Toyota has been criticized for being slow to release its first dedicated electric vehicle, but one could argue that the delay has given the world’s largest automaker ample time to survey the competition as it sets its own plans into motion. Today, the company’s luxury brand Lexus announced pricing details for its first EV, the RZ 450e, and as you can see, it’s a lot less than most other luxury EVs currently out there.
The RZ 450e comes in two trim levels: Premium and Luxury. The Premium version with all-wheel drive and 18-inch wheels starts at $59,650, including delivery charges, while the 20-inch variant starts at $60,890. The Luxury trim with AWD starts at $65,150.
That’s significantly less than a lot of the competition, like the BMW iX ($83,200), Volvo EX90 ($79,950), and Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV ($105,550). But it’s comparable to other rivals, like the Cadillac Lyriq ($61,795) or Audi E-tron Q4 ($56,800).
And while it’s built on the same e-TNGA platform as the all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the Lexus RZ will come with more luxury stylings, nicer materials, and a panoramic glass roof as well as other fancy add-ons. Of course, if you’d rather save some money, you can plunk down $42,000 for the bZ4X and get the same 71.4kWh battery pack as the RZ.
Interestingly, the RZ has an EPA-estimated range of 220 miles on 18-inch wheels and 196 miles on 20-inch wheels. That’s less than the bZ4X’s EPA estimated range of 252 miles, which likely can be chalked up to weight distribution and aerodynamics.
Keep in mind that Toyota has said that it expects to make a Lexus sports car that would have a “cruising range” of 700km (434 miles) and be able to accelerate from zero to 60mph in under two seconds. That’s clearly not the RZ, so we’ll have to wait a little longer before we see what a quicker, longer-ranging Lexus sports car has to offer.
Toyota is playing catch-up in the race to electrify the auto industry. In 2021, Lexus said it will introduce 20 new vehicles by 2025 but that just 10 of those will be all-electric, hybrid, or run on hydrogen. But a few months later, Toyota announced that Lexus would become an electric-only brand by 2035.