Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept Points to an Expanded EV Range

Toyota revealed the next installment in its electrification drive with a compact EV concept that will slot below the RAV4-sized bZ4X. Simply called the Toyota bZ, this stylish small SUV has more four-door coupe-like styling than the production bZ4X, which has the look of a more traditional off-roader.
Toyota bZ concept 14 photos
Photo: Newspress
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No technical details on the battery pack, motor, range and performance were announced. The concept is primarily a styling exercise showing the future direction of Toyota’s EV design. The bZ name is a take on Toyota’s “beyond zero” commitment to zero-emission vehicles.

“With an aerodynamic design coupled with intuitive tech features never before seen in a Toyota model, the bZ Concept showcases another possible vision of the very near future with our battery electric vehicles,” said David Christ, Toyota group vice president and general manager.

The sleek bZ features the same “hammerhead” design to the front lighting elements as seen on also newly revealed 2023 Prius. The shark nose styling sports sharp character lines that carry through the body. The rear haunches and wheel arch cladding contribute to a muscular look, while the roof and side windows have a sportier flair.

The rear end is tapered and crisply defined with a clear break at the corners. A glass roof flows into the steeply-raked liftgate that incorporates a rear spoiler. LED taillights wrap around from the bodyside and extent across the rear of the vehicle framing the bottom of the rear glass.

The interior design is stark in its approach. The dashboard is primarily a cross-cabin beam with two digital displays, one in front of the driver and the other in the center, both of which have curved bases that are part of the screen. The steering wheel is more of a yoke with touchpad controls, while the floating center console carries a gearshift control.

Interior seat upholstery and many of the exposed surface areas use plant-based and recycled materials. The Toyota bZ concept also touts an in-car personal interface called Yui to connect the driver and passengers with the vehicle. This interface uses voice and lighting cues that move around the cabin when it responds to voice commands from the vehicle occupants.

There’s no timetable on when a production version of the bZ concept will hit the market.
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