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Is This a Preview of the Next-Gen Toyota bZ4X?

japan auto show
Is This a Preview of the Next-Gen Toyota bZ4X?KAZUHIRO NOGI - Getty Images
  • Toyota FT-3e concept previews large electric crossover at the Japan Mobility Show, foreshadowing a possible production model.

  • The automaker plans to launch 10 new EV models by 2026, but they might not all be available in North America.

  • Toyota currently offers the bZ4X, which was relaunched a few months ago after a rare, early recall.


The Toyota bZ4X is barely even visible on the roads at the moment, but Toyota is already thinking about a next-gen bZ4X. At the Japan Mobility Show this week, the automaker revealed the design of a rakish crossover concept dubbed FT-3e.

Featuring the same rhomboid shapes and 45-degree angles we saw on the sleek Land Cruiser Se concept and the EPU pickup, the FT-3e features a much more familiar profile, while continuing to play with a Gundam-style design language.

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A breath of fresh air design-wise, the sharp-edged surfaces seem modern while giving a nod to the mecha aesthetics of the 1980s.

a silver car with red stripes
The FT-3e concept represents an evolution of Toyota’s design language, some elements of which we have already seen on the bZ4X.Toyota

Our favorite element is the chiseled door indentation that visually breaks up the crossover's side surfacing, and that finally addresses decades of depressing and unimaginative slab-sided doors.

They're more than contrasting design details—Toyota says they're actually exterior-mounted screens incorporated into the doors that will display useful information as the driver approaches the vehicle, including the charge level of the battery and the interior temperature.

The headlights, according to industry fashion of the moment, have been turned into a thin LED strip sitting atop a blunt, three-piece nose with flat shapes—a front fascia that should remind more than a few readers of the Tesla Cybertruck.

The interior continues with the rhombus theme, featuring a deep parcel shelf we saw in the EPU concept a few days ago, while opting for a single-spoke steering wheel in place of the yoke.

the interior of a car
The interior takes advantage of the cab-forward layout, while also advancing the brand’s future design themes.Toyota

A single infotainment touchscreen dominates the center stack, while the driver receives an extra vertical screen to play with, in addition to a digital gauge cluster.

The cab-forward layout also buys the concept long A-pillars, while also giving it plenty of front-row interior room, one that will perhaps invite some comparisons to minivans.

Just like other Toyota concepts revealed this week, the FT-3e appears to be 90% of the way to a production-ready model.

The timing of this particular concept is curious, as Toyota will sell the similarly sized bZ4X in this segment for a while. So unless this concept previews an entirely different model that could be sold alongside the current (and unfortunately named) bZ4X in some markets, it will be a while before the bZ4X and its Subaru Solterra twin will see a complete redesign.

Overall, this design direction is a welcome change for Toyota.

Should Toyota offer more electric crossovers at the moment in the US, or should the single bZ4X satisfy existing demand for a few years? Let us know what you think.