Toyota has always been shy of electrics vehicles, even during the recent era of electrification. While they do have numerous hybrids models to offer, the same can’t be said about pure EV models. However, that will all change very soon. The Japanese auto giant has officially revealed its upcoming EV in concept form called the bZ4X, and it will be the first of 15 new Toyota EVs. Seven of which, will bear the bZ (Beyond Zero) name.
In terms of styling, it’s easy to see the similarities between the bZ4X concept and the current RAV4. They are shaped nearly the same, especially when looking from the side. The EV does have a more aggressive appearance over Toyota’s popular crossover with more rakish front and rear windows.
The rest of the concept, however, is unlike the RAV4. Toyota gave the EV a futuristic design with a slim grille flanked by narrow headlights with an LED daytime running light on top. The only opening upfront is a slim intake in the lower half of the fascia. It’s also hard to miss the black fender molding incorporated with the front bumper – a design cue that reminds us of the current Hilux Conquest.
At the back, the crossover features full-width LED taillights. Similar to the front end, the bumper features a minimalist design with lots of black cladding. Also worth noting is the black trim piece that extends from the taillights to the rear fender.
While the exterior is quite futuristic, the cabin is similar to what you’d find in a Toyota today despite the company calling it an “open-concept interior”. Possibly the only futuristic bit here is the steering wheel with a yolk-type design. Rather than being directly behind the steering wheel, the digital instrument cluster sits further back. Toyota the layout helps increase visibility and aid in “safe and secure driving”.
At the center of the dashboard is a large touchscreen infotainment system with climate control buttons below. No column shifter here. Instead, a knob-type shifter chooses drive mode and other assistance features.
Toyota hasn’t said anything about range, battery size, or other performance details apart from having an all-wheel drive. Being a crossover, it will compete with other similarly sized models such as the Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, and the Tesla Model Y. What we do know is that the bZ4X is co-developed with Subaru and runs on the e-TNGA electric platform. Based on previous announcements, the platform supports single-motor front, rear-wheel-drive setups, or dual-motor, all-wheel-drive models.
Thankfully, we won’t have to wait too long before the production model arrives. Toyota says sales of the production bZ4X are expected to commence in the middle of 2022. The question now is which countries will get the bZ4X.