New Lexus RZ 450e launches firm’s EV push with 309bhp, 4WD

As for whether future RZ variants could adopt a single-motor configuration, like the entry-level bZ4X, Fotinos said that “to really feel the true potential of the vehicle, it has to be a twin-motor configuration”, adding: “We need the two e-axles to really deliver that kind of driving comfort. ”

However, he said a single-motor car could be possible as long as it offered more range without too drastic a “trade-off in terms of the driving feeling we’re trying to deliver with the car”.

Lexus, like Toyota, is planning to bring its first bespoke EV to market with an unusual yoke-style steering wheel and a steer-by-wire system, which eliminates the mechanical linkage between the front wheels and the driver.

The butterfly-shaped yoke turns from lock to lock over just 300deg, meaning the driver never has to make hand-over-hand turns, and it is expected to be specified by roughly one in four owners, depending on market.

This new electronic set-up is claimed to improve response and control, while minimizing movement of the ‘wheel’ over rough roads and maintaining a sense of “connection between driver and car”. It also gives a better view of the gauge cluster and out of the windscreen, according to Lexus – all part of its ‘Tazuna’ (reins of a horse) approach to driver ergonomics.

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