Life on board the soon-to-be-launched Lexus RZ battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is set to bring more than a warm smile to occupants.
Lexus designers have brought an innovative Japanese hospitality touch of omotenashi to the luxury brand's first dedicated BEV by using two panels in the RZ's unique platform to create infrared radiation to warm driver and front-seat passenger.
Unlike traditional convection heating, which warms the air, this thoughtful design touch heats only solid objects in the panels' line of sight.
The RZ's radiant heat is also extremely efficient as it warms occupants more quickly and reduces energy consumption by about eight per cent by delivering heat only where required.
It also reduces the load on the heating ventilation and air conditioning system and helps safeguard the RZ's estimated 470km1 range.
The comforting sensation is similar to having a warm blanket placed around legs on a cold day. This is achieved by hiding the two radiant heaters at knee-level, behind the lower instrument and steering-column panels.
Driver or front-seat passenger can avoid overheating with physical contact to the panel, which automatically reduces temperature to around 43 degrees Celsius to prevent discomfort.
The RZ's Radiant Heating supplements the standard cabin heating (which can be used more modestly when radiant heat is generated) and is in addition to the seat heaters and heated steering wheel.
Radiant heating is integrated into Lexus Climate Concierge, the multi-zone climate control system which automatically adjusts the cabin, seat, and steering-wheel heating and cooling systems to ensure optimal thermal comfort for all of the RZ's occupants at all times.
Radiant Heating, seat heaters and heated steering wheel will be offered when RZ goes on sale in Australia around mid-year. Lexus will confirm on which grade, together with additional specification and pricing, closer to the on-sale date.