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Toyota i-Road concept (2013) first official pictures

By Ollie Kew

First Official Pictures

04 March 2013 06:00

This is the Toyota i-Road, a tiny concept car that will be officially unveiled at the 2013 Geneva motor show tomorrow. It's a two-seater, three-wheeled electric city car that Toyota reckons is the future of urban motoring.

Is the Toyota i-Road a potential Renault Twizy rival?

If it does go into production, the pair could be pretty close. Similarities to the Twizy are obvious (two seats in tandem, electric rear-wheel drive layout), but the i-Road is usefully smaller than the Renault. At just 850mm wide (the Twizy is 1191mm) it's no bigger than a scooter – handy for mixing with city traffic or, claims Toyota, parking four i-Roads in a single conventional space. The i-Road is also 2350mm long and 1445mm tall, while the Renault Twizy measures 2337mm and 1461mm. The i-Road's turning circle is a tiny three metres, around six metres tighter than a conventional car.

The i-Road also leans over like a scooter in bends to lower its centre of gravity (Toyota says the Active Lean system decides on the angle of tilt based on the steering angle, gyro sensor and the vehicle's speed) but thanks to the trike-like configuration, there's no need to stick a leg out when stopped. There's a completely enclosed cabin too, unlike a scooter, or, for that matter, a Twizy, which in turn means mod-cons like heating, an audio system and Bluetooth are on board.

Tell me about the Toyota i-Road's powertrain

The i-Road's two front wheels are each powered by their own 2kW electric motor. The batteries give a range of 30 miles, and take three hours to fully recharge from a household socket. A Twizy takes three and a half hours to juice up, and has a claimed 50-62-mile range.

Click here to see the pictures of the FT-86 Open, the other Toyota concept car being unveiled at the 2013 Geneva show – it's a drop-top version of the Japanese car company's sublime GT-86 coupe.

>> Should Toyota build the i-Road, or are 'personal mobility vehicles' a niche too far? Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know