Posts Tagged ‘taxi’

Toyota’s Tokyo Concepts Pt. 2 – JPN Taxi, Voxy & Noah, and Aqua G Sports

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Yesterday we discussed Toyota’s two most important world premieres slated for the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. However, those two concepts – the hydrogen-powered Toyota FCV Concept and the innovative Toyota FV2 Concept – were only the tip of the iceberg. Toyota is bringing seven total new(ish) concepts to Tokyo, so we have a lot left to cover today if we’re going to make it through everything. With that being said, let’s jump right in…

Toyota JPN Taxi Concept

Toyota JPN Taxi

While you might have a hard time getting excited about a taxi, the Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is one that may change your mind. As you can see, the design is well above your average taxicab, but it’s what’s going on underneath the hood that really sets the JPN Taxi Concept apart. Under the hood, you’ll find a new liquefied petroleum gas hybrid system that has been designed from the ground up to match the driving patterns of an average city cab… The JPN TAXI will stand up to long hours of operation and lots of city driving; all while quietly sipping on its LPG fuel. Obviously, The JPN taxi concept is going to be most relevant to its Japanese viewer. The car was developed with assistance from the Japanese Ministries of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, all in order to serve as the next-generation of Japanese hospitality. The concept is built with every type of passenger in mind – large, automatic sliding doors make it easy to enter and exit the vehicle, while a spacious and unobstructed floor plan make it comfortable for long trips.

Toyota JPN Taxi Interior

There’s even a digital display to show passengers information about their cab ride, such as taxi fares and the chosen route to their destination. There, are you excited now?

Toyota Noah & Toyota Voxy Concepts

Toyota Voxy Concept

If somehow you’re not excited, then surely you can get fired up about a couple new minivans, right? No? But, what if they “integrate higher levels of fun, utility and fuel economy?” Now that’s something to get excited about! Toyota’s new Voxy and Noah Concepts both herald a new minivan that will be arriving for Japanese drivers in early 2014. Both concepts are essentially the same vehicle with only the slight modifications, primarily on the front and rear of the vehicles. (Of course, if you want to buy the current or earlier generations of these models, you can always get them in the car auctions.) The Noah Concept, below, “presents sophistication as a compact minivan with standard parts”. Meanwhile, the more aggressively styled Voxy, above, “employs exclusive aerodynamic parts to emphasize the low center of gravity, impressive wide-body, and the overwhelming sense of presence.”

Toyota Noah Concept

Frankly, they may both be very practical and comfortable, but I can’t help but yawn at the 5-year out-of-date styling.

Toyota Aqua G Sports Concept

Toyota Aqua G Sports Concept

Here we have the Toyota Aqua G sports Concept, which is a new version of a more ordinary concept we saw at the 2012 Tokyo Motor Show. (Remember that the Toyota Aqua is the JDM version of the Toyota Prius C.) Toyota handed the compact hybrid over to GAZOO Racing for complete conversion to sports car form, and that’s what we’ll see in Tokyo this year. Best of all? Toyota plans to launch this Aqua G Sports Concept in Japan almost immediately following the Tokyo Motor Show.

Toyota FT-86 Open Concept

Toyota FT-86 Open Concept

The last Japanese premiere Toyota will showcase at the 2013 Tokyo motor show is the Toyota FT-86 Open Concept. You’ll recall that we originally saw the concept just earlier this year in Geneva, but they’ve repainted the car “Flash Red” instead of white. As you can see, it really brings out her eyes. All in all, look like it’ll be a great showing from Toyota. Stay tuned later this week for more Japanese car news!

Osaka Introduces 50-Car Electric Taxi Fleet

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The Japanese city of Osaka has introduced a fleet of 50 electric taxis to reduce pollution problems in the city. The purchase of these 50 vehicles was made possible by a supporting grant from the Osaka regional government and has allowed operators to offer this service from in front of  Shin Umeda City and Nanba Marui from February 15th. The Shin Umeda City taxi rank serves the Umeda station in the north of Osaka, and the Nanba Marui taxi rank does the same for the Nanba train terminal in the southern area of the city.

Although the typical journey is expected to be about 5km for this city-center service, the EV taxis can obviously also travel further if required. However, the excellent public transportation system in Osaka means that it is likely that most journeys will be short jaunts from these stations to nearby offices and hotels rather than longer treks out to the airport, for example. In this sense, Japan’s cities are already well-positioned to take advantage of the strengths of electric vehicles, which out-perform their ICE counterparts in stop-start downtown driving.

Source: Mainichi Shinbun (Japanese-language)

Japanese Car Auction Finds: A London Taxi (Black Cab)

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Well, I must admit that I have never seen a London taxi (black cab) on the streets in Japan, but here is one that is in today’s auction:

London taxi (black cab) at car auction in Japan

Not only is a London taxi cab an unusual sight in Japan, but readers with eagle eyes will also have noticed something a little odd in the interior photo above… and reading the auction sheet will confirm your suspicions: Yes, that’s right, this black cab has been fitted with Recaro seats in the front. I guess the driver is planning on doing some hard cornering in this machine. I dread to think what it would be like bouncing around in the back with the driver screeching round the bends.

Japanese taxis look more like slightly old-fashioned regular cars and are usually based on the Toyota Crown model as you can see in this photo. Apart from the impeccable service, what I enjoy most about riding in a Japanese taxi is the rear passenger door that is opened by the driver at the touch of a button.

If you are interested in some more unusual taxis, take a look at this Ferrari Enzo and Lamborghini Murcielago that apparently take fare-paying passengers in Oman. Now those are two taxis which really do need the sports seats!

(c) Integrity Exports Co. Ltd. – Japan car auction buyer and exporter.