(Pocket-lint) – The Toyota BZ4X Concept is the Japanese automaker’s first dedicated all-electric vehicle, as revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show 2021.
The BZ name stands for Beyond Zero, highlighting the car’s new all-electric e-TNGA platform – which was developed in partnership with Subaru – and Toyota’s “commitment to carbon neutrality, and beyond”.
The BZ4X previews the first of a slew of all-electric SUVs, with a total of seven BZ models expected to arrive in the future.
Although at this concept stage Toyota isn’t revealing battery capacity, range or other such figure-grabbing headlines, there’s plenty of interest on display. For example, the BZ4X debuts a steer-by-wire system, plus there’s solar charging to help top-up those batteries and extend range.
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Inside the BZ4X previews Toyota’s future cabin – which is a much more exciting-looking fare than the current crop of cars has on offer. This features a ‘steering yoke’ – no, it’s not a steering wheel, as it’s not a wheel shape – providing a more direct line of sight to the instrument panel.
This panel is low positioned, giving more panoramic and open visibility, while a combination of touch-based and physical button controls are grouped around the centre console. We like that it doesn’t surrender tactile controls entirely, while still looking futuristic.
Have a browse through the two image galleries above – exterior up top and interior centre of this article – to get a sense of Toyota’s future electric vision. Because we suspect you’ll be seeing fully realised non-concept versions of BZ vehicles sooner than you might expect.
Writing by Mike Lowe.