Toyota has filed a pair of fresh trademarks for the TZ 450e and TZ 550e nameplates with IP Australia just days after the same nameplates were submitted with the European Intellectual Property Office.
Overseas reports suggest the TZ nameplate is being readied for a new electric SUV alternative to the Lexus TX, the upmarket alternative to the Toyota Grand Highlander – both of which have thus far been ruled out for Australia because they’re only being produced in left-hand-drive.
One perk of an electric vehicle, however, is that engineering teams aren’t hampered by the same packaging constraints as internal combustion vehicles and have far more freedom when it comes to interior accommodation and mechanical layouts.
This should make the hypothetical TZ a much stronger candidate for right-hand drive production and in turn make it available for the Australian market, which is readying itself for the arrival of the Kia EV9 – an all-electric seven-seat SUV with no direct competitors until the related Hyundai IONIQ 7 arrives sometime next year.
Lexus ditched the three-row seating configuration for the new-generation Lexus RX, which in turn leaves the inbound GX and established LX off-roaders as the only six- or seven-seat offerings in the entire Lexus portfolio, meaning the premium Japanese brand will have something of a hole in its range in RHD markets like ours.
The brand’s local division has also been making a lot of noise recently about wanting to expand into new segments and Lexus is currently absent from the full-size car-based (monocoque platform) SUV market in Australia, let alone the EV component within it.
Details of the new model are almost non-existent at this early stage but you can bet the big family-hauler will be underpinned by Toyota’s modular e-TNGA architecture, while the respective 450e and 550e designations will refer to the drivetrains and their outputs.
The newly established Lexus RZ450e mid-size electric SUV features a dual-motor drivetrain developing a combined 230kW and so it’d be safe to assume the TZ 550e will up the ante considerably, possibly offering up to 280kW as per the dual-motor Kia EV9 variants.


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