Lexus RZ Review (2023) | Autocar

The small battery is compensated by the low energy consumption of the two motors, claims Lexus. What’s more, under normal driving, the RZ mainly uses the smaller, less power-hungry 108bhp rear item. When you ask for full power, that naturally combines forces with the 201bhp front one, but the software sends power back and forth as it sees fit for the prevailing situation.

Indeed, the official consumption figure of 3.4-3.7mpkWh is Tesla-like, but the end result is still a pretty disappointing WLTP claimed range of 272 miles, which drops to 252 miles on the 20in wheels that the vast majority of UK-bound RZs will have. The car’s rapid-charging rates are also unimpressive, 150kW being the bare minimum we would expect from a new premium EV. At least it goes through a standard CCS port, rather than a Chademo one, as on the UX.

Either way, neither range nor charging speed is a particular strength of the RZ 450e. In real-world driving, it advertises around 210 miles of usable range on a full charge, dropping to about 165 miles as soon as you turn on the air conditioning (just as both the Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra will). And any usability quirk that encourages you to drive around on a warm day in a luxury car with a large glass roof, leaving the air conditioning switched off, can’t be a good one.

So the RZ joins a very busy and competitive market segment on the back foot in one key respect: range. It redeems itself somewhat on the road, because that promise of confidence, control and comfort rings true. Despite not being offered with adaptive dampers, this is a very smooth and quiet-riding car that’s reassuring, satisfying and surprisingly plush-feeling, though not exciting, to drive.

You can genuinely feel the effects of what Lexus calls Direct4, a new system whereby power and braking force are rapidly shuffled between the front and rear axles to control and reduce the pitch and dive that normally accompanies acceleration and braking. It stops short of being transformative, but does introduce a pleasant calmness to the way the car drives.

Lexus RZ 450e

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