Toyota has taken the wraps off the new bZ4X electric SUV concept that will be shown to the general public at the Shanghai Auto Show 2021.
- bZ4X is the first model to use the new e-TNGA platform
- Gets styling bits similar to the popular Toyota RAV4 SUV
- Future Subaru SUV to use the same platform as bZ4X
Toyota bZ4X Concept: What is it?
The forward-looking bZ4X concept provides a long-awaited preview of Toyota’s first production battery-electric car. The ‘bZ’ element of its name refers to the Japanese brand’s ‘Beyond Zero’ electrification strategy, through which it will launch at least 15 pure-electric vehicles in international markets by 2025, including seven that use the bZ moniker.
Spearheading this roll-out, the bZ4X will be the first model to use the new e-TNGA electric vehicle architecture developed in collaboration with Subaru, whose own first e-TNGA-based EV will be a Forester-sized SUV.
The defining characteristics of the platform include short overhangs and a long wheelbase, which is said to provide a “spacious and open cabin”. In fact, Toyota says rear leg room is comparable to the near-900mm offered by Lexus’s flagship LS luxury sedan . Here, the platform underpins a four-wheel-drive crossover (hence the ‘4X’ suffix), which is claimed to major on comfort, connectivity and openness.
Toyota bZ4X Concept: Design
Heavily angled styling cues, chunky black wheel-arch trim, a familiar silhouette and a contrasting roof hint at the influence of the strong- selling RAV4 SUV, which has recently been made available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain in some markets. However, various characteristics, including an all-new front-end design, point to a different design language for bZ-badged EVs.
In place of a conventional grille, a narrow black strip houses sensors for autonomous driving features, while sharply styled headlights and sculpted air channels are part of Toyota’s new “hammerhead” look, which aims to generate “a new attitude and road presence”.
Toyota bZ4X Concept: Interior
The cabin, shown in what appears to be nearly production-ready guise, has been designed primarily to give the driver “a sense of direct connection to the road and to important information”. The instrument panel is mounted low for improved forward visibility and to minimise distraction. The large central display, wide centre console and textured dashboard can be expected to feature on the production car.
Toyota bZ4X Concept: Powertrain
Technical details of the dual-motor electric powertrain remain largely under wraps, but the system is said to draw on Toyota’s 20-plus years of offering electrified powertrains. With power sent to all four wheels, the bZ4X is said to deliver genuine off-road capability, as well as “peace of mind” in all on-road situations, according to Toyota
The SUV’s range is optimised courtesy of an on-board solar charging system that helps to ensure colder weather has minimal impact on usability – a noted drawback of conventional battery tech.
Toyota India car and SUV line-up: 2021
Toyota's most recent launch in India was the updated Fortuner SUV. Sources tell us that the company will introduce an all-new sedan based on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz sometime later this year.
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