Toyota releases details of its new bZ4X ‘beyond zero’ electric car

New electric crossover sports utility vehicle (SUV) uses the Japanese carmaker’s e-TNGA electric platform developed in collaboration with Subaru

By
Ian Osborne
November 1, 2021
Category:
EV Life

Toyota have announced details of their new bZ4X all-electric car. This production-ready bZ4X crossover sports utility vehicle (SUV) is the first model to be developed by Toyota entirely as a battery electric vehicle (BEV). Plus, it’s the first electric vehicle (EV) built on the company’s new dedicated e-TNGA electric platform.

The bZ4X is the first model in Toyota’s new bZ sub-brand. The name stands for ‘beyond Zero’ and expresses the environmental leadership the company has pursued since pioneering electrified mobility with the original Prius, the world’s first hybrid electric production car, in 1997. It’s good to see Toyota go all-electric now with the bZ4X.

The new e-TNGA electric platform, which has been co-developed by Subaru and Toyota, incorporates the battery unit as an integral part of the chassis beneath the vehicle floor. This delivers a low centre of gravity that provides front and rear weight balance for good handling and ride feel. It also offers high body rigidity for added safety.

The bZ4X is a spacious electric SUV and is available with an all-wheel-drive system. This provides good off-road handling and performance with separate electric motors for each axle. It also means there’s maximum space inside the long-wheelbase bZ4X which is light and airy, and easily seats five adults.

The bZ4X comes with a high-density lithium-ion battery that has a 71.4kWh capacity which provides the front-wheel-drive version with an impressive range of 310 miles (500km).

The front-wheel-drive bZ4X model is powered by a high-response 150kW electric motor. It produces 265Nm of torque and enables it to hit 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 8.4 seconds, with a top speed of 100mph (160kph).

The all-wheel-drive model produces up to 336Nm of torque and can accelerate from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 7.7 seconds. The top speed remains the same as the front-wheel-drive version at 100mph (160kph). In turn, it offers a 280 mile (450km) range.

Along with regenerative braking that helps to increase battery range, a neat touch on the bZ4X is the solar panel roof. This helps to charge the battery while driving or parked up. Toyota calculates that it can harness enough power in a year to enable an additional 1,200 miles (1,800km) of driving.

When it comes to charging the battery can be fast-charged up to 80 percent in around 30 minutes using a 150kW fast-charging system (CCS2). From the fourth quarter of  2022, a new 11kW three-phase on-board charger will also be available.

The bZ4X will be the first production Toyota to offer a steer-by-wire system called One Motion Grip. This is due for introduction in Europe at a later date. 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. This provides more legroom, improved driving position freedom and eases entry and exit.

The traditional steering wheel is replaced with the One Motion Grip-control, which is designed to make the operation smoother and easier, with no need for hand-over-hand turning. Full-lock can be achieved with just a 150-degree turn of the control.

With no physical connection in the system, any unnecessary vibration from the tyres is blocked but the driver still experiences valuable feedback, such as from the road surface. The steering feel is improved through independent control of the steering torque and steering characteristics can be changed according to the drive mode selected.

All of these details mentioned here are for the Japanese spec car and we expect there to be a few changes for the European and US versions. We will bring you details as they’re released.

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