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[NEWS] Toyota bZ3 saloon is Tesla Model 3 rival with 372-mile range

Toyota bZ3 saloon is Tesla Model 3 rival with 372-mile range

2023 Toyota bZ3 at Shanghai motor show 0
In-depth specs haven't yet been revealed, but the bZ3 has up to 372 miles of range

Five-seater, sold only in China for now, uses battery technology from Chinese giant BYD

The bZ3 saloon is Toyota's second bespoke battery-electric car, which will be powered by advanced batteries supplied by Chinese EV giant BYD

On sale following its debut at the Shanghai motor show, the five-seat Toyota bZ3 will be built and sold exclusively (for now) in China. It will follow the Toyota bZ4X SUV, which was launched globally last year.

Toyota has yet to confirm plans to sell the bZ3 elsewhere, but the launch of the similarly conceived Volkswagen ID 7 and Hyundai Ioniq 6 could prompt a rethink. Asked by Autocar recently whether the bZ3 could make it to the UK, Toyota's European product boss Andrea Carlucci said: "Stay tuned. I'm not saying we'll introduce the '3', but I think it's a very good question..."

Based on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform, the bZ3 is said to have “responsive performance, with a low centre of gravity and excellent handling stability”.

It measures 4725mm long, 1835mm wide and 1475mm high, meaning it's similar in size to the Tesla Model 3

Toyota bz3 side

Toyota says the bZ3 provides an ultra-low drag coefficient value of 0.218Cd, with air guides and air curtains found across the saloon’s exterior. It also benefits from flat door handles, a wind-resistent rear bumper and aluminium wheels, which make it one of the most aerodynamic cars in its class – more so than the Model 3, which has a value of 0.23Cd. 

Under the skin sits a bespoke lithium-ion lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery, built by BYD, which has been developed to retain 90% of its charge capacity after a 10-year period. 

While Toyota hasn’t revealed specific powertrain details such as performance and charging rates, it claims the bZ3 has a range of around 372 miles. 

The interior of the car has been designed with Toyota’s “family lounge” concept in mind, where cars are seen more as a family space than just transportation. 

Toyota bz3 interior 2

A "digital island" is the central feature of the cabin, which makes use of a large, portrait-orientated central infotainment display and what Toyota has called a "tray-type console" with smartphone integration and wireless charging. 

The display is used to adjust the air conditioning, music, electronic boot release and complete voice control functions. 

Around 100 engineers worked on the engineering, design and production of the bZ3, with teams from Toyota, BYD and FAW Toyota, a joint venture between the Japanese firm and China's First Automobile Works.

“The Toyota bZ3 is born out of the three companies' collaboration and synergy in development, car-manufacturing and battery technology. The combined strengths of each member have resulted in unprecedented new value and new experiences for customers,” Toyota said.

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