ton RZ 450e is sporty and dynamic. It is easy to direct and precise, even through tight curves. Like all electric cars, it pulls away quickly from the start, sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds. However, the propulsion ends at a speed of 160 km/h. The consumption would be too great.
Processing at a high level
A wheelbase of 2.85 meters ensures that tall passengers in the rear hardly complain about a lack of space. With the exception of the basic version, the tailgate swings open electrically, behind which arithmetically 522 to 1451 liters of luggage can be accommodated. The workmanship and quality impression of the always vegan materials in the spacious, tidy interior are of a high standard.
Of course, the electric Lexus has all the usual assistance systems in the class as standard or as an option, including a camera that monitors the driver for signs of tiredness or distraction. A head-up display, digital interior mirror or a heat-shielding, dimmable panorama roof are available on request.
A new feature is infrared heating coupled to the seat heating, which caresses the knees of the front passengers, but makes it necessary to do without a glove compartment. A novelty originally announced for next year will be postponed until 2025: the new electronic steering, which does without a steering column and mechanical connection to the wheels and is accompanied by an open-topped, angular joystick, the yoke steering wheel.