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

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]

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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.

  • Michael500 Sorry, EV's are no good. How am I supposed to rev the motor to impress girls? (the sophisticated ones I like).
  • Michael500 Oh my dog- this is one of my favorite cars in human history! A neighbor had a '71 when I was a child and I stopped and gazed at that car every time it was parked outside its garage. Turquoise with a black vinyl. That high beltline looks awesome today!
  • ScarecrowRepair I'd love an electric car -- quiet, torque, drive train simplicity -- but only if the cost was less, if recharging was as fast as gas (5 minutes) and as ubiquitous. I can take a road trip and know that with a few posted exceptions (US 50 from Reno to Utah), I don't have to wonder where the next fuel station is, and if I do run out, I can lug a gallon of gas back.Sure I'd miss the engine sounds and the joys of shifting. But life is all about tradeoffs.
  • Tre65688381 Let's face it, aside from the romanticized, visceral sounds of a robust V8/V10/V12, many if us appreciate raw torque and power enough that if our preferred poison is adequately met (track, drag, street, canyon carver, etc) we don't care whether it runs on liquid or current. The batteries just can't ruin the dynamics or the practical range.That said, I would still really miss the sound of a V8 bubble at start up, and at wide open throttle, yet would feel silly piping it into my electric car. Like an adult version of a baseball card in the bike spokes.
  • Inside Looking Out EVs also have low center of gravity. I prefer the silence of nuclear thermal rocket in outer space.