Toyota bZ4X is their start of catching up to the rest of the auto industry in having BEVs. Toyota announced the details of this new BEV with the following bullet points per their press release:
Contribution to SDGs based on the concept of "home planet"
Toyota's approach to carbon neutrality is "practical and sustainable," aiming to reduce CO2 with products that are easy to use and highly appealing.
- The TOYOTA bZ series adopts a BEV-dedicated platform that aims for a value greater than zero ("beyond Zero"). The bZ4X has the excitement of an SUV-style BEV, driving appeal, and is the first model of the Toyota's bZ series, which emphasizes safety and peace of mind. It will be launched worldwide in the middle of 2022.
- Toyota is promoting the deployment of BEVs in its full lineup, starting with the bZ4X.
For those auto fans that want the fine details, here they are on their first BEV, an FWD/4WD suv. Compared to competition, much slower, heavier and very questionable about delivering on the battery range based on this info provided by Toyota.
With the basic details done, lets hit on how Toyota is marketing this BEV and the message they are trying to transmit to the world.
Practical and Sustainable
Toyota is using this phrase to talk about their reduction in C02 emissions with a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. This they believe can be achieved by building a global portfolio of HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs.
"bZ" Toyota's New Value Provided by "beyond Zero"
This is Toyota's way of establishing the following four target values.
You & Others
In addition to comfortable cabins, Toyota bZ offers a new lifestyle and the opportunity to spend precious time with family and friends.
You & Your Car
Toyota bZ delivers the BEV's unique joy of driving and excitement at anticipated possibilities.
You & the Environment
Toyota bZ will not only reduce CO2 and other emissions―it aims to contribute positively to the environment.
You & Society
Toyota bZ aims to create a safer society where everyone enjoys greater peace of mind.
bZ4X Vehicle Overview
- Cars that are more than just a means of transport, able to provide enjoyable time and space for passengers, with the "activity hub" concept
- Toyota bZ4X adopts a BEV-dedicated platform (first for Toyota) based on e-TNGA philosophy, to achieve impressive driving performance through a low center of gravity and greater rigidity.
- Performance Focused on Safety and Peace of Mind
Details of the bZ4X
This is an interesting area for Toyota as they try to copy Rivian with marketing this as "new lifestyle and the opportunity to spend precious time with family and friends."
They say this is part of the You & Others section with a spacious, quiet, relaxing space, extra wide cabin, home-like comfort, a space to stimulate conversation.
Seems the focus is on performance for safe, convenient driving. Heat pump AC, seat and steering wheel heaters, front-seat radiant foot-heating (first for Toyota) and they top it with a 150-kW compatible quick charging, recharging 80% of the battery pack in 30 minutes.
Toyota then goes on to the You & Your Car, how the bZ4X delivers joy of driving and excitement due to the following points.
Low center of gravity innovations
- Thin high-capacity battery pack placed flat under the floor
- E-axle, integrating motor, transaxle and inverter (a Toyota first)
- Electricity Supply Unit (ESU) consolidating charging and power distribution functions (a first for Toyota)
Greater rigidity innovations
- Hot stamp materials used in key framework parts, adoption of a lightweight, high-rigidity body structure partially made of high tensile steel
- Enhancement of rigidity of various parts including around the battery pack, areas where the BEV unit and radiator are installed, and around forward and rear suspension
Driving that leverages motor drive characteristics
- Agile response, sense of linear acceleration, high-precision output control (Lightening of acceleration/deceleration control and driver pedal operation, slip suppression control on slippery roads, etc.)
- Improved turning and stability through independent control of front and rear motors (AWD)
- Adoption of Subaru's AWD technology and X-MODE (AWD vehicle, a first for Toyota). Also, Grip-Control was newly developed and installed as a new feature for X-MODE. By leveraging motor drive characteristics, it is suited to everything from everyday driving to light off-road driving and more, achieving off-road performance exceeding expectations in BEVs
Interesting observation is that Toyota seems to cling to the ICE age in poorly routed wiring and keeping a transmission tunnel that is used for the core wires. At a time when they are using a new platform built from scratch, this is a poor engineering design by not incorporating it into the floor better IMHO.
Toyota then continues this conversation of a new driving experience.
