Toyota finally took the veils off its first ever fully battery-electric vehicle, the BZ4X. While the Japanese car maker has been offering an EV for quite some time now, in the shape of the Mirai, this is its first attempt at a non-hydrogen powered version. Call it a switch to mainstream, if you will.
The Toyota BZ4X has been teased quite a lot. The car maker first showed us its design back in October but back then it was completely silent on the topic. Now, the time has come to learn all about its motors, battery and, especially, range.
The BZ4X rides on Toyota’s new e-TNGA platform that was designed specifically for electric vehicles. This allows the brand to position the batteries in the car’s floor, inside a cross-framing structure that increases the car’s rigidity and protects its cells. A lot of the areas around the huge battery pack is made of high tensile steel, for the same reasons.
At launch the BZ4X will be available in two guises: front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The front wheel drive model will be using a single electric motor, making 201 HP, all of it sent to the nearest axle, of course. The battery capacity for this version is rated at 71.4 kWh (64 kWh usable) and, according to Toyota, it should allow the car to cover up to 250 miles on a single charge. The all-wheel drive alternative uses two 107 HP electric motors, one for each axle. In total, the car can actually rely on 215 HP. In this case, the battery capacity is slightly higher, at 72.8 kWh (66 kWh usable). There’s no official estimate available for the AWD version right now, regarding the range.
Size-wise, the BZ4X is going to be very similar to the RAV4 overall. The exterior sizes do line-up but the wheelbase is a bit different. The BZ4X offers 6.3 inches more in between the axles, thus having a roomier cabin overall. Furthermore, the electric SUV is also riding lower by 2.3 inches. Inside the cabin, apart from the ample room available, the electric SUV also has a fresh design, with a digital instrument cluster pushed further out than usual, and higher, to stay in the driver’s line of sight.
There’s also a yoke-style steering wheel available in certain markets, but Toyota hasn’t decided yet whether the US versions will get it as well. The new Audio Multimedia system should fix the issues owners had with the previous Toyota cars and comes with a standard 12.3 inch touchscreen. Over-the-air updates will be offered and the car will have a smartphone app available as well.
Production is set to kick off in the middle of next year, with the first deliveries scheduled to take place by the end of the summer. Pricing hasn’t been disclosed yet.