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Geneva show: Toyota teases electric i-TRIL Concept

Electric blue: Toyota has teased the i-TRIL Concept with a single image that shows a narrow, central headlight cluster and flared wheel arches.

Autonomous three-seat Toyota i-TRIL Concept to be revealed at Geneva show

Toyota logo21 Feb 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

TOYOTA has released a single teaser image of a new concept dubbed the i-TRIL, an electric three-seater with autonomous driving capabilities, ahead of its full reveal at the Geneva motor show in March.

Little has been revealed of the i-TRIL concept, but the Japanese manufacturer has divulged it will come with Toyota’s ‘Active Lean’ technology, which tilts the vehicle when cornering to increase stability.

It can be driven manually, while also boasting autonomous capabilities when required.

The concept, which was developed by Toyota’s European arm, features a one-plus-two seating layout, and will employ “numerous innovative aspects” as part of Toyota’s future mobility solutions.

Toyota Australia product public relations manager Steve Coughlan said that the concept would remain as such for the foreseeable future, with the technology in the car providing a glimpse into Toyota’s mobility vision in the year 2030.

The Active Lean technology is not being used for the first time in the i-TRIL – it was previously seen on the electric i-Road concept that was revealed at the Geneva show four years ago, suggesting that the i-TRIL will be an evolution of the conceptually-similar showcar.

The i-Road was also an electric vehicle that seated two people and had a three-wheel set-up with the two wheels at the front providing the wheel articulation for the cornering technology.

The diminutive i-Road only measured 2350mm long, 1445mm high and a narrow 850mm wide, making it perfect for weaving between city traffic.

Given the i-TRIL is a three seater, it is expected to be marginally bigger than the i-Road, but pitching it as a miniature urban vehicle seems likely.

It is unknown whether the i-TRIL will have a traditional four-wheel layout or will adopt the three-wheel set-up of the i-Road.

The single teaser image suggests the i-TRIL will have a relatively small cabin, with the silhouette of the car showing a cabin that is significantly narrower than the vehicle’s wheel track.

It shows a boomerang-shaped headlight cluster that extends across the front fascia, as well as a pair of long, angular lower lights that suggest some Lexus styling influence.

Details on its electric powertrain will be revealed at the reveal, but low-output electric motors like on the i-Road seem likely.

Other manufacturers have tried their hand at super-mini transportations solutions before, such as the Nissan Land Glider concept in 2009, the Renault Twizy and Mitsubishi’s production i-Miev.

Full details on the i-TRIL will be revealed at the concept’s debut in Geneva on March 7.

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