In an effort to shake off its reputation as a stodgy and boring automaker, Toyota has debuted some pretty wild concept cars, including a 400-horsepower Yaris and a three-wheeled electric trike. Toyota has saved its craziest concepts for the Tokyo Auto Show, where it rolled out some straight-up sci-fi vehicles looking far, far into the future.
The most futuristic and outlandish of these concepts is the FV2 Concept, a four-wheeled single-seater with the highways of the future in mind. This “fun to drive” concept vehicle isn’t driven in a traditional sense, as there is no steering wheel. Rather, the driver controls the concept with their body, shifting one way or another sort of like an ice luge to control the direction and speed of the vehicle.
The human-vehicle interaction doesn’t stop their either, as a Toyota health and mood-monitoring system can suggest destinations based on your demeanor. The FV2 can even change its exterior color. It is all very zen and harmonious, and not at all destined for production, at least not for a few decades.
Toyota also rolled out a pair of new minivan concepts, the Voxy and the Noah, which offer a ton of interior space, a low-slung floor for easy loading, and hybrid variants offering extra fuel economy. There’s also a new JPN Taxi concept that…yawn. Ok, so these concepts were kind of boring, though the Toyota Aqua G (Prius C) concept has a sportier-tuned suspension thanks to work from GAZOO Racing injects a bit of excitement into Toyota’s hybrid lineup.
Toyota will also have on hand the latest Toyota i-Road concept, a three-wheeled combination car/motorcycle with incredible handling, a closed cabin, and an all-electric drivetrain that is definitely coming into production. Another production-destined vehicle is an open-top version of the Toyota GT-86/Scion FR-S, as well as the latest hydrogen fuel cell Toyota FCV Concept, which is aiming to hit the market “around 2015” according to Toyota.
These concepts show that Toyota does not lack for engineering talent or ideas, though the road ahead for the world’s largest automaker is rife with competitors and challenges. Toyota will either stay top of its game, or be toppled from the sales chart throne.