Toyota wants to return to form. He wants to be at the forefront of electrification again and relive his days as a de facto leader in the segment. The automaker no longer targets hybrid segment; he now wants to be a leader in BEVs and new bZ series that’s how he plans to do it.
Toyota has debuts the first car of this series at Shanghai Auto Show, the bZ4X concept. The company has yet to provide many details on the bZX4, so we don’t know its range, production numbers or cost. Those details will be available closer to the global release of the production bZX4, which Toyota plans for mid-2022. The first thing that stands out to me is how completely normal the concept looks, and that’s a very good thing:
Of course, the other thing that stands out is those silly blue accents. Imagine what this BEV concept would look like without these strengths. It would mostly look like any normal SUV on the road today. The concept reads a lot like a Toyota designer took a Mirai and a RAV4 and combined them, but overall there is a strong resemblance to the current SUVs in the Toyota lineup.
Again, it’s a good thing to see. As more EVs enter the mainstream, their designs will begin to settle into less visible production cars and there will be little for cars to visually stand out from ICE cars. This establishes parity between them.
Obviously that will never happen when we refer to their modes of propulsion, but it can happen in our overall conception of what an electric car is.
We now know them as EVs or EVs, but at some point we’ll just call them vehicles without needing to identify them as EVs. It starts with getting rid of wacky accents and producing thoughtful designs of form upon function. Toyota might have something like this on the pike since they plan to release 15 new BEVs by 2025. Seven of them will be part of the bZ series.
Developed jointly with Subaru, the Toyota bZ4X SUV Concept is built on the new dedicated e-TNGA BEV platform. The concept expresses Toyota’s legendary quality, durability and long-term reliability (QDR) in combination with Subaru’s all-wheel drive capabilities to achieve a driving experience that is both comfortable and engaging.
Toyota borrows from Subaru’s all-wheel drive expertise and it plans to partner with other companies to bring these 15 new cars to market. Among these, the company says it works with BYD and Suzuki, in addition to its subsidiary Daihatsu.
Hopefully this means that the more or less average design of the bZ4X can proliferate among these other automakers as well.