Test driving the Toyota i-Road
(WJBK) - Concept cars are popular during the auto show, and while many of them don't come with specific timelines they are fun to check out nonetheless. In this Tech Talk segment, we take a look at the Toyota i-Road. It falls somewhere between motorcycle and small car.
"The Toyota i-Rroad is all-electric vehicle; it charges in just about three hours' time. It goes about 30 miles on one charge," says professional driver and instructor Christopher Nelson.
Each front wheel has a motor, but it isn't made for speed.
"Its top speed is about 35 mph, so, ideally, it's going to be relegated to roads with 35 and below speed limits," says Nelson.
Perfect for commuting, phrases like "under the hood" don't really apply to this vehicle -- but inside the car is some cool technology.
"The car is capable of leaning 26.5 degrees. The nice thing as the driver is, you drive it as a normal vehicle and it will do the leaning for you," says Nelson. "It's three wheels; it steers from the rear and it leans from the front, so the driving experience is completely unique."
Much of the interior is what you'd imagine, with a standard dashboard and steerling wheel. But there's some unconventional things inside, too.
"Instead of having a window regulator that you'd wind it up or wind it down, it's just simply a tab with a magnetic hook," says Nelson.
That saves weight. Nelson says one of the reasons the i-Road is so efficient is because it only weighs 661 lbs. That makes it nearly 6 times lighter than the average car. Of course, that comes with a trade off -- one they are still working on.
"The safety is one of the things that's being worked out right now, so, that's why you're not seeing it on the roads yet," sats Nelson.
The i-Road is on the road right now in parts of France and Japan as a ride-sharing vehicle. It is not yet available in the USA.