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Check out the steer-by-wire yoke on the Lexus RZ 450e: Video game driving comes to life

Ahead of its start of production this fall, Lexus continues to share more glimpses of its RZ 450e electric SUV and its exciting yoke steer-by-wire-system. Before test drives begin for consumers, some media outlets have been able to get behind the wheel yoke of the Lexus RZ 450e and document the drive. Check out the video below.

Lexus exists as a subsidiary of Toyota, so it should come as no surprise that the luxury Japanese automaker has been sluggish in joining the all-electric revolution. Toyota has slowly but surely had a (reluctant) change of heart when it comes to BEVs, but has begun delivering its first BEV model – the bZ4X – although you’d might want to wait a bit to buy one of those while Toyota works out the kinks.

One of the cool things about the bZ4X is Toyota’s decision to offer yoke steering as an option, similar to what Tesla did with its latest Model S and Model X EVs. However, Toyota fixed some of the issues with this feature by connecting it to a steer-by-wire system rather than a traditional column like Tesla uses.

Following the issues Tesla drivers had while using the new yoke steering, especially at low speeds, CEO Elon Musk confirmed the American automaker is working on progressive steering, but said it’s still years away.

Part of Toyota’s electrification strategy has included new BEV models from its luxury brand Lexus, the first of which included the RZ 450e, which was initially unveiled this past April. At the time, we learned that the all-electric SUV would also come with yoke steering.

Now, as the RZ 450e gets closer to scaled production, we’ve gotten a better look at the yoke steering in action, and it looks fun as hell – like driving in a video game.

Lexus RZ 450e yoke
Source: Lexus

Check out this video of the Lexus RZ 450e yoke in action

Due in part to the Toyota family tree, the Lexus RZ 450e shares a lot of the same EV DNA with the Toyota bZ4X, including the 71.4 kWh battery, as well as some similarities to the Subaru Solterra (although we probably won’t see a yoke in that one).

The initial digital brochure for the RZ 450e had no mention of yoke steering or a steer-by-wire system, but we have since learned that the yoke will come as an available option, and the decision to connect it via wire rather than a column could prove very effective in attracting customers looking to emulate hot laps in their new electric SUV.

According to Lexus, the RZ 450e is scheduled to be released in late November of 2022. Until then, check out this review of the yoke steer-by-wire system by Maciej Pawelec from the YouTube channel 1001cars:

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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