Toyota teases new battery-electric SUV for 2021

Published: 07 December 2020

► Toyota's new electric SUV
► First details of 2021 model
► Expected to sit alongside RAV4

Toyota says it’s soon to unveil an all-new pure-electric SUV that will be ready to go on sale in 2021. It’s been specially developed for Europe, on a new platform shared with Subaru.

It’s around the same size as the RAV4, but isn’t simply an electric version of that familiar mid-size SUV. Nor is it a rebadged version of sister company Lexus’s first all-electric model, the UX300e.

It’s one of six pure-electric vehicles being developed by Toyota as it broadens out from its familiar hybrid heartland, some of them in partnership with other companies. They all use what Toyota calls its e-TNGA platform: a modular component set that offers a lot of versatility in terms of dimensions and driven wheels, but which makes development and manufacture quicker and more cost-effective. No details have yet been given, but Toyota has released a sketch of the 2021 SUV and photos of a disguised electric Lexus SUV.

Before any of those BEVs hit the showroom, Toyota’s hybrid line-up will be broadened in 2021 by the arrival of one newcomer smaller than the RAV4 and one bigger: the Yaris Cross and the Highlander SUV, available with three rows of seats.

Toyota anticipates that global demand for hybrids, including plug-ins, will rise 600 per cent in the next five years.

Also currently undergoing testing is a Lexus version of the new Mk2 hydrogen fuel cell Toyota Mirai.

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By Colin Overland

CAR's managing editor: wordsmith, critic, purveyor of fine captions