Manufacturers are now slotting their operations in overdrive to accelerate their push towards electrifying their portfolio. The latest one to join the bandwagon is Toyota. The Japanese carmaker recently showcased its bZ4X concept at the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show. While it may look a little inspired by the RAV4, it sits on a new “e-TNGA” platform. The bZ4X crossover will be the first of the planned seven new EVs scheduled to arrive by 2025.
The Toyota bZ4X concept is an all-electric mid-size SUV co-developed with Subaru. The bZ4X is the first of the “bZ” series, which stands for “beyond zero,” or cars that exceed being “just zero-emission,” according to Toyota.
The bZ4X concept looks quite similar to a Toyota RAV4, but it has a longer wheelbase and a more angular styling. The front bumper looks quite muscular, enhancing the overall presence of the SUV while the unique ridges on the edges of the bonnet allude towards performance. The new front is part of Toyota’s “hammerhead” look, which will make its way to other Toyota cars. Black wheel arch trim is present on the sides and the roof gets a contrasting colour. The back follows the trend and incorporates a full-width LED light bar with side hugging tail lights.
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”. There is also a yoke steering wheel which is claimed to improve visibility. The digital gauge cluster is set back far apart from the steering wheel, again for better visibility and below it Toyota has placed forward-facing cameras for driver assistance features.
The Toyota bZ4X also gets an advanced steer-by-wire system. A large touchscreen extends up out of the centre console, which has a rotary shifter placed in the middle and storage underneath with two USB-C ports. It will also come equipped with a solar recharging system that along with a regenerating system, will add to the SUV’s range.
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.