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Toyota shows Chinese market bZ electric SUVs

Collaborative effort produces new Toyota bZ3C and bZ3X fully electric SUVs… for China only

3 May 2024

TOYOTA has shown two new, fully electric China-market-only bZ (Beyond Zero) SUV models at the recent Beijing Auto Show that are believed to be the first of 10 new electric Toyota and Lexus models due by 2026.


The world’s largest carmaker whipped the covers off its production ready new bZ3C and bZ3X BEVs, jointly developed with Chinese JV partners – FAW and GAC with additional input from BYD, each based on concept cars debuted over 12 months ago.


Both models are said to be tailored to Chinese customers only with no plans for global introduction at the moment.


Toyota said in a statement from Beijing show that the two new BEV models are part of the company’s multi-pathway approach to achieving carbon neutrality.


Toyota also said it used Beijing Motor Show to “showcase its efforts in China, centred around intelligence, electrification, and diversification,” as part of the transformation into a mobility company along with espousing its intention to become more customer focused.


No technical details about either vehicle were provided by Toyota however the boxy bZ3X is based on a concept model called the BZ FlexSpace and the sleek bZ3C is also concept-based on the BZ Sport Crossover that both broke cover last year at Auto Shanghai.


Based on images from Beijing, the coupe SUV style bZ3C features large wheels, front and rear lighting signatures spanning the car’s width and a loud red interior fitted with the usual large tablet-style infotainment touchscreen, head-up display projected onto a glass panel in front of the driver and a steering wheel borrowed from the bZ4X that arrived in Oz recently.


The bZ3X is a boxier MPV-style vehicle with split-level LED headlights, a more conventional SUV look and a subdued white interior with what looks like a plus size touchscreen and compact digital instrument display.


Obviously, the bZ3X will have a roomier cabin and potentially three seat rows while both display cars featured a panoramic sunroof and an expected array of digital and driver assistance equipment and smart cockpits “delivering safe, comfortable driving alongside new experience value,” according to Toyota.


Toyota said each model is equipped with "the latest" advanced safety technology which may be controlled using LIDAR.


Toyota executive vice president and chief technology officer, Hiroki Nakajima presented the new cars at a press conference saying, “What kind of BEV would bring smiles to the faces of our Chinese customers?”


“Working with our partners in China, this quest led us to the bZ3C and the bZ3X. The models unveiled as concept cars at last year's Auto Shanghai have been upgraded for mass production,” he said.


Toyota plan to begin selling both in China within a year.


“Designed around the concept of a ‘reboot’, this dynamic, distinctively styled crossover BEV focuses on features that create a fun personal space for younger Generation Z customers,” added Nakajima-san.


“Toyota will continue working toward a mobility future filled with smiles and diversity, catering to the needs of customers in every region.”

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