TopGear.com05 March 2013

Revealed: Toyota i-Road concept

This is Japan’s leany version of the Twizy. Which would you choose?

Toyota i-Road

This is the Toyota i-Road, and it looks like hilarious fun. And rather a lot like Jeremy's P45. It's a three-wheeled scooter-sized two-seat electric city car that leans over like a motorbike.

Like the Twizy, the seats are in tandem and it's powered by electricity. But this is quite a lot narrower (850mm wide compared with the Renault's), which means you can park four of the blighters in one conventional parking space. And because of its diminutive length (2350mm compared with the Renault's 2337mm), you can turn it round in just three meters - a normal car takes nine.

But what looks most fun is the lean - it tilts over to lower its centre of gravity. The degree it tips is based on the steering angle, gyro sensor and the vehicle's speed, though it doesn't look like you'll get too much of the latter - the i-Road's two front wheels are powered by their own tiny 2kW electric motors.

The batteries have a 30-mile range, but only take three hours to fully recharge from a normal household socket (the Twizy bests it with a 50-62-mile range and three and a half hour charging time). But unlike the Renault, this has a completely enclosed cabin, so you get stuff like a stereo, heating and Bluetooth, which is convenient, but saps power.

So, which would you go for TopGear.commers?

 

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