Despite being a leader when it comes to hybrids, Toyota has lagged on electrification. The automaker is trying to amp up its EV strategy with the reveal of the Toyota bz4X Concept at Auto Shanghai. This vehicle may technically be a concept, but its a clear preview of an upcoming global EV.
The bz4X is the first Toyota model built on the company’s new e-TNGA architecture. This architecture is tailored for electric vehicles and is the output of Toyota’s partnership with Subaru. In fact, the bz4X is leveraging Subaru’s all-wheel drive system, which is certainly a nice benefit for Toyota.
From a design perspective, the bz4X really doesn’t look like a concept. This vehicle looks production-ready with a design that looks like a very stylized interpretation of the RAV4 and Venza crossovers. Up front it takes a unique approach with no traditional grille and very slim headlights providing an overall graphic similar to the Mirai.
Toyota isn’t offering much in the way of technical details, but it appears the bz4X is similar in size to the Toyota C-HR. This would have it competing with the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4. Toyota hasn’t offered up powertrain details, but states the production version will have 250 to 300 miles of range.
Inside, the bz4X’s production-ready feel continues. Despite the fact the overall design is a departure from other Toyota interiors, it looks showroom-ready. Toyota has centered a large infotainment touchscreen in the center of the dash, while an additional screen acts as a gauge cluster display in front of the driver. The look is more premium than other Toyota offerings and the 2021-appropriate screen size make it appear more modern than most Toyota interiors.
As part of the bz4X reveal, Toyota has confirmed plans to roll out 15 battery-electric vehicles by 2025. Seven of those 15 vehicles will be branded as a bz vehicle, which is Toyota’s new sub-brand for EV’s. The bz stands for “Beyond Zero” for those who were curious.