This time it's the right one: after many experiments and an unbeatable experience in the field of hybridization, Toyota is finally entering the 100% electric battery market with the bZ4X Concept… which has no “concept” except the name.
Well, let's start this article with an admission: my title goes into the basic putaclic, since Toyota has already been present in the 100% electric market since 2015… in the hydrogen category, with the Mirai. We are therefore talking about a first on the market of a 100% electric model battery operated. Hoping that the product manager forgives me.
But let's take a closer look at today's item, starting with his funny surname. “BZ4X” with a bZ for “beyond Zero”, Toyota's new name for 100% battery-electric cars which, I quote, “underscores Toyota’s commitment to not only achieve zero carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, but also to go beyond to advance the environment, individuals and society as a whole”(Oooh, how beautiful), while the“ 4X ”is there to place the car in the range: what a surprise, we are dealing with a C-SUV, which should therefore compete with the VW ID.4, BMW iX3, Nissan Ariya and other Tesla Model Y.
What can you say about the exterior design? Although Toyota denies presenting only one concept, I think I am not taking too much risk by telling you that we have in front of us the production bZ4X which is 99.47% sure (let's be honest: a concept with mirrors, that is, is not a concept). Looks far from unpleasant: Toyota seems to have finally found some acid-free designers and that's a good thing. It’s incisive, it has presence, it’s different without being cartoonish … In two words: I like it.
The bZ4X Concept interior takes advantage of Toyota's new platform specially dedicated to battery-powered electrics, the e-TNGA, which pushes all four wheels to the ends of the chassis, thus leaving room for a cabin promised to be very spacious. , with rear legroom equivalent to that of a Camry (spoiler alert: there is plenty of room in the back of a Camry).
On the other hand, the dashboard of the bZ4X Concept is much more interesting. Already because Toyota seems to bury its hideous central screens with buttons worthy of the 90s for something much more modern and qualitative. Modern, qualitative … and a little leap into the future with this funny steering wheel. A steering wheel not round at all, but with a treatment realistic enough that serialization is quite likely. This not round steering wheel requires, like the Peugeot i-Cockpit, to install the counters (digital, obviously) above it, as well as a small lacquered bar between the two which will serve as a after my little finger, to scrutinize the driver's face to warn of his inattention. On the technical side, this funny cockpit was made possible thanks to the adoption of an electrically controlled "by-wire" steering. I open a small parenthesis on the fact that Toyota is strutting about ensuring that the bZ4X Concept is the first production vehicle in the world to adopt this system, which seems to contradict the Infiniti Q50 presented … in 2013. I will try to go fishing for info, I'll keep you posted
Let's talk about technique. Although Toyota, true to its habit, only lets a thin stream of information filter through, this bZ4X Concept is equipped with four-wheel drive via the installation of an electric motor on each axis, a system developed in collaboration with Subaru. -which should give us a twin brother to the bZ4X in the latter's range. Second technical information: the concept is equipped with solar panels increasing autonomy; on this point, I am a little suspicious: I had had a Prius PHV in 2017 which already had solar panels on the roof. Solar panels that brought me, after parking for 1.5 hours in full sun, an extension of … 300 meters. Technology has undoubtedly advanced since then, but I doubt the added value is obvious. For the rest (dimensions, battery capacity, engine power, livability ratings, etc. etc.) … the mystery hangs in the air.
Let's finish the article with Toyota's ambitions in the field of electrified cars: by 2025 (2025 is tomorrow), the Japanese brand will have in its range more than 70 electrified vehicles, including at least 15 100% electric models. battery operated. Toyota is also announcing a forecast sales mix in Europe at this time and is betting roughly on 70% of sales in “classic” hybrids, with plug-in hybrids and 100% electric (battery or hydrogen) sharing the remainder equally. . In other words: the release schedule is going to be tough!
The production bZ4X will arrive with us in mid-2022 at a price, you guessed it, unknown to date. Still a little patience…
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