Toyota has revealed the new bZ3, which is the second model in its bZ line-up of electric vehicles after the bZ4X. Developed for the Chinese market, the bZ3 is the result of a collaboration between Toyota, BYD Company and FAW Toyota Motor, the last of which will be responsible for the EV’s production and distribution in China.
Built on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform and fitted with BYD’s Blade lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery, the bZ3 offers a maximum cruising range of 600 km based on the China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC).
Toyota did not provide detailed battery specifications, but it did say that the battery structure, cooling, control, and safety monitoring systems were all newly designed for the EV. It adds that battery degradation has been reduced, guaranteeing 90% of capacity even after 10 years of average use. Given the car will be sold in China, it will use the market-specific GB/T charging connector.
According to Chinese media outlets, the bZ3 will feature a BYD-sourced TZ200-XS002 electric motor on its front axle that offers either 245 PS (241 hp or 180 kW) or 184 PS (181 hp or 135 kW). No acceleration times or top speed were provided, but expect sensible figures given these outputs.
In terms of design, Toyota’s new EV receives the hammerhead shark-like front like the bZ4X that is paired with a fastback body with prominent creases along the sides. While it may be classified as a sedan by its maker, you’ll still find subtle wheel arch cladding.
As for the rear, the bZ3 sports stylised wraparound taillights with a distinctive geometric light signature. The clusters are linked by a trim piece running the length of the boot lid, set just below the Toyota logo.
Further down, the rear bumper gets severely recessed creases that point upwards and wrap around the number plate recess, joined by a large black panel that smoothens airflow. Working together with the air guides, air curtains, flush door handles and aero aluminium wheels, the EV is claimed to have class-leading aerodynamics with a drag coefficient value of just 0.218.
The bZ3 will look to take on the Tesla Model 3 and is a slightly longer and taller vehicle by comparison. Breaking out the measuring tape, Toyota’s EV measures 4,725 mm long (+31 mm compared to the Model 3), 1,835 mm wide (-14 mm) and 1,475 mm tall (+32 mm). It should be noted that the bZ4X also has a shorter overall length compared to the bZ3, coming in at 4,690 mm long. The crossover is wider (1,860 mm) and taller (1,650 mm) though.
In terms of wheelbase, the bZ3’s spans 2,880 mm (2,875 mm for the Model 3 and 2,850 mm for the bZ4X) for a cabin that can accommodate up to five passengers. The interior concept is dubbed ‘Family Lounge’ and we do see some influences from the first bZ model, including a largely minimalist dashboard and a digital instrument cluster that is placed further up the dash. The bZ3 is a little more unique with its squarish steering wheel and portrait-format touchscreen infotainment system, the latter set on a high centre console called the ‘Digital Island’ that only has a rotary gear selector and electronic parking brake switch.
Based on the photos, the living space appears to be quite spacious, with seats trimmed in bright, patterned upholstery. Cooling is by way of a dual-zone climate control system with rear air vents, which is controlled by via touchscreen, as are the trunk release, media and other functions.
Pricing and further specifications for the bZ3 will be announced closer to the EV’s market launch scheduled to take place sometime in November after the a public debut at this year’s Guangzhou Auto Show.