But first we have an assurance for you: “Toyota will produce internal combustion engines until the last moment when it is still possible,” promised Andrea Carlucci, product and marketing head of European Toyota. The Japanese automaker is very well aware that it will not be easy to replace classic gasoline engines, so you will be able to purchase it for a very long time.
Electrification that does not complicate life
After all, this is confirmed by two big news for next year – the completely new generation Land Cruiseru (to which fans are literally shaking) and modernized Hiluxthe legendary off-road toughs that will now be available with engines equipped with a 48V mild-hybrid system promising 5 percent fuel savings.
However, the wide range of hybrids of all kinds will be rapidly expanded by the fleet of battery electric cars. The first swallow is crossover bZ4X, which is currently taking up residence on Czech roads, but it will soon be supplemented by other pure electric pieces – including the bZ4X, Toyota wants to have six of them on offer in 2026. And we already know some of them today…
The future is already knocking on the door
The first will arrive next year and will be the production version of the concept Urban SUV, i.e. an elevated city car. Toyota’s smallest and most affordable EV (but don’t expect a miraculous price tag below 25,000 euros) belongs to the B-SUV segment, so it will be similar in size to the Yaris Cross (it will measure 4.3 meters in length) and will benefit from the advantage of a higher driving position and flexible interior. It is to be available with optional four-wheel drive and with two different battery capacities so that the customer can specify the car exactly according to their needs.
The second hot news is Sport Crossover Concept, a more elegant and stylish alternative to regular SUVs. Despite its dynamic shapes, its domain should be comfort, spaciousness and practicality. However, we still have to wait for further details, because the production version is not expected to arrive on the market until 2025. For now, we can at least enjoy its attractive appearance, which hopefully will not change much.
The fourth to the party will be a serial variant of the previously presented concept named Compact SUV, which is essentially an electric alternative to the C-HR. The last two electric models should be pure SUVs, but they will be revealed later.
Toyota promises that they will be quite different cars, which, in addition to boring practicality, will not forget emotions. “We want to make different cars, not only from a design point of view, but also from a construction and utility point of view – we want to innovate smartly and use available technologies to make people say, ‘Wow, that’s something!’ We want our cars to have personality,” explains Andrea Carlucci.
The question is whether this personality will be reflected in the model names, as concepts named purely for function will likely be transformed into production cars with the codename of the bZ family (the Urban SUV Concept could be bZ2X, the Compact SUV could be called bZ3X and the Sport Crossover Concept one of the numbers 5-9 is probably waiting), which does not bring much excitement. But consider them more like a temporary solution. “We are very aware of the strength of our established brands – Yaris, Corolla or RAV4. We would be crazy not to use them,” Andrea Carlucci adds hope.
Tools for professionals
Toyota is also updating its range of products for professionals. In addition to the already mentioned Hilux with a new engine, the Proace and Proace City vans have been modernized, which are newly completed by the large Proace Max van (all of which have their roots in Stellantis) – in addition to the proven diesel engines, you can also have this in an electric version with a mammoth 110 kWh battery that enables a range of up to 420 km.
New cars, new technology, new possibilities
The bZ4X has already made some very bold claims about the performance and lifespan of its batteries – an efficient 80% charge takes only 30 minutes and, if used correctly, should offer 90% capacity even after 10 years of use. However, the planned news should go even further.
By 2026, a high-performance battery with very fast charging, double the range (around 800 km) and a 20% reduction in costs will arrive on the market. 2026 and 2027 will bring quality and low-cost technology with a bipolar design and LPF (lithium-iron-phosphate) chemistry, which should increase range by 20% and reduce costs by 40% compared to bZ4X. The third in line (2027-2028) will be a battery focusing on high performance through the use of bipolar technology and a high-nickel cathode, which could offer a range of over 1,000 km and even lower costs.
Toyota is also working intensively on its own battery technology with a solid electrolyte (Solid-state), which should bring a long range (around 1,000 km) and high charging performance. The goal for the future is that recharging from 10 to 80% capacity should not take more than 10 minutes.
Andrea Carlucci comments: “We have achieved a technological breakthrough that overcomes the long-standing problems with the durability of solid-state batteries. We are currently developing serial production technology with a plan for commercial use in 2027-2028 with a production capacity of several tens of thousands of vehicles.”
Hydrogen is not a dead end
Despite the recent statements of Toyota’s representatives, the automaker is not giving up on hydrogen. After all, the support of hydrogen as an alternative fuel has also been expressed by the European Union, which invests in its green production processes and also in the development of a network of gas stations across Europe (on main roads every 200 km).
That is why Toyota is currently testing, for example, a prototype Hilux utility pick-up truck converted to hydrogen drive – instead of diesel, it has fuel cells under the hood, and there are three hydrogen tanks on the chassis.
This year, the prototype went through demanding tests, which will be evaluated at the end of this year, and we will see what happens next. In any case, it is an interesting alternative for cars of this type, because the hydrogen drive is lighter than the battery-powered one, and pick-ups or vans will thus maintain a higher carrying capacity (useful weight).
In addition, engineers are intensively working on the third generation of fuel cell technology, which should increase the range by 20% and reduce costs by 37% (at 100 thousand units produced), or even by 50% (200 thousand units). We could expect cars with this drive on the market as early as 2026.