Lexus Says Its Steering Yoke Won’t Be Ready Until 2025

The Lexus RZ will ship with normal steering wheels until the steering yoke works well with its drive-by-wire system.

Lexus will delay its drive-by-wire steering yoke for the electric RZ SUV because Lexus says it wants to perfect the steering system before launch. Yushi Higashiyama, the assistant chief engineer of the Lexus RZ, told CarBuzz that the drive-by-wire steering yoke setup needs some final refinement that may take a year or longer. The system may show up for Lexus around 2025, but it’s not clear if it’ll make its way to the U.S. then, although they wouldn’t be alone.

Tesla’s steering yoke drew complaints for feeling awkward and uncomfortable during big hand-over-hand motions. There’s a reason why most car companies use steering wheels. However, Lexus fit its yoke with a widely variable drive-by-wire system with a maximum of 300 degrees of steering motion. Because the steering yoke physically can’t turn around completely, the driver never has to go hand-over-hand, making it far easier and more comfortable to use. However, to make the steering feel natural with such little available motion, it needs to have a variable steering ratio that makes it easy to navigate at slow speeds but isn’t twitchy at high speeds.

At low speeds, very little yoke movement applies a lot of steering to the front wheels to make parking lots and other low-speed maneuvers easier to navigate. Higher speeds require more yoke movement to apply less steering to the wheels for better stability. The issue that arises with such a variable ratio is that the ratio can change suddenly, which can feel unusual. That’s balance is what Lexus is working on so that it feels natural for drivers in all situations.

Until then, the Lexus RZ is going to have a normal steering wheel with a conventional electric power steering rack. There’s currently no word for when the RZ will get the yoke and its variable drive-by-wire steering rack in the U.S., however their plan is to launch in other markets in 2025.

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