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Toyota i-TRIL electric concept unveiled

14th Mar 2017 8:00 am

The city car concept has no pedals and is controlled through drive-by-wire tech instead; features autonomous technology.

Toyota’s i-TRIL electric city car concept has made its world debut at the Geneva motor show, showcasing the manufacturer’s vision for urban mobility in 2030.

The rear-wheel drive concept has been developed as an electric alternative to small city cars. It has no pedals and is instead controlled through drive-by-wire technology which is operated through left and right-hand control nodes that are said to work like “computer mice or game controllers”.

Toyota claims the i-TRIL has a driving range of more than 298km between charges. It features a one-plus-two seating layout as well as ‘Active Lean’ and autonomous technology.

A hinge between the rear axle and cabin allows the body and front tyres to lean into corners because the front wheels and wings are separate from the main body. When the car is in autonomous mode, the left or right side of the instrument panel lights up when it is about to corner to show which way the cabin is about to lean. According to Toyota, an angle of 10 degrees of lean allows better stability and grip.

It gets 19-inch wheels at the front and 20-inch wheels at the back, and there’s 25 degrees of front-wheel steering which gives the concept a four-metre turning circle.

The butterfly opening doors are hinged on sloping front pillars, but Toyota says they can be opened within a regular parking space, and when they do open a section of the flooring is removed to allow easier access in and out of the car.

Inside, there is no switchgear or instrument binnacle – when the car is in manual mode it instead uses a head-up display to show the driver information, with a focus on voice command to activate functions. The rear is wider than the front to accommodate a two-seat bench.

The i-TRIL is 3,000mm long and 1,510mm wide, with front and rear tracks at 1,200mm and 600mm. That makes it bigger than the Renault Twizy – which is 2,320mm long and 1,190 wide – but smaller than a Hyundai i10 – which is 3,665mm long and 1,660mm wide.

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