Toyota Carries out Road Tests on the Futuristic i-Road
|   Friday, October 18, 2013
Akihiro Yanaka, the creator of the one of a kind Toyota i-Road, describes this vehicle as a compact family car with the efficiency and maneuverability of a two wheeler. This two wheel wonder is steered from the rear, via a singular tiny beam. The front wheels bear witness to propulsion while this vehicle is an equivalent of the British scooter.

Considering the fact that this vehicle has a disappointing top speed of 28 MPH (although the speed limit is a little more relaxed to 37 MPH in Japan), it makes for a decent vehicle for urban use.
On driving under restraint, this vehicle can be driven smoothly for around 30 miles while it provides backup power for around 25 Miles when driven under load. This is a quick recharge battery and the pack is refilled within three hours flat.

Toyota has successfully tested this vehicle on road and plans on sending a 70 strong fleet to France, for use within city perimeters. The first batch is expected to reach showrooms by mid 2014 although we are yet to receive formal confirmation. Toyota's i-Road is a promising new way to cruise around within city perimeters and experts seem to think that people will fancy buying a new set of wheels such as these, once they are made available.

A similar concept was conceived by Renault, which we now know as the not so nonchalant Twizzy. This vehicle however did not gain as much popularity as Renault would have wanted it to get, although this does not seem to bother designers and engineers at Toyota. Design wise, this vehicle can be defined as a retro futuristic creation.

Dimension wise, this vehicle measures around 1700 mm, which is roughly that of a regular motorcycle. Hence, this makes it a very potential urban commuter. This also means that four of these occupy similar space as of a conventional four wheeler. This vehicle is held together by a very useful but important yoke system. Internal framework - or lack of it anyway – make this vehicle lightweight, which makes it considerably easy to carry around, just in case.

Prototypes have been built on an aluminum chassis, although production versions are expected to be made of steel, to save costs. Weatherproofing will be done and this should turn out to be perfectly similar to that of a conventional vehicle for practical on road travel. The i-Road was conceived by Yanaka when he envisioned people skiing through corners. This vehicle was supposed to be for smooth sailing through busy roads. This is however a much safer way to travel as opposed to conventional motorcycles, hence should be more popular with masses.

It is easy to drive and control although joy of driving at high speeds is absent owing to the small engine block. Braking therefore is quite stringent and capable of bringing this vehicle to rest from sudden bursts of acceleration. You can't buy an i-Road – at least yet. However, if the experiments are successfully carried out and yields positive results, you should get lucky quite soon.
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