The all-new Lexus RZ has been given a top five-star safety rating by independent test organisation Euro NCAP. Results released today show the battery-electric SUV scoring highly in all categories in the 2023 test protocol.
Announcing the test results, Euro NCAP said: “The Lexus RZ meets Euro NCAP’s expectations for all-around good crash protection for occupants representing a range of ages, heights, and sizes. The car is also equipped with the latest crash avoidance systems and comes with several new active safety innovations.
“The RZ is the first car that Euro NCAP rewards for Child Presence Detection technology (the Rear Seat Reminder System) under the latest 2023 rating regime. The child presence detection system, which warns when a child or infant may have been left in the car and is consequently potentially lifesaving in hot weather.”
The RZ has safety built-in, courtesy of its robust and highly rigid platform and body, which effectively absorb and channel impact forces away from the passenger compartment. The high-voltage battery is integrated into the chassis structure, contributing to car’s inherent strength. Passive safety measures include nine airbags provided as standard to help protect everyone on board.
Crash test analysis produced scores above 80 per cent for adult and child occupants and vulnerable road users. The performance of safety assistance features – including those provided as standard in the Lexus Safety System+ package – were also rated above 80 per cent.
Lexus has equipped the RZ with a world-class package of preventive safety features that can recognise and react to an even wider range of accident risk scenarios. The third generation Lexus Safety System+ has new and improved functions that operate seamlessly in the context of a battery electric vehicle. Advanced technologies are applied to detect and react to a wider range of accident risk scenarios, providing driver warnings and initiating steering, braking and acceleration assistance when required to help avoid a collision or mitigate the consequences if an impact does happen. They also reduce the burden on the driver, making the job of driving less tiring. Making use of the car’s data communications module (DCM), the safety systems can be updated over-the-air, with no need for the vehicle to be taken to a service centre.
The radar and camera used by the RZ’s Pre-Collision System (PCS) can recognise a wide range of hazards, including the risk of a head-on collision with traffic coming from the left or right when making a turn at an intersection. The system can also identify motorcycles, as well as cyclists and pedestrians.
Emergency Steering Assist helps keep the car stable and within its traffic lane when the driver has to avoid a parked car, pedestrian or other obstacle to the side of the road. The system is also available with Active Support, which works to avoid a collision by providing gentle braking and steering. The PCS further provides Low Speed Acceleration Suppression, recognising sudden, unintended use of the throttle when driving at low speed.
The Dynamic Cruise Control provides a range of inter-vehicle distance settings, so the driver can tailor its performance to their personal preference. New functions include Curve Speed Reduction, ensuring an appropriate speed for smooth driving through bends, and Overtaking Prevention, which regulates the car’s speed to avoid overtaking a slower vehicle on the wrong side on a multi-lane road. The driver can also easily reset the cruising speed to comply with changes in the speed limit detected by the Road Sign Assist system (RSA).
The Driver Monitor is a new feature that uses a camera mounted above the steering wheel to keep constant check on the driver’s condition. If it recognises that they have lost concentration through being tired or unwell, it triggers visual and audible alerts. In a world-first, the system is linked to the car’s active safety systems, so that should the driver fail to respond, the car can be brought smoothly to a controlled halt with the hazard lights activated (Emergency Driving Stop).
Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) operates at lower speeds, for example when driving around town. The PCS front camera scans the area in front of the car to check for hazards such as pedestrians about to cross or walking along the side of the road, parked cars and cyclists. If there is a collision risk, the system will provide braking and steering to help avoid the obstacle, while keeping the car in its traffic lane.
The Lexus Safety System+ package also provides Automatic High Beam or an Adaptive High-beam System (RZ Takumi model) for automatic adjustment of the headlight beams to achieve optimum forward illumination without dazzling oncoming traffic. The RZ is the first Lexus to be fitted with AHS using a single bi-projector LED headlight.
Road Sign Assist (RSA) can recognise and display a wider range of highway warning and command signs. The car’s speed limiter can be linked to the RSA, reducing powertrain output and applying braking if necessary to keep the car within the legal speed limit for a given road.