Toyota fleshed out specifications for the Japan-market edition on Friday, Oct. 29. While many of the details, such as battery size and range, may differ by market, the announcement tells the world where Toyota's head is regarding EVs and foreshadows what to expect overseas.
The bZ4X was co-developed with Subaru Corp. It is the Toyota-branded sibling vehicle to the Solterra EV crossover that Subaru plans to introduce in the near future.
It will come in two layouts — front-wheel and all-wheel drive.
In Japan at least, both variants get a 71.4-kWh lithium ion battery.
The front-wheel-drive version gets a single 150-kilowatt motor on the front axle and can cover 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) in 8.4 seconds. It has a range of 310 miles.
The figure is based on the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Cycle, which is different from the U.S. standard set by the EPA.
The awd version has an 80-kilowatt motor on each of the front and back axles and can accelerate to 62 mph from a standstill in 7.7 seconds. Its range is 285 miles.
Inside, the bZ4X gets futuristic treatment befitting a next-gen EV.
A massive upright digital display dominates the dashboard, while the instrument panel is positioned low and recessed from the steering wheel, which juts toward the driver like a canon.
Toyota said this layout helps create a sense of open space in the cabin while improving visibility.
The bZ4X will offer two steering options. One is the traditional circular steering wheel. The other is a newfangled Formula One-style wing-shaped handle that connects via a steer-by-wire technology. Toyota calls this the "one-motion grip" setup and said it will be introduced in China and then rolled out to other markets from 2022, although it didn't specify which ones.
Toyota says the one-motion control eliminates the need to change grips when negotiating U-turns, garage parking or winding roads.
The steer-by-wire system also eliminates annoying vibration from the road that normally transmits through a mechanical steering column.
And because there is no steering column, it also allows for more legroom.