Lexus is currently weighing the potential of bringing a more affordable version of its RZ electric SUV to Australia.

    The single-motor, front-wheel drive Lexus RZ 300e was revealed late last year and is available in other markets, including Japan.

    It slots underneath the dual-motor, all-wheel drive RZ 450e that’s on sale here in two different trim levels and starts from $121,675 before on-roads.

    Lexus Australia chief executive officer John Pappas told CarExpert there aren’t any official plans to introduce the RZ 300e locally at this stage, but it’s assessing the future of the model in Australia.

    “We are looking into the future as part of our electrification strategy. We are looking at all our options in terms of what we’re bringing in and when,” said Mr Pappas.

    “At the same time we want to make sure … it’s accepted by the market in terms of … things like infrastructure and price points.

    “Unless you’ve got scale it’s hard to get the price down on the car. But in time I’m confident that can happen.”

    Mr Pappas also noted the Federal Government’s proposed New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) opens the possibility for more hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicle (EV) offerings locally.

    The Lexus RZ 300e is powered by a single electric motor producing 150kW of power and 266Nm of torque. It drives the front wheels and is fed by a 71.4kWh battery pack.

    If this sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s the same setup as used in the front-wheel drive versions of the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra.

    In Japan the RZ 300e has a claimed 599km of range according to lenient WLTC testing when equipped with 18-inch wheels. This is reduced to 530km with the 20-inch wheels fitted.

    For context, the entry-level front-wheel drive Toyota bZ4X has 436km of range according to WLTP testing.

    Mr Pappas claims Lexus Australia is “not far off [the] plan” of selling “around 500” RZ 450e examples locally in the first 12 months of sale.

    The Lexus RZ 450e launched locally in May last year. 265 examples were sold last year according to VFACTS registration data, and until the end of February this year 32 examples have been sold.

    MORE: Buy a Lexus RZ
    MORE: Everything Lexus RZ

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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