Toyota bZ4X SUV detailed, 218 hp and up to 500 km range

Toyota’s first foray into the mass-production electric vehicle has been further detailed, with the bZ4X SUV fitted with either a single or dual-motor setup.

Measuring 4.69 m long, 1.86 m wide and with a wheelbase of 2.85 m, the Toyota bZ4X SUV has nearly the similar dimensions as the Kia EV6 and BMW iX3 whilst slotting in between the Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Harrier. The American pair of Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y are wider than the new Toyota.

Being Toyota’s first EV, the bZ4X will utilise a dedicated platform prioritising a low centre of gravity to house the thinly designed 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery as well as a dual-motor set-up. Two major drivelines are in the works, with a front-mounted electric drive unit offering up to 204 hp and 500 km of range.

The dual-motor AWD set-up meanwhile has a total combined system output of 218 hp with both axles distributing equal power. The range is estimated to be in the region of 460 km. Straight-line acceleration figures meanwhile are typical of Toyota’s conservative figures with the single motor requiring 8.4 seconds to perform the 0 to 100 km/h acceleration, while the AWD shaving 0.7 seconds.

Subaru, Toyota’s partner in this electric SUV project, will oversee the development of the X-Mode All-Wheel Drive system with a new Grip Control function for some light-duty off-road driving that is better than many EV SUVs.  

Toyota also wants drivers to enjoy the sensation of driving in the new bZ4X and as such, the steering control sees a major evolution to how we steer and even how the steering “wheel” is designed. China will be the first market to adopt the new “one-motion grip” steering system, featuring an oblong-shaped steering wheel.

Fully electrical without any mechanical connection, the steer-by-wire system allows an unheard-of lock-to-lock rotation of just 150 degrees (not even half a circle), eliminating the need to change grips when steering, greatly reducing the burden on the driver for U-turn, parking and on winding roads.

Without a mechanical shaft and rack, the vibration from the road is not transmitted to the driver, providing a more relaxing drive over a long distance. Semi-autonomous driving will also be more precise thanks to the redesigned steering system.   

Availability of the Toyota bZ4X will be limited to markets with great demand for battery EV (BEV) and plentiful supply of electricity from renewable energy such as wind, solar, and ocean. To further add the Toyota bZ4X’s driving range, the roof panel can be ordered with a solar panel which Toyota claims to increase the driving range by up to 1,800 km a year.  

Customers in major markets such as the US, Europe, Japan and China can expect the Toyota bZ4X to be available in showrooms from the middle of 2022. Subaru’s Solterra will have a digital debut on the morning of November 11th from Japan.   



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