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

Toyota bZ4X Concept interior door panel dashboard

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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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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New midsize sedan

Subaru announces refreshed 2023 Legacy

The new Legacy got a facelift and new lighting elements.

Subaru

Sedans are a dying breed as SUVs and pickup trucks take over, but there are still a few compelling options out there, and Subaru has one of them. The Legacy has been a long-time part of the Subaru lineup, and the all-wheel drive family sedan got a notable update for 2023.

2023 Subaru LegacyTop trims get luxury finishes inside.Subaru

Subaru offers the sedan in five trims: Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring XD. The automaker updated the Legacy with a facelift that brought a new front fascia, redesigned front bumper and new LED lighting. The car features a low dash and open cabin for great visibility in all directions, and the top Touring XT trim offers high-end accommodations, including Nappa leather and metal trim inside.

Every Legacy comes with the latest version of Subaru Starlink infotainment software. It runs on an 11.6-inch display and offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment. Higher trim levels get the same display with navigation and a new-for-2023 what3words integration.

2023 Subaru LegacyThe Legacy goes on sale this fall.Subaru

The 2023 Legacy comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The top two trims come with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come with a continuously variable transmission that offers an eight-speed manual shift mode.

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