Toyota’s official shift to electric vehicles is getting harder and harder. Just two months ago we were admiring the bZ compact SUV concept in LA, and here, with metal (vinyl?) and the C-HR already fading out in the US, we can expect a quick turnaround to hopefully become budget friendly for the US market products for electric vehicles. If you ask the folks at Autoblog, the C-HR is either fun and hip, or downright homely. Like it or not, it’s certainly not boring. The bZ concept we saw in Los Angeles certainly drew from that same aesthetic fountain, and we see hints of those styling elements under the guise of this prototype.
Several elements of the concept are evident in this prototype’s guise. The headlights aren’t quite as aggressive as what we saw on the show car, but they seem to be recessed in the same way as the horizontal crease on its nose. Also clearly visible is the not-so-subtle spoiler hanging from the top of the sloping hatch. Even though most of the details are hidden by plastic, it’s clear that the production version won’t be too far off from what we’ve already seen.
Other than its size (it’s smaller than the RAV4 and slightly larger than the aforementioned C-HR) and what it might look like, we really don’t know much about this new baby EV. Toyota has managed to keep the concept car’s powertrain a secret for now. The larger bZ4X has a 150 kW (201 hp) FWD motor, so we’d expect a smaller bZ model to follow. All-wheel-drive models of the bz4X pack a pair of 80-kilowatt (107 horsepower) electric motors—one on each axle. One probably won’t be enough, unless Toyota goes for the ultra-economical end and can save weight with a small battery.