Toyota has set the internet on frenzy way before the Geneva Auto show starting on March 7. The Japanese automaker has released a teaser image of an electric car concept dubbed the “i-TRIL Concept”. The concept is Toyota’s idea of mobility in urban locations a decade or so from now. The automaker argues that the Toyota i-TRIL Concept will be a sensible alternative to the current city cars and small hatchbacks. Toyota went on to allege that the i-TRIL is specifically made for those people who want to have fun at slower urban traffic.
What do we know about Toyota i-TRIL Concept
The concept is a three-seater automobile that has autonomous driving capability although it can also be driven manually. Toyota has added that the i-TRIL concept will feature the automaker’s “Activ Lean technology”. This technology helps tilt the car during cornering to enhance its stability.
This technology was first used on the i-Road electric concept car that the automaker released four years ago at Geneva. The i-Road Concept also had a 3-wheel setting just like the i-TRIL. Unlike the three-wheeled vehicles, we are accustomed to with two wheels at the rear, the i-Road and i-TRIL feature two wheels at the front. The two front wheels provide wheel articulation for the innovative cornering technology.
The i-TRIL is thus an evolution rather than a new concept. The structure features what Toyota calls a one-plus-two seating layout. It measures 235 cm long, 85 cm wide and 144.5 cm tall. This slim body makes it a perfect automobile to maneuver between the busy city traffic, reaching even tight streets where regular cars cannot penetrate. Ideally, the i-TRIL Concept is like a motorbike wrapped in a car clothing.
From the sole image provided by the automaker, the car seems to have a very small cabin, one that is narrower than its wheel track. Other visible features from the image include a boomerang-shaped headlights cluster that occupies almost the entire front fascia. In addition, there are additional, long, angular lower lights perhaps to serve as fog lights. These seem to be adopted from the design on current Lexus car.
Toyota has not yet revealed the engine that will drive the small electric automobile. However, I expect the automaker to use an advanced iteration of the electric drive-train setup that was used on the i-Road Concept. This information will be available once Toyota releases the model at Geneva later that starts on 7th of this month.
As at now, the i-TRIL will remain a concept for the foreseeable future. However, Toyota predicts that such automobiles will roam the streets of many cities from the year 2030 onwards. As such, the automaker could take the concept into production in a decade but not in its current form. In the next decade, the autonomous driving technology will have advanced to a whole new level meaning the automaker will have to make changes on its current autonomous technology among other features that will be different from now.
The i-TRIL joins a couple of other super-mini city transportation solutions of the future such as the Mitsubishi i-Miev, Renault Twizy and Nissan Land Glider.