This is the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, due to hit U.S. showrooms next year as Toyota's first all-electric 50-state SUV. No, you're not imagining things. This is the third time Toyota has revealed its new EV; the first was the prototype, and more recently we saw the Japanese-market model with its goofy yoke. Plus, we've seen the Subaru Solterra a few times, and that's basically the same thing. Today, we're looking at the Toyota variant that will actually be sold here, conventional steering wheel and all.
"With zero emissions and an exhilarating drive, the bZ4X is hitting the market at just the right time as we expand our already comprehensive electrified product lineup," said Toyota marketing VP Mike Tripp in the company's announcement. "As a human-centered company, Toyota remains committed to offering customers a diverse portfolio of products to meet their individual needs and move us toward a carbon neutral future."
The sheetmetal hides an architecture called e-TNGA that was developed jointly by Toyota and Subaru. In its standard configuration, the 4,232-pound bZ4X is powered by a single electric motor that zaps the front wheels with 150 kW (201 horsepower). Optionally, buyers can add an electric motor to the rear axle for through-the-road all-wheel-drive and a combined 160 kW (214 hp) output, with each motor contributing half.
That doubling the motor count adds so little power may seem strange, but the AWD motors are smaller, producing just 80 kW apiece. Hitting 62 mph from a stop takes 8.4 seconds with one motor and 7.7 with two, so the modest power improvement is obviously secondary to the benefits of all-wheel traction, even with a little more weight. The second motor adds roughly 190 pounds.
AWD or FWD, the total battery capacity remains the same. bZ4X gets a 71.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack rated for up to 250 miles on the front-wheel-drive model. Previous estimates suggested up to 310 miles for that variant (and 285 for the AWD model), but both numbers were obtained on the Japanese testing cycle. Toyota notes that plugging the crossover into a 150-kilowatt charger zaps the battery pack to 80% in about 30 minutes.
Toyota says the bZ4X will benefit from other modern tech, like over-the-air software updates and the company's latest suite of semi-automated driver assists. Look for it in showrooms by the middle of next year.
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