Toyota unveiled the bZ4X Concept at the 2021 Shanghai auto show, its first all-electric SUV since the erstwhile RAV4 EV and one which the automaker says will spearhead its new lineup of battery-electric vehicles. The bZ4X is closer to reality than most concept vehicles with an arrival date set for mid-2022, according to Toyota. Although the automaker is keeping most of the bZ4X’s performance specs under wraps, it gave us a taste of its aggressive plans for an electrified future.
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With the debut of the new bZ4X Concept and an electric sub-brand dubbed bZ (Beyond Zero) to follow, Toyota is taking the leap back into pure EV SUV territory. While we don’t have information on the vehicle’s powertrain or range in production form, we do know it will offer all-wheel drive. The bZ4X will be built jointly with Subaru and takes advantage of the latter’s AWD system. The bZ4X also will ride on a new battery-electric-dedicated platform that will be shared across the future lineup of EVs from both Toyota and Subaru.
Additionally, Toyota revealed a bit about how the EV will be charged. Using regenerative energy systems along with a solar recharging system, the bZ4X will be able to recharge itself while stationary, which is expected to offer improved performance and a longer cruising range, the automaker claims.
From the freshly revealed photos, the two-row bZ4X appears to be similarly sized to the current RAV4 or Venza and will seat five. It features a long wheelbase, short overhangs and a fascia optimized for the new powertrain. The cabin’s interior shows an open-concept design meant to maximize available space, with a low set multimedia screen and gauges ahead of the steering wheel. The steering wheel itself is shaped to reduce the need to adjust the grip while driving, and the bZ4X in concept form features a steer-by-wire system.
The bZ4X will lead the way for the brand’s future EVs. Toyota has a goal of offering 70 electrified models by 2025, 15 of which will be pure electric and seven of which will fall under the new bZ sub-brand. Toyota also said that pickup trucks will be included in its plans, with both hybrid and all-electric powertrains in the works. Set to arrive globally by the middle of 2022, the U.S. launch and details will be revealed closer to its on-sale date.
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