The Toyota bZ4X concept has been revealed as a kickstarting platform for the corporations Toyota bZ EV offensive. This radical concept is the first of a series of zero emission battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
Developed in partnership with Subaru, the Toyota bZ4X concept represents a car that is more than just a means of transport. The Japanese manufacturer intends for this to be a comfortable and connected space where people can enjoy spending time together when making a journey.
The design principles of the car anticipate people’s high expectations of an electric SUV without having to make a compromise. Its overall approach joins dynamism and utility with a high driving position and a chassis that stays planted to the road. The bodywork maintains opulent surfaces combined with precise and high-tech styling cues.
The front of the Toyota bZ4X concept does away with the traditional grille design and rather opts for a “hammerhead” form with an arrangement of lights and aero elements.
Using the new e-TNGA modular platform, the electric SUV possesses a long wheelbase with short overhands to create a spacious and open cabin. Toyota says that rear legroom is equivalent to that of a D-segment car.
The front cabin is designed around a drive module which intends to gives the driver a sense of direct connection to the road and to important information. The low-set instrument panel opens up panoramic visibility and emphasises the sense of space. Controls that are grouped around the centre console have been designed for easy recognition and operation. The digital driver’s instrument display is positioned above the steering wheel, so only minimal eye movement is required to register information.
The car’s electric range is further strengthened by an on-board solar charging system. Thanks to Toyota’s extensive experience in developing battery technology for its hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric models, the larger, more powerful battery required for Toyota bZ4X Concept has been engineered for reliable, lasting performance, maintaining the car’s driving range, even in cold climates.
The all-wheel drive system, delivered by electric motors on the front and rear axles, has been developed together with Subaru. The system gives Toyota bZ4X concept genuine off-road capability that also delivers extra security and peace of mind for drivers in all on-road conditions.
Toyota bZ4X Concept will be available with a combination of a steering yoke and a steer-by-wire system. This technology gives the driver greater control, removing interference from rough road surfaces and braking, thereby giving a more precise response in line with the vehicle’s speed and steering angle.
Steer-by-wire also dispenses with the traditional, circular steering wheel, replacing it with a uniquely shaped steering yoke which eliminates the need for the driver to move their hands around the wheel as they make a turn, adding to the car’s fun-to-drive quality.