New era for Toyota with fully-electric bZ4X

Riley Riley

It’s the dawn of a new era with the launch of Toyota’s first fully electric vehicle in Australia, the bZ4X SUV.

Until now, in fact for the past 20 odd years, Toyota has shunned battery electric vehicles, opting instead to focus its considerable attention on hybrid petrol-electric cars such as the Prius (launched here in 2001).

It has also been a prominent proponent of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles, but development of the technology and the infrastructure to go with it has not been able to keep pace with battery-powered EVs.

Describing this latest development in its evolution, Toyota says the bZ4X represents another important step in the multi-pathway approach to electrification that includes a range of technologies.

Toyota’s Sean Hanley said the bZ4X offers capability, practicality, and value for those suited to a BEV lifestyle.

It’s priced from $66,000 for the two-wheel drive and $74,900 for the all-wheel drive — both prices before on-road costs.

bZ4X will be also offered with a full-service lease option through Toyota Finance Australia.

Designed to alleviate potential anxieties of those venturing into the BEV for the first time, the full-service lease includes scheduled servicing and maintenance, mechanical repairs, replacement tyres, Roadside Assist, Toyota Comprehensive Insurance, and registration and compulsory third-party insurance — all for one single monthly payment.

“The bZ4X is not just an electric car; it’s the foundation for the next phase of our electrification strategy that hits a sweet spot with its mid-size SUV dimensions, space and functionality,” Hanley said.

“As the first Toyota BEV, it will accelerate our multi-pathway approach that’s designed to help our customers lower their tailpipe carbon emissions while leaving no-one behind.”

Always the diplomat.

The bZ4X is the first Toyota in Australia to use the new BEV-dedicated e-TNGA platform and has been jointly developed with Subaru which markets the car as the Solterra.

Solterra has also just gone on sale, priced from $69,990 for Solterra AWD and $76,990 for Solterra AWD Touring — also before on-roads.

bZ4X is the first model in Australia to display Toyota’s distinctive ‘hammerhead’ front design, where the bonnet surface continues to the nose and extends to each corner.

Inside, the bZ4X makes the most of the improved passenger space afforded by the e-TNGA platform, benefiting visibility, passenger and cargo space, practicality and comfort.

The two-wheel drive model features a front-mounted e-Axle that combines the transaxle, motor, and inverter into an integrated, compact unit that produces outputs of up to 150kW and 266Nm.

The AWD uses front and rear 80kW e-Axles with maximum combined outputs of 160kW and 337Nm.

Providing the electrical energy is a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that is rigorously tested for 20 days before being fitted to a car.

Toyota reveals European versions of the car tested under the stringent WLTP cycle have returned a range of 436km at 16.9 kWh/100km for the FWD and 411km at 18.1 kWh/100km for the AWD.

bZ4X comes with BEV specific connected features such as charge station locators and charge management functionality within the myToyota Connect smartphone app.

Two-wheel drive bZ4X is equipped with LED headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels, numerous convenience and safety details, heated side mirrors with auto power folding, power tailgate and privacy glass for rear side, quarter and back windows.

The interior features fabric and synthetic leather trim, eight-way power adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, leather-accented steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, smart entry and start, four cupholders and eight bottle holders.

The latest Toyota multimedia technology is delivered through a 12.3-inch touchscreen and is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto.

Enhanced voice recognition using the “Hey, Toyota” command can control several functions such as “Open all windows”.

This multimedia suite is augmented by the latest Toyota Connected Services online features, including integration with the myToyota Connect smartphone app, which is offered for a complimentary period of 12 months.

Over-the-air updates, cloud navigation and live traffic information are included.

The latest Toyota Safety Sense suite integrates a comprehensive array of safety technologies within a BEV structure designed to protect passengers, the battery and other vehicles and pedestrians.7

The AWD brings a higher level of standard features, including a roof spoiler, fixed panoramic roof, roof rails and a gloss black bonnet accent.

It adds JBL premium audio, premium artificial leather, Qi-compatible 10W wireless charger, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, driver’s seat memory function and a kick sensor for the power tailgate.

Safety enhancements for the AWD include driver monitor, blind-spot monitor, safe exit assist, intelligent parking assist and panoramic view monitor.

The AWD’s 212mm ground clearance and all-wheel drivetrain are leveraged by X-Mode off-road drive modes to enable benchmark off-road ability for BEV SUVs.

X-Mode optimises traction for “Snow/Dirt” or “Deep Snow/Mud” conditions and incorporates Crawl Control and Downhill Assist Control.

Six exterior colours are available: Ebony Black, Frosted White, Liquid Metal, Silver Rush, Feverish Red and Dynamic Blue.

A two-tone treatment is available for the AWD with gloss black for the roof and A-pillars complementing the body colour.

The bZ4X is covered by Toyota Warranty Advantage, which offers up to five-year unlimited kilometre coverage extending to seven-years on motor and driveline with log-book services.

Toyota also offers capped-price servicing for the first five years/75,000km with each 12-month/15,000km service costing $180.14.


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