Lightweight, 500cc, plug-in Prius set to make headlines at Tokyo show
10 October 2007

Anyone looking for clues as to what the next Toyota Prius will look like should book their plane ticket for the Tokyo motor show later this month, stop by the Toyota stand, and give this 1/X concept a look over. That’s not to say it is the new Prius, but one derivation of what tomorrow’s Prius family could serve up. 1/X comes to the show as a small, light, ultra economy concept, offering the same cabin space as today’s Prius, but in a very different format.

Next Prius: light, rear-engined, and ‘plug-in’?

The 1/X’s body design, especially that gently curving roofline, certainly has the Prius house style about it, but what’s underneath it is radically different. Toyota probably won’t welcome the comparison, but the 1/X takes the rear engine/rear-drive format from the tiny Mitsubishi i minicar and gives it a new twist. The 1/X sports a tiny, two-cylinder 500 cc ‘flexible fuel’ engine under its rear seat. This links to a plug-in hybrid system to deliver outstanding economy and clean emissions. Simply a mock-up at the show, 1/X comes with a lightweight, carbon-fibre frame and very little in the way of body. The idea is that it’s one third of the weight of the Prius, with 50 cent better economy, while also offering the same amount of room inside. The rear-engine format clearly helps with the packaging breakthrough and smooths a lot of hurdles with pedestrian safety regs along the way. All the same, fully laden and with only 500 cc hybrid power at its disposal, the 1/X may not be a stellar to drive, although in an extreme lean and green concept like this, that’s not really the point. Seating four, the 1/X is about 10mm narrower and 12mm lower than a Yaris, but also about 15mm longer. It’ll unquestionably be one of the standout models at the show.

Peter Nunn

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio
    The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio. We've tested it on UK roads for the first time
    First Drive
    18 August 2017
    First tilt on UK roads reveals a chassis almost as absorbing as the Giulia’s, though the Stelvio’s comfort and quality levels may disappoint SUV clientele
  • Car review
    18 August 2017
    Amid a broader vRS refresh, Skoda has built its most powerful Octavia yet to take on the established order
  • Jaguar F-Type Convertible 2.0 i4 on the road
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Having been previously impressed by the agile four-cylinder F-Type, now is our chance to try it in the UK and in open-top form. But can this entry-level Jaguar sports car hold off the impressive Porsche Boxster?
  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR
    The Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR is a swansong for the Vantage - but the first model to sport the AMR title
    First Drive
    16 August 2017
    Aston Martin's swansong for its venerable Vantage sports car allows it to bow out with its head held high, yet the performance AMR sub-brand's first outing leaves you feeling short-changed
  • Range Rover Velar 2.0D
    First Drive
    15 August 2017
    Can the newest Range Rover deliver the goods when it's being powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0L diesel engine? We tried it on UK roads to find out