The Toyota bZ4X Concept isn’t just a no-tailpipe dream. It’s an all-electric all-wheel drive concept that Toyota plans to put into production. Soon.
Debuting today at Auto Shanghai, the Toyota bZ4X Concept is the first model to be introduced under the “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella. The “bZ” stands for beyond zero. Like the 2022 Toyota GR 86, it was co-developed with Subaru.
“The Toyota bZ4X concept points to yet another option in our already robust electrified portfolio” said Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales. “At Toyota, we are a human-centered company – the customer is our CEO and will ultimately decide which technologies will carry us toward a carbon neutral future. With investments and product offerings across the spectrum of electrification, we intend to be there with products and technologies that meet the diverse needs of customers around the world.”
The concept car was built on Toyota’s new e-TNGA battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform. The concept is designed to convey Toyota’s noted positive attributes (quality, durability, and long-term reliability) in combination with Subaru’s legendary all-wheel drive capabilities. A release by Toyota notes that the driving experience is “both comfortable and engaging”.
The bZ4X SUV concept has a long wheelbase and short overhangs. That gives it a distinct look but also allows for ample interior space – something that Subarus are traditionally noted for. Its open-concept interior is designed to enhance driver comfort and confidence on the road.
It rides on five V-spoke wheels, has deep air intakes up front, and retains familial ties to the Toyota RAV4 out back.
The interior features a steering wheel that is a new design for Toyota, as well as a safety sensor system immediately behind the wheel between it and the instrument panel. Its panel is low and the location of the meters above the steering wheel are designed to extend the vehicle’s sense of space as well as increase visibility and aid in sector and safe driving.
The large infotainment screen at the center of the dashboard looks a lot like the one in the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. Toyota has installed a new style rotary shifter in the concept but surrounded it with familiar-looking buttons that include functionality for an electronic parking brake, hill descent control, auto hold, Eco drive mode, a camera view, park assist, and traction control. Presumably a hatch in the console is for small item storage or an additional cup holder.
The seats and dashboard are upholstered with a cloth-like material, something becoming more and more common as automakers look for more sustainable solutions for in-vehicle decor.
Toyota has not released any specific powertrain information. The charging port for the car is located on the driver’s side A-pillar.
Toyota has plans to bring the bZ4X to market in Japan and China. Worldwide sales of the model are expected by the middle of 2022. U.S. product details will be shared at a later date. Expect the SUV to go on sale in North America as a 2023 model, or later.
Toyota has applied for the bZ4X trademark in June of last year and filed another request for the “bZ4X Concept” mark in September 2020.