Special Coverage

Tokyo
Auto Show

TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp. will blanket the Tokyo Motor Show floor this month with six concepts and the latest iteration of its “personal mobility” series.

The long list includes the 925-lb. (420-kg) 1/X hybrid, for which Toyota claims a doubling of fuel economy from its production Prius model. Unlike the gasoline-electric Prius, the 1X is a plug-in hybrid that runs on biofuel when not in its electric mode.

Its flexible-fuel engine has a displacement of just 0.5L. To keep weight down, the auto maker employed carbon fiber-reinforced plastics for the body frame.

Toyota’s RiN concept represents “serene and healthy living.” Its most significant feature is its eco-friendly heat-blocking glass.

The Hi-CT, powered by a 1.5L gasoline engine and electric motor, also is a futuristic plug-in hybrid – this one aimed at younger drivers.

Characterized as a new-generation minivan, the FT-MV could be ready for production as early as next year. The model, which seats six, is built on an Estima platform and powered by a V-6 engine.

The FT-MV is being developed jointly with Toyota Auto Body Co. Ltd., current producer of the Estima. Among its features are ottomans and video monitors for rear passengers.

The Crown Hybrid Concept is an attempt to target a slightly younger market for Toyota’s top-of-the-line sedan. No launch date is offered, but the luxury model looks to be far along the development curve and could go on sale as early as late 2008 or 2009.

It employs the same hybrid system adopted by the GS 450h and includes Toyota’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management advanced vehicle stability control system.

Current Crown customers average 50 or 60 years of age. “We want to target younger drivers,” the car’s chief engineer says.

There are no plans to sell the model outside Japan.

Toyota also will bring to Japan its iQ Concept that bowed at the Frankfurt auto show in September. Analysts think the cute, small car, measuring only 118 ins. (300 cm) long, is being considered to fill a slot below the Vitz and Yaris. Created by Toyota’s design center in southern France, it could be launched in Europe first.

Finally, Toyota will show off the i-REAL, the fourth in its personal mobility vehicle series, following the PM, i-unit and i-swing.