Three-wheeled electric vehicle is made for two-person urban transport and has a range of 30 miles
4 March 2013

Toyota has unveiled a new three-wheeled electric vehicle at the Geneva motor show. The Toyota i-Road is just 850mm wide and is designed for easy maneuverability on city streets.

The three-wheel i-Road seats two people in tandem under a weatherproof cover and body. It can be driven without a crash helmet, and Toyota says the cabin has a ‘car-like environment’.

The i-Road is 2350mm long, 1445mm high and has a 1700mm wheelbase. The narrow width means that up to four i-Roads could be parked in a single car parking bay.

The zero-emissions, all-electric powertrain uses a lithium-ion battery to power two 2kW motors mounted in the front wheels.

The driving range is around 30 miles, after which the battery can be fully recharged from a conventional domestic power supply in three hours.

The i-Road uses a lean actuator and gearing mounted above the front suspension member, linked via a yoke to the left and right front tyres, to balance the vehicle during cornering.

Toyota refers to the system as ‘Active Lean’ technology. An ECU calculates the required degree of lean based on steering angle, vehicle speed and information provided by a gyro-sensor.

The system automatically moves the tyres up and down in opposite directions, applying lean angle to counteract the centrifugal force of cornering.

Toyota hasn’t yet said when the i-Road would be likely to reach production or how much it could cost.

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Comments
9

4 March 2013

Very interesting and novel concept, I guess the challenge is to make it cheap enough to encourage early adopters.

Pity Toyota's clever thinking didn't extend to a more imaginitive name though.

4 March 2013

You can get the GTi version with an IC engine and four wheels:

Messerschmitt Tiger 500

4 March 2013

I mean really ! - this is just a badge too far for me

what's life without imagination

4 March 2013

I think the typical Autocar reader would prefer the new electric Mercedes SLS shown at the Paris show.

Would 740 hp and 738 lbs/ft be considered more desirable than this Toyota by Autocar's readers?

I am afraid the price would put most potential buyers off though at $540,000 including German VAT at 19%.

Info from Autoweek website.

And yes it is on sale and although it will not be sold by Mercedes UK apparently they will help potential UK purchasers, probably LHD only. 

maxecat

4 March 2013

Wasn't Toyota's previous attempt, the i-Real, suppose to be the next big thing in personal transport? Seems yet another reincarnation of the Sinclair C5.

5 March 2013

Please don't bring it here. Keep it in Japan. Sell it anywhere. Just not here.

5 March 2013

So many companies came up with tilting vehicle concepts: VandenBrink, Nissan, KTM, Naro Car Co. Actually, they are all flawed. They are either unappealing geriatric-looking 'creatures' from a product design point of view and/or unsafe for the passengers if you compare them to small cars. About time someone came up with a true successor to that almost forgotten transportation mode from the Fifties the Germans brought us in the form of the Isetta, Heinkel and Messerschmitt. Well, actually someone already did. Check out newisetta.com

6 March 2013

  

It's a Renault Twizzy, rebadged...probably, or a design rip off. I'm not defending Renault over this either. What is wrong with car makers these days? I want an efficient car, but not a disabled looking two seater, reminiscent of the pale blue electric disabled car from the 70's. I appreciate to set themselves apart Toyota have removed one of the rear wheels and added an old fashioned way to help it corner better...how many times has this been tried? And none have been sucessful! I also want boot space for practicality and a lot more safety. And if it is purely to off set their carbon footprint then again it is still pointless. If anyone is stupid enough to buy one; good luck with your resell value as I hear Renault does not want to take Twizzy's back in px!

Answer if you want a small, easy to park, fuel efficient mode of transport with two seats...buy a scooter!  

6 March 2013

For all those comments about not liking the Toyota i-road you might change your mind when fuel is £10 a gallon (>£2 per litre).  For city driving only it makes a lot of sense and I would prefer this to a Renault Twizy or public transport.

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