The Lexus RZ all-electric SUV made its global debut last month, marking the roll-out of the premium brand’s first fully electric model. At its debut, Lexus said the RZ is its first globally available dedicated EV, serving as a milestone in becoming a “BEV-centred brand”, it said.
Now that it has appeared on the Lexus Malaysia website, does that mean the RZ is confirmed for a local market arrival? No confirmation just yet, as the enquiry form at the bottom of the webpage is for a general newsletter, not a registration of interest.
That said, the Malaysian market has become more welcoming of fully electric vehicles with their exemption from import and excise duties, and among the next set to go on sale in our market is the Kia EV6 which was sighted in Glenmarie at the BAuto Training School.
As for the Lexus RZ, the fully-electric SUV is based on the EV-specific e-TNGA platform which enables optimal weight distribution through an ideal location of the 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that offers 450 km of range. Related to the Toyota bZ4X, the RZ measures 4,805 mm long and 1,895 mm wide with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm, making it 165 mm longer and 50 mm wider than the first-generation Lexus NX.
The DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system varies outputs from the front and rear electric drive motor in ratios between 40:60 and 60:40 front to rear in order to minimise vehicle pitch. When the steering wheel is turned, as on entry into a corner, drive to the front wheels is increased to between 50% to 75% for response and feel, says Lexus, while output distribution is biased to the rear axle between 50% to 75% on corner exit.
Inside, the RZ is also the first Lexus to come to market with a steering yoke (a conventional round unit is also offered), and employs the tazuna interior concept as employed in the second-generation NX. Here, cabin features include electronic latch door system, electric radiant heaters, Ultrasuede upholstery using 30% bio-based sustainable material, a panoramic roof with a Lexus-first dimming function, and more.
Safety kit on the Lexus RZ is comprised of Proactive Driving Assist (PDA), Pre-Collision Safety (PCS), all-speed radar cruise control and Lane Departure Alert (LDA) systems.
Also on are Advanced Drive (traffic jam support) and Advanced Park (with remote smartphone function), in addition to a driver monitor to detect when the driver is drowsy or looking sideways. If the driver’s posture is severely compromised, it will gently slow down, activate its hazard lights, stop the vehicle and notify emergency services.
Plenty of equipment is on offer in the Lexus RZ. Should it go on sale in Malaysia, it will enter an increasingly varied marketplace of zero-exhaust emissions vehicles; which will be your pick?
GALLERY: Lexus RZ
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