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Future models - Toyota - F3R concept

First look: Toyota goes minivan crazy with F3R

Wedge-box: F3R concept hopes to stimulate US people-mover sales.

Toyota presents a wild take on the people-mover with its F3R concept for Detroit

Toyota logo11 Jan 2006

By MARTON PETTENDY

TOYOTA says it commissioned its California design studio, Calty Design Research Inc, and its California-based Advanced Strategy Group to produce the F3R concept in response to a rapidly shrinking people-mover market in the US, where "minivan" sales have plummeted from about 900,000 vehicles in 1994 to 500,000 last year.

While it may not be a precursor to Toyota’s next-gen Tarago, the result is seating for eight and maximum space efficiency within a wedge-shaped, boxy exterior.

Along with ubiquitously large 22-inch alloy wheels, aremote-controlled audio, video and lighting system and a heavily tinted, super-narrow daylight opening, the F3R show car attempts to be "a sophisticated extension of the home" for America’s youth by offering three modern, individually styled rows of seats.

While the driver's seat reclines and swivels and the passenger seat fully reclines, the 40/20/40-split second row seat folds into the floor and the left-side pew reclines fully to form "an avant-garde sofa" with the third row of seats.

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