Toyota is now covering the void of an EV SUV in their lineup with their new bZ4X. It will be the first EV from their all-new range of bZ; beyond Zero. It promotes their cause and pushes towards carbon neutrality. This would be a purely electric SUV, and the ‘4X’ signifies 4-wheel drive EVs upcoming in the future.
This new platform for EVs has been developed in cooperation with Subaru to provide offroad abilities. Toyota wanted to create a reliable BEV that Users could drive for years with excellent cruising range, weather resistance, & convenience. The Japanese carmaker showed the bZ4X at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Expo, and it will be the first EV with a dedicated platform from Toyota. It is expected to go into production in 2022 with a price reveal for Europe at the same time. Subaru has provided the AWD for the user’s comfort and better driving experience.
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Battery & Range
This EV will run on a 71.4kWh battery with a 500 kilometres range for the FWD variants & 460 kilometres for the RWD variants. The FWD version is equipped with a 150 kW motor making 201hp & 265Nm of torque. On the other hand, the RWD version has an 80 kW motor on each axle, making 215hp & 336Nm torque.
The bZ4X will be compatible with high-capacity chargers worldwide, supporting a fast-charging capacity of 80% in 30 minutes at 150kW direct current. In addition to that, it will also have an optional solar panel which could extend the range by about 5 km/day. It does not seem much, but it would widen the range by 1800 kilometres in a year in the long term.
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Koji Toyoshima, Chief Engineer at Toyota, said: “Our target customer is someone who places importance on time spent together with family and friends. When they want to enjoy such times, Toyota’s bZ4X concept can serve as a hub for them.”
The design is relatively modern & futuristic with a blend of sophisticated technology. Short overhangs and a long wheelbase offer a spacious interior. The overall design is entirely new, with unique front fascia and rear faces. It has chunky black wheel arches, a contrasting roof, and sharp cuts highlighting the overall details. The headlights and well-sculpted air channels promote the hammerhead look targeting excellent road presence.
The customers will get to choose between a conventional & a wing steering wheel known as the “one motion grip.” The interior also follows the futuristic design with a fully digital instrument cluster featuring OTA: over-the-air updates. It has a shift dial like most EVs, along with plenty of safety features.
The cabin also tends to connect the driver with a low-mounted screen for a view with no distractions. The textured dashboard & the wide centre console have been carried forward from the showcase concept. Overall it exhibits excellent visibility along with spacious comfort.
Toyota has a good amount of experience with running electric powertrains for about two decades. This could immensely help them give an edge with the best in class range and battery efficiency. The actual performance on the road would reveal the rest.
This indeed seems a good product of the Toyota-Subaru collaboration. Toyota is also planning to launch ten more EVs in the bZ4 range by 2025. While this one is expected to hit the markets by 2022, it would take considerably more time for this range to make it to India. While there has been no official word, we might be able to see this mid-sized EV SUV in India by late 2023.