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New Toyota BZ3C and BZ3X hint at future EVs for Australia


Small crossover SUV and medium SUV EV go on sale in China in 2025, pointing towards the likely design direction for Toyota’s global electric range.

Toyota’s electric car lineup has just been dialled up to sexy. Revealed at this week’s Beijing Motor Show, the bZ3C and bZ3X SUVs showcase a tasty design direction for Toyota’s electric push.

The two EVs are due to go on sale in China “within a year” and looked production ready on Toyota’s Beijing show stand, although we weren’t granted access to climb inside the new cars.

Both are Chinese market-only vehicles, but on first encounter, credibly point towards Toyota’s future global EV products.

2024 Toyota BZ3C model rear 3/4 at Beijing Motor Show
The Toyota BZ3C on the stand in Beijing, China

The bZ3X follows the naming convention of Toyota’s global bZ4X EV recently launched in Australia, and looks of similar size but with a taller, boxier style.

It’s a five seat SUV with skinny, two-tiered front LED lights, prominent chin and quite boxy rear arches. A rear light strip runs the length of its tail, with lights extending a long way around the SUV’s sides.

More spectacular is the bZ3C small/medium coupe-style crossover SUV, rich with edgy metal body panels, black roof and black C-pillar, and seriously sloping fastback rear end. 

Both EVs sport LiDAR scanners on their roof tops, which remind of TAXI lights on an old New York cab.

Toyota also debuted a larger SUV called the BZ3X

One for families, one for Gen Z

Toyota’s revealed little about the EVs. We don’t know details on motors, batteries, specification or potential pricing. 

The Japanese giant was keen to point out these vehicles are “catering to Chinese customers” and that the two EVs had been jointly developed with Toyota’s Chinese-based partners, including IEM and GAC.

Although unconfirmed, it’s highly likely the battery and powertrain have been co-developed with Chinese EV brand (and battery giants) BYD

2024 Toyota BZ3C model interior shot at Beijing
A look inside the Toyota BZ3C on the display stand in China

The Toyota bZ3 small sedan – on the e-TNGA platform like our bZ4X – is already on sale in China, and was co-developed with BYD and features its blade battery.

The bZ3X looks a highly practical family five-seater. Peering through the windows revealed a plush cabin with minimalist dashboard. Much like the current bZ4X there’s a small steering wheel and digital driver’s display mounted just below the windscreen.

There’s a giant infotainment screen – about 14-15 inches – a floating centre console with twin wireless charging pads and oodles of storage. 

The rear seems to offer excellent space with a totally flat floor, while peering through the rear glass showed a decent family-sized boot. 

2024 Toyota BZ3C model show at the Beijing Motor Show
Integrated LED light signature is a highlight feature of the BZ3C’s front end

At its unveiling, Toyota said: “This family-oriented SUV-type BEV offers a large interior space based on the concept of providing a mobile ‘Cozy Home.’” Beautifully said. Its spaciousness and classic SUV shape with EV powertrain make it look a decent fit for Australia.

The coupe-like bZ3C “focuses on features that create a fun personal space for younger Generation Z customers,” Toyota explained.

It certainly has a youthful edge with its shapely and sporty boot lid, fastback rear tailgate, giant black 21-inch rims and pop-out door handles. 

Looking through the locked car’s windows revealed a confrontingly red cabin. It too sported a giant central infotainment screen, plush seating and the rear seats looked to offer reasonable legroom. Through the glass tailgate the boot was reasonably proportioned too.

2024 Toyota BZ3X model show at the Beijing Motor Show
You can see a blend of Lexus and Toyota styling for the exterior of the BZ3X

What’s the potential for Australia?

Last year Toyota said it planned to launch three EVs in Australia by 2026. We’ve had the bZ4X already, but we’re in the dark about the next two, should they arrive as planned.

A Land Cruiser or HiLux EV could be in the mix, but we shouldn’t discount the potential of smaller SUVs built on the same e-TNGA platform as the bZ4X.

That would open the door to right-hand drive versions – or close relations – to these (for now) Chinese-only bZ3X and bZ3C EVs.

As the NVES emissions scheme comes into effect from 1 January 2025, the more EVs Toyota Australia has to choose from (to avoid buying credits or paying hefty fines) the better. We’ll watch with interest.

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