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Lexus unveils its first EV, an SUV that looks a lot like the Toyota bZ4x – TechCrunch

Toyota’s Lexus is the latest luxury brand to unveil its first-ever battery-electric vehicle this week, a surprisingly short-range SUV called the RZ that’s set to point the way for its future. And that future looks very much like it Toyota bZ4x that started recently.

The 2023 RZ 450e is the first nameplate to come out as part of the automaker’s “Lexus Electrified” vision for its upcoming all-electric models. Lexus aims to have electric vehicles in every vehicle segment by the end of the decade and to become a fully battery electric brand by 2035.

Lexus faces stiff competition in an increasingly crowded EV landscape, with numerous luxury brands launching their own electric sedans, SUVs and crossovers. The RZ, a five-passenger SUV that can do a maximum of 225 miles on a fully charged battery when fitted with smaller 18-inch tires, will compete against Audi, BMW and Cadillac, to name a few.

The RZ’s battery setup delivers even fewer miles when the crossover is fitted with a larger set of tires. That’s less range than many of the luxury EVs debuting this year, which could put the RZ at a disadvantage. General Motors, for example, says it’s new Cadillac Lyriq crossover can travel more than 300 miles on a single charge.

Lexus could give the RZ a competitive boost by keeping the base price among other luxury EV SUVs, including the Audi e-tron and BMW iX. Lexus has not yet released prices for the vehicle. If it’s under $60,000, the RZ will compete with the 257-mile range Volvo XC40 and 225-mile range Volvo C40.

It can also compete with that Toyota bZ4x crossover, which can travel up to 252 miles on a full battery charge. Both are based on Toyota’s dedicated EV platform e-TNGA.

That means power, performance and interior design matter if RZ hopes to stand out. And many of those details, including performance, price, or production dates, have yet to be released. But from what’s been released, the 2023 RZ has some fancier touches than the bZ4x, including a larger infotainment system. The RZ 2023 will use the same Lexus Interface multimedia system and 14-inch touchscreen found in the latest versions of the brand’s compact crossover NX and flagship LX utility vehicle.

The RZ will also feature the brand’s new DIRECT4 all-wheel-drive system and a choice of five exterior colors, including a shade called Ether, which “evokes the nimble driving performance of BEVs,” according to Lexus.

Lexus unveils its first EV, an SUV that looks a lot like the Toyota bZ4x – TechCrunch Source link Lexus unveils its first EV, an SUV that looks a lot like the Toyota bZ4x – TechCrunch

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