Breaking down trademark filings is never easy. Automakers can get one they’ll never use, but this new Lexus roster has a good chance of seeing the light of day. The Japanese luxury automaker has registered trademarks in the United States, Europe and Australia, first discovered by Lexus enthusiast, for the RZ 450e. It follows the automaker’s current naming conventions, which suggests that it could be an entirely new model that the company will add to its lineup as it pushes further into electric vehicles.
Lexus began its electric vehicle rollout last November with the UX 300e for China, Japan and Europe to offer every model with an electric and plug-in hybrid powertrain by 2025. The company showcased that future with the LF-30 concept (photo), also unveiled last year. It’s a cutting-edge concept with gullwing doors, four electric motors integrated into the wheels and polarizing styling. But it was just a concept we won’t see go into production anytime soon.
It is not pure speculation what Lexus plans to do with the new RZ brand. As Lexus Enthusiast notes, Lexus already uses the R in its lineup along with the RC and the RX – a coupe and a crossover. The “e” at the end of the 450th means that it will be equipped with an electric powertrain, following on from the UX300e. The only wild card in the name is the “Z”. The LC and RC of the Lexus lineup are coupes while the ES, LS and IS are sedans. UX, EX and GX are crosses. So what is an RZ? Lexus could use it to add a new body style to its portfolio, like a crossover coupe.
Lexus is just one of a number of automakers investing in electric vehicles. Cadillac recently announced the Lyriq, an all-electric crossover set to arrive in 2023. Then you have entries like the Mustang Mach-E pickup and GMC Hummer EV. Automakers approach electric vehicles differently, some being all-in while others lukewarmly explore the technology before releasing it to the general public.