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Toyota reveals bZ3

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Toyota reveals its second born-EV, the bZ3, after the bZ4X SUV. The bZ3 sedan will go on sale next year in China, followed by other markets in Europe and Asia. The bZ3 gets batteries from BYD and promises a range of up to 599km on a single charge. While its exterior design had surfaced earlier, we now have more details about the Corolla-sized electric sedan.

The bZ3 EV sedan borrows design elements from the Toyota bZ4X SUV, including the split headlamps and an LED strip running the length of the bonnet. In terms of dimensions, the bZ3 measures 4,275mm in length, 1,835mm in width and 1,475mm in height. This makes it marginally larger than its chief rival — the Tesla Model 3.

Toyota claims that the bZ3 provides a drag coefficient value of 0.218Cd, thanks to air guides and air curtains found throughout the sedan’s exterior. Additionally, it also benefits from a wind-resistant rear bumper and aluminium wheels, making it more aerodynamic than the Tesla Model 3, which has a value of 0.23Cd.

The interior of the sedan has been designed with Toyota’s ‘family lounge’ concept, which sees cars more as a family space than just a mode of transportation.

It features a ‘digital island’, which makes use of a large portrait-oriented central touchscreen and what Toyota calls a “tray-type console” with smartphone integration and wireless charging. The touchscreen controls various functions like air conditioning, music, boot release and voice functions.

The bZ3 is based on a bespoke EV platform — eTNGA, internally known as the 40PL. The EV sedan gets BYD’s innovative Blade lithium-iron-phosphate battery technology that has been designed to retain 90 % of its charging capacity after 10 years. Toyota is yet to reveal specific powertrain details like performance and charging times but the carmaker claims that the bZ3 has a range of around 599km.

BYD, on the other hand, recently launched their second EV for the Indian market — the Atto 3 SUV.

Toyota has also confirmed that the third global model for the bZ series is also in development, previewed in a low-lit image revealing the roofline of a compact crossover. More details on the model will be revealed later this year.

While the bZ3 is unlikely to come to our markets, Toyota, with its alliance partner Suzuki, has plans of introducing a host of born-EV SUVs and MPVs on the 27PL platform, which is a derivative of the 40PL. The first of the models will be a Creta-rivalling midsize SUV, which will be unveiled in 2025.

Toyota currently sells Camry, Vellfire and the Urban Cruiser Hyryder with a strong hybrid powertrain. The carmaker recently brought the Corolla Hybrid to showcase its flex-fuel technology.



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