The as-yet-unnamed model will be similar in size to today’s Toyota RAV4, although as a dedicated BEV on a dedicated architecture it’s set to take a new name. Toyota says the SUV has been tailored specifically for the European market and will be built at its dedicated zero-emissions factory in Japan.
Toyota has now confirmed that it will announce its "next exciting journey in electrification" on 19 April, releasing a further teaser image of the front of the machine in a darkened garage. The blue Toyota badge, symbolising an electrified model, is visaible, with a hint at a bold new front-end look in place of Toyota's traditiopnal grille.
The SUV will be the first of six BEVs planned to use the new e-TNGA platform that Toyota has co-developed with Subaru. This architecture is designed to be highly adaptable and can be used for vehicles of differing length and wheelbase. It can also be used for front-, rear- and four-wheel-drive powertrains by allowing for motors across both axles, and with a wide range of battery capacities.
Toyota also claims that insights from its hybrids will allow the firm to increase both range and battery lifespan.
Toyota’s European product development boss, Andrea Carlucci, said the new car will be “very European in the DNA and design”. He explained that a RAV4-sized SUV was chosen for Toyota’s first BEV because “the car will be a global model, and it offers the best balance to put together the needs of all regions”. He added: “It’s quite obvious that there’s volume in more compact models, and this is where we will look in the future with other models for the European market.”
Toyota has previously said that other models planned for the e-TNGA platform will include a compact SUV that it’s developing with Suzuki, a crossover, a large SUV, a saloon and an MPV. Toyota is also investing in solid-state battery research and has said that it plans to launch a “mass-produced” BEV using this transformative technology “in the first half of the 2020s”.