Toyota has officially introduced the all-electric bZ4X model in the U.S., where it will arrive at the dealerships mid-2022. The car was previously unveiled in Japan.

It's the first global all-electric Toyota, introduced under the “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella. By 2025, the company intends to offer 70 xEVs, including 15 all-electric models, out of which 7 will be bZ (Beyond Zero).

The bZ4X is also the first model based on the Toyota's first BEV-dedicated e-TNGA platform, developed jointly with Subaru. Because of that, it's promised to offer the off-road performance expected from a capable SUV, coupled with the smooth and fun driving performance inherent to BEVs.

"Built on the BEV-dedicated e-TNGA platform, a first for Toyota, the bZ4X achieves impressive driving performance thanks to the high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery pack placed flat under the floor, which gives it a low center of gravity. Impressive handling is due in part to the battery crossframing structure which adds to overall vehicle rigidity.

The adoption of a lightweight body structure partially made of high tensile steel, as well as the enhancement of frame components around the battery pack and the forward and rear suspension also contributes to the agile responsiveness of bZ4X.

In addition, a redesigned accelerator pedal creates a smoother feel when accelerating and decelerating coupled with an intelligent throttle with slip suppression to provide impressive control on slippery roads. And, when you combine that with a new AWD system with XMODE(R), an available standout feature for bZ4X and a Toyota first, you get an exhilarating, yet comfortable, driving experience suited for everything from daily driving to light off-roading. Another impressive feature of the AWD system is Grip-Control, which leverages motor drive characteristics to achieve capable off-road performance – exceeding expectations at every turn."

Toyota bZ4X
Toyota bZ4X

There will be two main versions of the Toyota bZ4X available - a front-wheel-drive and an all-wheel-drive with specs close to the Japanese versions. There are some differences though.

One of the surprises is that the Toyota bZ4X in the U.S. will have 71.4 kWh in the FWD version (as in Japan), but the AWD version will be equipped with a marginally bigger 72.8 kWh battery.

The 1.4 kWh difference is too small to be considered as an intentional option. Inquiring, we learned the difference is down to cells coming from two different suppliers.

We guess that the 71.4 kWh battery pack consists of prismatic lithium-ion cells from Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES) - a joint venture between Toyota (51%) and Panasonic (49%). We heard that the other battery supplier is CATL, though it's not mentioned in the latest press release. Likely, the cells for the 72.8 kWh battery are from CATL.

Toyota bZ4X production model 18

Toyota also has not revealed the estimated "EPA" range numbers. The FWD is expected to have up to 250 miles (402 km) of manufacturer-estimated range. For reference, the Japanese version was rated at 500 km (311 miles) WLTC. The AWD version most likely will get a lower range, but it was not disclosed. In Japan, it's 460 km (286 miles) WLTC.

The battery is expected to retain 90% of its original capacity over 10 years.

Other than that, the specs (including 150 kW single-motor FWD version and 160 kW dual motor AWD version) are basically the same for both markets.

Toyota says that its engineering team has focused on features that maximize energy-saving and cruising range for year-round driving (particularly in winter settings). Besides aerodynamic design choices and body weight reduction efforts, Toyota has equipped the bZ4X with:

  • Heat pump system for both heating and air-conditioning
  • Seat and steering wheel heaters
  • Front-seat radiant foot-and-leg heater – a first for Toyota
Toyota bZ4X
Toyota bZ4X

In terms of design, it's a good looking SUV, although some might not like the quirky wheel arches.

"Based on the design theme “hi-tech and emotional,” the all-new, all-electric SUV offers styling that is as bold and modern as the vehicle itself. The front view of the bZ4X has an aero-dynamic design, and the curved shape of the front bumper expresses a certain uniqueness from other vehicles. The large hammerhead shark-like shape that runs from the hood to the top of the headlamps gives bZ4X a sleek silhouette. The rear design exudes a powerful stance, thanks to the combination lamps, rear hatch, and bumper’s trapezoidal theme that extends all the way to the tires."

"The futuristic, edgy styling extends to the interior with premium finishes resulting in a distinctive look. With every detail purposefully engineered to create a sense of connection, it offers a driver-centric design that makes you feel like you’re one with the car. The unique instrument panel and precision-placed MID screen expands the vehicle’s feeling of space, while also helping to keep driver’s sight lines up and on the road. Soundproofing glass and wind-noise reduction features create a quiet refuge from the world outside."

"With the roominess one would expect from an SUV, the bZ4X interior offers a spacious and relaxing seat for passengers. The accessible USB ports (A and C) offer power and connection points in convenient locations. The panoramic roof provides a feeling of openness and brings the outside environment into the vehicle. Passengers will feel pampered, with abundant legroom for front and rear seats as well as copious side-to-side space in the rear."

Toyota bZ4X interior
Toyota bZ4X interior

Toyota says that the bZ4X is loaded with intuitive tech features, including the over-the-air software updates.

"Owners will enjoy a user interface that offers interaction through sight, touch, and voice. With a Drive Connect trial or subscription, the bZ4X offers navigation that uses map information from the cloud to obtain traffic information and parking space availability in real time. Digital key gives owners the ability to lock, unlock, and start the vehicle with a tap of a smartphone.

Designed to make life more convenient, digital keys can also be handed over between smartphones, making it easy for family and friends to borrow and lend vehicles remotely. Other features of the trial subscription include BEV specialized services such as charging station info, driving support info, and vehicle driving range."

"Over-the-air (OTA = wireless) software updates: Software updates to improve performance are also possible for Toyota Safety Sense and the multimedia system without needing to visit a dealership"

Toyota bZ4X interior
Toyota bZ4X interior

Not everything is yet known. The manufacturer does not reveal in the press release the range for the AWD version, nor does it mention anything about AC and DC charging performance (it says only "capable of 80% charge within one hour") or prices.

Those who are interested in this model should also carefully check out its cousin - Subaru Solterra.

Gallery: Toyota bZ4X (U.S.)

Toyota bZ4X specs (U.S.):

[See Japanese specs here]

Toyota bZ4X FWD version:

  • Manufacturer-estimated range: up to 250 miles (402 km)
  • 71.4 kWh battery
    355 V, liquid cooled
    battery capacity retention ratio (target): 90% after 10 years or 240,000 km (150,000 miles)
  • front-wheel drive (E-axle - integrated motor, single-speed transmission and inverter)
    "AC synchronous" motor
  • peak system output of 150 kW and 265 Nm of torque
  • Weight: 4,232 lbs/1,920 kg (4,839 lbs/2,195 kg total)
  • Dimensions: Length - 184.6 in, Width - 73.2 in, Height - 64.9 in (inc. antenna), Wheelbase - 112.2 in
  • Heat pump-type air-conditioning
  • Over-the-air (OTA) software updates
  • e-TNGA platform

Toyota bZ4X AWD version:

  • Manufacturer-estimated range: N/A
  • 72.8 kWh battery
    355 V, liquid cooled
    battery capacity retention ratio (target): 90% after 10 years or 240,000 km (150,000 miles)
  • dual motor all-wheel drive (E-axle - integrated motor, single-speed transmission and inverter)
    two 80 kW "AC synchronous" motors
  • peak system output of 160 kW and 336 Nm of torque
  • Weight: 4,420 lbs/2,005 kg (5,015 lbs/2,275 kg total)
  • Dimensions: Length - 184.6 in, Width - 73.2 in, Height - 64.9 in (inc. antenna), Wheelbase - 112.2 in
  • Heat pump-type air-conditioning
  • Over-the-air (OTA) software updates
  • e-TNGA platform

Toyota bZ4X specs - U.S. (enlarge here):

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