The concept has three seats, no pedals, autonomous technology and a claimed electric range of 185 miles

The Toyota i-TRIL electric city car concept has been revealed at the Geneva motor show, showcasing the manufacturer’s vision of urban mobility in 2030.

It has been developed as an electric alternative to small city cars, and features a one-plus-two seating layout as well as ‘Active Lean’ and autonomous technology.

The rear-wheel drive concept has a driving range of “more than 185 miles” between charges and has no pedals.

It is instead controlled through drive-by-wire technology which is operated through left and right-hand control nodes that are said to work like “computer mice or game controllers”.

It features a hinge between the rear axle and cabin that allows the body and front tyres to lean into corners because the front wheels and wings are separate from the main body.

When the car is in autonomous mode, the left or right side of the instrument panel lights up when it is about to corner to show which way the cabin is about to lean.

Toyota says an angle of 10 degrees of lean allows better stability and grip. It gets 19in wheels at the front and 20in wheels at the back, and there’s 25 degrees of front wheel steering which gives the i-TRIL a four-metre turning circle.

The butterfly opening doors are hinged on sloping front pillars, but Toyota says they can be opened within a regular parking space, and when they do open a section of the flooring is removed to allow easier access in and out of the car. 

Inside, there is no switchgear or instrument binnacle – when the car is in manual mode it instead uses a head-up display to show the driver information, with a focus on voice command to activate functions. The rear is wider than the front to accommodate a two-seat bench.

The i-TRIL is 3000mm long and 1510mm wide, with front and rear tracks at 1200mm and 600mm. That makes it bigger than the Renault Twizy – which is 2320mm long and 1190 wide – but smaller than a Hyundai i10 – which is 3665mm long and 1660mm wide.

Our Verdict

Toyota Yaris

The original Toyota Yaris was a landmark car, since then it has lost ground to more talented rivals. Can it regain its crown from the formidable and long in the tooth Ford Fiesta?

Join the debate


7 March 2017
since everyone knows that 'small footprint' vehicles will be the transportation mode of the future in overcrowded inner cities. Most people drive alone and ride-hailing is usually about carrying one passenger from A to B. What's even more interesting is that Toyota very well realizes that people using an i-TRIL might be at the expense of its regular car sales. So, they limited its practicality (only place for two children in the back) and crash safety. Needn't be... The fun of tilt during cornering, three-seat capacity for adults, comfort, 5-star NCAP safety and limited dimensions can be combined.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune