2023 Lexus RZ: Preview & Release Date

Sarah Willis
Contributing Writer - December 15, 2021

Model Preview

Lexus has shown a sneak preview of its newest electrified car, the RZ. Believed to be a 2023 model, not much information has been given to us about this vehicle from the luxury brand. From the promotional pictures, however, there are a few things we can piece together.

The upcoming RZ looks to be a compact SUV or crossover and it may be in part based off of the LF-Z Electrified concept that was introduced earlier this year. The overall outline of the car appears to have a slight swoop to the roofline that is only interrupted by the sharkfin-style satellite antenna covering. The roofline comes to an abrupt end at a point where the back windshield begins and the trunk opens. The bottom of the back windshield bulges out in a raised, aggressive design that stretches across the width of the car and has a handle for ease of lifting open the trunk. The taillights consist of a thin bar and span the entire back of the car as well.

Along the sides of the car are stylistic concave and convex lines that start at the front corner of the car and swoop up to a stop at the bottom of the rear passenger window. The wheelbases look rather large and house tires that have a spiked pattern. The headlights are blended into an arrow-shaped design in the front bumper, which juts out a bit to add to the aggressive and bold look. Noticeably missing is a grille.

Though this vehicle is being promoted as electrified, it is unclear to what extent it will be electric. This may mean it is a hybrid, a PHEV, or a fully-fledged EV. According to an article from Green Car Reports, Toyota, Lexus’s parent company, is setting its electrification strategy and the Lexus RZ will be just another part of that plan.

Toyota, and subsequently Lexus, might be moving slowly towards complete electrification, but with a successful car like the Prius as part of the lineup, the company thinks it has the answer it needs. It currently plans to have lighter-weight batteries in its EV vehicles to not weigh them down and require more power to move them. Cooper Ericksen, VP for product planning and strategy for Toyota Motor Company North America, has stated that he sees the solution as making durable, lightweight batteries that last the lifespan of the car, and to have a more modest range on the EVs, perhaps under 200 miles. This would make EVs more affordable and could allow more people to buy them, helping Toyota reach its goal of millions of EVs sold by decade’s end.

Lexus, on the other hand, could have vehicles with much higher mile ranges. As a luxury brand, Ericksen believes 400 to 500 miles could be a good range goal for its cars. This is where the RZ could step in. Though no mile range has been mentioned, this could mean the RZ, and Lexus as a whole, may offer the high mileage range many people are looking for in EVs. This would mean a bigger battery, and there’s speculation it would be a lithium-ion cell battery in order to ensure weight control and performance.

Pricing & Release Date

There haven’t been any confirmations about when this car may come out. At the moment, we are only assuming that this will be a 2023 model. Green Car Reports mention that they believe it will be “on the way” later in 2022.

Just like with the release date, there has been no word on pricing. Toyota has, however, said that it finds affordability to be key in order for electrification to be successful and make a real impact on the environment. That is for Toyotas, however, and Lexus is still a luxury brand. With that in mind, it’s a bit of a guess what the final price range of this Lexus RZ will come to.

Electrified SUVs or compact SUVs are an ever-growing segment, and with that comes a lot of potential rivals for the RZ. Some of note could be the Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y, and Audi Q4 e-tron.

Pictured: 2023 Lexus RZ

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