Toyota this week launched its first electric car — a new mid-sized SUV model called ‘Password’. Except that’s not actually its name. It’s really called ‘bZ4X’. Honestly.
But as its official name looks like a randomly generated computer log-in code and, as I struggle to remember any of mine, the Toyota Password seems more fitting.
The bZ is supposed to stand for ‘beyond zero’ — highlighting its green credentials. How do we pronounce this ‘bZ’? Buzz? It marks the start of Toyota’s sub-brand for zero emission vehicles.
Code red: Buyers might struggle with the name bZ4X, Toyota’s electric model
It’s handy timing for a new electric car, as petrol hits the £2 a litre mark and filling up an average car crashes through the £100 barrier.
Even rocketing electricity charges won’t match that. Charging to 80 per cent takes 30 minutes and it has a range of between 257 and 317 miles depending on the model.
With a 71.4kWh battery, the all-wheel drive version with two electric motors developing 215bhp accelerates from rest to 62mph in 6.9 seconds. The 201 bhp front-wheel drive does it in 7.5 seconds. Top speed is limited to 100mph.
The bZ is supposed to stand for ‘beyond zero’ — highlighting its green credentials
The new electric five-door SUV is priced from £41,950 for the front-wheel drive and base-level Pure trim
Charging to 80 per cent takes 30 minutes and it has a range of between 257 and 317 miles depending on the model
With a 71.4kWh battery, the all-wheel drive version with two electric motors developing 215bhp accelerates from rest to 62mph in 6.9 seconds
The new electric five-door SUV is priced from £41,950 for the front-wheel drive, base-level Pure trim, up to £51,550 for all-wheel drive Premiere Edition.
Other trim levels between are Motion and Vision. Trimdependent options include a panoramic roof (£540), 20 in alloy wheels (£490) and metallic paint (from £600).
- Toyota has also added more power to its facelifted, British-built all-hybrid and sensibly named Corolla — as it is given a mid-life refresh following the launch of the original 12th-generation version in 2018. The 1.8-litre hybrid is boosted to 138bhp (from 120bhp) and accelerates from rest to 62mph in 9.2 seconds. The 2-litre hybrid is increased to 193bhp (from 181bhp) and hits the same mark in 7.5 seconds. But there is no increase in CO2 emissions (102g/km and 107g/km respectively).
Polestar unveils first picture of new SUV
Sweden’s Polestar has unveiled the first picture of its new 3 electric performance SUV — the firm’s first crossover — ahead of its world premiere in October.
At launch, it will feature a dual-motor drivetrain and a large battery, with a target range of 372 miles.
Production is expected to begin in early 2023 in the U.S. and China. It marks the start of an ambitious drive to launch a new car every year and increase production tenfold to 290,000 cars by the end of 2025.
Shining light: Sweden’s Polestar has unveiled the first picture of its new 3 electric performance SUV
A smaller electric performance SUV coupe — the 4 — will follow next year. And the 5, a sleek electric performance 4-door GT — engineered in Nuneaton — follows in 2024 as the production version of the earlier Precept concept car.
But I hear it’ll make its dynamic UK debut up the hill at this month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Polestar has so far produced two electric performance cars: the Polestar 1 built between 2019 and 2021 as a low-volume electric performance hybrid GT; and the higher volume Polestar 2 electric performance fastback. In March 2022 it revealed its second concept car, the Polestar O₂ electric performance roadster.
Polestar chief executive Thomas Ingenlath said: ‘With this car, we bring the ‘sport’ back to the SUV, staying true to our performance roots.’
Spun off from Volvo in 2017 as a standalone Gothenburg-based Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer, Polestar is a subsidiary of Chinese car-maker Geely.
Sir Paul Smith in new MINI collaboration
British clothes designer Sir Paul Smith has collaborated on a one-off conversion of a classic British petrol-powered MINI from 1998, making it fully electric.
The MINI Recharged made its world premiere this week at the Salone del Mobile 2022 in Milan.
Sir Paul’s links with MINI go back more than two decades.
Making a point: Sir Paul Smith’s links with MINI go back more than two decades
In 1998 he created a Paul Smith Edition, limited to 1,800 vehicles — painted a bright blue based on one of his favourite shirts.
The new model, with a 72kW electric motor, is also in this shade of blue with a lime-green battery box.
Stylish and witty tweaks include: an otherwise-bare floor covered with recycled rubber mats; a magnet next to the steering wheel for a smartphone which replaces almost all the old dashboard buttons; plus a removable steering wheel to facilitate getting in and out of the car.
The new model, with a 72kW electric motor, is also in this shade of blue with a lime-green battery box
The MINI Recharged made its world premiere at the Salone del Mobile 2022 in Milan
Sir Paul said: ‘Three things describe this car perfectly: quality, sustainability and functionality. This car also respects the past.
‘When you move into your old aunt’s flat, out of respect you don’t change everything, but you do some modernising. ‘We have made a 1990s car totally relevant for today.’
The MINI Recharge electric car is the second collaboration between Sir Paul and MINI design chief Oliver Heilmer who last year presented the minimalist MINI STRIP concept car at the IAA motor show in Munich. Expect more.
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