The Lexus RZ 450e isn’t supposed to debut until April 20, but some screenshots from Japan may have revealed the production EV’s look. Unsurprisingly, they look pretty close to the official concept images we’ve seen before. In some ways toned down for production, in other ways amped up.
The images appear to have been leaked in a Japanese Discovery Channel promo, which users at RZforums.com screen captured. The screenshots show a burnt orange-colored RZ driving on a test course in Japan.
The inescapable dress-up comes in the form of a black hood that emphasizes the Lexus spindle grille. Though it’s been in use for over 10 years now, it remains a controversial piece of Lexus design. It works better on some cars than others, but in the case of the RZ the company seems to want to double down on accentuating its lines.
On the other hand, the concept’s body-colored nose seems to have been replaced with a black section where the grille might have resided on an internal combustion car. This lets the RZ maintain a semblance of grille without actually having one. The result is a more traditional-looking face than the Mirai-esque concept schnoz. It should be noted that the production car wears a black roof as well, which the concept does not.
Overall, the Lexus RZ’s styling departs further from the Subaru Solterra and Toyota bZ4X upon which it is based. While those two are nearly indistinguishable from one another, the Lexus has unique sheetmetal as evinced by its surfacing, C-pillar treatment, and more. Perhaps as the biggest relief to some, the RX eliminates the black cladding on the front fenders for body-colored wings.
The Toyota bZ4X is powered either by a single electric motor with 201 horsepower or a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive configuration with 214 horses. Both choices use a 71.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that gets, in the Japanese testing cycle, 310 miles of range in front-drive and 285 miles in all-wheel-drive. The Lexus might get a performance boost, but we won’t know until April 20 at the latest.