Toyota presents an innovative concept car at this year's Geneva Motor Show (7 until 17, March): the compact Toyota i-ROAD promises maximum flexibility in cities and metropolitan areas. The three-wheeled electric car offers the two occupants seated behind each other a safe, intuitive and completely emission-free driving experience in a comfortable driver's cab.
The Toyota i-ROAD combines the advantages of a car with the maneuverability of a two-wheeler. This makes it more comfortable, safer and, with a roof over your head, much more weatherproof than scooters and motorcycles. Thanks to its compact dimensions - the two-seater is only 2,35 meters long and 85 centimeters wide - it is just as agile and finding a parking space is no problem either. Up to four Toyota i-ROADs fit in a conventional car parking space. The turning circle is only three meters.
Although the city runner agile drives like a two-wheeled vehicle and meanders through city traffic, the occupants benefit from the enclosed driver's cab, which on the one hand is safer but on the other protects against the outside weather conditions. In addition, the two occupants do not need to wear a helmet and can refer to comfort details that are familiar from cars: interior lighting, heating, audio system and a Bluetooth hands-free kit are on board.
The study, which is only 1,45 meters high, is powered by wheel-hub electric motors with two kW each on the two front wheels. They ensure a speedy and almost silent acceleration. When the lithium-ion battery is charged, the three-wheeled electric vehicle will travel zero emissions for up to 50 kilometers. The battery can be charged at any standard household power outlet in just three hours.
The new Toyota “Active Lean” technology ensures a high level of stability, safety and comfort while driving. In contrast to classic two-wheelers, the driver does not have to independently stabilize the e-tricycle with his feet at low speeds or when stationary. To maintain balance, the system uses a servomotor and a gearbox on the front suspension that is connected to the right and left front wheels. An electronic control unit calculates the required inclination based on the steering angle, gyro sensor and vehicle speed. The system also automatically moves the wheels up and down in opposite directions to counteract centrifugal force using curve-tilting technology. The “Active Lean” technology compensates for uneven road surfaces and is also active when the vehicle is driving straight ahead.
A pioneer in green powertrains, Toyota is continually working to minimize fuel consumption and environmental impact. For over 40 years, the automaker has been developing advanced mobility solutions. In order to meet the personal needs of each user, Toyota believes that there will be different types of engines side by side: while hybrid cars, plug-in hybrid models and fuel cell vehicles will offer medium to long-haul routes, electric cars will be able to compete in short-distance city driving. Its compact dimensions, high maneuverability, easy parking and short loading times make the Toyota i-ROAD the ideal solution for the city, without giving up the individual freedom of mobility.