Toyota’s first mass market electric vehicle, the bZ4X, is a crossover, but it will be joined in the range by additional EVs, including a sedan. The upcoming three-box model was previewed by a recent concept, the bZ Sdn study, and a recent sighting in China seems to confirm that most of its design cues will make their way to the production model.
The prototype appears to have what seems to be the production body, which virtually copies the shape of the concept. If we look at the bZ4X concept’s transition to production, we can guess what kind of changes lie under the camouflage.
It all looks pretty much the same, right down to the sharp front end, the shape of the air intake in the lower part of the front bumper, the C-pillar kink, the fastback-style roofline and even the shape of the rear light cluster which can just about be seen through the psychedelic wrap.
Inside, it looks fairly similar to the bZ4X - it all looks very simple and minimalist - but this prototype featured a huge center screen in portrait orientation. The screen looks similar in size and aspect ratio to the one fitted to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, although there is a chance it may even be a bit bigger than the Ford’s 15.5 inches.
Gallery: Toyota bZ Sedan Spied in China
In contrast, the bZ4X has a comparably small 12-inch landscape-oriented center screen complimented by a 7-inch digital driver’s display. It looks like the sedan will keep the same (or a very similar) digital gauge cluster, but pair it with a tall screen that will probably do away with most physical controls on the center stack - only some basic climate control buttons may be kept.
The prototype also had a specs and information sheet visible inside and aside from listing its dimensions, it also said the vehicle had been built by BYD. Toyota and BYD announced a partnership meant to spawn a jointly developed $30,000 and there’s a good chance the camouflaged vehicle in these photos is the fruit of their collaborative effort.
Reuters said around the time of the joint venture announcement that the resulting cheap EV would be designed with Chinese buyers in mind and be exclusive to China. The model is expected to debut by the end of 2022 - the manufacturers declined to comment about the model’s availability outside China, but it has so far not been ruled out.
There’s also a good chance that this Toyota-badged electric sedan built by BYD will also be powered by the latter’s proprietary Blade Battery technology. It currently equips other sedans, such as the BYD Han EV, granting it a claimed range of 375 miles (605 km) calculated on the NEDC test cycle.
Sources: news.yiche.com via BZ Forums, Reuters