The U.S. Can’t Have These Two 2023 Lexus RZ 450e Features
While we expect there to be different versions of cars between countries, they usually involve different safety and emissions regulations, or engine options. For instance, there are many diesel-powered vehicles in Europe that don’t make their way across the pond. But the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e has two features we would expect to be available in the U.S. that aren’t. At least for now.
Why won’t the Lexus RZ 450e get these features?
The first is its steer-by-wire system. Instead, we get the electric-assisted rack-and-pinion steering. While expected to appear in the RZ 450e, it is still undergoing testing. It has a name in Europe, which is One Motion Grip, or OMG. One Motion Grip won’t be available there until 2025.
“Steer-by-wire is one of the core technologies for Lexus moving forward,” assistant chief engineer Yushi Highashiyama told Green Car Reports.” He also said the system needs more development to better work in conjunction with improvements made to acceleration and braking capabilities.
Will the yoke steering be available?
The other feature we won’t see here is the Tesla-like yoke steering wheel. Until pricing and other details can be firmed up, only the conventional round wheel we know and love will be offered. It’s unclear whether the yoke wheel will only be available with the drive-by-wire steering system, or if it will be an option, available with drive-by-wire.
By the way, Highashiyama said when it won’t be a “yoke steering wheel.” There is neither pricing nor a name at this time. Nor, for that matter, is there pricing for the drive-by-wire steering.
For those not enthralled with the yoke wheel, a conventional round steering wheel will be available with the drive-by-wire system once it does become available. That decision was most likely based on the lukewarm reception Tesla’s Model S and Model X yoke steering wheels received. It was bad enough that soon after launching Tesla offered the round wheel as a no-cost option.
What trims and how much is the 2023 Lexus RZ 450e?
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e is the automaker’s first electric vehicle. Based on Toyota’s e-TNGA EV platform, it comes with standard all-wheel drive. Similar to the Toyota Bz4x, it offers more power and upgrades as you would expect from a Lexus product.
Sizewise, it fits into the compact SUV segment. The Premium AWD version has a $60,000 MSRP, which includes a Technology Package featuring a head-up display and driver-assist options. There are plenty of standard features like a panoramic sunroof and adaptive cruise control.
When will it be available?
The Luxury trim, at $65,150, adds upgraded audio and speakers, 20-inch wheels, ambient lighting inside, and other features. Premium versions have a 220-mile range, with the Luxury trim getting 196 miles range. Both are a bit down from some of the other EV offerings.
The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e was expected to be available by now. Now, it looks like sometime this month it will finally appear at dealerships. As for the drive-by-wire and yoke wheel, it looks like they will be tardy for another year or two.