At this point it is already clear that in the future most cars are going to be electric. We also already know that they can be quite fast and reasonably fun to drive. But will city cars be any fun? Toyota just introduced its idea of future urban mobility in a shape of i-TRIL concept, which as early as in 2030 may become our casual transportation.
What an ideal city car would be? It would be eco-friendly and i-TRIL concept, obviously, is electric and weighs only 600 kg. It should also be very small. i-TRIL is just 2,830 mm long and offers 1+2 seating. City cars are meant to carry shopping as well as bring children safely to school. Rear seats are rather close to the driver, but do not interrupt his space. People at the back will have a nice view ahead and a generous amount of leg room, as the driver’s seat is in the middle. Toyota says that there is plenty of room for adults in the back and the driver’s seat swivels to allow for a comfortable entry.
A good city car should also be very stylish and Toyota really did not skip on style when it was designing the i-TRIL concept car. Interior is made to look like a living space at home with various recycled materials and wooden floor finish. The rear part of the car and the driver’s zone are separated by a little different styling, but in a way they are still unified by airflow ducting and material usage. From the outside i-TRIL concept really does look like the future. Not only it looks like it is a part of some kind of robot, but it also looks like it is set up like a go-kart. Wheels are at the corners of the vehicle and glass seamlessly flows into the body.
Finally, a city car should be fun to drive, yet relaxing. One of the most interesting features of the i-TRIL concept is its Active Lean Technology, which allows the vehicle to lean into the corner, making the car more engaging and manoeuvrable. The rear axle, which is powered, always remains perpendicular to the road – only the cabin and front wheels are leaning. Interestingly, car does not have a conventional steering wheel or pedals. It is controlled through a device, which looks like a gaming joystick. And, of course, i-TRIL can also drive itself, providing some additional comfort.
Toyota has been creating prototypes like this for quite some time. All of them were electric, all of them leaned into the corners and none of them ever reached mass production. However, maybe someday we will see something like i-TRIL diving gently through the traffic.