Cockpit that emphasizes meter visibility
- Meters are positioned to be visible through the upper part of the steering wheel (top-mounted meters, a first for Toyota) Emphasizes ease of viewing by reducing eye movement and enabling a distance point of focus
- Modularized driving controls including a steering column, adopting a wing-shape that promotes eye guidance from hands to meters
One-motion grip*4 combining steer-by-wire system and uniquely shaped steering wheel (A Toyota first)
Some models adopt the steer-by-wire system, where there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and tires. Characteristics of this are listed below
- Lock-to-lock is set at around 150 degrees, eliminating the need to change grips when steering, greatly reducing the burden on the driver for U-turn, garage parking and on winding roads
- The steering feeling is improved through independently controlling the steering torque that the driver feels and the steering angle of the tires. Steering characteristics can be changed with drive mode select
- Blocks unnecessary vibrations from tires and only transmits necessary vibrations such as road information. System controls tire movement to ensure vehicle stability when driving on uneven surfaces or when Lane Tracing Assist is activated
- One-motion grip provides more legroom, improving driving position freedom and ease of entry and exit
|*4||For the Chinese market, thereafter, for other markets, it will steadily be fitted on vehicles launched from 2022 onwards|
Dial type shift (a first for Toyota)
- Pursuing a simple and easy-to-operate impression
Styling that expresses the innovation of BEV and the impact of SUV
Based on the design theme "Hi-Tech and Emotion," we strived to create a form combining an advanced BEV feel with the inherent beauty of cars, aiming to create advanced and sleek, powerful styling unique to SUVs.
- Side view
Aiming for sleek proportions and expressing an unconstrained silhouette that takes advantage of the long wheelbase with the tires placed at the four corners
- Front view
The corners with aero dynamic items and the thin shape of the bumper expresses the uniqueness of the BEV. Also, the large hammerhead shark-like shape running from the hood to the top of the headlamps is uniquely iconic
- Rear view
The rear combination lamps, back door, and bumper, which have the trapezoidal theme heading to tires, creates a powerful stance
As many people have stated, styling is a very subjective area on an auto and the bZ4X is an ECLECTIC style to say the least and not necessarily in a good way, yet there are those that seem to be very smitten with Toyota's current styling direction.
Latest infotainment system
- The bZ4X adopts cloud navigation that uses map information on the cloud to obtain traffic information and parking space availability information in a timely manner. Additionally, BEV specialized services such as driving support, charging station display, driving support display, and driving range display are available
Enhanced voice-recognition function
- Also able to operate wipers and air-conditioning
Over-the-air (OTA = wireless) software updates
- Software updates to improve performance are possible for the latest preventive safety package, Toyota Safety Sense, and the multimedia system without needing to visit a dealership
Digital Key (specially equipped vehicles)
- With a smartphone, users can lock, unlock and start the system without screen operation. Digital keys can be handed over between smartphones, making it easy for family and friends to borrow and lend vehicles remotely
You & the Environment
- Roof Solar Panel that can generate the equivalent of 1,800 km of driving distance per year.
Proactive initiatives of recycling to reduce CO2 creation. Auto's that are built by reuse, recycle of materials from the outside to the inside.
One can only hope that with the use of recycled materials that the interiors will be of a competitive quality level, yet the above picture of the rear storage area makes one go Hmmmmmmmmmm.
You & Society
Latest preventive safety performances
- Latest Toyota Safety Sense
In order to realize the ultimate wish of the mobility society―"zero fatalities and injuries in traffic accidents"―the bZ4X adopts the evolved Toyota Safety Sense. By expanding the detection range of the millimeter wave radar and monocular camera, we have enhanced the performance of each function and added new functions to assist on ordinary roads. The aim is to prevent accidents, further reduce traffic fatalities and injuries, and ease the burden on drivers.
- Adopts the Toyota Advanced Park advanced driver assistance technology (with remote function) (specially equipped vehicles)
Pursues Collision safety performance expected of BEVs
- An omni-directional crash-response structure to protect passengers, batteries, and the other vehicle
- BEV unit compartment is fitted with a cross framework firmly connecting left and right front-side members to boost collision energy absorption
- Two cross-members are located in front of the vehicle to reduce harm to the other vehicle
- Strong framework created at the cabin front to achieve full under-floor mounting of the battery pack
- Adopts a structure that distributes input load over multiple routes in a collision to stabilize and protect the cabin and battery pack in frontal or side collisions
- By strengthening measures to prevent and detect signs of battery failure, and introducing new technologies, have adopted a design and multiple monitoring system that ensures safety and security in case of emergency
- Thorough production process that eliminates contamination, which is a cause of abnormal heating
- Redundant monitoring of battery voltage, current, and temperature to detect signs and occurrence of abnormal heating to prevent overheating
- Newly introduced the use of high-resistance coolant, which prevents fire from short circuits even if there is leakage of the battery's liquid coolant
- Newly introduced the use of a high-capacity battery pack integrated with the body to ensure protection in the event of a collision
External power supply function
- DC external power supply function (Japanese specifications)
- Can connect to a power feeder to supply high-output electricity to homes and home appliances for outdoor activities, and during disasters and other emergencies
- When used with home solar power generation, solar power can supply electricity to the house in the daytime, surplus electricity can be used to recharge the vehicle via a power feeder, and electricity stored in the vehicle can be used to power the home at night
More photos of the all-new Toyota BEV bZ4X can be viewed here:
All of this is provided via the extensive press release at the link below if you are wanting even more information and is the property of Toyota.