Though Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid vehicles for nearly a quarter century, it has resisted battery-electric cars in general; until now. The Japanese conglomerate has released some details of its first BEV, the bZ4x.
While that name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, the ‘bZ’ stands for ‘beyond Zero’, as in Toyota’s upcoming lineup of zero-emission vehicles that will ride on its new e-TNGA EV platform. The ‘4x’ is the model designation, and it will be joined by six more bZ-badged EVs Toyota had said it plans to launch by 2025.
The bZ4x is a mid-sized crossover with a 71.4 kWh battery. It will be offered in front- and all-wheel drive, rated at 201 hp and 215 hp respectively. The front drive gets an estimated range of 500 kilometres, while the AWD drops that down to 460 km.
Unique to the bZ4x is an available ‘steer by wire’ system that completely insulates the driver from the road, replicating ‘road feel’ electrically, and comes with a yoke-shaped steering wheel. There’s also an available roof solar charger, which can generate electricity equivalent to 1,800 km of range per year.
The bZ4x will be available worldwide from the middle of next year. No prices have yet been released.