Toyota i-ROAD leans its way into the city [w/video]

Toyota i-ROAD leans its way into the city [w/video]

March 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Geneva Motor Show , Videos , Toyota , Motorcycle , Specialty , Electric According to Toyota , the ” i-ROAD takes the company closer to its goal of creating the ultimate range of eco cars.” As you’re surely aware, that range of eco cars includes the enormously successful Prius family, but this new machine is nothing like the hybrid hatchback. And it’s not even a car – Toyota calls the i-ROAD a Personal Mobility Vehicle. Toyota’s i-ROAD Concept, which debuts at this week’s Geneva Motor Show , is adorned with just three wheels, meaning it’s just as much a motorcycle as it is a car, and the driver and passenger sit in tandem style instead of side-by-side. This arrangement allows for a very thin 850mm width, which is about the same as a large motorcycle. Because the cockpit is enclosed, the occupants don’t need helmets, nor are they open to the elements outside. Also like a traditional two-wheeler, the i-ROAD tilts through the turns and when driving on uneven surfaces. Toyota says its computer-controlled Active Lean technology automatically balances the vehicle with no input from the driver. Despite the automaker’s expertise in hybrid drivetrains, the i-ROAD is a pure electric vehicle, and Toyota says it “believes in the feasibility of EVs to serve as a main mode of transport for short urban journeys.” There’s a two-kilowatt motor in each front wheel, meaning the i-ROAD offers up just over five horsepower, which isn’t a lot but should be enough to get moving up to city traffic speeds (no performance specs are available). An on-board lithium ion battery allows for a range of around 30 miles, after which the vehicle can be recharged in three hours using “a conventional domestic power supply.” We’re a little unsure of what Toyota means by that – using a 110-volt outlet or a 220-volt outlet, or perhaps a unique charger? – but you’re welcome to see the press release yourself below, along with a video showing the leaning three-wheeler in action.

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