Unveiled at the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show, the Toyota bZ4X is here as part of the Japanese brand’s latest battery electric vehicle (BEV). With the world filling up with 4x4s, Toyota designed the bZ4X as a medium-size SUV. And if you are wondering what ‘bZ’ means, Toyota says it stands for “beyond Zero”. The striking-looking bZ4X has been built in collaboration with Subaru, just like the GT86 sports car a few years ago. While this is just a concept, Toyota says that it will launch a production-spec version in mid-2022. As you can see, the Toyota bZ4X Concept has some really interesting design characteristics.
A concept that cannot captivate you is as infantile as trying to hurl a bullet at someone. Thankfully, the Toyota bZ4X has no trouble in pulling your gaze. While it may have some design cues borrowed from new Lexus and Toyota SUVs, the bZ4X has a personality of its own. For instance, the front-end has this flattened but chiseled appearance that coincides well with the slim bank of LED headlamps, eyebrow-like LED DRLs, a narrow grille, and a contoured bumper with real air intakes. While this electric SUV doesn’t stand very tall, its multi-spoke alloy rims fill the wheel wells effortlessly and there are even blue brake calipers.
To add more sportiness to the design, Toyota has given the bZ4X Concept sharp creases and a thick but heavily-raked C-pillar. Viewed in profile, this Toyota electric SUC definitely looks the part. Around the back, the bZ4X Concept sports a carved rear-end that features stylish LED taillights that go hand-in-hand with a wraparound LED strip. The rear also gets a heavily-sloped windscreen, a split roof spoiler, and a plasticky bumper. Overall, the short overhangs and a relatively long wheelbase makes this electric SUV look larger than it is. If you were curious, the Toyota bZ4X is based on the marque’s e-TNGA modular architecture.
On the inside, the Toyota bZ4X is clearly a concept. Instead of a traditional steering wheel, this SUV has an airplane-style yoke-like interface to move the front wheels. There are loads of buttons and the usual stalks on this ‘wheel’, with a fully digital instrument screen facing the driver. This screen is backed up by a widescreen touch-infotainment head unit that gets modern connectivity features.
As for the rest of the cabin, there are some cool and unique textures and materials used to elevate the feeling of luxury and forward-thinking. Since this is a battery-powered car, there is no annoying transmission tunnel to hinder rear-seat comfort. The floor is not only flat but there is also a dedicated air vent to keep passengers comfortable.
While Toyota has remained mum on the powertrain of the bZ4X, we can make some educated guesses. For starters, the “4” in the name clearly indicates towards an all-wheel-drive system. This means that the Toyota bZ4X might be powered by two electric motors, one placed on each of the axles. Toyota is hinting at the fact that the bZ4X Concept utilizes not just shift-by-wire but also steer-by-wire technology. By default, this would make this all-electric SUV one of the handful of cars to make use of steer-by-wire. Interestingly, the Japanese auto giant is planning on introducing a production-spec avatar of the bZ4X by 2022. Toyota says that the all-electric SUV will be made available in several markets. Will it come to India? Maybe…