The 2023 Toyota bZ3 is the Japanese automaker’s second dedicated electric vehicle (EV) just after the bZ4X compact crossover SUV. The bZ3, just like the bZ4X, is a vehicle that was jointly developed with another automaker. However, whereas the bZ4X is a collaboration with Subaru–a Japanese automaker, the bZ3 was also developed by FAW Toyota–its joint venture partner in China, along with BYD’s EV expertise.
Yes, that’s right. The 2023 Toyota bZ3 is a Japanese electric sedan with Chinese genes. The bZ3 uses a lithium-ion phosphate battery, though the battery size has not yet been disclosed. Toyota recognized that BYD’s battery technology is advanced, safe, and reliable, which is why it chose the Chinese automotive giant to supply the bZ3’s battery.
On a full charge, the bZ3 can travel up to 600 kilometers, which is actually more than what the bZ4X can even muster. In addition, Toyota says that their expertise with hybrid technology means that they were able to make the lithium-ion phosphate battery long-lasting. Even after 10 years, the battery is still able to hold as much as 90 percent of its original capacity.
As for its design, the 2023 Toyota bZ3 follows the footsteps of the bZ4X, which means it has a front end that’s characterized by boomerang-shaped LED headlights and an LED light bar that acts as both the park lights and daytime running lights. The hammerhead shark-like design enables the bZ3 to have a very low drag coefficient of just 0.218 Cd, which is nearly as low as the Mercedes-Benz EQS–currently the most aerodynamic production car.
The bZ3 also rides on a dedicated EV platform called the e-TNGA, which is what the bZ4X and its Lexus counterpart, the RZ utilize. The skateboard architecture also enables the bZ3 to have a 2,880 mm long wheelbase, while its length of 4,725 mm and width of 1,835 mm means it’s slightly bigger in every respect than a Corolla Altis.
Moving inside the bZ3, you’ll see an interior layout that Toyota calls a “Family Lounge”. This is characterized by its vertical infotainment screen and the abundance of space provided by the long wheelbase. In addition, the slim dash and floating center console give the interior an airy, spacious feel. There’s also a rotary gear selector as well as the industry trend of moving every center console function into the touch screen to reduce button clutter.
Toyota revealed that the bZ3 will primarily cater to the Chinese market, but it has not confirmed nor denied whether this will be a global model. Industry reports do suggest that the bZ3 will also be sold outside China, but that has yet to be seen.