Toyota is fashionably late to the EV party, but it’s now ready to make up for lost time by teaming with Subaru for a dedicated electric model. Only a concept for the time being, the bZ4X is an angular SUV riding on the e-TNGA platform equipped with Subie’s reputable all-wheel-drive system. Relatively short overhangs combined with a long wheelbase denote the vehicle is being developed from the ground up without a combustion engine.
Curiously, Toyota is keeping the technical specifications under wraps. We have heard the bZ4X has largely the same footprint as the RAV4, but being a pure EV, the interior is likely more spacious. Speaking of which, the cabin is a great departure from current Toyota interiors and accommodates a massive infotainment joined by a compact driver’s display with a full-digital setup.
We are happy to report that despite having a large main screen, Toyota has kept the climate control buttons as separate physical controls for ease of access. There’s a floating center console up front with storage underneath and charging ports along with a power outlet. An illuminated storage tray is visible, along with a dial to change gears.
The interior also boasts a dual-pane sunroof and a completely flat floor thanks to the e-TNGA platform exclusive to EVs. The rear seats offer ample legroom and have charging ports flanking the buttons for the heated seats on the center console. That long wheelbase mentioned earlier clearly pays dividends in terms of rear legroom, likely more than what you get in a conventionally powered RAV4.
Toyota says it “hopes” to have the electric SUV on sale by the middle of next year. It will produce the bZ4X at home in Japan as well as in China, with plans to sell the vehicle in the United States. Regarding the name, it’s not exactly catchy, but we do know the first two letters come from Beyond Zero. This branding will be used by all the company’s EVs going forward.
Speaking of additional models, other dedicated electric vehicles are on the agenda, including a compact car co-developed with Suzuki and Daihatsu. Toyota is also working on midsize sedan, crossover, and minivan models, plus a large SUV. The ultimate goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and to get there, Toyota aims to have 70 electrified vehicles by 2025 and seven bZ-branded models in the coming years. Meanwhile, its trucks will be electrified “in the near future” through hybrid and purely electric powertrains.