Toyota bZ4X: arriva in Europa la nuova elettrica di serie thumbnail

Toyota bZ4X: the new electric series arrives in Europe

With the Toyota bZ4X, the Japanese manufacturer announces the first in a series of future battery electric cars. The car is based on the so-called e-TNGA platform, designed specifically for this type of zero-emission vehicles, where the letters bZ stand for “Beyond Zero”. The new Toyota bZ4X will make its European debut on 2 December 2021 and on the same day it can be pre-ordered directly via the web on the official website of the House.

Toyota is now oriented towards “zero emissions” cars and focuses on different types of engines: hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric and hydrogen electric. All these technologies together help to achieve CO2 neutrality. Toyota is planning several models of the fledgling bZ family, and with the bZ4X launches this family of vehicles devoted to the “green”.

The Toyota bZ4X is 85mm lower than the Toyota RAV4, while the wheelbase is 160mm longer and the hood is 50mm lower. The front and rear overhangs are also shorter and at the same time, the bZ4X offers more interior space than the famous RAV4. The trunk is also spacious: with the rear seats in the normal position, the total volume reaches 452 liters. The battery sits naturally in the lower section, thus creating a low center of gravity.

toyota bz4x

The design incorporates aerodynamic elements that contribute to the long range of the bZ4X. For example, elements such as the split roof spoiler stand out, the small spoiler lip under the rear window, the diffuser at the rear and the rear window positioned at a special angle. In addition, openings in the extreme corners of the front bumper reduce the turbulence of the airflow as it passes past the front wheels. The narrow lower grille is equipped with a valve to direct cooling air to the coil and reduce air resistance.

Toyota supplies the bZ4X with a choice of two drive units. Version a front wheel drive dIt features an electric motor with 150 kW of power and 265 Nm of torque, which allows acceleration from 0-100 km / h in 8.4 seconds. The maximum speed is 160 km / h. There is also one all-wheel drive version with 160 kW and 336 Nm of torque. Top speed is the same as that of front-wheel drive, but acceleration from 0-100km / h takes just 7.7 seconds.

Toyota bZ4X, the electric one that can be driven “with a single pedal”

The all-wheel drive version of the Toyota bZ4X is equipped of two electric motors of 80 kW, one of which is mounted on the front axle and one on the rear axle. Through XMode technologies, different driving modes are possible in difficult conditions, with settings for snow / mud, deep snow and mud (speed up to 20 km / h) and Grip Control for even more difficult terrain (below 10 km / h) .

The transmission offers the ability to drive with just one pedal. The regeneration of energy is so strong that, according to Toyota, when the accelerator is “released” a deceleration is triggered so strongly that the driver may not even brake and therefore only use the accelerator pedal while driving.

toyota bz4x

The lithium-ion battery offers a capacity of 71,4 kWh, good for a range of over 450 kilometersi (WLTP). In line with development goals, Toyota expects a marginal decline in battery performance – around 10% – over ten years or after 240,000 kilometers (whichever comes first). The figures quoted depend on the version of the Toyota bZ4X and are still subject to homologation. With a 150 kW quick charger (CCS2), you can charge up to 80% of the capacity in about 30 minutes.

Multiple monitoring of voltage, current and temperature, at the cell level, keeps the battery healthy. If abnormal heat build-up is detected, the controls are activated automatically. The company also takes countermeasures to prevent material degradation and the manufacturing process is protected to prevent foreign bodies from entering the battery. New for Toyota is that the battery is water-cooled.

Interior, there is all the “right” comfort

The theme that Toyota attributes in describing the interior is “lagom”, which in Swedish means “right”. This is reflected in the comfort, space and family atmosphere. The latter is enhanced by the use of soft upholstery fabrics, satin finish details and the option of a panoramic roof. The dashboard is slim in shape and positioned low. The 7-inch TFT display and the one intended for classic driving information are located directly in the driver’s field of vision who can take a look at these displays with the slightest eye movement, supporting the principle “Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road”.

The bZ4X will also be the first Toyota production model to be available with the new system Steer-by-Wire “One Motion Grip”. The steering works without a mechanical link between the steering wheel and the front wheels. These are in fact electronically controlled based on the input from the steering wheel. Thanks to this space-saving system, the car offers more comfort for the legs, a better sitting position and easier entry and exit from the passenger compartment.

The traditional steering wheel was replaced by the so-called control One Motion Grip, a kind of joystick, which simplifies the driving of the bZ4X and makes “overload” superfluous. The “Full-lock” movement can in fact be obtained by rotating this yoke by only 150 degrees.

The range of Toyota bZ4X also counts on a model that can mount optional solar panels in the roof (solar roof) of the car. The 100% sustainably generated solar energy is then stored directly in the battery. Furthermore, the solar panels are always active, regardless of whether the vehicle is switched on or not. Toyota has calculated that the system can generate enough power to travel 1,800 kilometers in a whole year.

Toyota equips the third generation of bZ4X with Toyota Safety Sense. This suite of safety and assistance systems includes new and improved features, such as a wider detection range, which better protects against the risks that can derive from the most common accidents. A new multimedia system is also available with ‘over-the-air’ (OTA) software updates.

John Vassallo is a versatile writer who covers two fascinating realms: Automobiles and Electronics. With a deep knowledge and passion for both industries, John brings you the latest updates, trends, and insights in these dynamic fields. From the latest car models, automotive innovations, and advancements in electric and autonomous technologies, to cutting-edge electronics, gadgets, and emerging tech trends, John's articles provide comprehensive coverage to keep you informed.