Currently reading: Toyota considering hot GR bZ4X performance EV
Japanese firm's GR Sport division investigating how to make a performance EV

Toyota engineers are investigating the feasibility of a GR-branded performance version of the new Toyota bZ4X electric SUV – but won’t commit to the project until they are sure it can live up to the badge.

The bZ4X is the Japanese firm’s first series production EV. Toyota showed a bZ4X GR Sport concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January that imagined how a performance version could look, although it did not give any details of the powertrain.

While that was strictly a concept, Toyota’s GR Sport division, which developed the GR Yaris hot hatch, is looking at a production version. Daisuke Ido, the chief engineer of the bZ4X, told our sister brand Move Electric: “We are talking with the GR guys, but it's still not a concrete idea yet."

Ido said that the the biggest challenge of developing a performance variant was not achieving sufficiency power or torque from the electric powertrain, but on ensuring it offered handling and performance that matched other models in Toyota's GR well-regarded line-up.

"That is a challenge, always," said Ido. "We can control any profile with a battery EV, so the feeling is very important, and we have to work out how to offer a higher power with the same mechanism. That's the challenge."

The bZ4X is the first production model to use Toyota’s new E-TNGA platform, and will initially be offered with a single motor producing 201bhp, and a 215bhp twin motor set-up with that offers all-wheel-drive 215bhp.

The closely related Lexus RX450e will be offered with a twin-motor 309bhp set-up, which shows how the versatile E-TNGA architecture can accept increased power outputs. Ido is also in charge of developing Toyota’s other electric models, which are due to be launched in quick fashion following the bZ4X.

Four other E-TNGA models are due to arrive in the coming years – although not all will be offered in every market – and will include a compact SUV, a seven-seat large SUV, an Aygo X-sized urban crossover and a mid-sized saloon.

The E-TNGA platform is designed for C- and D-segment cars, and Ido confirmed that the firm is working on a new electric platform for smaller cars. When asked about future plans, Ido added: “With the E-TNGA platform for the bZ series we can offer some variety, and a wide range of products – maybe some sporty types of car, or maybe a big car for facilities. That's not saying we will do those – that's just my imagination for now."

Q&A: Toyota bZ4X chief engineer Daisuke Ido on performance EVs, reliability and blue brake calipers

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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xxxx 16 June 2022

How about making enough GR''s to fulfil existing demand

Peter Cavellini 16 June 2022
xxxx wrote:

How about making enough GR''s to fulfil existing demand

Yep!, that's true, I've only seen one Yaris GR and none of the GR86 or Supra, which, by the way is in now way Son of the original Supra ( more BMW underneath than Toyota?).

Peter Cavellini 16 June 2022

 More a question of why it took them so long?, I mean most of the other brand they compete against have one.