Toyota’s all-electric bZ4X recently made its U.S. production model debut and represents the first of a global series of battery-electric vehicles to be introduced under the global “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella, the automaker announced.
The bZ4X will have a manufacturer-estimated range of up to 250 miles for XLE front-wheel drive models, the company said.
“With zero emissions and an exhilarating drive, the bZ4X is hitting the market at just the right time as we expand our already comprehensive electrified product lineup,” said Mike Tripp, vice president, Toyota Marketing. “As a human-centered company, Toyota remains committed to offering customers a diverse portfolio of products to meet their individual needs and move us toward a carbon neutral future.”
Toyota plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025. This future lineup will feature 15 dedicated BEVs, including seven carrying the bZ (Beyond Zero) brand moniker. This portfolio of electrified products will help propel Toyota toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Built on the BEV-dedicated e-TNGA platform, a first for Toyota, the bZ4X achieves impressive driving performance thanks to the high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery pack placed flat under the floor, which gives it a low center of gravity, designers said, and that the battery cross-framing structure adds to overall vehicle rigidity. The adoption of a lightweight body structure partially made of high tensile steel, as well as the enhancement of frame components around the battery pack and the forward and rear suspension also contributes to the responsiveness of bZ4X. In addition, a redesigned accelerator pedal creates a smoother feel when accelerating and decelerating coupled with an intelligent throttle with slip suppression to provide improved control on slippery roads. The bZ4x is also equipped with an AWD system with X-MODE and a grip control system, allowing for light off-roading capability.
The engineering team also focused on features that maximize energy-saving and cruising range for year-round driving (particularly in winter settings), the company said. In addition to aerodynamic design choices and body weight reduction efforts, the following systems and equipment were adopted to reduce energy consumption, especially power used for heating in cold climates:
- Heat pump system for both heating and air-conditioning
- Seat and steering wheel heaters
- Front-seat radiant foot-and-leg heater (first for Toyota)
A non-conductive coolant runs through separated flow channels to maintain optimal battery temperature. The battery pack housing is designed to withstand a collision from any angle due to its frame and cross-bracing design.
The bZ4X also comes equipped with a slate of new tech features. Owners will utilize a user interface that offers interaction through sight, touch and voice. With a Drive Connect trial or subscription, the bZ4X offers navigation that uses map information from the cloud to obtain traffic information and parking space availability in real time. Digital key gives owners the ability to lock, unlock and start the vehicle with a tap of a smartphone. Digital keys can also be handed over between smartphones, making it easy for family and friends to borrow and lend vehicles remotely. Other features of the trial subscription include BEV specialized services such as charging station info, driving support info and vehicle driving range.
Other notable features include:
- Over-the-air (OTA = wireless) software updates: Software updates to improve performance are also possible for Toyota Safety Sense and the multimedia system without needing to visit a dealership
- Compatible with high-output chargers worldwide (capable of 80% charge within one hour)