Toyota bZ4X concept SUV looks wild — but can it take on Tesla?

Toyota bZ4X Concept
(Image credit: Toyota)

At the Shanghai Auto Show, Toyota has unveiled the bZ4X concept, the company's first EV on the e-TNGA electric vehicle architecture that was co-developed with Subaru.

The concept, which takes much design inspiration from Toyota's RAV4, features large black wheel-arches that blend into the fender, aggressive angles and a front face that looks like a snarling Tesla Model X.

The bZ4X is an electric SUV with all-wheel drive design. It's a part of Toyota's "Beyond Zero" initiative which aims to make the company carbon neutral by 2050. 

"The Toyota bZ4X concept points to yet another option in our already robust electrified portfolio" said Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales in a press release

"With investments and product offerings across the spectrum of electrification, we intend to be there with products and technologies that meet the diverse needs of customers around the world," he added.

As mentioned above, this architecture was co-developed with Japanese automaker Subaru. The bZ4X SUV concept aims to take on the electrification prowess Toyota has harnessed since its release of the Prius back in 1997 along with Subaru's legacy as an all-wheel drive titan. 

Unfortunately, Toyota did not unveil battery size, range or performance metrics. So, it's uncertain how much Elon Musk and Tesla have to fear Toyota's entrance into the EV space. But if Toyota can bring similar range to the Model X and Y, then its pedigree as a quality automaker should attract longtime fans into switch to electric.

Other design cues in the Toyota concept include a long wheelbase with short overhangs for increased interior space, an open-concept interior with a large screen on the dash. Toyota made no mention of the types of interior materials, but we suspect, just like with the Mazda MX-30 EV 2022, that it will feature vegan leathers and other eco-friendly textiles.

It's not just SUVs either. Toyota is planning on making EV sedans and trucks as well. In total, Toyota says it will release 70 electrified vehicles by 2025, 15 of which will be fully electric.

The Toyota bZ4X will be manufactured in both Japan and China and should begin sale worldwide in mid-2022.

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.