Toyota i-Road at Geneva motor show

Toyota i-Road: live reveal

Toyota i-Road at Geneva motor showThe innovative Toyota i-Road concept has made an electrifying debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, carving gracefully onto the stage of our elegant new stand.

The show-stopping model’s defining feature is its complex suspension and steering set up, designed to allow it to flow gracefully through curves like a motorbike.

The banking motion might look dramatic, but it actually serves to provide the three-wheeled, tandem style  two-seater greater safety and stability.

Described as Active Lean technology, the system uses a lean actuator, linked via a yoke to the front wheels. An ECU calculates the required degree of lean based on steering angle, gyro-sensor and vehicle speed, and automatically moves the tyres up and down in opposite directions, applying lean angle to counteract the centrifugal force of cornering.

The system also operates when the vehicle is being driven in a straight line over cambered surfaces, the actuator automatically compensating for changes in the road to keep the body level. The minimum turning circle is just three metres.

Best of all, no special skills are needed to pilot i-Road; the Active Lean system offers a unique driving experience with the enjoyment of riding a two-wheeler, but with no need for the driver to stabilise the vehicle when manoeuvring at low speed, or when stationary.

Designed for city streets, the three wheel, battery-powered i-Road provides covered tandem-style seating for two. At only 850mm, it is no wider than a conventional motorcycle, and measures 2,350mm long, 1,445mm high and has a 1,700mm wheelbase.

The compact dimensions make for easy manoeuvring through traffic, but also mean four can be parked in one parking bay.

The zero-emissions, all-electric model uses a lithium-ion battery to drive two powerful 2Kw motors mounted in the front wheels, offering instant acceleration and near-silent running.

The concept car’s range is around 30 miles, after which the battery can be recharged from a  domestic power supply in three hours.

It builds on Toyota’s research into exciting new transport solutions, which we covered here.

Unveiling the car, Didier Leroy, President of Toyota Motor Europe said, “Toyota is defined by better, because we believe there is always a better way to build a better car. Take the i-Road as an example. We guarantee it will put a smile on everyone’s face.

“This is a very serious proposition, and we believe it has an important part to play in the future of mobility in cities. It’s this type of mobility project we have announced we are going to try in Grenoble over the next three years. But this is not our only focus as we continue to lead in the development of sustainable technologies.

He concluded: “This year we will have sold more than 5 million hybrid products world wide, and sales are growing all the time. Hybrids now account for 13 percent of all our European sales. By the end of 2013 that number will climb to around 18 percent of all our sales.

“And as you know, our hybrid technology can be paired with any fuel type. On that basis I can now confirm that one of the 21 hybrid power plants we will launch by 2015 will be equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell.” he concluded.

Comments (11)

  1. I really love the idea behind this desing and would tick all the boxes for me.
    When will this vehical be available for sale in the UK?

    1. Hello Mehdi
      Thanks for your post and great to hear your comments about the i-Road.
      Unfortunately we are a few years away before any idea of production, trials will be starting next year in Japan and France to help gather real world data on daily usage of the i-Road. This will be used to help shape the final vehicle specification. Keep an eye on ou Blog regarding the latest news and how the trials progress. A UK journalist recently had the opportunity to drive the i-Road in Japan and we have printed his review on our Blog.
      Hope this helps.

  2. Dear David Crouch,

    Thank you for the prompt reply.

    300kg, it’s a heavy old battery! (But then so is the one in my Prius)

    Looks as though the i-Road will be placing a lot of unusual forces on the front tyres; are you working with manufacturers on that?

    Let’s hope the trials go well.

    Which production company made that video for you? Shot in Marseilles? Great CG.

    I still want one though. Good luck.

    Micky Finch.

    1. Hello Sally
      No news on what the price will be yet unfortunately. Trials on i-Road start next year to evaluate use under real world conditions so will be a little bit of time yet before any production details can be confirmed. Keep an eye on our Blog as we hope to provide mode details about how these trials are going next year.
      Hope this helps.

  3. Fabulous!

    Realistically now, how likely is it this vehicle will make it to the high street?

    What will it weigh please?

    1. Hi Michael
      Thanks for the post and glad you like the i-Road.
      It is very likely that this vehicle will be available in Europe (though possibly not all European markets as this will depend on charging infrastructure in place). No details yet on any launch timings but trials commence next year in Japan and France to help gather real world data on using i-Road and help shape final specification. The kerb weight of i-Road is 300 kg. If we receive updates on the trials we will certainly publish them on our Blog.
      Hope this helps.

  4. How soon can I buy one of these in the UK?? I really want one – it would be brilliant for short journeys to and from work and to the shops!

    1. Thanks for your interest, Richard!
      Unfortunately, this is a concept vehicle and so we do not have any news currently if this vehicle will go into production.
      We will of course keep you updated here on the Toyota Blog with any new model updates.
      Many thanks.

    1. Hi Hymno,
      This is a concept car so it is not available on the market. We will be sure to update you on any new model developments in the UK here on the Toyota Blog. You can find out new model updates for the Philippines here: http://www.toyota.com.ph/.
      Many thanks.

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