Will the sleeping electric car giant wake up? Toyota Urban SUV Concept targets Kia EV2, BYD, MG and other cheap electric cars and crossovers for world domination – Automotive News
Toyota has just unveiled its most important electric vehicle (EV) yet – the Urban SUV concept.
The small battery-powered SUV, which will debut in production form in the first half of next year, is set to be one of the company’s best-selling electric vehicles globally, with Australia likely to be in the mix too.
Exactly when this will happen is anyone’s guess, with Europe being the priority region given Toyota’s need to supply vehicles in markets with stringent low-carbon requirements.
But will the Urban SUV concept be called the bZ2X? — is exactly what Toyota needs to take on the upcoming parade of compact electric crossovers, including the pricey Volvo EX30 that will arrive soon as well as Kia’s very promising EV2 also scheduled for launch in 2024.
Dimensionally, the boxy Toyota is the size of Australia’s best-selling small SUV, the MG ZS EV, at 4300mm long, 1820mm wide and 1620mm high. This makes it slightly larger than the hugely successful Toyota Yaris Cross but slightly smaller (although longer) than the brand’s upcoming C-HR.
More Toyota EVs are on the way too, including larger crossovers, sedans and SUVs, although – and this is straight from the horse’s mouth – the production version of the Urban SUV Concept will be the cheapest electric vehicle the brand offers.
“The new vehicle will be the most compact and accessible in a range of six dedicated BEV models, and will compete in the B-SUV segment, which Toyota expects to be one of the largest BEV markets in Europe,” it said. What the company said. Toyota.
“In Europe, Toyota plans to offer six dedicated battery electric vehicle models by 2026. A diverse range of electrified products will help push Toyota Motor Europe towards its goal of offering ZEVs exclusively by 2035 and reaching full carbon neutrality by 2040 “
A dedicated electric vehicle with no internal combustion engine options, the Urban SUV concept is based on a scaled-down version of Toyota’s new Electric New Global Architecture (e-TNGA) vehicle that underpins its first production EV, the mid-size bZ4X, which will finally be launched locally in February. Next year.
As such, it will be available in single-motor front-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive.
Two battery sizes will be offered, including one that is sure to be smaller than the 71.4 kWh pack available in the bZ4X to help keep pricing competitive, although what it is and what its chemistry will be remains a secret.
In fact, there is no other information available at this point, as Toyota is preparing to launch its electric car next year.
So, why is the Urban SUV concept so important?
As we said, it targets the heart of the growing small SUV market around the world, giving Toyota a strong presence.
Given the company’s seemingly endless resources and commitment to electrification, it will also do in the EV segment what the original Toyota RAV4 did in the emerging compact SUV segment exactly 30 years ago.
Additionally, in response to widespread criticism of being “anti-electric” and delaying while rivals like Hyundai and Kia take the lead, the Urban SUV concept – more than any of the countless other electric vehicle concepts that have been unveiled over the months The last few – demonstrates Toyota’s intentions to dominate the electric vehicle market in the second half of this decade worldwide.