This week, Toyota revealed new details about its Toyota BZ4X electric compact SUV, which includes a solar roof option and a steering wheel similar to that found on the most recent Tesla Model S.

Rather than having a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and tires, Toyota describes the steering yoke as having a “wing-shape.” You only need to turn the steering yoke 150 degrees from side to side and you don’t have to remove your hands. The company argues that this will make maneuvers like U-turns and other maneuvers easier since steering will no longer require changing grips.

Toyota BZ4X Electric Car Launch

At the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year, Toyota BZ4X unveiled along with a strategy for electric vehicles that it said will result in 15 new battery-electric vehicles by 2025.

From side to side, the yoke only needs to be rotated 150 degrees
Developed in partnership with fellow Japanese automaker Subaru, the Toyota BZ4X is based on a flexible platform. A steering-by-wire system, all-wheel drive, increased visibility, and a regenerative braking system are all features of the e-TNGA platform, which is being developed by Subaru and Toyota. The Toyota BZ4X is expected to be released worldwide by the middle of 2022, according to Toyota. A Subaru e-TNGA-based electric vehicle is said to be in the works.

Those who aren’t interested in a full yoke can also order a Toyota BZ4X with the standard steering wheel. It has been criticized for making driving awkward. Consumer Reports says it has been controversial.

It has a unique instrument cluster, which has a screen set back from the steering wheel, increasing driver visibility, according to Toyota. As opposed to being embedded in the dash, the central infotainment screen appears to float above it. In addition, there are several physical buttons on the center console and on the steering wheel, showing that Toyota is not as dedicated to the digital user experience as companies such as Tesla.

When designing the exterior of the Toyota BZ4X, Toyota designers drew inspiration from hammerhead sharks. Nevertheless, it retains a conventional shape and appears to be roughly the same size as the Toyota RAV4.

OUTLINING THE TOYOTA BZ4X’S EXTERIOR, TOYOTA’S DESIGNERS TAUGHT INSPIRATION FROM THE HAMMERHEAD SHARK

The vehicle will be powered by two different engines: a 201-horsepower front-wheel drive and a 215-horsepower all-wheel drive with estimated ranges of 310 miles and 286 miles, respectively. The vehicle has a 71.4kWh battery pack, making it comparable with the VW ID 4 and Nissan Ariya in terms of energy capacity. (Those estimates are based on the global WLTC rating, which tends to be higher than EPA estimates.)

In addition to the roof, there’s a solar system that Toyota says can generate electricity equal to 1,800 kilometers of driving each year. It can also charge vehicles bidirectionally, similar to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ford F-150 Lightning.

Toyota BZ4X Electric Car Launch Date

In mid-2022, Toyota plans to launch its electric SUV in Japan, but hasn’t indicated whether it would be available in the US. Prices and production details will be announced in the coming months.

Toyota BZ4X Electric Car

Earlier this week, Toyota announced it would invest nearly $13.6 billion in battery technology over the next decade, including $9 billion to increase production, in an effort to electrify its fleet. Although Toyota was an early leader in gas-electric hybrids with the Prius, it reportedly viewed them as a stopgap until hydrogen fuel cells become competitive. With Nissan catching up, the automaker has reportedly sought to slow down the US’s move to electric vehicles.

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