This is it, gang. The all-new, all-electric Toyota bZ3 sedan that was revealed earlier today — and that’s set to take on the Tesla Model 3 for mainstream electric supremacy in what is unquestionably the world’s most important new car market: China.
Developed as part of a joint venture between Toyota and BYD and slated to be sold by FAW Toyota Motor, the new Toyota bZ3 (for “beyond Zero emissions,” natch) promises a staggering 600 km range — that’s about 37o miles to you and me, and smack in the middle of Tesla’s claimed range estimates for the Model 3 in the same market.
Toyota may not be lighting the world on fire with a radical approach to interior design, but they are the masters of mainstream vehicle design, and the fact that they’ve gone sown the “iPad-glued-to-the-dashboard” road of interior design speaks more to the effect that Tesla has had on the automotive market as-a-whole than anything else. There is no question, then, what the benchmark is and who Toyota is going after — and they’re hitting Tesla where it hurts by highlighting the Japanese brand’s long and storied legacy in comments like these:
With the e-TNGA, the TOYOTA bZ3 has a low center of gravity and excellent steering stability, making it possible to drive at will and comfortably. The driving position puts less strain on the muscles, contributing to reducing fatigue during long-distance driving, making driving even more enjoyable. The driving characteristics of “running,” “stopping,” and “turning” utilize Toyota’s more than 80 years of car manufacturing experience and know-how cultivated in motor sports.
Once they figure out how to get the wheels to stay on the things and decide to give them proper names, the bZ4x and bZ3 sedan will be real challengers. Assuming, that is, that potential buyers find the bZ as attractive as the Model 3 … which might be a big ask. Still, it could be argued that Toyota represents the biggest threat to Tesla’s continued dominance yet
2023 Toyota bZ3 Electric Sedan
I know, I know — that’s not a popular position around these parts, but I stand by it. Through their Lexus dealers, Toyota has proven that they know how to deliver a superior customer service experience, and the company was once synonymous with reliability among the Boomer crowd. That reputation was well-earned, and as EVs go mainstream and the EV demographic begins to more closely resemble the mainstream car buying demo, it’s my belief that Tesla’s legendary customer retention figures will drop substantially.
That’s just my take, though. What’s yours? Scroll down to the comments section and let us know what you think a well-rounded lineup of EVs from the world’s biggest carmaker might do to Tesla’s market share … if they get it right!
Source | Images: Toyota Global.
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