Have you spotted the theme around here lately? The one nation on earth with longstanding government incentives and regulations that favour EVs…gets more manufacturer involvement (read: electric cars for people to buy) than anywhere else.
Toyota’s new 202 bZ3 is a China-only model (for now) that builds on the bZ4x crossover with the help of two other local partners.
OK, but crucially: “cruising range” is pegged at a solid 600 km. Using the same e-TNGA platform that other EV Toyota models do, this is what you get when batteries power cars and not SUVs.
Very few details (trim levels, full range ratings, power, photos) have been announced, but I wanted to share a car that’d sell like hotcakes here in my EV-forward community here in the province of Quebec.
Long cultivating a brand image of people-first, predictable, easy, practical designs, my gut says that most people here in North America would automatically consider an EV sedan from Toyota over any all alternatives on brand affinity alone. Familial, familiar, friendly.
The vehicle features the Toyota bZ series' hammerhead shark-like design format. It has a relaxed silhouette, combining the long wheelbase of a BEV-specific package with the long cabin of a fastback. Moreover, the exterior exudes stability and power and features a highly modulated and elegant profile that hints at a linear sense of speed. The corners of the bumper emphasize air guides and air curtains that consider airflow, while the flat door handles, aluminum wheels, and rear bumper shaped to reduce air resistance result in class-leading aerodynamics with a Cd value of 0.218.
:: via Toyota
But I’m going to keep calling out examples of where I can just smell trouble on the horizon: “Air conditioning, music, trunk release, and other controls are also integrated into the large display, and voice control greatly advances convenience and innovation”.
Do you see how this can be an issue? If you have employees or corporate metrics chasing a non-definable like “innovation,” R&D budgets lift higher into the atmosphere, employees will go chasing dead-ends—and in a few years, Toyota will have to pretend that adding more buttons was part of the plan all along. At least Volkswagen fessed up to people not liking touch controls…
Sharing this because I think it’s important to note that not everything from China or recent industry darling Hyundai (in this case) has promise. Take the Hyundai La Festa N-Line, not an Elantra or Sonata; it has everything. Fake air intake! Cheesy LEDs! Less horsepower than you’d expect (200)! Wild bodykit including air knives and larger rear spoiler! Unusually confusing name! Might perform embarrassingly close to a Dodge Dart GT in every appreciable metric!
Spelled either Festa in text (it’s the word “party” / festival in Italy, btw), La Festa (subtle spacing on the license plate in official photos), and LAFESTA (back of the car), best I can work out, its true English name is THEPARTY N-LINE.
Is this Hyundai’s subtle clue it may more fun to skip the car and instead find a late-night party in one of the world’s subway or public transit systems?
The other day, a friend made a comment privately I agree with, that Pagani in recent years has sort of wandered off from where we thought it would go.
I’d never thought I’d be able to vote with my pocketbook, mind, but the brand’s raw-but-refined promise from the early days has evolved into grand symphonies and Da Vinci comparisons1.
Instead, let’s return to a more simple time. A narrow, dark road within a quiet Italian industrial estate. A V12-powered prototype supercar. Rows of spectators (potential customers) at an event. And THE HOWL as it rips past a row of other (non-F) Zondas not once, not twice…
I’ve had this in my favourites since 2006, and find myself re-watching it every few months. Potato footage 🤝 powerful audio.
- see speedster.news lunchbox 52 for more on the Pagani Utopia launch.