Japanese brand’s next electric car has leaked online and looks to rival the Tesla Model 3
- Sits below Toyota bZ4X in model range
- Range of over 320 miles anticipated
- Expected to start from around £40,000
After the Toyota Camry was discontinued in 2019, there has been a significant gap in the Japanese marque’s lineup for a large saloon car – minus, of course, the niche hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai. This won’t be the case for much longer, however, as Toyota is now set to expand its EV lineup with an all-new electric saloon, dubbed the Toyota bZ3.
Leaked online before the car’s official launch, the bZ3 will sit below the Toyota bZ4X in the lineup and is set to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and the upcoming Volkswagen ID. Aero.
As you can see from the surfaced images, the new Toyota bZ3 will take several design cues from its larger sibling, the bZ4X. Just like that car, the bZ3 will adopt a set of J-shaped LED headlights that converge together to create a front light bar. To make it as efficient as possible, the car’s overall shape will be similar to that of the BMW i4 – a swooping coupe-like saloon with a hatchback-like rear design. Other details such as flush door handles and air intakes will further help increase range.
While no photographs have been released of the inside of the car, we can safely predict the new bZ3 will feature the same 12-inch infotainment setup as the bZ4X. This sits above a set of touch-sensitive buttons for the climate controls and is bolstered by a small digital instrument cluster. While not quite as distinctive as the exterior, we expect the bZ3’s interior to be well-built; however, just like the bZ4X, the bZ3 will not feature the futuristic ‘yoke’ steering wheel that’s found in the mechanically-similar Lexus RZ.
Peel away the bZ3’s svelte bodywork and we expect to find the same e-TNGA underpinnings as the aforementioned Lexus and bZ4X. Therefore, it’s possible the electric saloon could use the same 71.4kWh battery setup as its SUV relatives, providing a range of over 320 miles.
Like the bZ4X, the bZ3’s battery will be mated either to a single, front-mounted electric motor with 201bhp, or a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup with 215bhp. While the latter should get the new car from 0-62mph in well under seven seconds, a Kia EV6 will still likely be the better choice for keener drivers.
At this stage, Toyota is yet to comment on this leak, nor provide any information on when the bZ3 will be officially revealed. It’s likely, however, that the new car will be revealed by the end of the year, before it goes on sale in early 2023. Given the more-desirable bZ4X SUV starts from around £44,000, we expect the bZ3 saloon to be priced at around £40,000 – roughly £8,500 less than the equivalent Tesla.