Last April, Toyota previewed its upcoming electric vehicle by introducing the bZ4X concept. While it might be called a concept, the EV was more of a near-production prototype. No details were revealed, but it did give us a good look at what Toyota's first production EV will look like. Fast forward to the present, and the Japanese automaker has finally revealed the production version bZ4X in full.
Compared to the concept, there's no difference in terms of design, whether inside or out. In terms of dimensions, the bZ4X is roughly the same size as the RAV4. It measures 4690mm long, 1860mm wide, and 1650mm tall with a 2850mm wheelbase. Unlike other Toyota models, it rides exclusively on the e-TNGA platform dedicated to EVs.
The bZ4X is set to go on sale in mid-2022, and it will be available with two versions at launch – front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The base FWD model uses a single electric motor setup mounted on the front axle with a peak output of 201 horsepower (150kW) and 265 Nm torque. The front-wheel-drive variant can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 160 km/h.
The all-wheel-drive version uses two electric motors – one for each axle. The combined power output of the AWD version is rated at 215 horsepower (160 kW) and 336 Nm torque. Although the power difference is small, Toyota says the AWD version can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h faster at 7.7 seconds, while the top speed remains unchanged.
What's interesting about the AWD version of the bZ4X is that Toyota co-developed the all-wheel-drive system with Subaru. As such, Subaru's X-MODE and other features are available on the range-topping bZ4X model. It also gives the bZ4X better off-road performance compared to other EV models.
Whether you choose the FWD or AWD version, both models use a 71.4 kWh battery. Toyota claims it can provide the bZ4X up to 450 km of range on a single charge via the WLTP cycle. Meanwhile, a solar roof helps recharge the battery when parked outdoor or in places with no charging stations.
The bZ4X will also be the first Toyota to be equipped with an optional steer-by-wire system with no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and tires. It's similar to the system used in the current Nissan Skyline. According to the automaker, the steer-by-wire system will deliver an improved steering feel and reduced vibrations. Models equipped with this system will also adopt the yolk-style control instead of a traditional steering wheel.
There's no word yet which markets the bZ4X will be available. But if we had to guess, it might be a while before the electric crossover arrives in the Philippines.