Toyota unveiled its first production electric vehicle, the bZ4X crossover. By 2025, the company promises to introduce seven models of the bZ series (beyond Zero) in North America, Japan, China and Europe, where there is strong demand for electric vehicles and a significant share of electricity comes from renewable sources, the company said.
The Toyota bZ4X is based on the e-TNGA modular platform, designed for vehicles with electric power plants. It will also build the Subaru Solterra electric crossover, which the company will unveil shortly.
Toyota bZ4X is available in two versions. In the base version, the crossover will have a single 150 kW (204 hp) engine on the front axle, allowing the electric vehicle to accelerate from standstill to 100 km / h in 8.4 seconds. The all-wheel drive version will be equipped with two electric motors (on the front and rear axles) with a capacity of 80 kW (109 hp) each and an acceleration time to hundreds in 7.7 seconds. In the first version with a fully charged battery, the electric car will be able to drive 500 km, in the second - 460.
The all-new Kia EV6 electric crossover has been crowned as the winner of 2022 ‘German Car of the Year’ (GCOTY) awards in the ‘Premium’ category. Interestingly, 3 out of 5 awards in GCOTY Premium category went to electric vehicles.
A jury consisting of 20 automotive journalists evaluated new models with a base price of between 25,000 and 50,000 euros to determine the overall category winner. The Kia EV6 beating a diverse set of rivals including the Hyundai IONIQ 5, Volkswagen ID.4, Audi Q4 e-tron and Mercedes-Benz C-Class among others, came on top to win the coveted title.
In addition to the three main categories that included ‘Compact’, for vehicles priced under 25,000 euros, ‘Premium’, for vehicles priced between 25,000 and 50,000 euros, and ‘Luxury’, for vehicles priced over 50,000 euros, the competition also included an additional ‘New Energy’ category, which represented EVs powered solely by batteries or hydrogen. The Kia EV6 was ranked second, just behind the Hyundai IONIQ 5 which picked the top slot in this category.
Commenting on the achievement, Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe said:
“It’s fantastic to see the EV6 win the ‘2022 German Premium Car of the Year’ award. While the first deliveries of our innovative electric crossover have only just begun, this honor is clear recognition that the EV6 is already setting new standards for driving range, performance, interior space and technology.”
The all-new Kia EV6 brings long-range, zero-emissions power, 800V ultra-fast charging and distinctive styling to the crossover SUV market. The EV6 enables the vehicle to achieve up to 528 km of driving range from a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle, while advanced 800V charging technology means drivers can charge from 10 to 80% in just 18 minutes.
The EV6 is also the first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’. Kia, under its ‘Plan S’ strategy, aims to introduce 11 new EV models by 2026 including 7 dedicated BEVs based on E-GMP. According to Luc Donckerwolke, Chief Creative Officer at Hyundai Motor Group:
“The EV6 is not only the first Kia based on our new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), it’s also the first car that incorporates our new and bold Opposites United design philosophy as well as the all-new company logo. The EV6’s emotional design, dynamic performance, impressive driving range and ultra-fast charging capabilities truly mark it out as something special. We are proud to receive the German Car of the Year’s Premium award that acknowledges the brilliant work of our dynamic Kia team.”
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Toyota Yaris has scored a horrible 1-star rating in the latest round of Latin NCAP crash tests. This makes it the first Toyota ever to score a single star in Latin NCAP tests.
Although the Yaris in Latin American markets come equipped with dual airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard, it still achieved 41.43% in Adult Occupant, 63.85% in Child Occupant, 61.63% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users and 41.86% in Safety Assist section.
The Yaris for Latin American market does not offer side body and side head protection airbags as standard like the model sold in Thailand or Malaysia for example. In the frontal impact test, the model showed unstable structure and unstable footwell area performance. Side impact showed a door opening during the test, which means that the car would have failed the UN95 test. The door opening in the side impact requires immediate action by Toyota as it poses a serious risk of ejection in the case of side impacts.
The Latin American Yaris offers optional equipment that can potentially contribute to better performance and could have become standard in all model range but a decision of Toyota in Mexico affected negatively the standardization of key equipment to improve the result of the Yaris. As per sources, Toyota also refused to test the optional equipment to show its performance which opens the question of the effectiveness of those extra safety features.
Also, the Yaris seatbelt reminder system (SBR) showed no detection of the front passenger, Latin NCAP noted. The result is valid for the hatchback and sedan versions of the Yaris. Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP while commenting on the test result, said:
“Even more surprising and disappointing is Toyota’s first ever one star model, the Yaris. It is concerning that a decision made by Toyota Mexico is the main reason for this result but moreover the responsible of the decision of not offering now, as standard key safety equipment. As a result of the decision, key safety equipment such as side body and side curtain airbags are not available for all Latin Americans”.
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