Concept Cars

Toyota bZ4X Concept packages a battery electric powertrain with AWD

This concept car will be making its way to dealer stores in China and Japan.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

The Toyota bZ4X Concept isn't just a no-tailpipe dream. It's an all-electric all-wheel drive concept that Toyota plans to put into production. Soon.

Debuting today at Auto Shanghai, the Toyota bZ4X Concept is the first model to be introduced under the "Toyota bZ" brand umbrella. The "bZ" stands for beyond zero. Like the 2022 Toyota GR 86, it was co-developed with Subaru.

"The Toyota bZ4X concept points to yet another option in our already robust electrified portfolio" said Bob Carter, TMNA executive vice president of sales. "At Toyota, we are a human-centered company – the customer is our CEO and will ultimately decide which technologies will carry us toward a carbon neutral future. 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."

Toyota bZ4X Concept

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

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The concept car was built on Toyota's new e-TNGA battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform. The concept is designed to convey Toyota's noted positive attributes (quality, durability, and long-term reliability) in combination with Subaru's legendary all-wheel drive capabilities. A release by Toyota notes that the driving experience is "both comfortable and engaging".

The bZ4X SUV concept has a long wheelbase and short overhangs. That gives it a distinct look but also allows for ample interior space - something that Subarus are traditionally noted for. Its open-concept interior is designed to enhance driver comfort and confidence on the road.

It rides on five V-spoke wheels, has deep air intakes up front, and retains familial ties to the Toyota RAV4 out back.

The interior features a steering wheel that is a new design for Toyota, as well as a safety sensor system immediately behind the wheel between it and the instrument panel. Its panel is low and the location of the meters above the steering wheel are designed to extend the vehicle's sense of space as well as increase visibility and aid in sector and safe driving.

The large infotainment screen at the center of the dashboard looks a lot like the one in the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. Toyota has installed a new style rotary shifter in the concept but surrounded it with familiar-looking buttons that include functionality for an electronic parking brake, hill descent control, auto hold, Eco drive mode, a camera view, park assist, and traction control. Presumably a hatch in the console is for small item storage or an additional cup holder.

The seats and dashboard are upholstered with a cloth-like material, something becoming more and more common as automakers look for more sustainable solutions for in-vehicle decor.

Toyota has not released any specific powertrain information. The charging port for the car is located on the driver's side A-pillar.

Toyota has plans to bring the bZ4X to market in Japan and China. Worldwide sales of the model are expected by the middle of 2022. U.S. product details will be shared at a later date. Expect the SUV to go on sale in North America as a 2023 model, or later.

Toyota has applied for the bZ4X trademark in June of last year and filed another request for the "bZ4X Concept" mark in September 2020.

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BMW's newest works are equal parts art and car.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has revealed "The Ultimate AI Masterpiece", an exploration of automobiles at the intersection of art in conjunction with Frieze New York 2021, as well as the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural Engagement. The virtual art installation is supported by videos of the exhibit's creation process on YouTube and Instagram.

The installment is the brain child of creative technologist Nathan Shipley of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Gary Yeh, art connoisseur/founder of artDrunk. The duo used the NVIDIA StyleGAN artificial intelligence model to "cross-reference over 50,000 images of artwork spanning 900 years of history and a curated set of 50 works from renowned and emerging contemporary artists BMW has worked with over the past 50 years", according to a release.

Frieze New York 2021: "The Ultimate AI Masterpiece"

Photo courtesy of BMW

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The artificial intelligence then used those pieces to create entirely new art, merging classical art with the work of contemporary artists. These new works have been projection-mapped onto a virtual rendition of BMW's flagship 8 Series Gran Coupe.

"For 50 years, BMW has supported the arts and culture through numerous initiatives as a way engage and interact with consumers around the world in an authentic way," said Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America. "As we continue these efforts into 2021, and look for new and creative ways to engage audiences, we shift to a virtual setting where we are combining centuries-old art and the latest AI technology to create something completely new and exciting."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shipley and Yeh collaborated digitally from their homes in San Francisco and Seoul for the project.

"During an unusually isolated time in history, we took the opportunity to curate and work with artists from around the world as a means to give viewers a true art experience digitally," said Gary Yeh, art collector and founder of ArtDrunk. It was particularly exciting to push the boundaries of art, see how technology may influence the art world in the years to come, and build on 50 years of cultural engagement at BMW."

Frieze New York is currently in its 10th edition and taking place at The Shed in Manhattan through May 9. The venue is new and features an event reimagined for its new location, bringing together over 60 major galleries. A dedicated edition of Frieze Viewing Room will run parallel to the fair, through May 14, and will feature an expanded list of over 160 exhibitors.

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New technology is embedded into the brake caliper.

Photo courtesy of Brembo

Brembo is celebrating 60 years of brand braking history with the debut of a bit of its future. The New G Sessanta Concept is a peek at what the company sees as the future of mobility. It was inspired by the first brake caliper for motorbikes produced by the company, an innovation in 1972.

The company says that the core of the concept is LED technology, which is applied directly to the body of the caliper, a feature that is adaptable to every type of caliper they craft. Brembo sees the tech as being able to enhance the caliper's form and function serving as both an interface and an aesthetic. It will be able to "communicate directly with the user" and "adapt to the user's tastes and preferences". A new video released by Brembo shows the LED color changing via a smartphone app.

 New G Sessanta Concept The New G Sessanta Concept features interactive tech.Photo courtesy of Brembo

Brembo is often known for using bright, flashy colors on its calipers and the new light plays on that. The New G Sessanta is designed to be customizable via wireless technology. When a vehicle equipped with the caliper is stopped, the user can control the desired shade of light to express mood, enhance the style of the bike, or adapt it to the surroundings.

Additionally, the LEDs could use color and light to relay data and information regarding the conditions of the vehicle and caliper itself, or even help localize a parked vehicle by emitting a courtesy light.

Watch the video below to see the vision of the New G Sessanta come to life.


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