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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Dedicated battery-powered Toyota bZ4X revealed

Front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive options will be offered with range varying from 450 km to 500 km.

Indirectly teased earlier this year, albeit by Subaru’s version that will carry the Solterra moniker, Toyota has taken the wraps off of its rendition called the bZ4X.

Designed from the ground up as 100% electric only vehicle, the bZ4X debuts the electrified version of Toyota’s TNGA platform called e-TNGA that has been co-developed with Subaru, which is expected to underpin both brand’s next generation of battery powered vehicles.

New Toyota bZ4X
Rear and side profile a nod to the Lexus RX.

Its moniker standing for “beyond Zero” with the “4X” denoting the availability of all-wheel-drive, the bZ4X features a 160 mm longer wheelbase than the RAV4 with its overall height being lower by 85 mm.

In terms of dimensions, the bZ4X measures 4 690 mm overall with is wheelbase coming to 2 850 mm, height to 1 650 mm and width to 1 860 mm. Claimed boot space is said to be as much as 452-litres with the rear seats up.

New Toyota bZ4X
Interior with the conventional steering wheel.

Riding on 20-inch alloy wheels, and making extensive use of expanded wheel arch cladding, the exterior incorporates elements from not only the Hyundai Kona when viewed from the front, but also the Lexus RX from the side and rear.

The interior continues the futuristic touch in the design of the thin seven-inch TFT instrument cluster and in some markets, the option of what has been dubbed the yoke steering wheel.

ALSO READ: Subaru commences teasing all-electric new Solterra

Bowing as the first ever production Toyota to come with a steer-by-wire system that uses electronic rather than mechanical intervention, the bZ4X also receives the option of a roof decked out in solar panels.

According to Toyota, this ups efficiency in that the reliance on the heat pump rather than the actual battery used for motivation means the panels provide power to amongst others, the air-conditioning and heated seats. In total, the brand claims the panels can harness enough sun power to provide a range of 1 800 km per year.

New Toyota bZ4X
Minimalist interior

As for motivation itself, the bZ4X makes use of a 150 kW electric motor that delivers 150kW/265Nm to the front axle. Top speed is limited to 160 km/h with 0-100 km/h taking 8.4 seconds. The claimed range of the 71.4-kWh battery that powers the motor is 530 km.

In the base of the all-wheel-drive model, the mentioned battery remains, but now powers two 80 kW motors mounted on the front and rear axles.

New Toyota bZ4X
What has called the yoke steering wheel will be offered in some markets.

This means a combined output of 160kW/336Nm, translating to the same top speed as the front-wheel-drive with 0-100 km/h over in 7.7 seconds. The claimed range is lower though at 460 km given that the all-paw system adds 85 kg for a complete mass of 2 005 kg.

Going on sale from the middle of next year in select markets such as the United States, Japan, Europe and China, the bZ4X, unsurprisingly, won’t be offered in South Africa anytime soon.  

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