Toyota on Wednesday unveiled the bZ Compact SUV concept, a fully electric compact crossover that looks like it might be the replacement for the C-HR, or at least an electric alternative.
Toyota stopped short of confirming the concept for production, stating only that the vehicle shows a possible vision of the very near future. However, the concept was among the dozen EV designs shown by Toyota in late 2021 as a preview of its upcoming electric vehicles.
The “bZ” in the name points to the concept previewing a future member of Toyota’s bZ (beyond zero) family of EVs. The first was the 2023 bZ4X, a slightly bigger compact crossover about the size of a Toyota Corolla. A bZ3 compact sedan has also been revealed for the Chinese market.
A production version of the bZ Compact SUV concept will likely be called something along the lines of bZ3X. Toyota on Wednesday said it plans five bZ models, down from a previous plan for seven.
The exterior of the concept features an aerodynamic shape that makes the vehicle appear sleek and sporty, while also helping improve efficiency. A key element is a narrowed-down cabin that helps reduce drag.
Inside is a clean, uncluttered design that’s meant to signify the simplicity of electric powertrains. The dash is fitted with only a pair of screens plus a thin strip integrating vents for the climate control, while the steering wheel has taken on the yoke design that Toyota’s bZ4X offers in the Chinese market. Tesla’s Model S also features a yoke.
A voice assistant called Yui provides feedback with various audio and visual cues, and can also be used to control vehicle functions.
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