Toyota bZ4X – electric SUV concept / The first of “Beyond Zero” brand. Toyota offers a dizzying array of hybrids, but the company has been slow to embrace electric vehicles. That’s starting to change as the automaker has introduced the all-new bZ4X concept.
Designed to preview an upcoming production model, the bZ4X is a modern day version of the RAV4 EV. Toyota didn’t go into many specifics, but the concept features an angular front end with slender headlights and prominent air curtains. Speaking of aerodynamics, there’s a fully enclosed grille which resides above a wide intake with metallic trim.
Moving further back, we can see a long hood and pronounced wheel arches. The model also has a rakish windscreen, a gently sloping roof, and a distinctive shoulder line. Other notable highlights include an angular rear window, a prominent C-pillar, and eye-catching taillights that wrap around the sides of the vehicle.
While the exterior will likely receive mixed reactions, the cabin is a bit more traditional. Drivers sit behind a chunky three-spoke steering wheel and find themselves looking at a digital instrument cluster with a bowl-like surround.
The design looks a little weird, but Toyota explains that “the low position of the instrument panel and the location of the meters above the steering wheel not only help expand the vehicle’s sense of space, but also help increase visibility to aid in safe and secure driving.”
Elsewhere, there’s a floating center console and a freestanding infotainment system with a widescreen display. They’re joined by gloss black trim, minimalist controls and a rotary shifter. We can also see an upholstered dashboard and a roomy second-row.
Toyota was coy on specifications, but confirmed the concept rides on the e-TNGA platform and has been jointly developed with Subaru. Speaking of the latter, the company said the crossover will combine Toyota’s legendary quality, durability and long-term reliability with Subaru’s all-wheel drive capabilities to “achieve a driving experience that is both comfortable and engaging.”
The company went on to say the production model will be built in China and Japan. The crossover will be available globally and sales are slated to begin by the middle of 2022.
Longer term, Toyota will offer 15 dedicated electric vehicles including seven which will wear the bZ (Beyond Zero) name. The company also teased they will “bring electrification to the pickup truck lineup in the near future, including hybrid and BEV powertrains” – which may or may not imply that we can expect hybrid and electric options in the all-new Tundra.
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