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Toyota turns Tokyo green

Not quite ten-tenths: 1/X concept weighs just 420kg.

Toyota to flex its green muscles at Tokyo, via a MkII hybrid system and miserly micros

16 Oct 2007

FLEXING its considerable muscle in terms of environmental motoring and marketing, Toyota will unveil no fewer than eight concept vehicles under the theme of “Harmonious drive – a new tomorrow for people and the planet” at next week's Tokyo motor show.

Among them will be a vehicle the Japanese auto giant claims “completely redefines what it means to be environmentally considerate”.

Another will “rewrite the rules of auto design with a proposal for ultra-efficient vehicle packaging”. Let’s take a look...


BILLED as the car which redefines from its very roots of what it means to be environmentally considerate, the 1/X has a design that tries to “harmoniously co-exist” with people and society and a weight of just “1/Xth” that of other vehicles in its class.

As such, compared to the Prius hybrid car the four-seater 1/X has similar cabin space but weight is reduced by about two thirds (to 420kg) and fuel consumption is approximately halved. It also emits less CO2.

Powering the 1/X is an ethanol-compatible 500cc petrol engine with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that allows charging from an external power source and enables a longer electric-motor cruising distance.

The power unit is located underneath the rear seat for a midship, rear-wheel drive layout, which in turn brings packaging improvements. Carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic throughout the body frame reduces weight, and also allows narrower pillars for improved visibility.

8 center imageFrom the top: iQ, Crown Hybrid, FT-HS, Hi-CT and RiN (bottom).


THE iQ concept is described as an ultra-compact vehicle which “maintains the status of a premium automobile even with its exceptionally short length” (2980mm).

This is much shorter than the 3900mm 1/X, for example, although its width and height are a more conventional 1680mm and 1480mm respectively – and serve to dramatically alter its appearance as a result.

Looks that only a mother could love? We’ll reserve final judgment until we see it in the flesh at the show. The iQ seats three adults but reserves the smaller fourth position for children or luggage.

Crown Hybrid

POINTING to the “next-generation inspirational luxury sedan” from Toyota, the Crown Hybrid concept is fitted with the company’s latest second-generation hybrid system (THS II) complete with a two-stage motor speed reduction device designed to provide smooth acceleration, high fuel efficiency, low CO2 and other exhaust emissions, and ultra-quietness.

Other features onboard include a TFT (think film transistor) LCD “Finegraphic Meter” to provide the driver with better-presented information and 10 airbags. Due for release in Japan next year, the near-production Crown is about the size of an LS Lexus. It sits on a 2850mm wheelbase and the body measures 4870mm from end to end.


THE FT-HS (future Toyota hybrid sports) provides a glimpse of a much-anticipated new-generation rear-wheel drive sportscar from the Japanese manufacturer, and the extension of the company’s performance hybrid powertrains – reserved for Lexus, up until now – to more mainstream Toyota lines.

The 2+2 convertible-coupe concept uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol-electric hybrid system. The show car also features 21-inch carbon-fibre wheels with 245/35-section tyres at the front and 285/30s at the rear.

The wheelbase is 2650mm, overall length 4325mm, width 1860mm and height 1290mm, making it slightly bigger overall than the discontinued MR2 Spyder.


REFERRING to a hi-ride city truck, Hi-CT is a four-seat youth-oriented urban vehicle using plug-in hybrid technology and featuring a new look “unconstrained by conventional vehicle size”.

The fine detail shows 3330mm in length, 1695mm in width and 1780mm in height. The battery is stored under the floor, allowing an efficient cabin layout and a high driving position.

It also carries an AC 100V accessory socket that enables stored electricity to be used for a variety of applications.


NO JAPANESE brand’s home show stand would be complete without a concept focusing on the health and wellbeing of the driver, and through the RiN concept Toyota is asking drivers to “re-evaluate themselves” and to “turn their attention to society and nature, producing a healthy rhythm for both mind and body”. Fair enough.

In the metal, the four-seat car has seats that promote good back posture, image displays that align with the driver’s psychological state, an oxygen-level conditioner, a “pinpoint humidifier” and green glass that reduces infiltration of UV and infrared light and, according to Toyota, makes the surroundings seem brighter and clearer.

It uses sliding doors with low windows to provide a better view of the outside environs, the headlights have “light distribution control” that take into consideration pedestrians and vehicles coming in the opposite direction and the interior colour scheme is specially selected to “richen the complexions of those onboard”.

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