Toyota‘s presence at the Los Angeles Auto Show is centered on the presentation of the new Prius 2023, the famous hybrid that will also be offered in a Prime version… or plug-in hybrid.
But Toyota also had a surprise for the press… and even for electric drive fans. The automaker unveiled its bZ Compact SUV concept, an electric crossover that is expected to join the automaker’s lineup soon, although this information has not been confirmed at the time of writing. Note that the prototype’s interior is eerily similar to that of a production model, suggesting that the model will arrive soon.
The concept vehicle takes the form of a compact SUV that is reminiscent of the current C-HR with its rearward-sloping roofline. Admittedly, this future production model looks more expressive than the bZ4X, especially with the window line that runs up over the rear fender. If the nose is quite simple with its daytime running lights in the shape of a “C”, the rear portion is more loaded with the position light that acts as a spoiler, over a square sheet metal as possible. Let’s bet the public reaction is good, Toyota won’t waste too much time approving the vehicle.
The strategists also showed a few shots of the interior, which, unsurprisingly, comes with a very uncluttered atmosphere with this dashboard installed lower in front of the passengers in the first row. As is becoming more and more the norm, it features two screens and even this little yoke-style steering wheel. As for the center console, it’s raised and you can spot that little circular shifter.
The use of plant-based and recycled materials for the seats also sets the tone for the vehicle’s “green” side. There is also an onboard personal agent called “Yui” that connects the driver and passengers to the vehicle. Using audible and visual signals that move around the cabin, it responds to requests or commands from the front or rear passengers.
The question is not whether Toyota will produce this electric crossover, but when it will be released. Utility vehicles are still in vogue, and interest in electric power has never been higher. And even though the current bZ4X already offers a crossover body, the Japanese giant can easily afford a second electron-powered SUV.