First Look: Toyota Concept Cars

Toyota does plan on rolling out the latest iteration — perhaps even a production-ready form — of its FT-86 rear-wheel-drive sports car project at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, but the automaker released some details today on a handful of concepts that are also debuting at the show.

It’s probably no longer appropriate to consider this a true concept. The FT-EV has morphed over time from a pie-in-the-sky urban electric vehicle to an electrified version of the iQ, which Toyota says will enter series production in 2012.

Apart from the wild socket-inspired graphics, this “show vehicle” differs little from the prototype shown earlier this year in Geneva – in fact, one of the few exterior differences we can spot is the front fascia, which encloses the iQ’s normal grille opening in pursuit of aerodynamic refinement.

Specifications were not provided, but we imagine the FT-EV III is mechanically similar to the Geneva prototype. If so, expect a range of 65 mils from lithium-ion battery pack designed to occupy the space normally used by a fuel tank.

That acronym stands for “Fuel Cell Vehicle – Reality and Revolution.” We’re particularly interested in the first R, since Toyota says this concept is “the next step towards the commercial launch of an FCV by 2015.”

Although it looks a bit like an elongated Prius, the FCV-R is more akin to a midsize sedan – in fact, at 185 inches long, it’s nine inches longer than a Prius, and only four inches shorter than the 2012 Camry. At this point, Toyota isn’t saying much about the car, but notes it seats four, packages a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank beneath the passenger compartment, and offers an estimated range of 430 miles under Japan’s JC08 fuel economy test cycle.

It’s just not a Tokyo show without something wacky, and the Fun-Vii – or Fun Vehicle Interactive Internet – fits the bill. Toyota is mum on the vehicle, and only suggests the concept, which apparently serves as a digital billboard of sorts, “heralds Toyota’s vision of a future where people, cars, and society are linked” through the Web.

If that’s the future, then consider us scared. Expect more details on these three – along with the latest FT-86 development – to emerge closer to the Tokyo venue, which takes place later this month.

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47 / 90 cu. ft.