Yesterday, Toyota officially revealed to the world the all-new Prius. The fifth-generation model not only looks sportier but gets a more powerful and efficient hybrid powertrain, including a plug-in hybrid variant that can recharge its batteries via solar power.
But while Toyota may be more known for making the world’s most popular hybrid vehicle, they are slowly making a name in building electric vehicles (EVs). Toyota themselves already have the bZ4X and the Lexus RZ 450e serving as their premier electric crossovers. The company even has the bZ3 Sedan which is now available in China.
In the future, however, Toyota’s lineup of fully-electric models will include a compact crossover. Say hello to the aptly-named bZ Compact SUV Concept, a preview of things to come from Toyota. Revealed in full at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, the concept vehicle essentially gives us a glimpse of another bZ model that will sit below the much larger bZ4X.
Featuring an aerodynamic exterior, the concept shown in LA looks like an improved version of the bZ Compact SUV revealed last year. With the wheels pushed out onto the corners, the concept boasts an aggressive stance which gives it the illusion of movement even while standing still. The short overhangs and sweeping angles make the vehicle stand out more thanks to its clear-cut shape.
Further highlighting its sculpted exterior are the aggressive LED headlights, huge stylish alloy wheels, a sloping roofline with a floating effect, the thin LED taillights at the back, and the blacked-out body cladding that gives it a more rugged appearance.
The edgy styling carries over to the interior thanks to the generous use of sharp lines, prominent creases, and high-tech gizmos. Upfront, there are two digital displays; one serves as the instrument cluster while the other is the vehicle’s touchscreen infotainment system. Don’t expect to find a traditional steering wheel in the bZ Compact SUV Concept as it comes with a steering yoke complete with multi-function buttons.
With an eco-friendly theme, Toyota also used plant-based and recycled materials for the seats following the Beyond Zero theme. Highlighting the vehicle’s high-tech wizardry is a personal agent called “Yui” that can connect to the driver and passengers. With the use of audio and visual lighting cues that move around the cabin, the intelligent system can respond to requests or commands from the front or rear passengers.
Other details regarding the crossover’s electric powertrain and battery performance are not yet available. But given that the bZ Compact SUV is still a concept, perhaps Toyota is still developing them.
With electric vehicles becoming more popular than ever, Toyota is making sure they have something in the hugely popular compact SUV market. The only question now is, will the bZ Compact SUV become as famous as the Prius?