Who would have thought that the exterior design of the RZ, Lexus’ first 100% electric car, was inspired by a cheetah? Styling is certainly one of the most striking elements when looking at the Japanese premium manufacturer’s coupe SUV and, according to Lexus, the designers wanted to explore new stylistic horizons for this model.

The typical performance of electric driving is speed, reactivity and dynamism: characteristics of the cheetah. The body of the RZ evokes the dynamism of the feline when it is running: bent nose, high tail, hind legs that dig in for grip and muscularity. This is reflected in the RZ’s nose-to-tail proportions, muscular flanks and the way the rear is firmly planted on the ground. The volume of the bodywork seems to push the rear wheels back and the rear wheel arches, like those at the front, are distinctly muscular. “Since the cheetah is a somewhat extreme inspiration for a car, we discussed this idea for a long time and then decided to express this concept through the Direct4 all-wheel drive system,” comments Daichi Kimura, head of design for the RZ.

Although the typical Lexus hourglass grille has disappeared, the RZ is easily recognisable thanks to a reinterpretation of it as an integral part of the bodywork, highlighted solely by the lines of the front end. The hourglass shape is accentuated by the use of paint in place of the traditional black grille, the blacking out of certain components and the greater emphasis given to the shape of the wheel arches. At the rear we find a roof spoiler composed of two separate elements, immediately behind the C-pillars, functional to the correct management of air flow, fundamental for increasing the efficiency of the vehicle also in terms of range.