Toyota is unveiling a slew of concept cars at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and have released images and new information on these vehicles prior to their world premieres. According to the car giant, these concepts are part of their “fun to drive” philosophy and range from fuel cell cars to hybrid minivans to the FV2 a three-wheel concept that does away with a traditional steering setup and whose exterior can change at will.
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) is unveiling five concepts at the Tokyo Motor Show 2013, from Nov. 20 to Dec. 1, including two “next-gen” minivans, a JPN Taxi concept, a new fuel cell vehicle and a three-wheeled car. According to Toyota this lineup is part of the company’s “vision of a future mobility society that values the joy of driving. The vehicles on display embody Toyota’s efforts to contribute positively to society while creating ever-better cars that exceed expectations.”
The concept announcement that has generated the most buzz is the FV2, the three-wheeled concept car. Instead of a steering wheel, drivers control the FV2 by moving their body, the driver is standing and moves forward, backward, right or left in order to steer. Toyota said they were inspired by the relationship a rider has with a horse as the FV2 incorporates the “Toyota Heart Project” to adapt the vehicle to its driver.
This function includes voice and image recognition and compiles driving history and style data to help the driver. An augmented reality system will be displayed on the FV2’s large windshield, which can project safety messages or alert drivers to vehicles in blind spots. To further add to the idea of a personalized FV2, the vehicle’s exterior can change at will, says Toyota.
Toyota previously discussed a fuel cell vehicle that will be available by 2013 and will be showing off the FCV concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. The company hopes to get a driving range of 500 kilometers, around 310 miles, with a refuel time that’s similar to pumping gas, around three minutes. The FCV’s exterior has plenty of flowing lines and comes equipped with an electric drive motor and can seat four passengers.
The Voxy and Noah minivan concepts are hoping to transform these cars from being more than practical vehicles that can hold a lot of stuff and people. More room and better fuel economy are the two main selling points but the Voxy concept is looking to make a splash with its aggressive front grille. Both vehicles will feature gas or hybrid options and Toyota plans to launch these vehicles in Japan by 2014.
The JPN taxi concept has a similar design philosophy with new features to increase accessibility. New details and images will be released when Toyota unveils all these concepts at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.