May 19, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

Toyota’s Stylish bZ4X First Production EV To Land In Dealers Next Summer

3 min read

Toyota’s first production battery-electric car, the bZ4X will be heading to U.S. dealerships in the middle of next year with few styling changes from the eye-opening concept that debuted earlier this year.

In an online debut this week, Japan’s top carmaker revealed that its long-awaited electric vehicle will offer two variants. Although Toyota is a latecomer to the EV party, it plans to boost production and launch seven more electric bZ models by 2025. As a model co-developed by Toyota and Subaru, Toyota has taken first blood by launching before Subaru which plans to unveil their first-ever EV, the Solterra, before year’s end. That fact that Toyota and Subaru chose to launch their first production EVs as SUVs is a smart move given the huge popularity of the genre with couples and families.

Featuring sharp angles and edges and a sleek, sporty headlight and grille combination, the bZ4X is arguably one of the better looking SUVs to join Toyota’s sizable crossover lineup that includes the RAV4, Highlander, CH-R, 4Runner and Corolla Cross. The bZ4X is almost identical in size to the brand’s best-seller, the RAV4. Its wheelbase is 6.3-inches longer and is marginally longer and lower than the popular crossover.

Using ‘bZ’ to denote ‘Beyond Zero,’ the ‘4,’ according to Toyota, refers to body size while the ‘X’ infers body type. Sitting on an EV-dedicated ‘e-TNGA’ platform co-developed by Toyota and Subaru, the two grades available will include the front-driven entry level car with a single motor generating 201 hp and 195 lb ft of torque and a 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds. The twin-motor flagship, which employs four-wheel drive technology developed by partner Subaru, elevates power to 215 hp, torque to 248 lb-ft and slices its 0-62mph time to 7.7 seconds. 

Power comes from a 71.4 kWh battery pack which Toyota says is good for a WLTP range of over 280 miles. However by the time it reaches the U.S., the EPA will most probably rate the car somewhere between 230 to 250 miles. These figures however, make it fall short of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, with up to 305 miles and the Tesla Model Y boasting up to 326 miles. One highlight of the new SUV is its so-called “efficient and effective” heating system that ensures only a ‘modest’ drop in range in sub-zero temperatures.

The bZ4X can be charged at speeds of up to 150kW, which replenishes 80% of its battery charge in around 30 minutes. Toyota also claims that solar panels on the roof will be capable of generating over 1100 miles of range per year and help to ensure that colder weather has minimal impact on battery performance.

A crucial part of Toyota’s Beyond Zero strategy is to achieve carbon neutrality of all vehicles throughout their entire life cycles – from supply chain to disposal. To date, Toyota has sold more than 17 million electrified vehicles (that includes hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars) which, it says, equates to 140 million tonnes of CO2 saved. Of note, Toyota lowered its fleet CO2 emissions by 22% between 2010 and 2019.

One eye-catching feature inside the car is its race car-like yoke-style steering wheel. Similar to Tesla’s version, the Toyota design uses a steer-by-wire system which removes the mechanical link between the steering wheel and the front axle, and in so doing, gives the driver less cause to move their hands around the wheel.

Toyota says it will ramp up production of the bZ4X production in mid-2022 so we can expect to see this EV is dealers in late summer.