We first saw Toyota’s BZ4X Concept in April at the Shanghai Auto Show, the likely template for what will be a swift move into the all-electric cars for Toyota, who have so far been a bit slow to it. BZ4X’s full U.S. debut came Wednesday, when Toyota showed a car that looked more or less the same and still with few details.
We don’t know output, or range, or price, nor do we have estimates, though in its release Toyota did say that it would feature some kind of new all-wheel-drive system on a platform it jointly developed with Subaru. We don’t know the details at this point likely because Toyota itself doesn’t know.
We can, however, assess the looks, and the car itself looks refreshingly normal, almost too normal, in that I’m wondering if Toyota could’ve designed it to exploit the fact that it won’t have a gas engine upfront even more. Toyota assures us that they’ve thought about it a lot.
The Toyota bZ4X SUV Concept features a long wheelbase with short overhangs, resulting in a distinctive design with ample interior space. The open-concept interior is designed to enhance driver comfort and confidence on the road. With every detail purposefully engineered, the low position of the instrument panel and the location of the meters above the steering wheel not only help expand the vehicle’s sense of space, but also increase visibility to aid in safe and secure driving.
Toyota plans sales of the production model BZ4X to begin in 2022, so I would expect that more details about it will slowly trickle out until then. Toyota also isn’t shy about explicitly comparing it to the RAV4, which Toyota sold 430,387 of last year.
“Roughly the size of a RAV4, with the versatility to stand apart from other BEVs, it will be well-positioned in the sweet spot of the market,” said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president of Toyota Marketing.
It’s probably too early to contemplate the significance of that, since, long-term, if this is the car that will replace the RAV4, this is a car that we will be seeing a lot of on the streets. This is Toyota’s plan, as it says it will have 15 new battery-electric vehicles by 2025. And while Toyota’s EV plan has been in the works for years now but it still somehow feels very, very sudden.