In the front, a curving fender crease runs from the front wheel well down along the side of the car, finally melding into a funky sheet-metal kink under the C-pillar. The hood bends low for a planted stance, and the wheel arches get black cladding that lend a more rugged appearance.
The brand's trademark spindle grille is filled in for a solid look that telegraphs the EV drivetrain inside.
Lexus said it will unveil the production RZ this spring. Spokesman Norihiro Tsuji declined to give a start date for sales, but the vehicle is expected to hit showrooms in late 2022 or early 2023.
In outlining Lexus' EV ambitions last month, the company teased four EVs wearing a Lexus badge, including the RZ 450e, a five-seat crossover that will be built in Japan.
The three other Lexus-badged vehicles shown were:
- Electrified Sport, a two-seat sport coupe that looks similar to the current LC 500.
- Electrified Sedan, a premium five-seater that resembles the current ES.
- Electrified SUV, which looks to be a two- or three-row SUV that could take the place of the GX or LX.
In detailing full-year results on Feb. 1, Lexus said North America topped the regional charts, with sales up 12 percent to 332,000 units on robust deliveries of the RX and NX crossovers and ES sedan.
Lexus finished third in the U.S. luxury sales race, behind No. 1 BMW and runner-up Tesla.
China was Lexus' second-biggest market, reporting a 1 percent increase to 227,000 vehicles. The China results were an all-time high for Lexus in the world's biggest auto market.
European sales notched a 2 percent increase to 72,000 units.
Lexus sold 495,664 crossovers globally, accounting for nearly two-thirds of its worldwide volume.
The overall global total was the second-highest annual result for Lexus, and came despite tight inventories caused by industrywide semiconductor shortages.
The 2021 finish was just shy of its record of 765,330 sales in pre-pandemic 2019.
If supply and inventories hadn't seized up in the second half of 2021, Lexus likely would have notched a record last year, Tsuji said.
And assuming smoothed-out supply in 2022, Lexus aims to top 2021's results in the new year, he added.
"We utilized inventory in the U.S. fully, with inventory getting lower," Tsuji said. "There was still leftover demand for Lexus."
Naoto Okamura contribute to this report.