Production versions of the new concepts will be launched in 2024.
At the Auto Shanghai exhibition in China, Toyota has just unwrapped two all-new and all-electric concepts that will be launched in 2024: the bZ Sport Crossover Concept and the bZ FlexSpace Concept. These are the first of 10 new EVs to be launched by 2026 under the leadership of new CEO Koji Sato, but not all of them will make their way to our shores. These two concepts, for example, are destined for the Chinese market.
However, their arrival is important in the wake of the disappointing launch of the Toyota bZ4X (the first vehicle to be rolled out in the Beyond Zero series), as it will set the tone for what to expect from the automaker in the future. Toyota has been slow to introduce EVs, and these two vehicles will help indicate if delaying its foray into full-scale electric mobility was the right call.
The first concept is the bZ Sport Crossover Concept, and it's obviously a mildly lifted hatchback. Toyota defines the concept of this production-bound vehicle as "Reboot," stating that this "incorporates the idea of a change of pace the moment you get in and drive around."
Basically, Toyota is saying that it wants this car to provide a serene environment and a calming vibe. The basic interior layout and clean design seem ideally suited to this goal. The automaker is aiming the crossover at Generation Z customers and hopes to keep them interested for a long time to come with functions that will continually evolve after purchase, mainly those like driver aids and automatic parking.
The other EV is the bZ FlexSpace Concept, which is a family-focused SUV with a focus on practicality. This model's concept is "Cozy Home," aiming to "create a space that families can use safely, comfortably, and freely with peace of mind." A roomy cabin, easy-to-operate controls, a comprehensive suite of advanced safety features, a reliable driving range, and "various intelligent functions" are the chief objectives for designers here, and development is currently underway to try to achieve those goals.
Toyota's renewed EV strategy looks promising, but thankfully, it still has an eye on alternatives to electromobility. The automaker recently partnered with Exxon to test low-carbon fuels, reinforcing its position that EVs are not the only path to a cleaner environment. Hopefully, this is a project that will bear American fruit.
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