In mid-April, Toyota presented the concept of its Toyota bZ4X (its first electric SUV), and today the Japanese company has finally made it official. The Toyota bZ4X is configured as the first model of a new series of BEV vehicles of the sub-brand bZ (beyond Zero).
It is a fully electric car full of technology that, in addition, is responsible for debuting Toyota’s new BEV platform. Based on the e-TNGA philosophy, it features a very thin battery located under the floor as part of the chassis to help improve balance. The car will start selling in 2022 and until then we will have to wait, but in the meantime let’s get to know it better.
Full of technology and even with a solar panel roof
As we said, the Toyota bZ4X is an SUV. It has a new hammer shape at the front, very thin headlights, and position lights that run across its entire width. Its height is relatively low (85 mm less than the RAV4), shorter overhangs, and 160 mm longer wheelbase than the RAV 4.
Something that catches the eye is its roof with solar panel, an optional addition that goes beyond aesthetics. According to Toyota, this roof with solar panels captures solar energy and generates electricity to charge the car’s battery, both off and on. In the words of the firm, “it can accumulate enough energy over a year to drive 1,800 km”.
In the interior, there is a slim dashboard located lower than the norm, something designed to improve the feeling of spaciousness and visibility. Also interesting is the seven-inch TFT screen located just in front of the driver, above the rim of the steering wheel, to see the appropriate indicators.
We cannot fail to mention the central touchscreen, where you can access the car’s infotainment system and, from what has been shown in the images, systems such as Apple CarPlay. Under the screen is the climate control module.
On the other hand, the bZ4X will be the first production Toyota model to offer the One Motion Grip steering-by-wire system, which is scheduled for introduction in Europe at a later date. This system dispenses with the mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels and adjusts the tire angle according to the driver’s intention. It also provides more legroom.
Finally, it should be noted that the traditional steering wheel is replaced by the One Motion Grip, which avoids crossing the arms when turning and allows, in Toyota’s words, to go from stop to stop by simply turning 150º.
450 kilometers of autonomy
The next step is to talk about the vehicle’s performance. The Toyota bZX4 comes in two models, one with front-wheel drive and the other with all-wheel drive. The front-wheel-drive model has an engine of 150 kW (equivalent to 204 hp) and 256 Nm of torque, making it capable of accelerating from zero to 100 in 8.4 seconds and reaching a top speed of 160 km/h. The all-wheel-drive model, on the other hand, has an engine of 150 kW (equivalent to 204 hp) and 256 Nm of torque.
The all-wheel-drive model, meanwhile, has been developed together with Subaru and incorporates independent 80 kW motors on the front and rear axles. These generate power of 217.5 hp with 336 Nm of torque and accelerate faster (zero to 100 in 7.7 seconds). The top speed, however, is the same, 160 km/h. In any case, all performance figures are provisional until homologation.
On the other hand, the system offers the option of single-pedal driving, something that allows accelerating and braking the car using only the accelerator pedal and that, according to Toyota, enhances energy regeneration when braking. The all-wheel-drive model can opt for the XMODE function, which adapts driving according to the circumstances of the terrain.
Finally, with regard to range, the Toyota bZ4X has a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery and promises a range of more than 450 kilometers (WLTP cycle). In any case, the figures will depend on the version and are provisional for the time being, until final homologation.
The battery can be charged to 80% in about 30 minutes with a 150 kW fast-charging system (CCS2). It should be noted that this model will have a three-phase 11 kW onboard charger. As for degradation, “only a small reduction in performance of about 10% is expected in 10 years of use, or 240,000 kilometers, whichever comes first”.