For only a concept, Toyota sure has been teasing the new battery-powered SUV extensively in the last months. That said, the vehicle debuting on Monday at the Shanghai show isn’t one of those concepts that we’ll see once and then forget all about it. Expected to inaugurate the company’s “Beyond Zero” lineup of all things zero emissions, the RAV4-sized EV is back in a new teaser to denote it’s not a production vehicle.
The futuristic steering wheel takes a similar yoke-like approach as the Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept we’ll be seeing in China next week as well. Tesla certainly didn’t invent this design with the latest Model S Refresh, but the Palo Alto-based company is bold enough to install it on a production vehicle (where the legislation allows it).
Since this isn’t a traditional steering wheel with regular spokes thick enough to accommodate buttons, the controls are positioned right next to the wheel’s center, flanking the Toyota logo. Presumably, that will all change to a more traditional design and layout on the production model, which recent reports state will go by the name of BZ4X.
Riding on the dedicated e-TNGA platform for electric vehicles, the new all-electric Toyota SUV is being co-developed with Subaru. Specific details about the model are not available for the time being, but we do know the underpinnings will be suitable with front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive applications. Future EVs based on this hardware will have batteries as small as 50 kWh and as large as 100 kWh, along with single- and dual-motor setups.
We will know what’s what on Monday when the electric SUV concept will premiere in the People’s Republic ahead of the production version’s market launch scheduled to take place in the coming years. Five additional bespoke EVs are coming from Toyota, including a larger SUV positioned above the BZ4X.