Toyota has unveiled the bZ4X concept car, which previews the brand’s first full battery electric vehicle (BEV) that will go on sale in mid-2022
Toyota has pulled the wraps off the bZ4X, a concept car that previews the brand’s first full battery electric vehicle (BEV). The carmaker aims to roll out the production model on sale globally by the middle of 2022, and the bZ4X marks the start of an electric car offensive which will see Toyota have 15 BEVs on sale by 2025.
The bZ4X concept was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show, and takes the form of a crossover SUV, similar in size and design as the company’s RAV4 offering. Toyota says that the car will sit on its e-TNGA electric vehicle architecture that was jointly developed with Subaru, and it is expected that Subaru will have its own version, based on the Forester, to follow the bZ4X.
The styling of the bZ4X bears more than a few similarities to the RAV4 midsized SUV mixed in with the Yaris Cross, with its sharp angles and chunky rugged elements. However, the front end features a flat, grille-less design that is supposed to reflect the family look for Toyota’s upcoming EV range. A narrow black strip in between the headlights houses sensors that will be used for the car’s semi-autonomous driving features.
Sitting on a dedicated EV platform means that Toyota is able to maximise the cabin’s packaging, by giving the car short overhangs and a long wheelbase. And while Toyota has not revealed the car’s dimensions, the bZ4X is said to offer as much rear legroom as the Lexus LS luxury limousine.
The interior of the bZ4X concept car is decidedly futuristic, with its rectangular yoke-style steering wheel and digital instrument cluster, but the production car is likely to have these elements slightly toned down. Toyota says that the bZ4X will offer a steer-by-wire system that will deliver more precise response and minimise the need for the driver to move their hands around the wheel too excessively when manoeuvring.
Details of the bZ4X’s drivetrain have not been revealed as yet, but Toyota says that the bZ4X will have an all-wheel-drive system, co-developed with Subaru, with a dual motor setup, one at each axle. The car will also feature an on-board solar charging that can help increase the car’s range, and Toyota will maximise its expertise in hybrids to deliver an efficient electric drivetrain system for the bZ4X.
The bZ4X will continue Toyota’s push towards electrification, with the company having been a global leader in hybrid cars since the late 1990s with the Prius. Locally, the brand has been pushing its hybrid technology even further with the introduction of the Harrier and Yaris Cross hybrid crossovers this year, while luxury arm Lexus will also introduce its own first electric model, the UX300e, by the end of this month.