Toyota’s conference on its future EV strategy was a surprising gold mine of new concept cars that illustrate Toyota’s future in the all-electric market. CEO Akio Toyoda was there to reveal not one, not even three, but fifteen new EVs of all different sizes and styles wielding both Toyota and Lexus badges. There was a large mix of vehicles that we’ll talk through in this article, including sports cars, SUVs, trucks, and more value-orientated hatchbacks. It’s safe to say, Toyota’s future is looking bright.
The discussion with Toyota chief Akio began with the bZ4x. This crossover has already been revealed and is set for a 2022/23 release. It will be built on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform and will produce around 215 horsepower in its AWD guise from two motors.
The conversation then moved onto the more compact crossover next to it. Currently named the bZ Compact, this name will change but the sloping roof-line and two-tone paint job will be retained. Toyoda brought focus to its “beautiful silhouette”, a design choice we very much appreciate.
In the same lineup is a small red hatchback that reminds us of the BMW i3. According to Toyoda, it’s “designed with Europe and Japan in mind”, which means it will be very good at cruising around the urban jungle with modest range and plenty of visibility out of the cabin. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a view into the cabin for us at the moment. These are only concepts, after all.
The bZ Large SUV is, well, exactly that. It’s got enough space to sit three rows of seats, and will have a Lexus counterpart, it will sit at the top of the brands’ portfolios.
But SUVs are so 2020, you guys want to talk about that sleek sports car that you can see in the photos. This is very exciting – a sports car with a focus on solid-state batteries and ticks all the usual boxes: Two seats, a large bonnet, and a sleek, rounded rear. It obviously borrows design choices from the Supra, and Toyoda promises a 0-62mph time of under 2 seconds plus a range of 435 miles. And if that doesn’t already get your heart pumping faster, Toyoda added that it would have a “secret sauce” forged from the development of the legendary Lexus LFA.
These designs were joined by an all-electric truck which looks to be eventually replacing the likes of the Hilux, and even an FJ Cruiser replacement that’s currently nicknamed the “Compact Cruiser EV”. Also shown off were the Small SU EV, the Crossover EV, and a little two-seater sports car with a removable targa roof. There’s a lot to like here.
At the top of the affordability list sits two vehicles. A very small Mid Box, and an even smaller Micro Box. Perfect for city driving, they’ll be cheap, maneuverable, and abide by any emissions standards in city centers.
Toyota and Lexus plan to produce 30 EVs by the end of the decade after a $35 billion investment into the technology and are aiming for 3.5 million global annual sales.