What is the Toyota bZ4X, and How Will It Change the EV Industry?
With every major auto manufacturer getting in on the electric vehicle market with some impressive and innovative new models, Toyota has decided to pitch a strong game in the form of the concept vehicle known as the bZ4X. It represents a step away from the tried and true SUV and crossover segment, dabbling into a future where the majority of Toyota’s line-up consists of electric vehicles. The bZ4X is essentially representative of what’s to come, and you won’t have to wait long to see what it’s all about the next time you visit a PA electric car dealer like Colonial Toyota.
What Does bZ Mean?
Toyota decided to introduce a new name for their electric vehicle endeavors, and this includes the bZ4X. But what does it mean, and what does it stand for? Well, it’s actually a reference to carbon neutrality. Toyota plans on building a profile of vehicles that have zero-emission electric powertrains.
Hence, “bZ” means “Beyond Zero,” referring to the zero-emission standards that Toyota hopes to achieve, with full carbon neutrality by 2050. The 4X refers to the vehicle concept and its all-wheel drive capabilities. This model is a crossover SUV designed with a long wheelbase and short overhangs to maximize interior space. Altogether, you have the bZ4X, representing an all-wheel drive electric SUV that aims to produce zero emissions.
It might seem a little clunky for some people, but the description makes sense when you understand what Toyota’s philosophy is going into the design of the electric vehicle. Whether or the name will be able to roll the name off the tongue easily is a whole other matter, but more than likely, people could simply call it the “BZ” or “Beyond Zero” for short, or the more appropriate “4X”, all of which are pretty easy to say and get the point across rather quickly.
When Is the bZ4X Expected to Release?
Even though the electric vehicle plans that Toyota has include rolling out an entire slate of EVs by 2050, you won’t have to wait that long for the bZ4X to make its way onto the market. Thankfully, this snazzy all-electric SUV is expected to debut much sooner. In fact, it’s supposed to be the headliner for Toyota’s all-electric line-up starting at some point in 2022.
The bZ4X is expected to lead the charge of 15 all-new battery-electric vehicles that Toyota will bring to market by 2025. This will be part of a larger push for their zero-emission standards, which will eventually include a total model portfolio of over 70 electrified vehicles. Those are some seriously ambitious plans, and they’re expected to come to fruition shortly after the bZ4X makes its debut.
In fact, the “Beyond Zero” moniker will be utilized on a total of seven battery-electric vehicles, with the 4X being the first of the seven to market. This particular model is being developed in conjunction with Subaru, based on Toyota’s new e-TNGA BEV development platform. So if all goes well, we may see more vehicles from Toyota making use of the platform in different ways to target different segments of the market.
Combining Futuristic Luxury and Sports Utility
The bZ4X is an interesting crossover electric vehicle, as it combines a lot of the characteristics of a sports sedan but has elements of a futuristic luxury SUV as well. The combination molds itself into a unique crossover that has a little bit of something for everyone: some sports styling, a luxury exterior, and somewhat of a compact hatchback design.
The front end has a very high-tech profile, with the front fascia being covered by a solid panel that wraps around the front where the grille would normally be. A small piece of the grille is exposed just above the air dam, and the razor-sharp angles of the headlights help define the aggressive persona of the fascia. It certainly makes the bZ4X stand out.
The angular design and aerodynamic lines are present throughout the entire exterior, from the front to the back. The roofline even tapers off with a sharp overhanging spoiler leading down into a very contemporary C-pillar. The rear fascia has a thin, streamlined tail light design that branches off into a boomerang effect just behind the rear fender. It’s certainly a bold and dynamic look, and as Toyota mentioned during the big reveal, it’s bound to turn some heads.
Contemporary and Stylish Interior
Part of the bZ4X’s interior appeal is its somewhat simplified yet luxurious look. It may seem contradictory, but there’s not a lot of busywork taking place across the front dash on the passenger side. In fact, it’s completely subdued, with a stitched cloth glove compartment to match the stitching of the seats.
Two-tone interior coloring with gloss finishing across the instrument panels helps highlight the upscale design of the bZ4X’s cabin. A fully digital driver-side information cluster with a large HD touchscreen on the center dashboard certifies exactly how tech-heavy the interior is. If you’re not a fan of touchscreen controls, there are plenty of physical buttons arranged beneath the touchscreen to give you an easy way to access infotainment quickly and conveniently.
Details on the infotainment suite weren’t outlined, but it’s likely that everything that’s currently been made available in Toyota vehicles will be available for the bZ4X. This should include everything from USB connectivity to Bluetooth wireless support, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Expect the latest in smart-device synergy and technology, as well as vehicle health and telematics, since those are all big things when it comes to the culture of electric vehicles.
Battery-Powered, Electrically Charged
Toyota’s vision for the future is to move away from gas-powered vehicles, offering a diverse line-up of electrified vehicles across every market segment. The bZ4X is a bold step in that direction, being fully battery-powered and “refueled” using electric charge stations.
At the moment, details on the charging capacities and range for the bZ4X have not been revealed, but Toyota plans on detailing that information leading up to the big launch in 2022. The real highlight here is that this isn’t just a philosophical concept being paraded around by Toyota. The bZ4X is the first real step in a completely different direction for the company as they aim to envelop themselves in battery-powered electric vehicle culture.
It makes sense that the first major push into the segment would be a crossover, given that SUVs are extremely popular these days. Given that Toyota has shown that they are serious about stepping outside of industry comfort zones, you can expect popular Toyota nameplates to make the transition in addition to brand new products like the bZ series. Toyota took a similar approach to their foray into the hybrid market, experimenting with popular vehicles like the Prius, and eventually bringing most of the big nameplates into the fold, including the Camry, Corolla, and Highlander, to name a few.
The bZ4X will give a lot of potential shoppers an idea of what Toyota’s new battery-powered electric vehicles will be like over the next few years. As more details arrive in the fall and the launch preps in 2022, it’s definitely an exciting time to be a Toyota fan. If you haven’t already, you’ll probably want to start prepping to schedule test drives for the new bZ4X at Colonial Toyota, your PA electric car dealer, as soon as possible.