Toyota bZ4X 2023 – Car Review | Autostop | Autos & Vehicles
Welcome to Toyota bZ4X 2023!
Toyota presented the world premiere of the all-new bZ4X, the first model in a new series of bZ – beyond Zero – battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
Faithful in its design and technology to its concept predecessor, revealed earlier this year, the production-ready bZ4X is the first model to be developed by Toyota entirely as a BEV. It is also the first car to be built on the company’s new BEV dedicated platform. Based on e-TNGA philosophy, this has been co-developed by Subaru and Toyota. Incorporating the battery unit as an integral part of the chassis, beneath the vehicle floor, this gives the fundamental benefits of a low centre of gravity, excellent front/rear weight balance and high body rigidity for excellent safety, ride and handling.
The Toyota bZ4X is a spacious, comfortable SUV, available with a new all-wheel drive system that provides class-leading off-road handling and performance with separate electric motors for each axle. Its clean, sleek and powerful exterior design reflects both its advanced BEV qualities and SUV status, and debuts a new brand-defining “hammerhead” frontal shape, communicating the car’s strong stance.
The long wheelbase provides excellent accommodation in a light and open five-seat cabin, plus generous load capacity.
Toyota has drawn on almost 25 years’ experience in electrified vehicle battery technology to secure world-leading quality, durability and reliability for the lithium-ion unit which powers the bZ4X. Even after 10 years of driving, the battery is expected to still operate at 90% of its original performance.
With a fully charged battery, expected range is more than 450 km (depending on version, exact data to be confirmed later). The bZ4X will also offer advanced technology features, including a solar panel roof to help charge the battery while driving or parked, and third generation Toyota Safety Sense with new and improved active safety and driver assistance systems.
Debut for Toyota’s new BEV dedicated platform
The bZ4X is the first car to be built on the company’s new BEV dedicated platform based on e-TNGA philosophy.
This completely new platform has the flexibility to be used for potential future bZ models and is designed for production at scale. Critically, the slim battery unit is located fully beneath the vehicle floor and forms part of the chassis, helping achieve a low centre of gravity, ideal front/rear weight balance and high body rigidity. These qualities combine to give the bZ4X stable and responsive dynamic performance and, with a long wheelbase, excellent interior space.
Design – exterior
Toyota has produced a sleek and robust design for the bZ4X that’s equally appropriate for modern urban life and the countryside, blending the advanced look of a BEV with the original qualities of an SUV. The frontal appearance is smart and avoids unnecessary decoration. It is characterised by a new brand-defining “hammerhead” shape with signature slim headlight units and an emphasis on the front corners that communicates the car’s strong stance.
In side view, the silhouette is sleek with a low overall height, slender front pillars and a low axle line that reflects the low centre of gravity achieved with the new platform. Wheel arch mouldings, large wheels (up to 20-inch diameter) pushed out to the corners of the body and thick rocker panels express the car’s authentic SUV character. At the rear, the design focus is again on emphasising the corners, with a distinctive taillight bridging the width of the vehicle.
Compared to the Toyota RAV4, the exterior dimensions illustrate the design benefits inherent in the e-TNGA platform. For example, the bZ4X has an overall height that’s lower by 85 mm, shorter overhangs and a wheelbase that that’s 160 mm longer than the RAV4. The bonnet line is also reduced in height by 50 mm. Overall agility is reflected in a class-leading 5.7 m turning radius.
The design incorporates aerodynamic elements that contribute to the generous driving range, including apertures set deep in the front bumper corners to create smooth air curtains; a full underbody cover; a split roof spoiler and rear duck-tail lip spoiler; rear diffuser; and a precisely angled rear screen. The slim lower grille has a shutter that adjusts to channel cooling air flow to the battery and helps reduce wind resistance.
Design – interior
The theme for the interior is “lagom” – the Swedish word that expresses something that is “just right.” Here it is reflected in comfort and spaciousness that give the cabin the ambience of a living room, a feeling that’s enhanced by using soft, woven trim textures, satin-finish detailing and the option of a panoramic roof.
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