WHAT IT IS: Toyota’s first dedicated electric crossover falls between the C-HR and RAV4 in terms of size. It will be the first to wear the “bZ” badge, which stands for Beyond Zero—Toyota’s sub-brand of battery electric vehicles.
The bZ4X concept shown here made its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, and the production version, which should be quite similar, is slated to be sold across the globe—including in the United States—next year.
WHY IT MATTERS: Although Toyota has vast experience with SUVs, this is the first time it will produce a dedicated electric crossover; the bZ4X also introduces a new design language that can easily be confused for a Lexus SUV.
The long wheelbase and short overhangs of the bZ4X give it distinctive proportions. From the front, the fascia adopts sporty lines and air vents, and a grille-less nose quickly identifies it as an electric vehicle. Shiny black trim flanks the slim headlights and extends to the wheel arches. At the rear, a thin LED strip connects the taillights, borrowing a flourish from the Lexus UX subcompact luxury SUV.
The luxurious and modern interior is unlike any Toyota cabin we’ve seen. The capacitive climate control buttons and big infotainment screen contribute to the upscale look, and the three-tone interior and the premium gray fabric covering the dashboard are new takes from Toyota. A smaller screen in front of the driver handles instrument panel duty, and a rotary gear selector replaces the traditional shifter. It sits in the middle of the bridgelike center console, which is similar to the one in the latest Sienna minivan.
We expect the bZ4X to pack around 250-300 miles of driving range on a full charge, as well as fast-charging capability. Such feats are par for the “long-range” electric SUV segment, which includes the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Volkswagen ID4, and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
PLATFORM AND POWERTRAIN: The bZ4X will be the first model based on Toyota’s new e-TNGA platform. It’s also the first fully electrified vehicle produced via the expanded venture between Toyota and Subaru. We expect the SUV to offer an electric motor at both axles to support all-wheel-drive capability.
ESTIMATED PRICE: $36,000
EXPECTED ON-SALE DATE: The production Toyota bZ4X will make its debut sometime in 2022
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