Lexus gives us a closer look at its first all-electric RZ 450e model [Images]

Lexus has begun accepting orders for its first fully electric vehicle, the RZ 450e, an upscale luxury alternative to the Toyota bZ4X. Check out the latest RZ 450e images from Lexus below.

Lexus RZ 450e electric vehicle images and specs

Like parent company Toyota, Lexus is playing catch up when it comes to fully electric vehicles. The luxury brand’s initial focus on hybrid and fuel cell technology delayed its first EV from hitting the market.

Lexus finally unveiled its first electric production model last April, the RZ 450e, which will ride on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform, the same used for the bZ4X and Subaru Solterra.

Although the RZ 450e shares a platform, Lexus has assured the EV is differentiated with an “innovative design, inside and out” and “signature Lexus driving experience.”

Essentially, Lexus designed its first electric vehicle to be a Lexus first and EV second to stick out from the competition. As such, the car offers its Direct4 AWD system to ensure stability and traction on the road alongside regenerative braking.

Lexus offers one 71.4 kWh battery option with two e-motors, 150 kW in the back and 80 kW in the front, for a total of 308 system horsepower and up to 220 miles EPA-estimated range (with 18-inch wheels). If you opt for the 20-inch wheels, the EPA-estimated range drops to 196 miles.

According to Lexus, with a DC L2 fast charger, the RX 450e can be charged from 0 to 80% in about 30 minutes.

The RZ 450e exterior looks similar to the bZ4X but incorporates a more aerodynamic front and distinct lines on the sides, giving it a more luxurious feel.

Unlike the bZ4X, Lexus’s first EV will feature a “premium” interior with an intelligent 14-inch touchscreen, radiant heating, a wireless charger, a panorama glass sunroof, and more.

One of the coolest features is the available Steer by Wire, a yoke racing-inspired steering wheel (images below) that constantly adjusts to the RZ’s speed, offering agility at slow speeds and stability while driving fast.

Lexus offers the RZ 450e in two trims: Premium and Luxury. The Premium comes with 18-inch dark gray metallic aluminum wheels, while the Luxury comes with a 20-inch black and machined finish.

Electrek’s Take

The RZ 405 e is about what you would expect from Lexus. It features distinct lines with the automaker’s signature grille and driving experience.

Although you get more power than the bZ4X, an improved design, and added features, the RZ 450e starts at just under $60,000, while the bZ4X has an MSRP of $42,000.

At $60K, Lexus is competing with the Tesla Model Y, which has a 330-mile range and starting price of $54,990, and others, such as the Audi e-tron Q4 (starting at less than $50K) and Volvo’s electric SUVs, the C40 and XC40 Recharge, which start at $55,300 and $53,000.

What do you think? Can Lexus keep up with a $60K electric SUV in this market?