The Toyota i-Road concept is the company’s vision of a bike-style urban commuter vehicle where you don’t need to wear a helmet, put your feet on the ground or spend a cent on petrol.
At just 850mm wide, it can also be parked in single parking bays.
Toyota has revealed the i-Road tandem two-seater ‘trike’ ahead of its debut at this week’s 2013 Geneva motor show.
The Toyota i-Road can travel for 50km/h at an average speed of 30km/h on a single charge. Recharging takes just three hours from a regular power socket. Top speed is 45km/h.
A lithium-ion battery powers two 2kW motors in the front wheels that move up and down for both ride compliance in a straight-line but more importantly to aid stability during cornering.
The i-Road’s computer computes the necessary angle of lean by monitoring steering wheel angle, vehicle speed and a gyro sensor, with the front wheels automatically moving up and down in opposite directions to keep the trike balanced.
Buyers would be able to choose between an open or closed cabin. The closed version allows for the likes of lighting, heating, audio and Bluetooth connectivity.
“People using this kind of vehicle want something that is more comfortable, offers better weather protection and is safer than a two-wheeler such as a scooter or motorcycle, but has similar benefits of low running costs, easy parking and around-town manoeuvrability,” says Toyota.
A car-like trike concept isn’t a first, but previous efforts have typically placed two wheels at the rear.