Who will take up the baton of the next national car legend of FAW Toyota?

The Three Transformations

Time has a way of linking the passion in our hearts, from youth to adulthood.

Brand has a way of penetrating the ages, even if we had few experiences that we can look back on. From gradeschool, to highschool, and then college.

I love cars, always have.

What’s remarkable is that there is a brand that has covered my student life from its establishment until now – FAW Toyota. There are also certain car models that just happened to coincide with the transformations in my understanding of cars – the Yaris, the Crown, the Hybrid series, and one other…

First Transformation: The Yaris

In 2002, I was still in elementary school, and newspapers were the easiest way for me to get updated on news and current events. While the automotive section was the most interesting part for me, it was the ads that took up the biggest share of the content. Even today, I find it hard to understand how I had the patience to read every word of the advertisements, even rereading them over and over again. Perhaps it was just a fascination. Much like how today’s me cannot imagine what kind of car could have a cool name back then that still sounds cool today. That car, of course, is the Yaris.

Back then, I didn’t understand the significance of the Yaris as FAW Toyota’s first mass-produced car. All I remember was being envious when our neighbor bought one near the end of the year. What impressed me most was the digital display in the center of the dashboard, which shattered my limited understanding of the layout of the car’s center console.

Second Transformation: The Crown

In 2007, I started studying in junior high, drowning in homework and exams, until one Friday afternoon, my family picked me up from school and I found out that we owned our first FAW Toyota, the 12th generation Crown. Some people say that the luxurious features of that generation Crown could even surpass the D-class cars in the same time period. However, what left a lasting impression on me was the fact that even the air conditioning vents could be electrically controlled. This marked the beginning of my understanding of luxury moving beyond just leather and wood finishes and into the details.

Third Transformation: The Hybrid

In 2016, I was about to enter my final undergraduate year and spending my days daydreaming about going on a road trip with my girlfriend to any destination we wanted. However, as young adults we always want the world, and while we made savings plans at the beginning of each month, we always ended up with just a couple of red bank notes left over by the end of it. It wasn’t until a friend showed off his brand new Corolla Hybrid that my depleted bank account breathed a sigh of relief. Its low fuel consumption of only 4L/100km and proven stability gave me the confidence to venture out on longer trips. Its unique driving experience also promoted my new energy beliefs.

2022, the pandemic and work have trapped me in a loop of “nucleic acid-business trip-isolation-nucleic acid”. I desperately need some good news to break through the mental pressure and industry hesitation.

Fortunately, there is always a gap between doors and windows. Looking back at the road I have traveled, FAW-Toyota has a connection with my youth, the automotive industry is the industry I love and work for, and sales are the biggest indicator of the industry’s success. When these three factors converge, to me, it is indeed good news – at the end of 2022, FAW-Toyota announced that the cumulative sales of its vehicle models exceeded 10 million.

What is even more positive than past achievements is hope for the future. More than three months ago, FAW-Toyota unveiled its first all-electric car, the bZ3, which was launched along with the impressive sales milestone. On March 6th, FAW-Toyota officially announced the bZ3’s price range of RMB 169,800 to RMB 199,800, which covers three models: Elite Pro Edition, Long Endurance Pro Edition and Long Endurance Premium Edition. As the awakening of insects (one of China’s 24 solar terms) approaches, in addition to a sincere discount of RMB 20,000 compared to the pre-sale price, FAW-Toyota also offers an additional RMB 20,000 in booking benefits. Added up, the bZ3 offers a particularly attractive price of less than RMB 150,000.

What is even more inspiring than the future is how hope can link with memories. I found warmth in the bZ3, a connection with Toyota that has left an impression in my memory.

Personality is a kind of gene

Times change, media change, but if personality becomes a kind of gene, its expression will not change.

Twenty years ago, when print media was the main way for me to understand the world, FAW-Toyota chose the “Vios” with its unique name to break through the pages. Twenty years later, when video became the main medium, FAW-Toyota chose a dynamic design to break out of the screen.

“Hi-Tech & Emotion Technology and Emotion” is the new family design language that Toyota has launched in the era of pure electric vehicles. As the second model of the family and the first sedan model, the bZ3 naturally inherits this style.

The iconic hammerhead shark face has remained sharp even though it has been transferred from an SUV to a sedan, and the horizontal stability of the “hammerhead shark” has been further strengthened due to the narrowing of the longitudinal dimension. The two raised muscle lines on the front hood extend to the front end and form a “raised eyebrow” expression on the side of the headlights, revealing a bit of naughty personality in the sharpness. If the sedan shape has a natural advantage in aerodynamics, then the sloping design behind the bZ3 D-pillar adds a touch of fluidity to its rear curve. When viewed from afar, the “hammerhead shark” design linking the sloping tail gives the bZ3 a unique and slender profile.

However, to really resonate with me in terms of styling, we must look inside the car. Do you remember the centrally mounted digital dashboard that broke my understanding of interior layout in the Yaris? In the bZ3, FAW Toyota combines the “Digital Island” design with a large vertically mounted display screen, wireless charging, and vehicle connectivity to integrate intelligent functions, which also bring innovation and heritage into a whole new intersection.

Comfort: Not One Feature Can Be Less

My understanding of luxury has gone through three stages.

At first, I believed that luxury was the texture that could be obtained through genuine leather, solid wood, and outstanding materials. Later, I thought that luxury was the detail, just like the air conditioning vent in the 12th generation Crown. It is a spirit that polishes the box to the extreme. Now, I believe that luxury is an experience, a comfort that can be easily felt when people are in this environment.

Comfort is a major characteristic of a closed space such as a car cabin, and the advent of the new energy era has also given space room to perform magic.

Based on the “FAMILY LOUNGE” concept, the FAW Toyota bZ3, built on the e-TNGA platform, has a body size of 4725mm * 1835mm * 1475mm. This vehicle length is not superior to that of traditional B-class cars when compared, but the pure electric architecture squeezes a 2880mm wheelbase into a length of less than 4800mm. The electric car’s unique four-wheel four-corner shape also returns more space to the passenger cabin.

For models in the B-class and above, the front row has more freedom because it can be adjusted significantly, and the most cramped space is usually in the rear row. The bZ3 clearly understands this pain point, so it extends the spacing between the front and rear passengers to 967mm, together with the sofa-style rear row. When space meets softness, they will naturally collide and create sparks called “comfort.” Only when the driver and passengers in both the front and rear rows find a comfortable position can we truly achieve “FAMILY LOUNGE.”

Dual Control of Driving

Today I am a firm believer in “electricity blowing,” and I believe it all started with the self-driving trip I took in college.

Perhaps the biggest impact on me at the time was the extreme energy-saving of the Corolla double engine, but what I miss even more afterwards is the feeling of electric drive. Fortunately, when Toyota also began to vigorously promote pure electric products, the taste of returning to the origin together with the origin and the end was quite wonderful.

The powertrain of bZ3 is equipped with a maximum power of 180 kW and a maximum torque of 303 Nm. What is more practical than power data is the output characteristics of the large torque when the motor starts to rotate, and it is always ready to respond. The 303 Nm is enough to cope with daily driving and can also support occasional emotional outbursts.

Moreover, driving has never been a solo of power, with power as the base plus steering control to get a complete driving pleasure. As for steering, the answer given by bZ3 is a minimum turning radius of 5.6m. Regardless of whether it is in the city or in the mountains, the flexible driving control from bZ3 will bring the pleasure of pure electric travel to all users.

In addition to enjoying driving control, bZ3 has also erected a range-of-life backing for users. Toyota’s inherited new energy efficient concept is also expressed in bZ3 at 11kWh/100km. On this basis, the lithium iron phosphate battery not only provides the vehicle with a 616km CLTC range but also guards the battery safety.

And above all, besides responding to all my impressions, bZ3’s safety technology is also a new echo it leaves me. If this echo is a double accompaniment, one is the battery and the other is the Toyota Safety Sense intelligent safety.

In the era of technology, the best safety is to avoid risk. bZ3 provides avoidance functions for high-speed, lane-changing, and night-driving scenarios, and behind it is the Toyota Collision Avoidance Assistance Package at work. PCS Pre-collision Safety System, DRCC Dynamic Radar Cruise Control System, LTA Intelligent Lane Tracing System, LDA Lane Departure Warning System, AHB Automatic High Beam Control System, RSA Road Sign Recognition Assistance System, EDSS Emergency Driving Stop System… Nowadays, our safety can be guarded by Toyota Safety Sense.And there may be more that bZ3 needs to guard.

Individuality, comfort, driving experience, and safety – these are the first sedan answers provided by FAW Toyota in the era of pure electric vehicles, and also the next baton handed down by FAW Toyota in the era of pure electric vehicles.

As for the question in the title, I believe FAW Toyota has already made a decision, at the moment of officially announcing the official guidance price, at the moment of formulating the policy of setting a value of 20,000 yuan for car allocation.

With solid accumulation and vigorous development, bZ3, the next myth of home-use vehicles, has taken its place and only awaits the starting gun.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.