Update: On Toyota’s E3 platform section updated.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) ’s mega-showcase of future EVs on December 14, 2021, included a wide range of SUVs that would cover multiple segments and serve a variety of use cases. One of the concept models likely previewed the future Toyota bZ2X, or the Toyota Yaris Cross EV equivalent.
Currently, the Yaris Cross is available as a hybrid for the European market. The Toyota SU EV revealed at the Beyond Zero announcement could either take the name Yaris Cross EV or wear the Toyota bZ2X moniker. The speculation gains some credibility because Toyota has also filed a trademark for the bZ2X nameplate in multiple markets across the globe.
Toyota’s lifestyle EV lineup
TMC is designing a unique line-up of eight Toyota EV lifestyle models, including a few SUVs intended for customers with an active lifestyle. The Toyota Small SU EV concept will become one of them, positioned at the lower end. The concept hints at a slightly softer and sportier design than the squarish ICE Yaris Cross. The lower and more sloping bonnet, the C-shaped slimmer headlights, and the concave nose amplify the impression.
On the sides, the shape of the Toyota SUEV concept’s glass area is similar to that of the Yaris Cross, but the circular flared wheel arches replace the squarish ones. Don’t expect the flush door handles to make it to production. It’s worth noting that the higher-segment Toyota bZ4X doesn’t get this feature either. But for small changes, the design of the Toyota bZ2X is likely to remain identical to the concept.
The Yaris Cross EV or whatever Toyota names the SUEV concept may not be a standalone car, and will likely be a derivative of an internal combustion-engined model. When Simon Humphries, TMC’s Design Senior General Manager, presented the SUEV and other lifestyle EV concepts, he said:
We believe that truly good products create new experiences for the customer, enhancing their chosen lifestyle directions. From that point of view, each electric vehicle should be unique and special, not only those on dedicated platforms but also those related to existing models.Simon Humphries, Design Senior General Manager, Toyota Motor Corporation (Media Briefing on Battery EV Strategies, December 14, 2021)
On Toyota’s E3 platform
Toyota could thoroughly modify the GA-B small car platform, which belongs to the TNGA platform family, to add electric powertrain compatibility when battery prices fall substantially. The company is taking a similar approach for some of its compact EVs. The company plans to rework the existing GA-C compact car platform to combine elements/modules from the e-TNGA platform, as per a report from Automotive News Europe. This mixed base, called the ‘E3,’ will underpin the next-gen Toyota C-HR.
Motor.es speculates that the Toyota bZ2X will get an electric motor that produces between 130 hp and 160 hp. Toyota bZ2X’s range will also be a USP. Expect it to deliver 400 km on the WLTP cycle, with a net battery capacity between 50 kWh to 60 kWh.
Toyota Yaris Cross EV/Toyota bZ2X Release Date
TMC plans to roll out 30 EVs by 2030, and including the bZ4X, at least 13 of them are Toyota models. The Toyota bZ2X EV could reach dealers in the second half of the decade, competing with the VW ID.2, Fiat Panda electric and the Renault 4.
Featured Image Source: Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC)