February 26, 2024

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Perhaps Toyota's most important electric vehicle coming this year –

Perhaps Toyota's most important electric vehicle coming this year –

The bZ4X is Toyota's only EV that was developed from the start as an electric car and should serve European EV buyers. This SUV won't have to shoulder this responsibility alone for much longer. Toyota will bring a fleet of new arrivals to Europe until 2026. The smallest and perhaps the most important are coming this year! AutoWeek is looking at a compact electric car that could easily be called the Toyota bZ2X.

Highlights

  • Electric crossover built into an important chip
  • And also with four-wheel drive
  • almost

For a long time, Akio Toyoda, former CEO of Toyota, did not feel the need to develop his brand at a rapid pace. At the end of 2021, Toyota launched a wide series of electric car precursors to the world under his leadership, but the Japanese stuck to their global outlook. Koji Sato has been Toyota's chief driving officer since April last year. Sato is at least as ambitious as his predecessor, who transformed Toyota in terms of experience, but he dares to make much bigger strides in electric vehicles. Toyota's electric vehicle future is now becoming more realistic, especially for Europe. This is much needed.

The attack began

Anyone in Europe who wants to buy an electric car can only choose one from Toyota: the bZ4X. At least, this is the only Toyota electric car that doesn't share its base with a commercial vehicle. distinct. Outside of Europe, Toyota's Beyond Zero (bZ) offering is slightly larger, but no more impressive. The bZ brand currently only has a second model in China. It's called bZ3. In fact: without the X. It is not an SUV or a crossover, but a sedan. By 2026, Toyota wants to have only six electric vehicles in its European lineup, meaning five new electric Toyotas will be added over the next two years. Toyota has already given fairly concrete impressions of three of these. The 2023 compact SUV concept was a preview of an electric crossover in the Corolla Cross and C-HR segments, and the Sport Crossover concept shown this year was a precursor to a lower, longer electric crossover-like vehicle. Related, but more important for the European market, is the small, long-legged electric car with which Toyota will target the European market.

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Important segment

This year, Toyota will launch the production version of the Urban SUV concept. This study model looked completely ready for production and while on display we got an indication of its size. The show car was 4.3 meters long, placing it in one of the hottest segments in Europe: the compact crossover. The production version derived from the Urban SUV concept will therefore be a strong competitor to successful electric cars such as the Peugeot e-2008 and will therefore also face cars such as the Opel Mokka Electric. Ideal, for example, for the Yaris Cross driver who dares to switch to electric driving.

Toyota bZ2X (Photo: Larson)

Smart move

The more interesting the prize, the greater the chance of winning souls. Thus, it seems that Toyota is pulling a clever trick with the bZ2X compact crossover. The concept introduction of the model strongly resembles a Suzuki show car: the eVX concept. This is no coincidence. Toyota and Suzuki regularly swap models and the Toyota bZ2X appears to be Toyota's version of Suzuki developed by Indian company Maruti Suzuki. This would make the cost picture more attractive for Toyota – and perhaps also for European consumers. Don't be surprised if the bZ2X is also manufactured in India for the European market.

Of course, it's still too early to get detailed technical specifications. We know that Toyota's electric compact crossover will have two battery options and will be available not only with front-wheel drive, but also with all-wheel drive. It remains to be seen how far a full battery will go. We do not expect Toyota to be satisfied with a range of less than 400 kilometers for the version with a larger electric lung capacity.

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almost

In terms of design, Toyota's significant newcomer fits seamlessly alongside recent Toyota vehicles such as the bZ3, Prius and new C-HR. Just as with the last two cars, Toyota hides the bZ2X's tailgate handle in the C-pillar. Do you like sitting in the back with your legs extended? Even so, you can probably put Toyota's electric compact car on your shortlist. The car has a sliding back seat. Very practical. Is what is still unknown causing you sleepless nights? Then we have good news. Toyota will display the final production version in the first half of this year.