Toyota was the first automaker to release a mass production hybrid car, the Prius, it was a commercial success but believe it or not, the company never went full electric until today. The automaker under its Beyond Zero (bZ) series just unveiled the production version of the crossover bZ4X. It was first previewed in April as a concept but now it’s production form is being revealed.
The SUV is going for sale in mid 2022 in two electric variants. The base model has a single electric motor mounted on the front – front wheel drive – with a peak output of 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of instant torque. The FWD model should be able to accelerate from a standstill to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) in 8.4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 99 mph (160 kph).
The all wheel drive version (AWD), which is built in collaboration with Subaru, will have two motors, one at the front and the other at the back. Both motors will have a combined output of 215 hp and 248 pound feet of torque. The power, Toyota says, is enough to accelerate the vehicle from 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) in 7.7 seconds, while reaching the same top speed of to the entry-level model. Subaru’s collaboration on this model is intended to bring their well known all wheel drive expertise to this variant.
In terms of range, the Toyota bZ4X is rated 280 miles (450 kilometers) by Europe’s WLTP. You should expect a shorter range once the EPA from the USA rates the vehicle due to their stricter testing methods. Regardless, Toyota claims the battery won’t lose more than 10 percent of its battery performance in 10 years of driving or 149,130 miles (240,000 km), whichever comes first. Both versions offer a maximum rapid charge rate of 150kW, capable of 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes, while an optional 11kW AC charger in the future will help overnight home recharges provided a compatible wall outlet is available. In addition, both variants use a water-cooled 71.4 kWh battery, a first for Toyota.
Powertrains aside, Toyota bZ4X ‘hammerhead shark’ design will be based on the company’s e-TNGA platform exclusive for its electric vehicles going forward. It will also feature a roomy feeling inside the car thanks to a ‘slim battery’ design to enable more space in the crossover’s interior with a boot space which stands at 452 litres.
The bZ4X will be the first Toyota to be equipped with an optional steer-by-wire system, which means there will be no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and tires. The company promises it will not only improve the steering feeling but also have reduced vibrations to the steering wheel.
Units with this new technology will have yoke-like control instead of a traditional steering wheel.
Pricing and delivery details are to be revealed later closer to launch, however, the Toyota bZ4X will go on sale starting with United States, as well as Europe, Japan, and China from mid 2022.