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We're Not Yoke-ing, Lexus' New 2023 RZ 450e EV Follows Tesla's Lead

The 2023 Lexus RZ 450e will come with a steering yoke because everybody knows a steering wheel is just not fashionable anymore. This new teaser proves it.
Lexus RZ 450e with Steering Yoke 6 photos
2023 RZ 450eLexus' New Steering Yoke on the RZ 450e2023 RZ 450e2023 RZ 450e2023 RZ 450e
It feels like Tesla just dropped this design on the whole world out of nowhere. At first, everybody thought: “What the heck?!” This was especially true at the time, considering that the American manufacturer didn’t offer an alternative. Some months later… Surprise! A lot of people enjoy the steering yoke, with other owners of lesser vehicles like the Model 3 even paying extra to install it in their cars.

The yoke design is about to go mainstream, and Lexus is not going to miss this trend. As we previously shown you last month, the Japanese carmaker wants to make sure its new EVs are as trendy as possible. Because let’s be honest for a second, what else can you offer as a marketing opportunity for your dealers everywhere? There’s no engine anymore, and advertising big batteries and efficient motors feels like a strategy that Duracell and Toys ‘R’ Us would use.

The steering yoke is now confirmed on the Lexus RZ 450e production model that's built on the e-TNGA platform. Images provided by Toyota show a prototype, which might mean there can be some final changes possible. But major changes won't happen. We'll see the car on the 20th of April. Everything about it will be shared with you here, on autoevolution, so stick with us. We hope Toyota or Lexus thought about a steering wheel, too, because many of its customers aren't known for getting along with shiny new technologies and major design changes.

It’s not the first time Toyota or Lexus are experimenting with the steering wheel design. This year we’ve also learned the automaker is looking forward to developing the diameter adjusting steering wheel. We hoped this would be the answer for Tesla’s design, but apparently, it isn’t the case – yet.

Borrowing or copying features… Has it ever worked well in the car industry? Well, yes, it did. You sure know the Jimny and its long-lost brother, the G-Wagen, or the Toyota Mega Cruiser trying the Hummer H1 suit on, right? That's why we shouldn't be surprised that Lexus decided to go ahead with the steering yoke. It will happen, and I'm not going to say that I won't like it. It will be a change, but sometimes new is exciting.

It’s a bold strategy, Lexus. Now let’s see if it pays off.

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