On October 29, the world premiere of Toyota's breakthrough model, the bZ4X electric SUV, took place. It is the first vehicle in the new bZ (beyond Zero) range of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
Brand new Toyota bZ4X.
The car has remained true to the design and technology of the concept car unveiled in the first half of 2021. The production version of the bZ4X was developed by Toyota as an all-electric vehicle. This is the first model developed on the new e-TNGA platform for battery electric vehicles. The battery module is an integral part of the chassis and is located under the floor to achieve a low center of gravity, perfect weight balance between front and rear, as well as high body rigidity, which contributes to a high level of safety, driving and driving comfort.
The new bZ4X is a spacious and comfortable SUV available with all-new all-wheel drive for class-leading performance and off-road capabilities. This drive uses separate motors for the front and rear axles. The long wheelbase provides a spacious five-seat interior and a spacious luggage compartment.
Toyota has used nearly 25 years of experience in electrified vehicle technology to provide the world's best quality, durability and reliability for the lithium-ion battery used in the bZ4X. Even after 10 years of driving, the expected performance of the battery will retain 90 percent of its original capacity. (Targeted test results. Life and mileage set at 10 years or 240,000 km, whichever comes first.)
With a fully charged battery, the expected range should be more than 450 km (depending on the version, the exact data will be confirmed later). The new bZ4X also features advanced technology features such as a solar roof that charges the battery while driving or at rest, and third-generation Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 active safety and driver assistance packages.
Toyota's New Electric Vehicle Platform Debuts
Toyota bZ4X is the brand's first model built on the new e-TNGA battery platform.
The completely new platform can be used in other models of the bZ range and is designed for high-volume production. It is important to note that the flat battery is located under the floor and is part of the chassis, helping to achieve a low center of gravity, ideal weight distribution between front and rear and high body rigidity. All these features make the bZ4X stable for dynamic driving, and the long wheelbase allows for a spacious interior.
The design of the new bZ4X is elegant and at the same time associated with solidity. At the front, the car received a modern economical shape with narrow headlights. Seen from the side, the silhouette is dynamic, with a low roofline, slender A-pillars and a low axle line. Wheel arch moldings, large wheels offset to the corners of the body (up to 20 inches in diameter) and thicker sills reveal the character of a real SUV. Distinctive rear lights draw attention to the vehicle's width.
The exterior dimensions of this midsize SUV demonstrate the benefits of the e-TNGA platform. Compared to the Toyota RAV4, the bZ4X is 85mm shorter, has shorter overhangs and a 160mm longer wheelbase. The mask line is 50 mm lower. Best in class turning radius of 5.7m.
The car's design incorporates aerodynamic elements that help increase the car's range, including openings in the deep corners of the front bumper to create sleek curtain airbags. To this are added: full underbody protection, a split roof spoiler, a spoiler under the rear window, a rear diffuser and a rear window with a precisely calculated slope. The thin bottom grille has an opening that adapts to the flow of cooling air to the battery and helps reduce air resistance.
Inside, comfort is enhanced by the use of soft fabrics, satin details and an optional panoramic sunroof. The instrument panel is thin and low, which provides good visibility from the driver's seat. The cab follows the "hands on the wheel, eyes on the road" principle, with a screen positioned in the driver's line of sight and above the steering wheel, making it easy to read information with little eye movement.
The long wheelbase has helped create best-in-class legroom for all passengers, and hip spacing between the front and rear seats is up to a meter. The car also has a spacious trunk with adjustable floor. With the rear seats folded down, the trunk volume is 452 liters.
Electric traction and performance
The front-wheel drive version of the Toyota bZ4X has a dynamic electric motor that delivers 204 hp. (150 kW) and develops a torque of 265 Nm. The all-wheel drive car has a maximum power of 217 hp. and 336 Nm of torque. This version accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds (preliminary data pending approval).
The vehicle's transmission offers a single-pedal driving mode in which the braking energy recovery has been improved, allowing the driver to accelerate and decelerate primarily with the accelerator pedal.
