The Toyota bZ3 is one of several battery-electric vehicles the Japanese automobile giant aims to release in the coming years. While one — the bZ4X — has already made its debut, the bZ3 electric sedan (not to be confused with the bZ3X, an SUV/crossover) is expected to arrive next. But what do we know about the car since we learned about its all too inevitable release back in December of last year? Read on to find out.
The Toyota bZ3 Takes Design Cues From Its Older Sibling (The bZ4X) But With a Touch of Uniqueness
Judging from spy shots of the production model that surfaced in March, the Toyota bZ3’s silhouette closely resembles the concept car showcased at the company’s official presentation last year. The sedan looks a bit compact on the outside, like the Toyota Corolla; however, the sloping roofline suggests that it might be more aerodynamic. What looks like a sunroof can also be made out from the image.
The car’s front end is heavily disguised, but it looks like it has a low curvy bonnet with power bulges on the flanks that blend seamlessly with the wide wheel fenders on the sides and the narrow L-shaped headlamps in front. You can also see depressions to the sides where we expect the lower air intakes to be. The rear is more subtle, except for the taillights that appear similar to those seen on the concept. However, we can see the block-shaped trunk alongside a bumper without exhaust cutouts.
The rims are all blacked out in the pictures, so it’s unclear what they look like. But it won’t be surprising if it adopted the concept’s stylish aero wheels, which pretty much look like production quality anyway.
The photos also give us an idea of how the interior would look, even though it’s largely covered. It borrows some design cues from the already-released bZ4X SUV, adopting the latter’s overall dashboard and center console arrangement alongside its floating infotainment system and rotary gear selector.
However, the details are very different. For example, the dash looks a lot more minimal on the bZ3, the center console appears unique, and the infotainment display looks like it was flipped from landscape to portrait orientation. The digital instrument panel also appears unique and is positioned on the low dashboard far ahead of the driver.
It’s interesting that Toyota is deciding to make them that different considering it could save cost and time using the same interior layout as the bZ4X. Judging from the pictures, there’s plenty of legroom for the front and rear-seat passengers.
Toyota hasn’t said much about the bZ sedan, except that it will satisfy consumers’ demands as a first vehicle — that’s hardly anything to go on with. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on imagination for too long, as AutoHome has revealed some figures.
According to the publication, a spec sheet was placed on the windshield of the production with some dimensions. If they pan out, you can expect the bZ3 electric sedan to be 186 inches (4.724m) long, 72.2 inches (1.835m) wide, and 58 inches (1.475m) tall with a wheelbase that spans 113.4 inches (2880 mm). Those figures would make the bZ sedan 6.1 inches shorter than the Camry but have a 2.2-inch longer wheelbase.
The specification sheet also says the vehicle is made by BYD, a Chinese automotive giant that partnered with Toyota to establish a joint venture to research and develop battery electric vehicles (BEVs). This could also hint at the possibility of the Toyota bZ sedan being powered by the BYD Blade battery being marketed as an ultra-safe, low-cost solution that’s 5-10 cm thinner than conventional EV batteries.
The Toyota bZ3 electric was reportedly supposed to launch at the 2022 Beijing Auto Show previously scheduled for April 21–30. However, the event was postponed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in China, and revised dates are yet to be announced.
However, depending on how the disease progresses in the country, the bZ sedan could enter showrooms in late 2022 for approximately $31,428 for the base variant. Don’t hold your breath for this one, though, as all indications point to a China-only release.