Toyota will present three new concept cars at this year’s Tokyo motor show, which gets going at the end of this month.
As well as new Prius and the C-HR hybrid crossover concept recently unveiled in Frankfurt, the Japanses carmaker will exhibit three contrasting design studies, including an entry-level rear-wheel drive sports car, a car in which the mechanical elements are central to its design and appeal, and a new fuel cell vehicle.
Pitched as an entry-level model, first up is the front engine, rear-wheel-drive S-FR – a car that Toyota says will appeal its own existing fan base of drivers and customisers. The design presents a long nose and wide stance, as well as rounded bodywork that gives the car a “welcoming appeal”, according to the designers.
Next in line is the KIKAI concept, a car whose mechanical parts are exposed rather than being concealed from view. This approach extends to the details such as the fuel tank, exhaust, analogue meters and switchgear. There is even a small window by the driver’s feet, giving a view of the tyres, suspension and road surface. The movement of the front suspension’s upper control arm can also be seen through the windscreen.
On the inside, the driver’s seat is positioned centrally within a triangular arrangement, while an expansive side window extends up to the roofline.
Last up is the FCV Plus concept, which aims to explore how the hydrogen fuel cell used to power a car can also be deployed as an energy source for general use.
As well as having its own hydrogen fuel tank, the FCV Plus can generate electricity from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle, so the car can be used to produce power in different locations – at home, at work, or further afield.
“Toyota’s aim is to give the automobile a new sense of purpose by developing fuel cell vehicles from eco-cars into energy-cars,” explain the designers.
When the car is not being used for transport, it can potentially share its power generation capabilities with communities as part of the local infrastructure.
The fuel cell stack is mounted between the front wheels, with the hydrogen tank located behind the rear seat. Together with independent in-wheel motors in all four wheels, this allows for increased cabin space within a compact external body that measures 3,800 mm long, 1,750 mm wide and 1,540 mm high, with a 3,000 mm wheelbase.