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Toyota Reveals 2nd Electric Compact SUV Concept

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Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept (top view)
Photo: Toyota

The new Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept that was revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month has made its European debut in Brussels, Belgium. It’s the second vehicle that is part of Toyota’s new “bZ” (Beyond Zero) brand umbrella, the first being the bZ4X that launched a year ago. 

The bZ4X was the first-ever all-electric Toyota SUV. At the time, Toyota promised it would launch at least seven bZ models by 2025 but it has now reduced that number to five. The bZ Compact SUV Concept provides a preview of just the second of these. It will slot in Europe’s C-SUV segment (about equivalent to American subcompact crossovers) alongside the hybrid C-HR Prologue

FAQ: Electrified vehicle ownership

That means the electric compact SUV is slightly longer than the Corolla Cross but shorter than the RAV4. And while it’s a Japanese SUV that was first unveiled in the United States and then in Belgium, it was actually designed at the company’s European Design and Development center in France. 

This is the same design studio that crafted the aforementioned C-HR Prologue and thus it’s no surprise that the concept shares some of its visual elements. Like most recent Toyota SUVs, the bZ Compact SUV Concept has edgy styling with short overhangs, a swept-back roof, and a medley of angular lines. Inside, the cabin is minimalist, featuring a simple dashboard panel with two mounted displays. 

  • Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept (roof view)
  • Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept (side view)
  • Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept (cabin)
  • Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept (cockpit)

Toyota has yet to reveal specs for the new electric compact SUV or for any future vehicle that would be based on it, but did highlight the use of recycled and plant-based interior materials, in keeping with the vehicle’s zero-emission theme. The Toyota SUV also features a friendly assistant called Yui who responds to commands and requests from passengers across both rows, and uses audiovisual cues to symbolize its “movement” throughout the cabin. 

“We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the Beyond Zero moniker,” said Toyota group vice president and general manager David Christ. “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.”