This past week was the Paris Motor Show in Paris, France. For those of you that don't know, The Paris Motor Show is the home of one of the most anticipated auto shows on the calendar, and for some reason only takes place on even numbered years. This year we were treated to countless new cars going into production, as well as some that were just mere concepts that we all dream about actually going into production. (Whoever has the job of working on concept cars might have the best auto job ever).
We kept up all week seeing what Toyota was going to roll out for the Paris Motor Show, and true to their roots, focused heavily on green vehicles this year.
One vehicle that Toyota showed off is a concept hybrid called the C-HR, shown above. The C-HR looks sort of like the Nissan Juke and falls into the category of "ultra-small SUV Crossover". From what was gathered at the Paris Motor Show, it was designed the way it was to counter static gas prices and still deliver a Crossover, just a bit smaller.
This video from Autoline highlights some of these thoughts that the “Coupe” Crossover may be the next popular vehicle to go into production.
The second vehicle to come out of Toyota’s R&D is the innovative looking, tri-wheeled, single seated i-ROAD. It runs completely on electricity and can give you up to 30 miles of cruise time at a max speed of 30 mph. Nothing earth shattering, but certainly respectable to drive around the city in.
By the way, it looks like this..
I personally would love to drive one. Speaking of driving one. How does someone drive one? Excellent question! The key term for that would be “Active Lean Performance”, which essentially means that the computer inside the i-ROAD uses a gyro sensor to determine how much you lean with the i-ROAD and then counter balances itself out with the correct wheel position and angle of leaning to prevent tipping over.
There currently is no plan to sell the i-ROAD commercially, however, test programs are underway in cities to see how people react to driving them, most notably in France where you can rent one for up to four hours, with charging stations placed throughout the town of Grenoble. I could easily see this taking off in other cities, specifically in the U.S. such as Boston or New York City, where renting bikes and returning them in other destinations has become a popular means of transportation.
Check out this test footage to see it in action.
If I had to guess which of these two vehicles will make it into production, or at least be seen on the streets, I would put my money on the Toyota i-ROAD. One reason is that it seems like it would be the more serviceable vehicle, even in rental form, which would give it a leg up in big cities. While its a long way off, I could envision it operating as a sort of mini-car sharing system like cities do for bicyles these days. And for now, the C-HR just seems like a fun concept for something down the road, but if you see other mini compact SUV's start to take off, keep an eye out for one from Toyota.
Interested in learning more about Toyotas that are currently available for sale now? Visit our Boston area Toyota dealership today!