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Toyota's Tokyo treats

Thu, 11 Oct 2007 00:00:00 -0700

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

11 October 2007 10:16

Toyota Hi-CT Concept

It's that time again: the bi-annual Tokyo Motor Show kicks off on 24 October 2007, and we're being treated to a flood of teaser information from the Japanese manufacturers. The Japanese show always attracts some crazy cars, and it's built a reputation as one of the few shows where you see some properly out-there concept cars. Toyota won't disappoint this year... Just to whet your appetite, Toyota's theme this year is: Harmonious Drive – a New Tomorrow for People and the Planet. Hmm. Take the Hi-CT concept (above). It's an edgy urban vehicle, apparently, and is supermini sized at 3330mm long. Too mad for the road? Probably, but don't forget that boxy small cars like the Honda Element and Nissan Cube started life as motor show stoppers. The Hi-CT also packs in Toyota's latest plug-in hybrid know-how. The battery is slung under the floor, leaving the occupants sitting higher up for a better view out. And you get normal power points in the cabin, so your daughters can dry her hair on the way to the shops. Oh, and there's also a removable boot - the whole rear deck unhooks and can be used to store surfboards, bikes and other gear.

The RiN is all about healthy living. That's why there's so much greenery and natural leaves in the publicity shot above, right? So there's a big emphasis on comfy seats that correct your posture, and the steering wheel reflects images to match your mood to soothe stressed drivers. Naturally, there's a humidifier and oxygen-level monitor to make sure you're breathing healthy air. Sound far flung? For sure. But don't forget that cabin filters and the pollen-cancelling devices would have sounded far-flung a few years back. Best bit about the RiN? Its styling is based on the tall-growing Yakusugi tree. Very natural. And the interior colour scheme is green and beige - to relax occupants. It even dips the headlights automatically if it detects other road users and pedestrians ahead. The RiN must be the most socially responsible car ever.


By Tim Pollard