2023 Lexus RZ 450e debuts in Thailand – fully-electric SUV to launch in Malaysia this year?

Lexus’ first-ever dedicated electric vehicle, the Lexus RZ, has now been launched in Thailand, at the ongoing 2023 Bangkok International Motor Show. Offered in a sole RZ 450e variant with two trim levels, the fully-electric SUV is priced from THB3,870,000 (approx. RM502k).

Interestingly, the RZ – alongside an enquiry form for the model – can already be found on Lexus Malaysia’s website since May last year. Can we expect it to be launched here in Malaysia this year?

The RZ 450e is powered by a dual motor set-up, consisting of a more powerful unit in front (204 hp/150 kW, 265 Nm) and a smaller 109 hp (80 kW) motor on the rear axle for a combined total output of 312 hp (230 kW) and 435 Nm. With the DIRECT4 all-wheel drive set-up, the Lexus RZ accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds, onward to a top speed of 160 km/h.

Power is supplied via a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, offering up to a range of 470 km based on the NEDC standard. To charge, an on-board AC charger supports up to a maximum charging rate of 11 kW, taking 6.5 hours for a full charge, while DC fast charging at 150 kW tops up the battery from 0-80% in approximately 30 minutes.

As for equipment, the Lexus RZ in Thailand comes as standard with LED headlamps with automatic high beam, 18-inch wheels, acoustic windshield glass, a 14-inch touchscreen infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, seven-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless charger, as well as a 10-speaker sound system with Active Sound Control.

Step up to the range-topping Premium trim, and the Lexus RZ 450e gains additional creature comfort goodies, including acoustic glass for the side windows, a panoramic glass roof with electro-chromic dimming, adaptive high beam system for the headlamps, a larger eight-inch instrument cluster plus a head-up display, ambient lighting, Ultrasuede upholstery, as well as a set of upgraded 20-inch chrome alloy wheels.

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Advanced driver assist features are standard across the board, including the all-speed adaptive cruise control system, Lexus Teammate Advanced Park parking assistance, autonomous emergency braking, lane following assist, lane change assist, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, plus a 360-degree surround-view monitor.

As mentioned above, the Lexus RZ in Thailand starts from THB3,870,000 (approx RM502k) for the 450e Luxury variant, jumping up to THB4,190,000 (approx RM543k) for the range-topping Premium variant.

Electric vehicles are heavily subsidised in the Land of Smiles, although we Malaysians get complete excise duty and import tax exemptions for fully-imported EVs until at least 2023 (with an extension proposed until the 2025), so we could expect prices to go even lower than that of our neighbours up North if the model makes its debut here.

READ MORE: Here’s what the letters in each Lexus model mean

[Images: Lexus Thailand]



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