Toyota Have unveiled what they think we will all be getting around on in the not too distant future and it looks very much like a Segway. Toyota’s version known as the Winglet features a smaller body that houses an electric motor, two wheels and internal sensors that constantly monitor the user’s position and make adjustments in power to ensure stability. Meanwhile, a unique parallel link mechanism allows the rider to go forward, backward and turn simply by shifting body weight, making the vehicle safe and useful even in tight spaces or crowded environments. Toyota have shown 3 versions of their winglet, one with Segway style handlebars and two others controlled by your knees or shins. For the full low down on the Winglet check out their press release after the jump or watch the video above.
Plenty of car companies have been known to buy back some of their historic models in order to preserve their history and display them in their museums. When Toyota tried to find their first car (the Toyota AA) they found there was none left possibly due to Japan’s love of crushing outdated cars for the latest model and the fact that only 1400 were build from 1936 till 1943. The next plan was to create a replica of the car but as a full set of plans were not available the replica was built from what plans could be found from over the models lifetime. Today the replica that was built for Toyota’s 50th anniversary sits in Toyota’s automobile museum in Nagoya Japan. While the car may not be exactly like the one you could buy in the late 30’s to early 40’s it is pretty darn close to what the real thing would have looked like if there was still one around.
Toyota has put a cute and revolutionary ultra compact vehicle on it’s stand at the Geneva Motorshow. Called the IQ Concept this little car is less than 3 metres in length and is Toyota’s solution to over crowded city streets. Designed at Toyota’s design studio in the South of France the car although very small has good package space and even a good size luggage compartment compared with similar size micro cars. The interior styling is even as daring as the exterior with a centre console which looks more than a manta raw and striking vents, switches and dials. The steering wheel even has a mock snake skin leather cover which looks surprisingly stylish. The vehicle has a pretty clever GPS system which is clear, and allow the drive to see through when it is turned off, and there is a clever sun roof which darkens at night time with some clever technology in the glass. Toyota hasn’t’ said too much about whether this car will go into production but it is pretty obvious most of that is not too far away from hitting the showrooms and a show room ready version would not be too much of a stretch from this concept. Time will tell so start saving those pennies.
Toyota are streaming ahead with hybrid technology allready several cars are on the market around the world and in Japan most of the range is available in Hybrid. Toyota think the hybrid is the centeral technology needed to make the ultimate eco-car and over the next few years this techology will improve and be a real alternative to full time petrol or diesel. So to showcase this techology Toyota have the FT HS hybrid sports car on their stand at the Melbourne Motorshow alongside their hybrid Prius and locally made Camry and Aurion sedans. The FT-HS is hot of the stand of the Detroit Motorshow and is one of the most exciting cars at Melbourne. The 400 horsepower hybrid car may see the return of the classic Celica or Supra time will tell. Toyota are stating this vehicle will do 0-60 in about 4 seconds and it would sell in the price bracket of mid $30,000. It has a 3.5 litre V6 engine Sounds too good to believe we will have to wait and see.
The Toyota IQ was a concept car first shown at the Frankfurt Motorshow in 2007. At only 3 metres in length it will be one of the shortest cars about when a car based on the concept goes into production around 2009. The majority of sales are expected to be in Japan and Europe where kei class or city sized cars are popular. The IQ should make some good competition for the Smart ForTwo, its hard to believe but it does seat four people…well two adults and two very small kids. Watch the short video above for a rundown of Toyota IQ.
Toyota have a very interesting concept vehicle on their stand at the Detroit motorshow this week, the A-bat, it is part pick up truck and part car. The vehcile featues a lot of recyclable materials including metals and wood. The seats, center console and dashboard use both carbon fiber and aluminum, while the door trim, armrests and seat cushions are made of a tough light weight materials. A-BAT also uses a Hybrid Synergy Drive system similar to what Toyota use in its Highlander vehicle. One interesting feature is solar panels built into the dash which charge a removable power pack which can run AC/DC power.
The E Type Jaguar revolutionised sports car design when it was first launched in 1961. It had magnificent performance, handling and looks and was way ahead of its time. Enzo Ferrari is quoted as saying it was” The most beautiful car ever made”. and has headed many lists of the 60’s best sportscar.
This lovely 1967 example was photographed at the Toyota Megaweb classic car collection in Odaiba, Tokyo. The Toyota History Garage is part of Toyota’s Megaweb car fun park. The History Garage contains all the cars that shaped car history from this Jag to the Delorean and Huge Caddys to microcars. All the cars are really well presented, there is also a huge Toyota showroom displaying everything from Toyota Japan’s Range.
The Toyota I-Unit is a ultra compact single seater vehicle which was a cross between a motorcycle and a car, looking a lot like a exoskeleton. The vehicle had adapted shape depending on speed. At low speeds around cities the vehicle was more upright so you were similar height to pedestrians. At higher speeds the pod would lay back giving a more aerodynamic appearance and a much lower centre of gravity. Weighing in at only 180 kilograms the vehicle ran on lithium ion batteries with the rear wheels being run by electric motors. The vehicle was controlled by two joystick devices using drive by wire technology, and an intelligent transport system (ITS) was used so the vehicles could talk to other forms of transport and road markers. One interesting feature was mood lighting, the pod’s led technology would change colour depending on the drivers mood. Toyota has stated that it may launch a similar vehicle in years to come- at the moment it is just a working show car.