Toyota has released details and specifications for its bZX4 electric SUV, sharing photos of a near-series prototype and confirming that it will move on with the controversial “yoke” steering wheel.
bZX4 is the Japanese automaker’s first full step in electrification, and the first model in its bZ series, which will be launched globally in mid-2022. There will be six more bZ models by 2025.
With a “technology-agnostic” approach, Toyota’s bZ series will sit with a full range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen cars (Toyota also makes Mirai) and will be available in front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. wheel drive configuration.
The bZX4 will offer an estimated range of 500 km in its single-engine configuration with 150 kW of power from the engine on the front axle. The dual engine variant offers an additional 80 kW of power from the rear axle, but as a result less estimated range (460 km).
Although electric, fast acceleration is not a focus for Toyota in the bZX4, which will go from 0-100 km / h in 8.4 seconds with a single engine, or 7.7 seconds in the dual engine variant.
Built on Toyota’s new e-TNGA platform for electric cars, which Subaru will also use, t.The 4.69 m long, 1.86 m wide and 1.65 m high SUV has angled lines that give it the whole look of an electric RAV4 although a closed front and lack of lattice separate it.
BEV is characterized by aerodynamic corners and the bumper’s sleek design. Also notable is the massive hammerhead shark-like shape that runs from the bonnet to the top of the headlights.
All the usual electrical technological advances apply in the bZX4 from a battery in the floor and lack a drive shaft tunnel that opens the interior and provides plenty of legroom.
A dimmed, low dashboard contributes to a more minimal feel, while Toyota says soundproof glass helps ensure passengers can talk in peace.
In the four-wheel-drive version, Toyota implements independent control of both engines to improve driving characteristics. For the first time, Subaru’s AWD technology and X-MODE have been introduced in the AWD vehicle, while grip control, a new feature for X-MODE, is designed to improve off-road performance.
Both a traditional steering wheel and a yoke steering wheel similar to the one Tesla introduced in its revamped Model S will be offered.
The steering wheel will use a steer-by-wire system that allows for one-handed steering, with a 150-degree lock-to-lock to reduce hand shifting – also a first for Toyota – while a round steering wheel will use standard steering technology.
An optional solar cell roof will also be offered by Toyota, which it says can generate up to 1,800km of driving distance completely free of the sun each year.
Whether bZX4 will come to Australia is not yet certain; previous reports suggest that if it does, it may be only months after its global release in mid-2022. However, it is said that it would not be in any large quantity, nor at any market-beating price. We have contacted Toyota for a comment.
Bridie Schmidt is the main reporter for The Driven, the sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric cars since 2018 and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emission transport should play for sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is a co-organizer of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for rent at evee.com.au.