Toyota’s all-electric bZ4X made its U.S. production model debut today. As a leader in electrification, Toyota’s introduction of bZ4X represents the first of a global series of battery-electric vehicles to be introduced under the global “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella. Once the rubber hits the road, bZ4X will have a manufacturer-estimated range of up to 250 miles for XLE front-wheel drive models.
“With zero emissions and an exhilarating drive, the bZ4X is hitting the market at just the right time as we expand our already comprehensive electrified product lineup,” said Mike Tripp, vice president, Toyota Marketing. “As a human-centered company, Toyota remains committed to offering customers a diverse portfolio of products to meet their individual needs and move us toward a carbon neutral future.”
bZ4X joins an extensive lineup of Toyota electrified vehicles that, in total, accounts for more than 24% of Toyota’s total U.S. sales volume. These include hydrogen fuel cell electrics, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. Toyota envisions a future in which carbon neutrality is achieved through the practical marketization of a portfolio of products with advanced, alternative-fuel and zero-emission powertrain technologies.
Toyota plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025. This future lineup will feature 15 dedicated BEVs, including seven carrying the bZ (Beyond Zero) brand moniker. This diverse portfolio of electrified products will help propel Toyota toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Hi-Tech and Emotional, Both Inside & Out
Based on the design theme “hi-tech and emotional,” the all-new, all-electric SUV offers styling that is as bold and modern as the vehicle itself. The front view of the bZ4X has an aero-dynamic design, and the curved shape of the front bumper expresses a certain uniqueness from other vehicles. The large hammerhead shark-like shape that runs from the hood to the top of the headlamps gives bZ4X a sleek silhouette. The rear design exudes a powerful stance, thanks to the combination lamps, rear hatch and bumper’s trapezoidal theme that extends all the way to the tires.
The futuristic, edgy styling extends to the interior with premium finishes resulting in a distinctive look. With every detail purposefully engineered to create a sense of connection, it offers a driver-centric design that makes you feel like you’re one with the car. The unique instrument panel and precision-placed MID screen expands the vehicle’s feeling of space, while also helping to keep driver’s sight lines up and on the road. Soundproofing glass and wind-noise reduction features create a quiet refuge from the world outside.
With the roominess one would expect from an SUV, the bZ4X interior offers a spacious and relaxing seat for passengers. The accessible USB ports (A and C) offer power and connection points in convenient locations. The panoramic roof provides a feeling of openness and brings the outside environment into the vehicle. Passengers will feel pampered, with abundant legroom for front and rear seats as well as copious side-to-side space in the rear.
Intuitive, Focused Driving with Off-Road Performance
The bZ4X offers the off-road performance you’d expect from a capable SUV, coupled with the smooth and fun driving performance inherent in an all-electric vehicle.
Built on the BEV-dedicated e-TNGA platform, a first for Toyota, the bZ4X achieves impressive driving performance thanks to the high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery pack placed flat under the floor, which gives it a low center of gravity. Impressive handling is due in part to the battery cross-framing structure, which adds to overall vehicle rigidity. The adoption of a lightweight body structure partially made of high tensile steel, as well as the enhancement of frame components around the battery pack and the forward and rear suspension also contributes to the agile responsiveness of bZ4X. In addition, a redesigned accelerator pedal creates a smoother feel when accelerating and decelerating coupled with an intelligent throttle with slip suppression to provide impressive control on slippery roads. And, when you combine that with a new AWD system with X- MODE®, an available standout feature for bZ4X and a Toyota first, you get an exhilarating, yet comfortable, driving experience suited for everything from daily driving to light off-roading. Another impressive feature of the AWD system is Grip-Control, which leverages motor drive characteristics to achieve capable off-road performance – exceeding expectations at every turn.
The engineering team also focused on features that maximize energy-saving and cruising range for year-round driving (particularly in winter settings). In addition to aerodynamic design choices and body weight reduction efforts, the following systems and equipment were adopted to reduce energy consumption, especially power used for heating in cold climates:
- Heat pump system for both heating and air-conditioning
- Seat and steering wheel heaters
- Front-seat radiant foot-and-leg heater (first for Toyota)
Performance + Peace of Mind
Determined to offer performance that also focuses on safety and peace of mind, Toyota aimed to develop a BEV that offers many years of satisfied ownership. This includes the consideration of overall driving range, particularly in cold climates, and targeting a battery capacity retention of 90% after 10 years of ownership.
In terms of battery safety, Toyota added many measures to help ensure cell integrity was protected. A non-conductive coolant runs through separated flow channels to maintain optimal battery temperature. The battery pack housing is designed to withstand a collision from any angle due to its frame and cross-bracing design.
bZ4X will be the first to feature the latest Toyota Safety SenseTM safety package (TSS 3.0). This system has been improved by expanding the detection range of the millimeter wave radar and monocular camera. Toyota has enhanced the performance of each function and added new functions to assist in normal driving conditions. For example, the Pre-collision system has been improved to offer Low-Light Cyclist Detection, Daytime Motorcyclist Detection and Guardrail Detection. Also, lane recognition is enhanced to add improved functionality while in Lane Tracing Assist mode.
The goal of TSS is to help prevent accidents, further reduce traffic fatalities and injuries and ease the burden on drivers.
The bZ4X is loaded with intuitive tech features. Owners will enjoy a user interface that offers interaction through sight, touch and voice. With a Drive Connect trial or subscription, the bZ4X offers navigation that uses map information from the cloud to obtain traffic information and parking space availability in real time. Digital key gives owners the ability to lock, unlock and start the vehicle with a tap of a smartphone. Designed to make life more convenient, digital keys can also be handed over between smartphones, making it easy for family and friends to borrow and lend vehicles remotely. Other features of the trial subscription include BEV specialized services such as charging station info, driving support info and vehicle driving range.
Other notable features include:
- Over-the-air (OTA = wireless) software updates: Software updates to improve performance are also possible for Toyota Safety Sense and the multimedia system without needing to visit a dealership
- Compatible with high-output chargers worldwide (capable of 80% charge within one hour)
Safety for the Environment
By strengthening measures to help prevent and detect signs of battery failure, and introducing new technologies, the bZ4X adopted a design and a multiple monitoring system that is intended to provide safety and security of the vehicle’s battery system.
- A meticulous production process that helps eliminate contamination of battery components and ensures battery durability
- Redundant monitoring of battery voltage, current and temperature designed to detect signs and occurrence of abnormal heating to help prevent overheating
- Utilization of a high-resistance coolant circulation system, which can help prevent fire from short circuits even if there is leakage of the battery’s liquid coolant
- Integration of the high-capacity battery pack within the floor of the body frame structure designed to protect in the event of a collision