Toyota Could Augment bZ Lineup With New, Saucier-Looking EV SUVs

The crossover SUV segment has been on a nearly unstoppable upward trajectory, and it is pulling up new electric entrants in its wake. When Toyota announced the grand plan to finally embrace electric vehicles, of course it previewed several crossover SUVs (and even an electric pickup!) and only a handful of Toyota- and Lexus-badged cars. While some of those EV SUVs are slated for an expanded bZ lineup, which currently includes only the 2023 bZ4X crossover, Toyota also unveiled two other electric crossovers destined for a new “lifestyle” lineup of EVs. Let’s dive into these newcomers:

Toyota Crossover EV Concept

The unimaginatively named Crossover EV concept is a compact-size crossover that looks like a blend of the bZ compact SUV concept’s pointy front end with a hint of the youthful looking Toyota C-HR and a more rounded, almost exotic tail. Though the shape is somewhat dramatic, this concept looks almost like a vehicle you could buy at a dealership today. Toyota jazzes things up with aggressive front LED light strips that swoop down into the upper front bumper and big wheels. Expect this compact offering to be similar in size to a Toyota RAV4, much like the bZ4X but less blocky.

Small SUEV Concept

Surprise, surprise, “SUEV” stands for “sport utility electric vehicle.” This Small SUEV concept shares a similar style with the larger Crossover EV above, but also bears a striking overall resemblance to the current Toyota CH-R, albeit with a more modern, better-looking front end design.

Similar to the the bigger Crossover EV concept, it has cyber-looking LED lights that swoop down to the upper bumper, but beyond the end of each light strip, the line is carried on, zigzagging down along the front bumper like a bolt. Toyota also gifts the SUEV a more dramatic front grille like a modern Lexus, albeit with less mouthy results. Since an electric car does not require as much air to be directed in through its nose to its powertrain, Toyota largely fills in that grille with a span of silver plastic that resembles the oncoming profile of a Star Wars TIE fighter (<-=->) instead of the alien monster teeth favored by Lexus. The reason behind much of this adventurous style? Just like the C-HR, this “small” SUEV is a subcompact SUV aimed at a more youthful buyer group.

Besides showing the concepts, Toyota has not revealed too much about the two future lifestyle crossovers. However, the SEUV has precedent: The electrified Toyota C-HR variant (also named IZOA in some regions) has already been on sale in China since 2020. It has an electric motor that produces 201 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque, fed by a 54.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is good for about 245 miles of range per the NEDC testing cycle. Since that vehicle has already been electrified and in production for a while, we suspect the C-HR-looking Small SUEV will surface in China and possibly elsewhere (maybe even the U.S.) as its de-facto replacement (using Toyota’s new EV architecture) in the coming years. May we suggest the name “CH-aR-ge?” We’ll let ourselves out.

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