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Toyota continues its commitment to electric urban mobility through the new i-TRIL concept being debuted globally at the Geneva Motor Show.
Weighing just 600 kilograms (1,323 pounds), and standing only 1,460 millimeters (57.5 inches) tall with a length of 2,830 mm (111.4 inches), it’s lighter and smaller than most other city cars. Yet, it offers more space and functionality than the even tinier Toyota i-ROAD concept car – making it ideal for a working mom to pick up her kids at school, the company says.
Toyota compares the i-TRIL to A and B segment cars, other electric vehicles on the market, public transport, and motorcycles. The Japanese automaker says the small city concept car goes way “beyond mere eco-friendliness.”
The company says that the concept car has been developed to market to a “sophisticated, single, 30-50 year old active female with two children and a vibrant lifestyle.”
That potential customer lives in what would be called a SMESTO (Small to Medium Sized Town). Toyota cited European Union studies showing that these towns will be growing steadily as built-up areas adjacent to existing cities like London and Paris. The automaker thinks the size and capability of the car would be ideal for women seeking better mobility solutions in Europe. That could cover taking kids to school, going to work, shopping, visiting restaurants, and socializing.
Engineers designed it with idea of getting around tight city streets and into small parking spaces. It has a turning circle of just 4 meters (about 13 feet), which is similar to the Toyota iQ subcompact car.
It was designed with a lean angle of 10 degrees, which Toyota engineers have found to be ideal for combining enhanced stability and grip, and offering passengers greater fun and driving pleasure plus less risk of suffering from car sickness. The front wheels and fenders have been separated from the main bodyshell to facilitate the leaning of the concept car into turns.
Speaking of transporting family, the i-TRIL’s rear cabin can accommodate a two-seat bench. That’s mounted on a reinforced design placed over a separate rear axle structure which incorporates the electric motor drive system – to keep the concept car space efficient.
The cabin was designed to be “a smooth, dark, cocoon-like central mass with no belt-line or door handles.”
Butterfly-opening doors are hinged on sloping A pillars to maximize the opening area and ease of cabin entry for front and rear seat passengers. It’s made to fit into tight parking spaces, needing no more opening room than conventional doors.
Toyota says it will be able to go 200 km (124.27 miles) between charges. It will be capable of offering automated driving trips, but owners will still be able to take back the driving if they choose.
The electric concept car is being developed by Toyota Motors Europe in collaboration with the company’s ED² design studio in Nice, France. The company says the team is showcasing the company’s research into “ever better and more engaging environmentally- friendly mobility solutions.”