Toyota on Monday revealed the next member in its new BZ family of electric vehicles, a compact sedan developed exclusively for the Chinese market.
Called the BZ3, the car is a joint effort between Toyota and its two Chinese joint-venture partners, BYD and FAW, and production will also be handled in China.
The BZ3 is one of the multiple EVs Toyota presented last December in concept form. The concept previewing the BZ3 was called the BZ SDN.
It features a handsome design clearly influenced by the 2023 BZ4X compact crossover sold in the U.S., which was the first member of the BZ family. Like the BZ4X, the BZ3 features a visor-like front end and character lines that appear to be formed by geometric shapes. Elements like the front air curtains, flat door handles, and aero-optimized wheels help reduce air resistance, resulting in a low drag coefficient of 0.218 cd.
The interior design follows a clean, minimalist theme, and is dominated by a large, portrait-oriented infotainment screen in the center stack. There’s also a rotary dial controller in the center console, which serves as the gear shifter, while a hexagonally shaped steering wheel features more controls.
The BZ3 measures approximately 186 inches long, or a bit over an inch longer than a Tesla Model 3, and the top speed is approximately 100 mph. Drive comes from a single electric motor at the rear axle, rated at either 181 hp or 240 hp, depending on the grade.
The platform is Toyota’s e-TNGA design, which features in the BZ4X and related Subaru Solterra and Lexus RZ models. The battery, however, comes from BYD and is claimed to deliver more than 300 miles of range. It’s a lithium-ion unit with a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathode, a cost-effective alternative to other cathode materials.
The BZ3 is due to start sales in China in 2023.
Expect more BZ models to be revealed in the near future as Toyota has confirmed seven members for the BZ family. In announcing the new BZ3, Toyota also teased a BZ sedan or crossover featuring a coupe-like profile.
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