Toyota’s first electric SUV is coming to South Africa – Everything we know – TopAuto
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Wednesday / 17 August 2022
HomeNewsToyota’s first electric SUV is coming to South Africa – Everything we know

Toyota’s first electric SUV is coming to South Africa – Everything we know

Toyota South Africa has confirmed to TopAuto that its bZ4X electric SUV is “under study for local introduction.”

Along with this, the company said it will also be making “a more detailed announcement on Toyota’s NEV (new-energy vehicle) roll-out in January 2023 at the annual State of the Motor Industry (SOMI) [address], while also showcasing some of the exciting new models across both Toyota and Lexus brands.”

While this doesn’t explicitly confirm the bZ4X’s South African availability, local motoring publication IOL also recently reported that the automaker told it the bZ4X is coming to South Africa and that it “will confirm availability, spec, and pricing later in the year.”

Therefore, the bZ4X is expected to make its domestic debut in 2023 and we will likely be able to catch the first glimpse of the battery-powered SUV at SOMI in January of next year.

Solar powered

Depending on the region, the new Toyota bZ4X is offered in front-wheel-drive (FWD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) specifications, each powered by a 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery.

In the FWD model, a 150kW electric motor is strapped to the front axle allowing for a 0-100km/h time of 8.4 seconds, a maximum driving range of 500 kilometres, and a dry vehicle weight of 1,920kg.

The AWD derivative, on the other hand, makes do with one 80kW unit at each end resulting in an overall output of 160kW.

The increased power lets this bZ4X sprint to 100km/h in a quicker 7.7 seconds, but paired with the higher kerb weight of 2,005kg it only manages a maximum driving range of 460km.

For increased range on the go, the standard roof can then be replaced with a solar panel in each of these Toyotas which brings the equivalent of an additional 1,800km of driving per year.

With this top, the bZ4X “can charge in parking lots where there are no charging stations, and solar power can be used to charge in disasters or other emergencies,” said Toyota.

A maximum incoming current of 150kW is also supported, allowing the SUV to juice up from 0-80% in 30 minutes.

Futuristic cockpit

Inside the cockpit, the bZ4X is quite the departure from the Toyota we know today, boasting a minimalist, futuristic cabin design with a focus on visibility.

Notably, the EV features an all-digital driver’s display that’s mounted on top of the dash rather than integrated into it, this design choice being a first for Toyota and aims to reduce the time your eyes spend not looking at the road.

An airplane-style steering wheel can also be equipped, allowing drivers an even more unobstructed view of what’s lying ahead.

In addition, the cutting-edge underpinnings mean the bZ4X brings the latest technologies that Toyota has to offer, including its newest-generation multimedia system with cloud-based navigation, specialised EV-specific services, over-the-air software updates, use of a digital key on one’s smartphone, and voice operation for the wipers and climate control.

Naturally, the Toyota Safety Sense driver assistance pack is equipped, too, in an effort to achieve “zero fatalities and injuries in traffic accidents,” said the automaker.

This option brings dynamic cruise control, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, as well as a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.

It must be mentioned, though, that the South African specifications for the bZ4X must still be confirmed and we might not be getting all these systems when it eventually lands in local showrooms.

Toyota bZ4X


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