The production-spec Toyota bZ4X will go on sale in Japan and China first before reaching other international markets by mid-2022
Toyota Motor Corporation has released a statement on April 19 at the Auto Shanghai Show, announcing a new establishment called ‘Toyota bZ’. It forms a series of battery-powered electric cars and a concept christened the ‘Toyota bZ4X’ has come along. It has been confirmed to be the first model in the bZ series, as 15 all-electric vehicles and 7 bZ models will be introduced by 2025.
The Japanese manufacturer was one of the first to really dig deep into the EV space two decades ago with the Prius but in recent years, the activity in the zero-emission vertical has only heightened with massive investments from other brands. Back in 2018, Toyota announced its intention to transform from an automotive company into a mobility provider, and now we have a clear outline.
Toyota aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 and establish a full line-up of EVs to reduce CO2 emissions by having 70 electrified models by 2025. The Toyota bZ series (not to be confused with Subaru BRZ based on Toyota GT86) focusses on covering worldwide markets including United States, China and Europe and it stands for ‘Beyond Zero’. The EVs from the series will be constructed on dedicated BEV architectures that are modular and flexible to adopt different bodystyles.
The Toyota bZ4X takes advantage of Toyota and Subaru, its partner in multiple collaborations already. The jointly developed EV has taken a crossover appeal reminding us of the RAV4 largely mainly with its upright front fascia and a sculpted rear design. The concept is in a near-production state and is built on the e-TNGA BEV-dedicated platform.
Toyota emphasises its vehicle electrification strength and Subaru’s AWD prowess in developing this crossover. The Toyota bZ4X concept has a long wheelbase with a short overhang and is claimed to have a cabin room “comparable to a D-segment sedan”. It has a bespoke steering wheel, which is said to eliminate the need to change grip when steering.
It adopts a steer-by-wire system to “provides a smooth driving feel” and the lowly positioned instrument panel gives a better sense of space while improving road visibility. The jointly developed new AWD system is endorsed to enable an “impressive off-road performance” while regenerative energy systems are used by adopting a solar recharging system to recharge the battery while being stationary and it also provides cruising range.
The production version of the Toyota bZ4X will go on sale in its home market of Japan and China before reaching global markets by the middle of next year.