Toyota Excites Auto World With New RAV-Sized EV Crossover, BZ4X

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The attention of all automakers, dealers and fans of sensational new vehicles is focused on the forthcoming SEMA, the biggest aftermarket show in the world holding November 2-5, 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, United States.

 

Ahead of the event, Toyota has revealed the new BZ4X, a RAV4-sized electric crossover, which is the first of seven vehicles that will be added to Toyota’s BZ sub-brand for electric vehicles by 2025.

 

The new vehicle was revealed on Friday is a small crossover similar in size to the top-selling RAV4, and it is due in the showrooms around mid-2022 as a 2023 model.

 

According to Motor Authority, the crossover was previewed in April by the BZ4X concept and carries that name into production. A Subaru twin to be called the Solterra, is also coming.

 

The BZ4X rides on a newly developed platform, dubbed e-TNGA. It’s the first dedicated-EV platform for Toyota, and expected to come in multiple models from Toyota (and Lexus) in the coming years.

 

Toyota says it plans to have 15 zero-emission vehicles in its lineup by 2025, of which seven would be from the BZ sub-brand.

Toyota Excites Auto World With New RAV-Sized EV Crossover, BZ4X

The BZ4X unveiled is the version for the Japanese market but similar specifications for the version are expected in the US and possibly other markets.

 

There’s a single battery with a capacity of 71.4 kilowatt-hours and buyers can choose from a front-wheel-drive powertrain with 201hp or an all-wheel-drive setup with 214hp.

 

A top speed wasn’t mentioned but 0-62 mph acceleration takes 8.4 seconds with FWD and 7.7 seconds with AWD.

 

In both cases, Motor Authority note that it will be close to 300 miles based on the WLTP test cycle used overseas. This figure will likely be lower when measured using the tougher EPA cycle.

 

Charging at up to 150 kilowatts is said to be possible, which will enable an 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes. A roof-mounted solar panel will also be available in some markets.

 

Toyota says it focuses on delivering reliable performance throughout the life of the vehicle. For example, the BZ4X’s range should remain consistent even in cold winters, and the battery should also retain about 90 per cent of its capacity after 10 years (based on a usage rate of 15,000 miles per year).

Toyota Excites Auto World With New RAV-Sized EV Crossover, BZ4X

The interior is a modern place, featuring minimalist styling and a large central screen for infotainment. A smaller screen serves as the instrument gauge, with Toyota doing away with the traditional gauge hood to give a clearer view as well as give the cabin an open and airy feeling.

 

Toyota says most markets will have a traditional steering wheel; the Chinese market will feature a yoke-style steering wheel (shown below). Thanks to steer-by-wire technology, where the traditional mechanical connection between the steering wheel and tyres are replaced by electric systems, lock-to-lock with the yoke wheel is set at around 150 degrees, meaning just one hand is required for tight turns.

 

Toyota says this feature will be added to more models in the future, including those sold outside of China.

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