Corolla-like Toyota bZ sedan (Toyota bZ3): What we know

Update: ‘Design’ and ‘Specifications’ sections updated.

Following the Toyota bZ4X electric SUV, Toyota plans to introduce a Toyota bZ sedan EV called Toyota bZ3. A Reuters report from December 2021 stated that the Toyota bZ sedan EV would only be for the Chinese market and a pillar of Toyota’s bZ range of electric cars.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Toyota electric sedan:

Design

On August 25, 2022, images from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) revealed the final design of the first Toyota bZ sedan, confirming the Toyota bZ3 nameplate. The exterior of the EV is nearly identical to the Toyota bZ SDN concept showcased at Toyota’s Beyond Zero presentation in December 2021.

Like the show car, the bZ3 features a low curvy bonnet with muscles on the flanks, L-shaped headlamps, and an intake on the chin. The concave nose section leaves the car with a shark-like, vigorous impression. The corner pieces of the bumper feature an imprint along with horizontal lines. The top-end variant features the concept’s four-eyed, jewel-type multi-LED projector headlights.

On the sides, the bZ3’s wheels are smaller, 18-inch units, but the design is similar to the concept. The base configuration will have smaller, 16-inch wheels and standard headlamps. Bold sculpting on the door panels, a long, curvy greenhouse with a particularly large, triangular quarter glass, and a smoothly sloping roofline that looks more aerodynamic than that of the Corolla sedan are the other visual highlights.

Top-end Toyota bZ3 rear
The top-end Toyota bZ3 features multi-LED projector headlights and a sunroof. Image Source: China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)

At the rear, a full-width tail lamp extends to the car’s shoulders to give it an aggressive styling. The sleek, short deck and stubby lower portion of the tail lend a modern look to this coupe-like sedan. Up top, the production car features a regular-sized sunroof.

Interior

One would expect the Toyota electric sedan to share its interior layout with the bZ4X in the interest of cost and time, but that’s not the case if the test mules are anything to go by. The center console appears unique, and unlike the bZ4X, which has a sizeable horizontal touchscreen, the sedan has a portrait-oriented unit. The digital instrument console is also unique and is positioned far ahead of the driver on the low dashboard. However, the rotary gear selector appears identical to the one found on the bZ4X.

Toyota bZ3 interior
Toyota is crafting the interior keeping in mind Chinese buyers’ interests, which could be why it is so different from the bZ4X, a global SUV. Image: Autohome

It is easy to see large windows in the picture, which should let plenty of light in. Plus, there is generous knee room for the rear seat passenger. A sunroof and what looks like rear AC vents can also be made out from the image.

Specifications

The Toyota bZ3 is 4,725 mm long, 1,835 mm wide, and 1,475 mm tall. It has a wheelbase of 2,880 mm, slightly longer than the Tesla Model 3. It will be available with two powertrain options: 135 kW (181 hp) and 180 kW (241 hp). However, the top speed is the same regardless of the powertrain – 160 km/h (99 mph).

BYD Blade battery
Toyota established an R&D joint venture with BYD in 2020, called BYD Toyota EV Technology. Image: BYD

As for the battery pack, we don’t know the energy storage content (capacity) yet, but we have confirmation that it’s a Lithium Iron Phosphate unit. It’s most likely the Blade battery, as the manufacturer is Wuwei Fudi Battery, which is a subsidiary of BYD. After all, Toyota has developed the electric sedan in partnership with BYD.

The Blade battery, which is marketed as “ultra-safe,” is low-cost and is 5-10 cm thinner than conventional EV batteries, opening up more room in the interior. It could help make the Toyota electric sedan as roomy as a Camry in a smaller footprint.

AspectToyota bZ3 Specification
Length4,725 mm
Width1,835 mm
Height1,475 mm
Wheelbase2,880 mm
Front Overhang905 mm
Rear Overhang940 mm
Front Track1,580 mm
Rear Track1,580 mm
Tire Size215/65R16 or 225/50R18
Approach Angle13°
Departure Angle23°
Curb WeightTV7002BEV configuration – 1,710 kg
TV7002BEVP configuration – 1,835 kg or 1,840 kg
Gross WeightTV7002BEV configuration – 2,145 kg
TV7002BEVP configuration – 2,260 kg
System PowerTV7002BEV configuration – 135 kW (181 hp)
TV7002BEVP configuration – 180 kW (241 hp)
Top Speed160 km/h (99 mph)
Battery Pack TypeLithium Iron Phosphate
Toyota bZ3 specifications for China (Source: China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology)

Price & Release Date

Reuters reported that the Toyota bZ sedan (now confirmed to be called Toyota bZ3) would break cover at the 2022 Beijing Auto Show. Previously scheduled between April 21-30, 2022, the event has been postponed because of the surge of COVID-19 cases in China. The revised dates for the show have not been announced, and Toyota could unveil the car at a company event.

The Toyota electric sedan will enter showrooms late in 2022, and according to a local Chinese source, it may cost under CNY 200,000 (~USD 29,000) for the base variant.

Toyota sedans are still popular in the U.S.

Bob Carter, Toyota’s top sales executive in the United States, reiterated the brand’s focus on ‘cars’ (referring to sedans in the traditional sense) during a press briefing on April 6, 2022, reports Bloomberg. Even though the global sales trends are increasingly favoring SUVs and crossovers, Toyota sedans like the Corolla and the Camry continue to be popular options for communities like Asian and Hispanic car buyers in America as they are generally more affordable than SUVs or pickups.

Let’s not forget the advantages sedans have over SUVs; they’re more aerodynamic, which improves range, and they have a lower center of gravity, which means better handling. The popularity of ‘cars’ could be a confidence booster for Toyota’s all-electric bZ sedan. Moreover, the Ioniq 6 and the VW Aero B have been confirmed for the U.S. If Toyota decides to bring the bZ sedan to America, the German, Korean and Japanese electric sedans could steal the Tesla Model 3’s thunder.

Toyota bZ3 FAQs

What is the Toyota bZ3 release date?

The Toyota bZ3 will likely go on sale towards the year-end in the Chinese market.

What will be the Toyota bZ3 price?

The Toyota bZ3’s prices may start at under CNY 200,000 (~USD 29,000).

Which EVs will be Toyota bZ sedan rivals?

The Toyota bZ sedan may compete with the Xpeng P5, Tesla Model 3, and the BYD Seal.

Featured image source: China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)