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October 29, 2021

Toyota's New SUV Will Have Steer-By-Wire, All-Wheel Drive Tech By Subaru

Toyota is set to eliminate the mechanical connection between the steering wheel and tires with a steer-by-wire system. The system, dubbed One-motion grip, will debut on the production version of its all-electric bZ4X SUV.

Available first for the Chinese domestic market (with plans to expand the system globally), the One-motion grip has a lock-to-lock set at just 150 degrees. By comparison, a typical passenger car would have around 972 to 1,152 degrees of movement. According to Toyota, this setup greatly reduces the burden on the driver for U-turns, parking in tight spaces, or driving on winding roads.

In addition, it also blocks unnecessary vibrations from tires and only transmits “necessary” vibrations. This improves overall stability when driving on uneven surfaces.

Aside from this unique steering system and layout, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X rides on a platform co-developed with Subaru. Its 2,850 mm wheelbase (overall length is 4,690 mm) puts it around the same size as an executive sedan such as the Camry.

The dedicated battery electric platform allows Toyota to insert the high-capacity battery flat under the floor, while the e-axle happens to integrate the motor, transaxle, and inverter further reducing footprint of its mechanical components. The new SUV will have front MacPherson Struts and rear Double Wishbones similar to current Subaru SUVs. It will also adopt Subaru’s all-wheel drive technology including X-MODE.

The Toyota bZ4X (and its mechanical twin, the Subaru Solterra) will feature a cruising range of 460 (AWD) to 500 kilometers (2WD) thanks to a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. The range can be extended by the roof solar panel which Toyota says can generate electricity equivalent of up to 1,800 kilometers of driving distance per year. Maximum output it set at 204 horsepower for the 2WD and 217 horsepower for the AWD. 0 to 100 km/h is done in as little as 7.7 seconds for the AWD and 8.4 seconds for the 2WD.

The Toyota bZ4X is scheduled for launch from mid-2022 for the 2023 model year.

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