Toyota has unveiled a new three-wheeled electric vehicle ahead of the Geneva motor show. The Toyota i-Road is just 850mm wide and is designed for easy maneuverability on city streets.
The three-wheel i-Road seats two people in tandem under a weatherproof cover and body. It can be driven without a crash helmet, and Toyota says the cabin has a ‘car-like environment’.
The i-Road is 2350mm long, 1445mm high and has a 1700mm wheelbase. The narrow width means that up to four i-Roads could be parked in a single car parking bay.
The zero-emissions, all-electric powertrain uses a lithium-ion battery to power two 2kW motors mounted in the front wheels.
The driving range is around 30 miles, after which the battery can be fully recharged from a conventional domestic power supply in three hours.
The i-Road uses a lean actuator and gearing mounted above the front suspension member, linked via a yoke to the left and right front tyres, to balance the vehicle during cornering.
Toyota refers to the system as ‘Active Lean’ technology. An ECU calculates the required degree of lean based on steering angle, vehicle speed and information provided by a gyro-sensor.
The system automatically moves the tyres up and down in opposite directions, applying lean angle to counteract the centrifugal force of cornering.
Toyota hasn’t yet said when the i-Road would be likely to reach production or how much it could cost.