Lexus Teases its First Electric Vehicle with a Steering Yoke

Lexus, the luxury automaker possessed by Toyota, announced that it would reveal its first electric vehicle on Wednesday, April 20th, at 6 AM ET. And it released two teaser pictures, one of which features a steering yoke.

In a sense, it’s not unexpected. Toyota’s long-range EV, next-generation, the BZ4X, will also come with an optional yoke when released later this year.

The automaker seems to be taking its design cues from Tesla, which included a yoke in the Model S Plaid. The BZ4X will also hold a standard steering wheel and design for those not interested in running full yoke.

It’s not evident whether Lexus will offer a non-yoke version of its forthcoming EV, named the RZ 450e. However, the company has also teased a prototype version of the EV, which appears to be styled similarly to the BZ4X.

Considerations of the Model S Plaid’s steering yoke have been blended. While its design does give a better idea of the sedan’s gauge cluster, that might not be worth giving up the presence of something to hold onto if the driver fails their grip while taking a turn at high paces. There’s also a persistent lack of padding to relieve pressure during long drives to maintain in mind.

Lexus is recreating catch-up in the race to electrify the auto industry. Last year, the company said it would introduce 20 new vehicles by 2025 but that just 10 of those will be an all-electric, hybrid, or run on hydrogen. But a few months later, Toyota revealed that Lexus would become an electric-only label by 2035.

There are always a lot of blanks to be plugged in, but Toyota has said that it hopes to make a Lexus sports car that would hold a “cruising range” of 700 km (434 miles) and be capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in under two seconds. Whether that’s the RZ, or something else, it stays to be seen.

Lexus also includes:

  • An electric concept car.
  • The LF-Z Electrified.
  • Demonstrating some aspects of its upcoming electric lineup.

One idea Lexus put forward with this idea is something called “Direct4,” which is the automaker’s interpretation of torque vectoring that would drive power to each wheel independently, enhancing grip in high-performance conditions.

At a more base level, Lexus states this concept car is created to achieve “ideal balance and inertia” while driving, thanks to the optimal placement of the battery and motors. In addition, Lexus opted for a steering setup that is most typically used in racing formats.