New Toyota bz4x electric SUV gets official 317-mile range
Two versions of Toyota’s electric SUV will it UK roads this June
Toyota will launch its first purpose-made electric car in 2022 with the arrival of the bZ4x, and the brand has now confirmed final WLTP homologated ranges for the two versions that Brits will be able to buy from £41,950 this summer.
The Nissan Ariya rival’s entry-level Pure trim, which is offered exclusively in 201bhp front-wheel-drive form, will be capable of travelling 317 miles on a full battery. Three further trim levels are offered at launch, with the option of a dual-motor four-wheel-drive version with 215bhp, reaching up to 285 miles officially.
Pure trim comes equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, a multimedia system with an eight-inch display, a seven-inch digital instrument display and a reversing camera. Keyless entry and start also features, as does a remotely operated climate control function to pre-heat and cool the bZ4x. Roof rails are optional, as is a towing pack.
Stepping up a level to Motion trim raises the base price to £45,750, while the four-wheel-drive powertrain starts at £48,350. Motion spec adds a rear spoiler, rear privacy glass, optional 20in alloy wheels and an ‘entry illumination sequence’ for the LED lighting.
Inside, there are heated front seats, an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, ambient lighting and a wireless charging tray for smartphones. Also optional on Motion trim is a fixed panoramic glass roof and an expanded driver assistance package.
Top of the standard model line-up is Vision trim, which is priced from £47,650 (£50,250 with four-wheel drive). It brings 20in five-spoke alloys, rear parking sensors with an auto-brake function to avoid rear-end collisions, remote parking assist, synthetic leather upholstery and heated and ventilated front seats. A heated steering wheel also features, while an electric tailgate with kick sensor is included. Furthermore, a ‘digital key’ smartphone app allows the owner to provide others access to the bZ4x.
That’s not the flagship trim level at launch, however. UK buyers get the option of a special Premiere Edition version, priced at £51,550, which is likely to be a limited-run launch edition. Offered exclusively through Toyota’s online retail service, the Premiere Edition is only available with the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain. In addition to Vision trim, Toyota throws in the panoramic roof alongside a nine-speaker JBL premium sound system.
As the first car in Toyota’s bZ all-electric sub-brand, the bZ4x follows the concept revealed earlier this year relatively closely when it comes to styling, while underneath the body it’s also the first Toyota to sit on the brand’s new dedicated e-TNGA battery-electric vehicle platform.
This new architecture houses a 71.4kWh battery in its floor. The brand also claims that the battery will hold 90 per cent of its range for the first decade of its life, helped by water cooling of the cells (a first for Toyota) with active thermal management of the battery helping range and durability.
Two powertrain options will be available, the first a front-wheel drive set-up offering 201bhp and 265Nm of torque for a 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds. The new platform has been developed in conjunction with Subaru, a brand known for its all-wheel-drive heritage, so there will also be a dual-motor four-wheel-drive powertrain on offer on the bZ4x with 215bhp and 336Nm of torque, which cuts the 0-62mph time to 7.7 seconds. The latter option also offers different XMode settings for the powertrain that include parameters for snow and mud, as well as Grip Control for tougher off-road conditions.
Both cars offer a maximum rapid charge rate of 150kW, meaning an 80 per cent charge can be recouped in 30 minutes, while an optional 11kW AC charger in the future will help overnight home recharges for those with a compatible wallbox.
The new platform houses what Toyota calls a “slim battery” in its floor, delivering a low centre of gravity and maximising chassis rigidity and interior space. Toyota claims that that bZ4x offers a feeling of space inside, with a panoramic roof adding to the roomy feel.
This new platform engineering is backed up by more advanced technology, including a seven-inch TFT digital dash that promotes Toyota’s “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road” philosophy, while the bZ4x’s new infotainment system – which looks like a large, slabby screen placed in the centre of the dash layout – will feature over-the-air software upgrade capability.
With the new e-TNGA architecture’s long wheelbase maximising space inside, Toyota claims strong legroom for rear-seat passengers, while boot space stands at 452 litres.
Outside, the design is characterised by the brand’s new defining ‘hammerhead’ shape, with slim headlight units and a deep, blanked-off front bumper and grille due to the EV’s reduced cooling requirements.
The entire front wings and wheelarches (which will house up to 20-inch alloy wheels) are coloured black, along with the rear arches, to give a more rugged look, while strong creases above the wheelarches flow back down the doors into wrap-around tail-light units that are linked on the boot lid by a full-width LED bar.
Compared with the brand’s RAV4 hybrid models, the bZ4x is 85mm lower, has shorter overhangs but a 165mm longer wheelbase, and yet a relatively tight turning circle of 11.4 metres.
As per the bZ4x concept, the new e-TNGA platform has allowed Toyota to develop a steer-by-wire system, which will be introduced on European models “at a later date” according to the brand. This new set-up, called One Motion Grip, does away with a mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the front wheels, instead replacing it with a digital connection in which the driver’s inputs on the steering wheel are relayed electronically to the front tyres, with a motor adjusting the tyre angle.
Toyota claims this gives more legroom in the front, improving the driving position and entry and exit. The brand also says the traditional steering wheel can be replaced, making operation smoother – particularly at low speed – with full lock able to be achieved in just 150 degrees of steering wheel movement.
More electronic integration has also allowed the brand to improve safety, it claims, with Toyota’s third-generation Safety Sense tech featuring. Toyota claims that “it can operate as a partner to the driver to realise the ultimate mobility society goal: zero fatalities and injuries in road accidents”.
The bZ4x is Toyota’s first model in its bZ ‘beyond zero’ sub-brand, which reflects the firm’s history with electrified vehicles, including the world’s first hybrid electric production car – the Prius – as well as Toyota’s future in this area of the market.
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