Toyota BZ teased: RAV4-size EV debuting next week

Toyota will unveil its first vehicle based on its new e-TNGA dedicated EV architecture at the 2021 Shanghai motor show.

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Derek Fung
Derek Fung
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Toyota’s first electric crossover since the RAV4 EV went out of production in 2014 will be unveiled at the Shanghai motor show on April 18.

Ahead of the car’s debut, the company has issued a teaser image. After a little bit of enhancement we can see the car’s front bumper is largely closed off, with cooling handled by an intake at the bottom.

In place of the traditional grille there’s a silver and gloss black plastic section linking up the LED headlights.

The driving light design flows directly into the silver section, which features a Toyota badge with a blue halo.

Andrea Carlucci, Toyota Europe’s head of product development, told Autocar the new EV will be around the size of the RAV4, as this class of vehicle is popular in all markets around the world.

Carlucci says the electric crossover will be “very European in the DNA and design”. Although aimed largely at the European market, the vehicle will be built at the dedicated EV plant in Japan.

The new EV will be based on the company’s new e-TNGA architecture it’s developing with Subaru.

At least six Toyota-badged EVs will be based on the new platform, including a smaller crossover that will be shared with Suzuki, a larger crossover, and a people mover.

Matthew Harrison, CEO of Toyota Europe, said these initial raft of e-TNGA-based models will be launched with their own distinct names.

Since the RAV4 EV, which used battery technology and powertrain technology from Tesla, went out of production in 2014, Toyota has concentrated on petrol-electric hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell drivetrains.

Last year, Toyota sold 1,905,941 hybrids across the world. Not only was Toyota the world’s number one hybrid car maker, hybrids accounted for 20.3 per cent of all of its sales.

By way of comparison, Toyota sold only 48,513 plug-in hybrids, 3346 pure EVs, and 1770 hydrogen fuel cell cars.

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Derek Fung
Derek Fung
Derek Fung is a Journalist at CarExpert.
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