Toyota has finally been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, unveiling their first all-electric car this morning in Japan, the bZ4X.
Still billed as a prototype vehicle, the electric SUV is the first in its lineup of upcoming bZ, or ‘Beyond Zero’ electric vehicles.
The automaker plans to launch the car in Japan first and is expected to go on sale in mid-2022. With the initial launch in its home country, they have so far only released specifications for that market.
In Japan it will be equipped with a 71kWh battery pack, giving the front-wheel drive (FWD) variant enough juice to travel a claimed 500km (310 miles) on a full charge based on the WLTC rating schedule.
Opting for the all-wheel drive (AWD) bZ4X will drop that range to 460km (286 miles). The EV will also be capable of DC fast charging up to 150kW.
It will also be offered with an optional solar roof, which the company claims can add the power equivalent of “1,800km of driving distance per year.”
On the inside, the prototype was shown with both a round steering wheel, as well as a yoke steering wheel, or as they call it, a “uniquely shaped steering wheel.”
There will be one important difference in that it will be equipped with “One Motion Grip”.
- lock-to-lock is set at around 150 degrees, eliminating the need to change grips when steering, greatly reducing the burden on the driver for U-turn, garage parking and on winding roads
- The steering feeling is improved through independently controlling the steering torque that the driver feels and the steering angle of the tires. Steering characteristics can be changed with drive mode select
- Blocks unnecessary vibrations from tires and only transmits necessary vibrations such as road information. System controls tire movement to ensure vehicle stability when driving on uneven surfaces or when Lane Tracing Assist is activated
- One-motion grip provides more legroom, improving driving position freedom and ease of entry and exit
Details on the North American version are expected to come before the end of the year.