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Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept Is Sharp-Looking Sign of EV Expansion

  • Toyota unveiled the bZ Compact SUV concept at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, previewing a future electric crossover.
  • The bZ Compact SUV has crisp, modern styling and is six inches shorter but 1.1 inches wider than the bZ4X electric crossover that Toyota currently sells.
  • No powertrain details have been released, but the interior includes sustainable materials and a virtual voice command assistant called “Yui.”

While Toyota remains committed to hybrids – and just unveiled a new generation of the iconic Prius – the Japanese automaker is also dipping its toes into the emerging EV market, launching its first dedicated electric vehicle, the bZ4X, for 2023. Now Toyota has revealed. a new concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which it refers to simply as the bZ Compact SUV. This one previews a smaller electric crossover that should join Toyota’s lineup in the coming years. The concept appears to be a more finished version of the version shown late last year when Toyota released a slew of electric concepts.

The bZ Compact SUV features sharp styling cues and a more athletic stance than the larger bZ4X electric crossover currently on sale. At 178.6 inches long, the concept is six inches shorter than the bZ4X, and the 108-inch wheelbase is four inches shy of the bZ4Xs. While the bZ Compact SUV is 3.6 inches lower than the bZ4X, it stretches 1.1 inches wider. With the wheels pushed out to the corners of the vehicle and sharp creases across the bodywork, the concept has a purposeful stance.

The interior is simplistic and straightforward, with a yoke steering wheel and two rectangular screens that curve upwards from the dashboard. The seats are constructed from plant-based and recycled materials, and ambient lighting adds some piszz to the grayscale cabin. The bZ Compact SUV also features a virtual assistant called “Yui” that responds to verbal commands.

Toyota does not provide any details about the bZ Compact SUV’s powertrain, other than to confirm that it is fully electric and to claim that it will bring “fun to drive, exciting performance”. Toyota says it has plans to launch around 30 dedicated electric vehicles worldwide, with five of those carrying the bZ (which stands for “Beyond Zero”) branding. The bZ Compact SUV concept will likely be one of the five, and we expect it to carry the name bZ3X within the next few years.

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