2023 Lexus RZ Coming to U.S. With Steering Yoke

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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2023 lexus rz coming to u s with steering yoke

Lexus’ first EV, the RZ 450e, will reportedly be debuting with a yoke-style steering wheel that will be coming to the United States as an optional feature. While we’ve seen yokes on dedicated racing vehicles, their adoption by companies producing mass-market automobiles is fairly novel, and global firms have been generally hesitant to use them inside North America.

Lexus won’t be following suit and has already confirmed that its yoke will be available to RZ shoppers living in the U.S.

The news would have broken on April 20th, when Toyota’s luxury arm had scheduled the debut. However, Car and Driver managed to get the automaker to verify yoke availability early after the company teased some photos of the RZ 450e’s cabin.

From C/D:

The inclusion of such a feature is a clear shot at Tesla, which offers a yoke as standard in the Tesla Model S and Model X. But we’re thinking that the Lexus’s setup may end up feeling quite different than the Tesla’s in practice. When Toyota first detailed the yoke system in the bZ4X, it said it would limit the total rotation of the wheel to 150 degrees and use the steer-by-wire technology to turn the wheels an appropriate amount based on the driver’s input. When we sampled Tesla’s yoke in a Model S Plaid, we found its execution to be poor, as it sometimes requires the driver to turn past about 180 degrees, which makes it awkward and unpredictable to use.

Fans of conventional, round steering wheels shouldn’t worry too much, as we’re certain that the yoke will be an option on the RZ rather than standard equipment. From this interior photo we can also see that the RZ will have a rotary-style shift knob, a touchscreen infotainment system, and a power button — unlike some other EVs which automatically turn on when you enter the cabin.

Yokes aren’t too bad when opposite lock comes on quickly and the car in question won’t be required to do a lot of fancy parking maneuvers. But they’re not ideal for those seeking a laid-back and luxurious driving experience, which is something we hope Lexus keeps in mind. Considering that the RZ is effectively a luxury rebadge of the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, it’s neat that something like this is being offered. We’re not just sure how much utility it has on a luxury crossover and imagine a gapless circle will probably be the preferred option for most people’s steering inputs.

[Image: Lexus]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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4 of 38 comments
  • Mpalczew Mpalczew on Apr 07, 2022

    Lexus is the only luxury car manufacturer that is reliable, doesn't rattle and puts luxury(comfort) above sportyness, this may be my next vehicle. I wonder what it will be like driving with a yoke.

    • See 1 previous
    • Xtoyota Xtoyota on Apr 08, 2022

      Now if only could design a good looking car...... they are ALL FUGLY

  • Lc4600 Lc4600 on Apr 07, 2022

    Is half a turn one way or the other lock to lock? If not sounds dangerous when self centering out of a turn.

  • Wolfwagen I lived in Long Island and worked in Manhattan for several years. I had to drive as my job required me to also go to NJ, Westchester/Rockland Counties and Long Island, sometimes at a moment's notice. This applied to almost the entire office staff and our technicians. Congestion pricing is a tax if have to commute into the city. This is just going to raise costs on everything. The city is already starting to lose people including those that used to commute in including by train. Covid showed that you didn't need a floor (or several) to run your business. As NYC and NYS continue to raise taxes more people and businesses will flee. Hell even the NYSE was considering leaving.
  • Redapple2 No interest in HK products. Lexus/Toyota/Subaru/Honda are superior across most metrics. And have better resale.
  • Redapple2 Note to self. Seft, buy them already sorted.
  • ChristianWimmer A city which makes life for motorists hell is not worth living in. Here in eco-communist Europe the lefties are constantly talking about “improving our quality of life” - by getting rid of cars and making cities car-free. Sorry, but I despise public transportation and the weirdos you meet on it and prefer to take my car or my bicycle around the city. In the winter I only take my car.
  • Jwee What is wrong with taxing people twice? Gov't cost money, and it is the fairness of the taxation that matters most not the frequency of the toll booth. Personally, I rather they tax me less and the wealthy/corporations more, but someone has to pay. We used to tax the wealthy, but they have successfully lobbied so now we the people, pay interest to the wealthy on their low-taxed earnings, so that we can fund the government.