Toyota today revealed the all-new Toyota bZ4X, the first model in Toyota’s new series of bZ (beyond Zero) battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
The bZ4X is the first model to be developed by Toyota entirely as a BEV. It is also the first car to be built on the company’s new BEV dedicated platform. This completely new platform has the flexibility to be used for potential future bZ models and is designed for production at scale.
Based on e-TNGA philosophy, the bZ4x has been co-developed by Subaru and Toyota.
The bZ4X is an SUV available with a new all-wheel drive system that provides class-leading off-road handling and performance with separate electric motors for each axle.
Toyota claims that even after 10 years of driving, the battery powering the bZ4x will still operate at 90% of its original performance. The period of use and mileage is assumed to be 10 years, or 240,000 km (whichever is shorter.)
With a fully charged battery, expected range is more than 450 km (depending on version, exact data to be confirmed later).
Speaking of the battery, the battery unit is an integral part of the chassis which is located beneath the vehicle floor, giving the fundamental benefits of a low centre of gravity, excellent front/rear weight balance and high body rigidity for excellent safety, ride and handling.
The bZ4X will also offer advanced technology features, including a solar panel roof to help charge the battery while driving or parked, and third generation Toyota Safety Sense with new and improved active safety and driver assistance systems.
On the exterior, the bZ4X has an overall height that’s lower by 85 mm, shorter overhangs and a wheelbase that that’s 160 mm longer than the RAV4. The bonnet line is also reduced in height by 50 mm. Overall agility is reflected in a class-leading 5.7 m turning radius.
The design incorporates aerodynamic elements that contribute to the generous driving range, including apertures set deep in the front bumper corners to create smooth air curtains; a full underbody cover; a split roof spoiler and rear duck-tail lip spoiler; rear diffuser; and a precisely angled rear screen.
The slim lower grille has a shutter that adjusts to channel cooling air flow to the battery and helps reduce wind resistance.
The theme for the interior is “lagom” – the Swedish word that expresses something that is “just right.”
The instrument panel is slim and low set, while the “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road” principle is supported by the human-centred cockpit in which the seven-inch TFT instrument and information display sits directly in the driver’s forward eyeline, above the line of the steering wheel, so the meters can be viewed with minimal eye movement.
There is also generous load space with an adjustable deckboard; with the rear seats in place, there is up to 452 litres.
The front-wheel drive bZ4X is powered by a high-response 150 kW electric motor. It produces 204 hp and 265 Nm of torque, enabling 0-100 km/h acceleration in 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 160 km/h.
The all-wheel drive model on the other hand has a maximum power of 217.5 hp with 336 Nm of torque, with acceleration to 100 km/h time reduced to 7.7 seconds. All performance figures remain provisional prior to homologation.
The system offers the option of “single pedal drive” with a boost in the braking energy regeneration that lets the driver accelerate and slow the vehicle using only the throttle pedal.
The bZ4X will also be the first production Toyota to offer a steer-by-wire system. Dispensing with the mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the front wheels, this electronic system adjusts the tyre angle precisely according to the driver’s intention, and provides more legroom, improving driving position freedom and ease of entry and exit.
The traditional steering wheel is replaced with the One Motion Grip-control, making operation smoother and easier, with no need for hand-over-hand turning. Full-lock can be achieved with just a 150-degree turn.
With no physical connection in the system, unnecessary vibration from the tyres is blocked, but the driver still experiences valuable feedback, such as from the road surface.
The steering feeling is improved through independent control of the steering torque; steering characteristics can be changed according to the drive mode selected.
The bZ4X will benefit from the third generation Toyota Safety Sense with new and improved functions to provide protection against an even wider range of common accident risks.
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