Geneva 2013: Tilt-A-Whirl – Toyota i-Road Concept Carves Urban Corners

Toyota pulled the wraps off its futuristic i-Road concept ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. The all-electric, three-wheeled, two-seat personal mobility vehicle (PMV) is innovative in more than just its diminutive footprint – it can also lean into corners like a motorcycle.

The automaker calls the innovative leaning system Active Lean, and the tech helps to keep the ultra-skinny i-Road stable during driving. A lean actuator is mounted above the front suspension member, and an ECU calculates the amount of lean required based on steering angle, vehicle speed, and a gyroscopic sensor. The actuator will then move the front two wheels up and down in opposite directions to cause the i-Road to lean into the turn. That not all the innovative technology does, either – the Active Lean mechanicals also help to smooth out the PMV's ride by compensating for road imperfections by keeping the body level.

Active Lean is important because of the i-Road's tiny size. At 92.5 inches long, 33.5 inches wide and 56.9 inches tall, the i-Road is easily dwarfed by the Scion iQ. Dimensionally, the iQ is roughly two feet longer and literally twice as wide as the i-Road, although the PMV is just 2.2 inches shorter than the boxy Scion. Granted the iQ has room for more passengers than the concept. Toyota also claims that the PMV's itty-bitty size means that four can be parked in one normal-sized parking spot.

Power for the i-Road concept is supplied by a lithium-ion battery pack to a set of two-kW motors, one in each mounted in the front wheels. Range is estimated to be around 30 miles, but full recharge time is a quick three hours from a regular 220-volt household outlet.

This isn't the first PMV Toyota has rolled out: it sowed off the i-unit in 2005 and the i-Real in 2007, although both of those were more like motorized chairs than fully enclosed vehicles. Stay tuned for the i-Road concept's official unveil later this week, and click here for all of the news and images from the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

Source: Toyota

Click here for video

TheClassicCarFactory
Why is the woman in the photo not SCREAMING!?????

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

subscribe

new cars

Read Related Articles

TO TOP