Toyota is gearing up to reveal its first-ever electric vehicle in the modern era, by teasing a sneak peek at a RAV4-sized SUV under its new Beyond Zero (BZ) banner.
However, the vehicle slated for reveal at the 2021 Shanghai motor show on 19 April 2021 – and first teased in March 2021 – is just a concept, with the production model to arrive later in 2021.
The BZ line-up is Toyota’s first large-scale electric vehicle play, intended to take the fight to established rivals including the Tesla Model X, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4. It’ll first show up in Europe before being made available in other markets later in 2021.
This specific sneak peek looks to tease the first reveal for the BZ range, a mid-size SUV with dimensions similar to those of the Toyota RAV4.
While no official name has been tied to this latest teaser, Toyota has recently trademarked a series of BZ- names from BZ1 to BZ5, as well as BZ2X and BZ4X names, the X suffix likely to denote dual-motor all-wheel-drive versions.
It’s expected that the larger the BZ number, the larger the car will be.
First design concepts revealed in mid-2019 showed off an aggressively angular front end tied to a series of all-new body designs for the Japanese car maker. The production version looks likely to retain the new design, with some Photoshop brightening trickery revealing a closed-off front-end with vertical side slots similar to those on the current Toyota Prius.
It’ll have thin headlights and a blue Toyota badge like its hybrid electrified forebears.
All BZ models will be built upon a new e-TNGA platform jointly developed between Toyota and Subaru, though Toyota has kept quiet about powertrain specifics to date.
What we do know is the e-TNGA platform can be lengthened or shortened, accommodate single- or dual-motor powertrains, and host a range of drivetrain layouts and battery capacities.
The six initial concepts previewed a small crossover SUV, mid-size crossover SUV, larger SUV, sedan and people mover.
We'll know more about Toyota's first BZ model after the concept is unveiled at the 2021 Shanghai motor show on Monday.
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Go beyond limits. Go beyond expectations. Go Beyond Zero.Are you in? #LetsGoPlaces pic.twitter.com/4BQdD720KS— Toyota USA (@Toyota) April 12, 2021