The RZ 450e is Lexus’s first model to be developed as a battery-electric vehicle from the outset.

As a result, there’s a real clarity of thought running throughout this electric SUV.

The vehicle has a bold exterior design, luxurious interior and advanced technologies to enhance handling and performance.

Somerset County Gazette: The Lexus RZ 450e

The RZ marks the first use of Lexus’s new e-Axles, which are compact motor units used front and rear in conjunction with Direct4 all-wheel drive torque control. It’s an impressive system and gives the vehicle a sure-footed and well-planted feel in a variety of situations.

You’re conscious of the extra balance provided by the power and braking force being quickly shuffled between front and rear axles.

The dedicated new electric vehicle platform brings excellent body rigidity, a low centre of gravity and a long wheelbase, while the battery unit is fully integrated in the chassis, beneath the cabin floor.

Lexus talks more about ‘control and comfort’ rather than sportiness when promoting the vehicle’s driving dynamics. Despite this, it’s worth noting that it still has 313bhp, 321lb-ft of torque, and can go from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds - enough to rival many hot hatches.

That performance is channelled through a single-speed automatic gearbox.

Somerset County Gazette: The Lexus RZ 450e

A long-life 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery is expected to retain at least 90 per cent of its capacity after 10 years of driving, according to Lexus.

The claimed range of 252 miles, reducing to nearer 200 miles in most real-life driving conditions, is perhaps a little underwhelming - but is broadly in line with similar-sized rivals.

The smaller battery is compensated for by the low energy consumption of the two motors, with the system achieving between 3.3 and 3.7 miles per kWh, or 16.8kWh and 18.7kWh per 100km, in the combined WLTP cycle.

The confident and bold exterior reinterprets the signature Lexus spindle shape in the vehicle’s body.

Meanwhile, the interior is a light and open space that’s a pleasant place to be. The fully-focused driver’s cockpit has come about through an evolution of the Lexus tazuna concept.

New technologies enhance life on board, including (according to model grade) a heat reflecting/insulating panoramic roof, radiant heaters and new Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system.

Somerset County Gazette: The Lexus RZ 450e

When driving, the vehicle offers great levels of refinement. It’s a relaxing experience as you progress down the road enjoying near-complete silence in the hushed cabin.

There’s a full suite of safety and driver assistance features, including Lexus’s exclusive Safe Exit Assist which prevents door opening into the path of vehicles and cyclists approaching from the rear.

This year, Lexus is looking to build on a record-breaking 2023 when its new car sales volume increased by almost 50 per cent on the previous year’s total.

The calendar year saw Lexus deliver 15,963 new vehicle sales, compared to 10,675 in 2022, establishing a new record for the company’s sales volume and premium market share.

Electrified vehicles – hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and battery-electric – accounted for 99.5 per cent of the total in a product line-up that welcomed significant new and revised models, including the RZ 450e.

Lexus RZ450e Takumi

PRICE: £67,994


CHARGE: 0-80% in 30 minutes


TOP SPEED: 99.4mph

ACCELERATION: 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds

BATTERY: 71.4kWh