After a few years of delay compared to the competition, a series of second thoughts and public declarations on the fact that the electric does not represent the panacea for all ills, Toyota has entered the 100% electric car market. The name of the debutante, bZ4X, has almost more to do with the world of Japanese two-wheelers than with that of four, but behind this acronym with a complex pronunciation lies the acronym of “Beyond Zero”, which in Toyota’s plans means going beyond zero emissions . The 4 has to do with the four-wheel drive and the X with the nature of suv of the latest arrival. This last aspect should not be underestimated, because this bZ4X is in fact the first production electric car to be able to boast some capabilities in off road thanks to the mode X-Mode which specifically regulates all components and, with the Grip Controlalso the speed of descent and ascent on very steep paths.
In practice they can be dealt with slopes notable by focusing solely on the steering and leaving the car to manage the pace. Its presence is due to the off-road experience of Subaruwith which Toyota shared this project. The division of engineering tasks is nothing new for the Japanese giant, which with Subaru also shares the GR86 / BRZ projectthe one-of-a-kind, popular rear-wheel drive sports car.
Returning to the bZ4X – the twin of the Pleiades is called Solterra – it must be said that for its design, the technicians of the Rising Sun started from the classic white sheet reaching a result that the competition will have to pursue. We are talking about the warranty on the battery that lasts 10 years or 1 million kilometers, which in return requires that scheduled maintenance be carried out by Toyota. A beautiful safety for those who buy a first car that with 4.69 meters in length is part of the D-SUV segment and which has as main competitors the Skoda Enyaq iV, the Tesla Model Y and the Volkswagen ID.4.
You can choose front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with respectively 204 and 218 hp of power (265 and 366 Nm of torque). There battery Li-ion has a capacity of 71.4 kWh, is liquid cooled and has a system that monitors each cell individually. L’autonomy WLTP homologated is 470 km for 4WD and 516 km for 2WD, but with 20-inch tires instead of 18 (standard) tires, 50 km are lost. There charging in direct current it can absorb up to 150 kW and that in alternating current 11 kW. The roof with i solar panels which can “give” up to 11.7 km of travel per day.
The style it definitely is original, sharp, with cut surfaces that come together creating an impression of greater compactness than the actual size. With a height of 1.65 meters, a width of 1.86 m and a step of 2.85 m, thepassenger compartment it is quite spacious even for five adults; the limitations concern the headroom of the rear passengers and the height of the floor, which forces the legs to be very bent.
But this is one geometry common to many electric, which is configured by the presence of battery pack, also limiting the trunk, which with 452 liters is not so large in relation to the size of the car. In front, however, there are no problems of comfort. The only ones perplexity they concern the positioning of the instrumentation, which is raised and always remains partially hidden behind the steering wheel. It will probably become more usable when it can be combined with the steering wheel anticipated by Lexus.
Chapter infotainment: the screen is large and clearly visible, with the climate control (too full of touch controls) just below. Too bad that looking at the dashboard overall, there is a lack of aesthetic coherence between the two areas, which almost seem to come from two different cars.
Driving the bZ4X it turns out a car is easy and intuitive, very quiet and comfortable, but without the brutal thrust of many electric. Toyota has chosen theequilibrium. Rather, you have to get used to the video camera that follows the gaze to increase safety: just pause on the navigator for a second too long and the warning arrives on the display. About safety, the Adas are state-of-the-art: the pre-collision system also monitors vehicles arriving from the front and crossing, and in Lane assist takes the road markings, the edge of the road and the vehicle in front as a reference. Finally, the prices have not yet been formalized, because the bZ4X will only arrive at the beginning of next year. Either way, it won’t cost less than 50,000 euros and Toyota will focus heavily on one formula “All inclusive” with a monthly payment of around 800 euros.