Toyota bZ Compact SUV concept revealed ... somewhat


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LOS ANGELES — In addition to showing a completely new Prius hybrid lineup, Toyota has brought a new electric concept. And it hasn't said much about it. It hardly even has a name, simply being called bZ Compact SUV. But it's at the show, it looks reasonably nice and probably is a look at an upcoming bZ model to fit beneath the bZ4X.

The bZ Compact does seem to take a lot of inspiration from the new Toyota Crown line with its curvy fenders, boomerang lights and dark roof. All the curves are amplified more, which makes it look a little sportier. It also has nice, little touches such as the high-mount brake light on the rear shark-fin antenna.

The interior, on the other hand, goes more its own way. It's angular and minimalist, with tablet-style screens for the instruments and infotainment. There's a neat wraparound panel that goes from the leading edge of the dash around the doors. Also present is a steering yoke, which wouldn't be out of the question, as Toyota is introducing a yoke on the Lexus RZ electric car. Toyota also notes that the seats have plant-based materials and there's an A.I. assistant named "Yui" to handle voice commands.

Beyond what we can see, though, there's nothing else really to report about the bZ Compact SUV concept. Toyota gave no power or range estimates, no motor information, nothing. It seems to pretty much be a styling exercise. But it looks grounded enough that we would expect a production version of it in the next couple of years that will likely slot below the bZ4X.

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