New Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept showcases future EV crossover

17 Nov 2022

Toyota has unveiled a new bZ Compact SUV Concept that previews a future electric compact crossover model.

Revealed at the Los Angeles motor show, the Japanese firm says that the new machine gives a “glimpse of what the future could hold” as it expands its line-up of electric models under its Beyond Zero sub-brand.

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The new bZ Compact SUV Concept takes the form of a compact-looking coupe-SUV, with proportions reminiscent of the firm’s existing combustion-engined C-HR. Toyota says that concept showcases a ‘clean-vital’ design language.

The wheels have been pushed to the edges of the car giving short overhangs, while Toyota hints that the model’s lines have been developed with an aerodynamic focus in order to boost efficiency.

The interior of the machine is a notable difference from existing Toyota models, with a large horizontally-mounted touchscreen and a large digital info display that pops up from the dashboard.

Notably, the steering wheel is shaped more like a yoke, perhaps suggesting the machine could potentially offer the steer-by-wire technology that is being introduced on the larger Toyota bZ4X and closely related Lexus RZ 450e.

Lexus RZ 450e prototype review: we test steer-by-wire system

Toyota says the machine features an “in-car personal assistant” that connects the driver and passengers with the vehicle “through audio and lighting cues that move around the cabin.” The firm also says that the machine features a number of eco-friendly touches, including seats made from plant-based and recycled materials.

The new machine follows the larger bZ4X SUV that was launched earlier this year, and a China-only bZ3 saloon that was recently displayed for the first time.

Toyota has given no indication of the powertrain or other technical details of the new concept, or given any indication of when a production car based on it might follow. It added that further information will be revealed next month.

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