Auto Show Coverage Geneva 2013:  Toyota i-Road Enclosed Motorcycle (w/ video)

Published on March 5th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás

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Geneva 2013: Toyota i-Road Enclosed Motorcycle (w/ video)

Toyota i-Road

This is Toyota’s newest electric commuter concept. It’s called the i-Road, and I could get into all the trick electric motor tech and the formula-1 style safety science meant to keep you alive whenever some kin-cuddlin’ redneck in a jacked-up pick-up decides it’s time to change lanes on top of you.

None of that’s all to exciting, though. The cool thing about the new Toyota i-Road is that it leans.

That’s right. The new Toyota i-Road will lean like a motorcycle. It will bank like a fighter-jet, even, if you decide your morning commute needs more “Top Gun” visuals in it. To that end, the i-Road’s Active Lean system will bank hard – moving each of the front wheels up and down, applying an angle of inclination calculated many times per second to counteract the centrifugal force of the corners. It’s all very clever, and good for an inconceivably tight 3 meter (!) turning radius.

You can get a sense of how Toyota envisions the i-Road’s city skills working within a future city’s traffic and (possibly hallucinatory) EV infrastructure in the video, below …

… and see some of my favorite pre-Geneva show press photos of the Toyota i-Road in the photo gallery at the bottom of this post.

No word, yet, on any plans for the i-Road to see production and US sales. While I wouldn’t hold my breath for that, with the right Scion ad team behind it I can’t help but think these would be pretty solid sellers in cash-strapped ‘murica.

 

Source: Toyota, mia Motorpasion.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Deebirs

    Range? Weight capacity? Top speed? Price? Likelihood of production?

    No.

    “It leans.”

    I really, honestly, HATE to be negative but we’ve only seen that a half dozen times before.

    • Joborras

      Only 6 times in recorded history!? That’s innovation!

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    About 30 miles, two people, 28MPH…  that’s what we already know.

    The steering wheel in the back is something completely new, as far as I know.  I’m not sure what to make of that, either.  Maybe when it is combined with the leaning, it will negate the instability?  And this also has to be fly-by-wire, which could be fine, but it also could be problematic.

    Neil

  • FunRide007

     
    Toyota has a great concept (Narrow,
    Enclosed, Tilting, Commuter); BUT its limited performance (30 mi.
    range, 28mph speed) severely limits its practicality and
    marketability in today’s society. While less than 30mph might be OK
    for a city center; getting there on 45-55mph roads would be
    impractical and dangerous. Most city dwellers live in apartments and
    high rises and would find parking, storing and recharging
    impractical. Might be good for a “Car Sharing” business. Now if
    Toyota could come up with an i-Road-2 with 100 mile range and a top
    speed of 65-75mph, then they would have the “Commuter of the
    Future” for suburbanites , and would sell hundreds of thousands; I
    know I’d buy one!

  • nick

    Compare to Lit motors C-1. That will have 200 mile range and highway speed.
    http://litmotors.com/c1/
    And they will sell for $24k before incentives.
    I don’t know how something like this will compete at $25k.

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