Toyota bZ4X: The brand’s first electric car with a futuristic RAV4 look

Toyota bZ4X: The brand's first electric car with a futuristic RAV4 look

This base will give life to a series of pure electric models (EVs), meaning they are designed from scratch to integrate battery packs into the body structure, ensuring better mass distribution, greater torsional rigidity and a lower center of gravity, with subsequent improvements in dynamic behaviour.

“Initially, the bZ4x will have small production volumes and it will be a niche product,” Matthew Harrison, CEO of Toyota Europe, told Automotive News Europe.

Harrison cautions that the RAV4 will continue as a collective option in this segment: “Until 2025, when a more restrictive emissions cap comes into effect, the RAV4 will continue with its plug-in and hybrid versions,” he emphasized. “Then, between 2025 and 2030, we will have faster progress towards total group electrification.”

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With the bZ4X, Toyota also claims to have solved a problem that, long before it became a system, actually frightened consumers and ensured, even after ten years of use, that the batteries that power the SUV’s would retain 90% of their original performance. This, he sees only to believe.

Speaking of performance, the provisional figures for acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h are 8.4 seconds for the front-wheel drive version and 7.7 seconds for the AWD version.

The advantage of this second over the first has an explanation: while the front-wheel drive bZ4x is equipped with an electric motor of 150 kW (204 hp), the AWD combines two units of 80 kW (for a total of 217 hp) .

The torque of the all-wheel drive version is also 26% higher: 34.2 million kgf versus 27 million kgf. Both have the same maximum speed, 160 km / h – always emphasizing that this is temporary data, which will be approved later. As for pricing, Toyota hasn’t even mentioned what range the new bZ4x will be placed in.

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The arrangement of the new BEV platform, which follows Toyota’s e-TNGA concept, gave freedom to create somewhat unusual lines. The new bZ4x’s image has been christened by the same brand as a “hammer head”, clean, “without unnecessary adornment.”

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Compared to the RAV, the new SUV is 8.5 cm lower and has a 16 cm longer wheelbase – a huge gain when it comes to models in its class – claiming even the smallest turning radius in its class.

Inside, the 7-inch thin-film (TFT) instrument panel is located slightly lower, just above the steering wheel, or rather the steering wheel – more details below. Toyota promises the most interior space in its class, as well as a large storage box with a capacity of 452 liters.

Hammerhead SUV launches new platform, designed entirely for electric vehicles;  The all-wheel drive (AWD) version delivers 217 horsepower and a range of more than 450 kilometres.

Onboard charger

As you can see, the Toyota bZ4x performs similar, if not slightly inferior, to the RAV4 itself or the Corolla Cross.

The above figures are not impressive, not to mention compared to the declared figures of more advanced electric vehicles, but the “leap cat” in this launch is its autonomy: the brand guarantees more than 450 kilometers, without the need to recharge the batteries (which are lithium-ion, with a high density, and a capacity of 71.4 kWh).

Thanks to the 150 kW fast charger, 80% recharge is reached in 30 minutes – that’s, without compromising the useful life of the battery pack – and from Q4 2022, dealers will offer an onboard, three-phase, 11 kW charger .

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Hammerhead SUV launches new platform, designed entirely for electric vehicles;  The all-wheel drive (AWD) version delivers 217 horsepower and a range of more than 450 kilometres.

An interesting detail of the new bZ4x is that it will allow for a “single pedal drive” drive mode, which allows the driver to accelerate normally, but decelerate without having to use the brake pedal, further increasing brake energy regeneration.

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Add to that the One Motion Knob, the name Toyota has given to its unrivaled wire-guided steering system, which eliminates mechanical joints between the steering wheel and wheels.

In addition to more legroom for the driver, the One Motion Grip has an exclusive design reminiscent of an old airplane stick (today, it has been replaced by a joystick), and has a more direct relationship, reaching the full swivel angle of just 150 degrees. from rotation.

More than just a new SUV, bZ4x is launching a new sub-brand within Toyota, “bZ”. Its name, which comes from the English “post-zero” and means “beyond zero”, refers to the brand’s approach to truly zero-emissions electric mobility, extending carbon neutrality to all products and services related to novelty.

As for the chances of the new bZ4x launching in Brazil, even if it’s imported, there’s not much to dream about: “Toyota has a strategy and we produce our cars where we sell them,” Harrison explains.

Hammerhead SUV launches new platform, designed entirely for electric vehicles;  The all-wheel drive (AWD) version delivers 217 horsepower and a range of more than 450 kilometres.

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“Even in Europe, we will only consider production of this platform from 2025. By 2030, we estimate that half of our European sales will be zero-emissions EVs. We expected something between 700,000 and 750,000 units, so we are going to launch this line, but Not in a size that would effectively allow us to collect it locally,” the CEO wonders.

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Today, 70% of vehicles sold by Toyota in Europe are made at plants in Portugal, the Czech Republic, France, Turkey, Russia and the United Kingdom. So, before ending the dream of getting a model from this chapter, here, the reader is better to wake up…

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

"Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist."

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