What if a single car could solve all the world’s problems?
According to Toyota, their new ME.WE Concept just might do it. Casting all modesty to the wind, Toyota has taken it upon themselves to develop a new “anti-crisis” car, which in and of its existence will solve economic, environmental, and even human challenges. The concept’s name apparently “expresses its simultaneous concern for personal well-being (ME) and that of others (WE).”
I know, tall order, right?
But, I know you’re curious. I was too.
How exactly is the Toyota ME.WE going to solve all these problems? What does this solution entail? Why does it have to look like a Styrofoam cooler? Well, it’s actually pretty cool. Or, if not cool, it’s at least new. We definitely haven’t seen anything like the ME.WE before.
ME.WE vs. Economic Challenges
The ME.WE is simple and light-weight. Apparently, the car only weighs 750kg because its architecture is made up of a tubular aluminum chassis fitted with polypropylene panels. This also means that the car is extremely easy to produce and thus extremely cheap. At least, as cheap as an EV can be. Which brings us nicely to…
ME.WE vs. Environmental Challenges
According to Toyota’s press release, the new ME.WE is supposed to be “an intelligent response to the ecological threats posed by mass production [of cars].” To address this concern, Toyota uses 100% recyclable body panels for the exterior, and organically grown bamboo for surfaces on the interior, including the floor. The car is also zero-emissions thanks to its pure electric powertrain, which we’ll talk more about in a sec’.
All of these features were chosen to enable the ME.WE to “help reduce the energy it consumes and the CO2 and harmful emissions it produces.”
ME.WE vs. Human Challenges
Last but not least, the Toyota ME.WE Concept is designed to enable each driver their own individuality. “ME.WE is a pick-up, convertible, off-roader and small city car in one.”
Stylistically, the ME.WE’s flexibility is accomplished through a modular design. The rear seat can be folded, the top can be taken down, and even the windshield can be lowered. The body panels are completely interchangeable and could easily be made in a wide range of styles. In theory, third-party vendors could manufacture and sell their own body panels to allow for total customization.
Mechanically, the ME.WE’s flexibility comes from its independently motorized wheels. With a motor powering each wheel, the car is capable of operating in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive. This i-Road inspired system is key in “allowing it to tackle rougher terrain than a traditional car.”
Unfortunately, however you feel about the ME.WE, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to truly evaluate how well it solves the world’s problems. Even more so than the i-Road, this concept really is just a concept. It’s meant as a statement about where the automotive industry needs to go, not as a preview for a production model.leave a response, trackback from your own site