555TES Minute S is Best Thing at Tokyo's 2013 Auto Salon (w/ video)


555TES Minute S

This little bit of automotive nirvana is the 555TES Minute S. Powered by one of Yamaha’s high-revving 250 cc motorcycle/ATV engines coupled to Toyota’s Aqua hybrid drive system, the tiny commuter promises some seriously fun urban commuting.

Despite looking for all the world like one of those dynamically flawed 3-wheeled, motorcycle-tired fail-machines (I’m looking at you, Can-Am), the 555TES actually has 4 fat, square-section automotive tires to equalize contact patches front and rear and ensure maximum grip. Like a go-kart, the low-weight/high-grip formula is one that’s sure to thrill … and, with an EV-only mode and tiny footprint, it might be eligible for a SUICA card.

Translation: you can take it on the subway. Can I get a “F@#$ yeah!”?

There is almost no chance that this super-awesome little runabout will make its way to the US, despite the continued presence of awful 3 wheelers sucking up tax credits and pathetic suckers’ investors’ dollars. It’s too bad, and a genuine loss for America’s car culture.

Here is the 555TES, on video, in motion, NOT vaporware. Try to enjoy the video, below, without shedding manly tears.


Source: 555TES, via the Truth About Cars.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • I’d love to know what gas mileage it gets. And by the way, it’s nice looking and aerodynamic. 60 to 80% of the energy a vehicle uses is to overcome air drag – even at 55 mph.

    • I’m not sure that math adds up in most cases. You can see how to calculate road horsepower here: http://powerstrokenation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=329 To sum that up,

      6.25 Pounds Drag @ 60 mph = 1 Road-Horsepower

      By definition,
      1 HP = 33,000 foot-pounds work/minute
      One mile = 5,280 feet
      1 hour = 60 minutes
      60 mph = 1 mile/minute
      So divide 33,000 foot-pounds by 5,280 feet to get
      6.25 mile-pounds/minute = 1 horsepower

      In other words, if a side view mirror is resisted by exactly 6.25 pounds of wind resistance at 60 mph, it is consuming a steady 1 horsepower. Big truck mirrors consume considerably more than 1 horsepower at 60 mph. Small car mirrors are far less. The shape of a car generate much less drag than a mirror, so the cx is way different. Even assuming it’s the same, the frontal area of a 90s Camry (which doesn’t benefit form modern CFD) is only about 23 ft. (if that). 2 of those, easily, are mirrors (which are the worst offenders, in terms of drag on a street car). Given a worst-case scenario of “the whole car is a mirror”, that’s 23 hp at 60 mph … or just over 10% of the energy available from a Camry V6 (about 220 hp), and no more than 20% of the 140-ish hp 4-cyl. 60-80% just doesn’t make any sense.

      Show your work.

    • In case my previous comment wasn’t clear: I call bulls***.

  • VB

    The stubby front end is not only bug-ugly – it also means that the crumple zone is your kneecaps. This may be fine for motorcycle riders, but it’s not going to entice a car driver to switch. Not this car driver, anyway.

    • I’ll avoid pointing out any sort of mass and acceleration equations and just point out that the safest crash is the one you’re not in.

  • shecky vegas

    I understand it’s also a whistle…

  • Can-Am Spyder uses car tires, FWIW. It does not lean into corners like a motorcycle.