Forecasting what will likely be the next battery electric vehicle installment of the brand’s showroom, the Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept made its world debut at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept car showcases what a smaller more affordable model under the bZ4X might look like.
A compact SUV that would be more in a size comparison with the Toyota CH-R, the bZ takes us on a journey of what Toyota calls Beyond Zero, their long term plan to expand their offerings of electrified vehicles brand-wide in the coming decades.
While specifications of size and performance were not given for the bZ Compact SUV Concept what is told loudly is a design direction of sharp lines and handsome forms that follow its larger sibling the bZ4X now currently on sale.
It’s face is fresh and chiseled with an array of LED lighting that highlight it’s shapes. Finishes like gloss black contrast against the matte finish paint presented here. Wheels are large and sent to the corners, fenders bulging like muscles to give an athletic stance – all concept car trademarks we expect.
Here though, the execution of the bZ Compact SUV Concept is very much production ready and likely close to what we will see in a future production model. It’s the cabin that takes us a few steps further from what we know, and tells us something new.
Extremely simple and void of details that distract, the interior is lined with plant-based and recycled materials to give it eco-friendly bonafides. That’s all fuzzy and nice, and it looks the part with a lot of sueded materials wall to wall that in a production model would more likely be patterned plastic.
It’s the curved display screens and the steering pod that really show off a potential movement forward we can all get down on. Both the driver information cluster ahead of the steering pod and the infotainment center screen show off a curved screen design that’s not only doable, but done here. You can see it working just fine.
The rest of the cabin of the concept while edgy and custom does indeed look far less developed for production at this point. And the cool steering pod – likely would be replaced with a more mainstream wheel.
Nothing was given us in the way of powertrain make up, performance specifications or range at this time. Given the bZ place in the lineup below the current bZ4X we can surmise it would be FWD standard with AWD possibly offered.
The bZ4X now on sale offers up to 250 miles range and 201 standard horsepower. It’s likely that a production bZ would be in the same neighborhood as an entry level product by the time it would go on sale.
Whatever the case, Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept really shows a next step in the brand’s plan to expand their portfolio to some 30 BEVs in the coming decades to help get them to their goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.