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HomeMarketNew electric Lexus debuts; it’s a modest first effort

New electric Lexus debuts; it’s a modest first effort

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The first all-electric Lexus will start at $59,650, with even the most expensive model remaining below $67,000. Lexus has begun accepting orders for the 2023 Lexus RZ all-electric SUV. A spokesperson tells us, “we are expecting deliveries to begin this month as well.”

Lexus tells us those prices include the mandatory delivery fee.

The RZ 450e is a compact crossover built on the same platform as Toyota’s new bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra.

313 horsepower, 220-mile estimated range

The Lexus RZ 450e


It uses an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system Lexus calls Direct4. Electric motors mounted to each axle combine for a total output of 313 horsepower. Lexus says the combination is good for a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds. Lexus estimates a range of 220 miles, but the EPA hasn’t weighed in on what drivers can expect.

Also see: The luxurious, reliable 2023 Lexus ES is all about responsible indulgence

Two trim levels

Lexus will offer the RZ 450e in two trim levels.

The Premium model gets 18-inch wheels, a NuLuxe vegan leather interior, and a 10-speaker Lexus premium sound system. A step up to the Luxury model gets 20-inch wheels, which Lexus says decrease range to 196 miles (though again, the EPA hasn’t tested the car). It uses upgraded Ultrasuede on the seats and a 13-speaker/1,800-watt Mark Levison premium surround sound system.

A 10-inch head-up display, optional on the Premium, is standard on the Luxury.

See: How much does it cost to charge an electric car? We do the math

Modest numbers for a first effort

The Lexus RZ 450e


Lexus builds some of the world’s most well-regarded crossovers, and its RX has been America’s best-selling luxury vehicle for a decade. But astute observers will notice that the Tesla Model Y, even after a recent price increase, costs $5,000 less and has a range of 330 miles. The Mercedes-Benz EQB also carries a lower starting price and a longer range.

Lexus, and its Toyota
parent company, are largely perceived as behind their peers in the race to go electric. The company recently announced plans “to offer 100% BEVs globally by 2035.”

Learn more: What is EV, BEV, HEV, PHEV? Here’s your guide to types of electric cars

The Lexus badge will undoubtedly help the RZ 450e succeed in the marketplace. It can fall back on a long history of excellent resale values and build quality to sell its cars. But, as attractive as the RZ is, its price and range will give some buyers reason to look elsewhere.

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