Think of this as the future of RAV4. The forthcoming Toyota BZ has been teased with some images and a short video ahead of its official reveal next week at the Shangai motor show.
Toyota might be late to the electric vehicle party, but it now has a name for its first offering in the realm of ‘new’ EVs.
The Japanese automotive giant is taking all the knowledge gained from decades of Prius and Lexus hybrid engineering, and applying it to the new joint-venture platform.
Developed in partnership with Subaru, this e-TNGA platform is Toyota’s equivalent of VW’s MEB, which has enabled the ID range of electric vehicles.
Toyota has observed its rivals and knows that the mid-sized crossover/SUV segment is where the intersection is between price parity and product demand, for electric vehicles.
Toyota has now teased its forthcoming EV SUV and it's due to be officially revealed next week at the Shangai motor show, but it's expected to be presented in concept form. It's worth mentioning that Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus, will also be showing the LF-Z Electrified Concept in Shangai.
Patent documents have revealed that Toyota is registering the ‘BZ’ model name. Unpack that acronym and you get ‘beyond zero’, which is a clever instance of marketing from the Japanese brand.
The BZ will be similar to a RAV4 in size, but the cabin should be generously larger. Without a traditional internal combustion engine at the front, the wheelbase can be stretched, without ballooning overall vehicle length - and that means a lot more room, for passengers.
With the e-TNGA platform, Toyota’s engineers have the option of placing an electric motor at either axle, or both, creating a variety of BZs for all customer applications.
Expect the model range to be much the same as VW’s ID.4, with single- and dual-motor variants, with the latter possibly being all-wheel drive.
If you are wondering whether the ‘BZ’ name has any Toyota legacy, it does trace back to a ‘BZ-Touring’, which formed part of the Corolla line-up, in the 1990s.