Toyota showcases bZ Sport Crossover, bZ Flexspace EVs in Shanghai

    Both models to spawn production versions for China initially, followed by more markets.

    Published On Apr 19, 2023 08:00:00 AM

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    Toyota has showcased two bZ born EV concepts at the ongoing Shanghai Motor show previewing an imminent expansion to its global bZ EV line-up, which includes popular models like the bZ4X crossover and the bZ3 sedan. The duo arrive as a wave of 10 electric cars that Toyota plans to sell in China by 2026.

    1. Both born-EV models to feature BYD battery tech
    2. Both sit on e-TNGA platform shared with GAC

    Toyota bZ Sports crossover looks production ready

    The more distinctive of the pair is the luridly coloured bZ Sports Crossover – a sleek, high-riding four-door coupe that looks set to evolve into a performance-oriented sibling of the upcoming bZ3X crossover, which was previewed earlier as the bZ compact crossover.

    Toyota has not given any details of what lies underneath the "active and distinctive" bodyshell, but it's highly likely to use the same e-TNGA architecture as the Toyota bZ4X – it's being developed in partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC), which builds the bZ4X for China. Elsewhere, Toyota has borrowed battery technology from another Chinese manufacturer, BYD, for its new bZ3 sedan, but it has yet to detail any future car that will arise from this tie-up.

    Inside, the bZ Sports Crossover concept looks relatively ready for production, with a curved central infotainment display and large digital instrument cluster, while the unusually shaped steering wheel suggests the production car will get Toyota's new steer-by-wire technology, controlled via a yoke-style device. Toyota says it has been designed "with functions to provide a personal space for younger customers" and that it will be kept fresh via over-the-air software updates after purchase.

    Toyota bZ Flexspace previews future midsize EV SUV

    Meanwhile, the bZ Flexspace concept previews a new midsize SUV that will sit above the bZ4X. It's large and upright, and is focused on families who want an EV SUV with a "reliable cruising range". Details are thin, but it wears Toyota's new hammerhead front end and hosts a similar cockpit to the latest bZ production cars – complete with the unconventional steering wheel. Toyota says the priority of the Flexspace is to provide a "cosy home" environment that's easy to live with every day, although it hasn't confirmed whether there's room for a third row of seats at the back.

    Toyota’s EV plans for India

    At the 2023 Auto Expo, Toyota did showcase the bZ4X in India for the first time, however, the firm has been tight lipped about its EV plans for now. We can, however, confirm that the production version of the Maruti Suzuki eVX concept that was shown earlier this year will spawn a Toyota derivative as well. Both born EV SUVs will be built in Gujarat and will have a 2,700mm wheelbase. Expect the made-for-India Toyota EV SUV and its Maruti counterpart to see light of day sometime in 2025.

    Also See:

    BMW i7 M70 xDrive revealed as the brand’s most powerful EV yet

    Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV breaks cover at Shanghai Auto show

    New Lexus LM MPV unveiled at Shanghai; India launch soon

    Toyota Cars

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