The first Lexus EV sold in the United States will be a crossover SUV called the RZ, the automaker confirmed Thursday.
The RZ is due to arrive in the U.S. in 2022, likely as a 2023 model, as is expected to be badged as the RZ 450e in this market. That corresponds to how Lexus has traditionally used the lowercase "h" for hybrids.
A trio of teaser images shows some design elements that seem to have carried over from LZ-F Electrified concept unveiled in March, but with a more upright and SUV-like profile.
Lexus didn't offer any technical details, but the RX could use the same e-TNGA platform as the 2023 Toyota BZ4X and 2023 Subaru Solterra twins. That would make it a smaller crossover, similar in size to the current Lexus NX.
Teaser for Lexus RZ debuting in 2022
Lexus parent Toyota previously indicated that the luxury brand's EVs will offer more performance and range than Toyota-badged models, which will focus on affordability.
Expect the RZ to have Lexus' new dual-motor drive tech aimed at providing ride and handling benefits—perhaps comparable to the e-4orce system Nissan has developed.
The RZ won't be the first production Lexus EV, but will be the first available on these shores. Lexus already offers a fully electric UX300e in Europe, but there are no plans to bring it to the U.S.
Last year, Lexus also announced plans for the arrival of its first plug-in hybrid later in 2021—a version of the NX crossover. The NX was redesigned for the 2022 model year, retaining the option of a hybrid powertrain from the previous generation.