Range and Battery
Electric vehicle range is one of the most important characteristics that buyers look for, so Toyota used almost 25 years of experience in developing high-capacity batteries to make the bZ4X feel comfortable not only in terms of distance. it can cover but also many years of battery life. In the course of development work on the battery, it was ensured that the reduction in its parameters would be marginal - in 10 years or 240 thousand km, whichever comes first, its throughput will be reduced by no more than 10 percent.
The high-density lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 71.4 kWh, which means that a range of more than 450 km (according to the WLTP standard) is expected. Detailed parameters will depend on the version of the vehicle and remain approximate at the moment due to the ongoing negotiation process.
Thanks to an efficient heating system using a heat pump, battery reliability is maintained even in sub-zero temperatures, with only a slight reduction in range compared to competing vehicles. The battery can also be quickly charged without compromising its lifespan: with the 150kW fast charging system (CCS2), you can charge 80 percent in 30 minutes.
The key to achieving high quality and durability of the battery are sensors that monitor the voltage, current and temperature in each of the cells of the battery. When abnormal heat generation is detected, the corresponding drivers will be started automatically. Countermeasures have been taken to mitigate any material degradation and the manufacturing process has been safe to prevent foreign objects from entering the battery. This is Toyota's first liquid-cooled battery.
Toyota has developed an all-new all-wheel drive for electric vehicles that makes the bZ4X safe to drive in difficult conditions and offers best-in-class off-road performance.
The all-wheel drive version uses two 80 kW electric motors - one on the front axle and the other on the rear axle. The XMODE system with different driving modes can be adapted to the road conditions - driving in snow and mud, driving in deep snow and mud (up to 20 km/h) and Grip Control mode for driving on more difficult terrain (up to 10 km/h).
Electronic control system
The bZ4X will be the first Toyota model with the One Motion Grip steering system to be introduced in Europe at a later date. After separating the mechanical connection of the steering wheel from the front wheels, the electronic system adjusts the steering angle according to the driver's intentions. This solution also allowed for more legroom, improved driver position and easier entry and exit. The traditional steering wheel has been replaced with a One Motion Grip, making it easier and more comfortable to use without putting your hands on the steering wheel. To reach the extreme positions of the wheels, it is enough to turn the steering wheel 150 degrees.
The lack of physical connection eliminated the vibrations transmitted from the front wheels. At the same time, the driver always feels what is happening with the wheels and what surface they are traveling on. Steering sensitivity has been improved with an independent torque control system. The steering characteristics can be changed by selecting a different driving mode.
Roof with solar panels
The range of the bZ4X can be increased by using the optional solar roof. Solar energy is captured without any emissions and free of charge and converted into electricity, which is transferred to a battery. The roof works both with the ignition on and off. Toyota estimates that it is capable of storing energy, allowing it to travel an additional 1,800 km per year.
Next Generation Toyota Safety Sense
The bZ4X will use third-generation Toyota Safety Sense with new and improved features that provide better protection in more potential crash situations. The system works in partnership with the driver to achieve the ultimate goal of both automakers and drivers – zero fatalities and injuries in road traffic crashes.
Increasing the range of the radar sensors and the single-lens camera has improved the capabilities of each function. New features of the Pre-Collision System include oncoming and cross-traffic detection, low-speed acceleration suppression and emergency braking assistance.
In addition, a new multimedia system with over-the-air software updates (OTA) will be available in the car.
Introduction to Toyota Beyond Zero
The bZ4X is the first model in the new bZ (beyond Zero) electric vehicle range. Thus, Toyota, a pioneer and leader in vehicle electrification, is entering a new phase in the process to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The launch of the bZ4X is an important part of Toyota's strategy to offer customers all powertrain electrification technologies tailored to local needs and conditions. That's why Toyota is developing a full line of electrified vehicles in parallel, including hybrid vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV), fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and battery-powered vehicles (BEV).
Zero carbon emissions is only part of Toyota's ambition, and the "beyond" in bZ is a clear sign of that. The company is committed to providing greater and better mobility with products and services that enhance driving pleasure, increase the safety of all road users and help improve the quality of life around the world.
The European premiere of Toyota bZ4X will take place on December 2.