Gearhead News

April 19, 2021
Toyota bZ4X Concept EV: A Sleek Electric Crossover With AWD by Subaru

The GR 86 won’t be the only Toyota jointly developed with Subaru to show its face this month. Japan’s biggest automaker has now revealed the bZ4X concept, a preview of the brand’s first mass-market battery-electric car—a crossover with a new Subaru-developed AWD system.

Projected driving range and other technical details have yet to be announced but the bZ4X rides on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform that’s been developed specifically to underpin BEVs. Thanks to this, Toyota was able to push the wheels further out, lengthening the wheelbase, shortening overhangs, and improving interior space. 

Toyota

As for that name, bZ stands for “Beyond Zero” and will be Toyota’s subbrand going forward for its EVs, much like how GR (Gazoo Racing) is the prefix applied to its performance cars. As we suspected thanks to trademarks that popped up earlier this month, there will almost definitely be other bZ models ranging from bZ1 to bZ5. Like most other alphanumeric automotive naming schemes, the bigger the number, the bigger the car. Stick an X at the end and you get AWD. Hence, bZ4X. No, it doesn’t roll off the tongue very well but it does make sense, and that’s more than some other car companies can say.

Toyota plans on trotting out a whopping 15 new battery-electric cars worldwide by 2025, seven of which will be sold under the bZ name. The automaker is also confirming that it will electrify its truck range “in the near future” with both hybrid and BEV powertrains. It’s all in service of the company’s long-term goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Despite the bZ4X you see here technically still being a concept, much of it looks quite production-ready to us already so don’t expect the actual, street-legal version to look all that different from this. Toyota says the car will be made in Japan and China and go on sale worldwide sometime by mid-2022.

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