Toyota unveiled Wednesday an all-electric SUV concept with plant-based seating and an AI “personal” assistant as the automaker expands its “beyond zero” portfolio.
The bZ compact crossover concept that debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show is meant to showcase Toyota’s vision for its battery-electric future. Toyota has said it plans to launch 30 fully electric vehicles, including five under the bZ (“Beyond Zero”) badge.
Last year, the Japanese automaker kicked off the bZ brand with the unveiling of the all-electric Toyota bZ4X. That vehicle, which is nearly identical to the Subaru Solterra thanks to a collaboration between the two companies, came to market earlier this year.
The SUV concept car showcases a “possible vision of the very near future” for its EV lineup, the automaker said in a statement. Toyota didn’t provide a timeline for the launch, but said the portfolio will support its goal to go carbon neutral by 2050.
The 2023 Toyota Prius, a mild hybrid, also debuted Wednesday ahead of the auto show.
Toyota said the sleek bZ concept pushes the wheels to the corners to achieve an aggressive stance, making it appear in motion when parked. Its silhouette displays short overhangs, sweepback angles and a “narrowed-down cabin design” to create a futuristic look, according to the automaker.
Inside, the car showcases seating made from plant-based and recycled materials and a semicircle-shaped steering wheel that looks like the top half has been lopped off. Yui, the name of the AI-based “personal agent,” responds to requests from front or rear passengers using sound and lights that “move around the cabin.”