Shropshire Star

Stunning new Lexus EV offers pace and practicality

Lexus has taken seriously the introduction of its stylish and bespoke electric SUV.


Of course you would expect this from this arm of one of the world’s leading motor producers and at nearly £70k for this range-topping model, it should be a given. In the past, Lexus models often had a more staid look about them, but that has changed dramatically, with a range of state-of-the-art design.

From its striking looks to its cutting-edge technology, the RZ is a luxury high-performance model, with  a comprehensive list of equipment.

Available as Premium Pack, Premium Plus Pack and Takumi spec, it is the first Lexus to include new e-Axles and Direct4 all-wheel electronic drive torque control to improve handling and responsiveness, while a 74kW lithium-ion battery unit is fully integrated into the chassis beneath the cabin floor, to deliver extra stability.


It has a presence that is hard to ignore. Sitting between the MX and larger RX, it copies some of the design features, including the elegant, slippery sculpted profile, the familiar, but bolder spindle design on the front grille, trapezoidal headlamps and a heat-shielding panoramic roof.

In addition, it features a powered boot lid, rear privacy glass and 20-inch alloy wheels and to the rear split roof spoiler and the now Lexus signature LED light bar across the width of the car. Power is delivered from the powerful battery to a 310bhp electric motor and a seamless one step transmission.

It is rapid, as are most electric vehicles, hitting the benchmark 60mph in a smidge over five seconds. The high level torque provides overtaking grunt in all circumstances. It is a brilliant motorway cruiser and with the ever-increasing growth of charging stations, anxiety range is becoming less and less of a problem when undertaking longer journeys. Even so, the claimed range of 252 miles was nearer 220 during the test drive.

Handling is responsive and adaptive suspension provides independent damping control at each wheel, giving a more comfortable ride on uneven surfaces, higher damping force when turning, and flat ride stability.

For tricky conditions, Direct4 drive is a system that constantly and seamlessly distributes the drive torque between the front and rear axles via the driving data being collected through ECU sensors.

It is an engaging drive, particularly on twisting country lanes, where the grip is good, but it is equally at home in and around town, potholes included.

The interior is light and airy with plush upholstery, thick carpets, and a high-end soft touch finish to the dash and doors. The central 14-inch touchscreen controls navigation, infotainment, via a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system and smartphone connectivity and remote services accessed via the latest Lexus Link Pro multimedia system with "always connected" services.

This allows remote locking and unlocking of the car and can activate the air conditioning system to warm or cool the cabin prior to starting a journey.

It also features a multi information display relaying real time info to the driver which is customisable and a head-up display It also houses navigation and infotainment.

Legroom is good, although the almost coupe-like shape restricts headroom a little to the rear. Seats are firm and comfortable and the cabin feels a comfortable place to be.

In practical terms, the battery placement doesn't compromise the stowage area and with all seats in place, the area provides 522 litres of space.

This increases to a maximum of 1,451 litres, when the rear seats are down, In addition there is a further 58 litres of space beneath the deck board.

For safety there is a full range of airbags, a 360-degree camera, parking sensor and  systems such a pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert and lane tracing assist and lane change assist.


  • Lexus RZ 450e – Premium Plus Pack

  • Price: £68,500

  • Mechanical: 309bhp/230kW electric motor and  driving all wheels via E-CVT automatic transmission

  • 0-60mph: 5.3 secs

  • Top speed: 99mph

  • Range (WLTP): 252 miles

  • Insurance group: 44E

  • C02 emissions: 0g/km

  • Warranty: 3yrs/60,000miles

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