The Toyota bZ4X Concept is our first look at the firm’s upcoming range of battery electric vehicles – and a production version of the EV is due next year
Toyota is planning to launch a new family of battery electric vehicles and it has previewed the new range with the bZ4X EV SUV concept.
Developed in collaboration with Subaru, it is based on a bespoke EV platform called e-TNGA and sales of the production version will begin in mid-2022.
Toyota explains bZ is short for ‘beyond Zero’, its mission to deliver “carbon neutrality and beyond”.
A mid-size SUV, the bZ4X will offer large car levels of space inside, promises the firm, plus panoramic visibility.
By 2025, Toyota will offer more than 70 electrified vehicles around the world – including at least 15 battery EVs and seven Toyota bZ variants.
The Toyota bZ4X’s styling is a modern interpretation of the themes already seen in the RAV4 Hybrid. It has sharp creases, flowing lines and, at the front, a ‘hammerhead’ form instead of a traditional grille.
It has a rakeish rear end, modern lights and crisp detailing. It also looks impressively production-ready – don’t expect the real car to differ too much from this bZ4X concept.
The interior is very distinctive. Drivers get their own ‘drive module’ with a low-set instrument panel and unique yoke-style steering wheel.
This world-first tech uses steer-by-wire so the driver doesn’t have to move their hands around the wheel as they turn a corner – control is enhanced accordingly, promises the firm.
It seems likely a traditional round steering wheel will also be offered.
The cabin is “notably spacious and open” with Toyota promising rear legroom that’s easily a match for a much larger vehicle.
There are no details yet on battery or range other than a promise it will be “very competitive”, but the bZ4X will have an all-wheel drive system developed by Subaru. Its claimed best-in-class all-wheel drive capability “sets the Toyota bZ4X Concept apart in its segment”.
There’s even an on-board solar charging system which will deliver a small but still useful boost to the driving range.
“The Toyota bZ4X is more than just a means of transport,” said the firm. “It is also a comfortable and connected space where people can enjoy spending time together on a journey.
“Our target customer is someone who places importance on time spent together with family and friends. When they want to enjoy such times, Toyota bZ4X Concept can serve as a hub for them.”