The Toyota bZ Compact SUV has just made its world premiere at the opening of the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. Although it’s not yet a production car, the bZ Compact SUV points to a series production electric model that will be positioned below the , Toyota’s first dedicated battery EV model.
Together with the China-only , the bZ Compact will expand Toyota’s ‘Beyond Zero’ (bZ) range to three models. Toyota has since announced that the bZ range will eventually grow to cover five models.
Inside, Toyota says the seats will be made from plant-based and recycled materials. Photos also show curved screens, but not in the way other makers do. Instead, Toyota is using curved screens to have the infotainment’s touch-screen controls positioned closer to occupants for easier reach, while at the same time allowing the display to be positioned further in front, closer to the driver’s line of sight.
The steering wheel also not of the conventional round shape, aping the bZ4X’s (and Lexus RZ’s) optional ‘yoke’ steer-by-wire rectangular style.
The concept car incorporates an in-car personal assistant agent named ‘Yui.’ With the use of audio and visual lighting cues that move around the cabin, Yui responds to requests or commands from front or rear passengers.
The feature is different from Google Assistant or other natural language voice command functions. Instead, it’s probably (we will have to wait for the demo) closer in execution to Nio’s Nomi.
Although Toyota didn’t say this, but it’s obvious that the bZ Compact SUV Concept is developed to be an evolution of the ageing C-HR.
The high tail, sweeping coupe-like roof line, small rear windows, and sharp lines are all signature styling elements of the C-HR.
When the C-HR was developed, the Toyota Corolla Cross had yet to be launched. Now that it has, there is no need for Toyota to sell two compact SUVs side-by-side.
The next generation will likely be renamed and transitioned into the electric-only bZ family.
The production model will debut sometime in mid-2023, with front-end styling that will mirror the 2023 Toyota Prius.