Lean on me: Toyota's trick i-TRIL concept car

Published: 07 March 2017

► Toyota electric i-TRIL Concept unveiled
 Driver or full autonomous operation
Is this what well all be driving in 2030?

Toyota loves a futuristic concept car - and it’s delivered just that at the 2017 Geneva motor show.

This is the all-electric Toyota i-TRIL concept. The car was designed at the company’s French styling studio to showcase its vision for European urban motoring in 2030.

Active Lean technology

A hinge between the rear axle and the cabin allows the body and front tyres to lean while the powered rear wheels stay perpendicular to the road surface.

Toyota i-TRIL concept at Geneva 2017

Toyota engineers determined that an angle of 10 degrees is ideal for securing better stability and grip and a more comfortable ride for passengers.

‘It has been developed as a viable alternative to city cars, small hatchbacks, other all-electric EV models and motorcycles for people who still want to have fun when driving, even at slower, urban traffic speeds,’ says Toyota.

Driving position and operation

The i-TRIL has no pedals. Steering, acceleration and braking are all controlled by drive-by-wire technology. Operation is by left- and right-hand control nodes that work like computer mice or games controllers.

Alternatively, the i-TRIL is capable of operating fully autonomously. Its target range is over 185 miles.

Toyota i-TRIL concept at Geneva 2017

When the i-TRIL is operating in autonomous mode, the left or right side of the instrument panel will automatically light up to let those on-board know when the cabin is about to lean.

In manual driving mode, a simple head-up display presents the driver with essential information. Voice activation controls the multimedia and infotainment systems.


The Toyota says the i-TRIL can seat three adults with its McLaren F1-aping 1+2 layout.

When the butterfly doors open they also remove a section of the floor, allowing easier access. The front seat can be swivelled through up to 20 degrees.

Toyota i-TRIL concept at Geneva 2017

The cabin has been design specifically to avoid an overtly automotive feel, according to Toyota. The Alcantara-like trim, rear bench seat upholstery and wooden floor finish are all made from recycled materials and create an environment styled more like a living room.

In a world-first for tyre design (as far as we know), the tread pattern on the Goodyear tyres has been cut to match the interior trim. It all sounds bang on trend to us.

Click here for a list of all the new cars at the Geneva 2017 motor show

By Martin Tilbrook

Contributor to CAR, winner of Phil Llewellin award for budding writers