Toyota bZ4X electric SUV shown in Thailand in RHD form – on sale end-2022, to be priced under RM250k – paultan.org

Shown as a near-production concept last year, the Toyota bZ4X is finally filtering out into markets worldwide, with deliveries starting in the spring in Japan, Europe and the United States. The company is also preparing to launch its first dedicated electric vehicle further afield, showcasing the car in Thailand during its 60th anniversary celebration in the country.

These photos from Headlight Magazine show a right-hand-drive model, likely in Japanese spec, and according to the portal, the bZ4X will be launched in the Land of Smiles at the end of the year. It was also reported that Toyota has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with government agencies on electric vehicle support, allowing the car to be priced under 2 million baht (RM253,500).

This should put it on par with the United Kingdom, where the bZ4X retails starting from £41,950 (RM228,400). It should be pointed out, however, that the car is cheaper still in the US at US$42,000 (RM183,200) and Japan at 6 million yen (RM200,200), although it’s only offered for lease in the latter.

As a refresher, the bZ4X is built on the dedicated electric version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (e-TNGA), which was developed in conjunction with Subaru. The Pleiades brand will sell a twin in the form of the Solterra and has also lent its X-Mode technology with Grip Control to the AWD version of the car, generating increased traction on slippery surfaces.

Measuring 4,690 mm long, 1,860 mm wide and 1,650 mm tall – with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm – the bZ4X is 90 mm longer than the RAV4 and has a 160 mm longer wheelbase. Two variants are available globally – the front-wheel-drive model gets a single electric motor producing 150 kW (204 PS) and 265 Nm of torque, while the all-wheel-drive version boasts two motors and a total system output of 160 kW (218 PS) and 336 Nm.

A 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery provides a range of 516 km on the WLTP cycle with a single motor and 470 km with the dual-motor set-up. The car supports up to 150 kW of DC fast charging, which will fill the battery to 80% in just 30 minutes; it can also accept up to 6.6 kW of AC charging, with an 11 kW on-board charger set to be offered later on.

Other unique features include a more advanced Toyota Safety Sense system with oncoming and cutting-in vehicle detection, a digital instrument display mounted above the steering wheel and a novel Tesla-style yoke design for the wheel itself. This is linked to a steer-by-wire system that will be offered at a later date and allow full lock to be achieved with just a 150-degree turn.

Closer to home, the bZ4X is slated to arrive in Malaysia next year to take advantage of the existing import tax, excise duty and road tax exemptions for CBU EVs. What do you think – could the bZ4X arrive in Malaysia at under RM200,000?

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