Toyota i-Road Concept to Debut at Geneva

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Now that we’ve made it into February, the Geneva Auto Show looms ominously on the horizon. Set to take place in early March, the international auto show in Geneva is traditionally expected to feature world debuts of unique and exotic vehicles. From the limited previews we’ve seen, it looks like this year’s motor show won’t disappoint — Ferrari Enzo replacement anyone?

The most interesting car we’ve seen previews for so far has definitely been the new Toyota i-Road concept. A bird’s eye image of the i-Road was officially previewed in a press release from Toyota earlier this week. Very little information was given about the i-Road, but to say the car is intriguing would be an understatement.

First, let’s go over what Toyota gave us in the press release. In addition to giving us information about many of the other cars Toyota will be bringing to the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota said this about the i-Road:

“The Toyota i-Road is a compact, fun and emissions-free personal mobility concept capable of swiftly and efficiently transporting two people in an urban environment.”

In other words, the i-Road is a study in efficiency. Featuring a tandem 1+1 seating arrangement for the driver and a single passenger, the car is supposed to be used for driving around small towns and cities.

Toyota i-Road concept car

It seems likely that the Japanese concept is intended to be a new take on how a plug-in electric vehicle is typically perceived. What we see is a car that is stylish, futuristic and appealing. Still, we really don’t know very much. The picture does give us a little bit more information though…

For one, we can see two semi-detached wheels at the front of the vehicle. The rear swells out enough that it is not possible to distinguish whether the car has one or two wheels in the back, but my admittedly not-always-correct gut tells me that this is a three-wheeled concept. I feel this way partly because the car is so narrow that two back wheels would almost look awkward, but also because three wheels just “seems” more futuristic and cool… Or at least, I can see Toyota executives thinking that way. If Morgan can get away with it, why not Toyota?

Beyond that, we see that the car only has one windshield wiper, one headlight, and what I would guess is a very aerodynamic design. We know nothing about the interior of the car, what the side profile looks like, or exactly how big it will be. For example, will it be shaped like a wedge, or more like a raindrop? Will there be any trunk space? Are there doors on both sides? These are all questions we probably won’t get answers to until Geneva.

In the meantime, though, what do you think about the Toyota i-Road? Obviously Toyota is targeting a younger market with this concept… Do you ever see a car like this taking off? Is this the right direction for plug-in electric vehicles to go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below:

Source: Autoblog Green

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One Response to “Toyota i-Road Concept to Debut at Geneva”

  1. Niilo Kaartinen says:

    I-Road will have a future, because typical car trips are made with 1-2 persons on board in the the city or within surroundings where most people are living. A streamlined design will help the limited range of a EV. If the design will meet a sensible selling price, I-Road type can will be a success.

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