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Taxi! Toyota's unveils black cab for 2013 Tokyo Motor Show

Tue, 05 Nov 2013

Toyota will unveil five new concepts at this month's 2013 Toyota Motor Show and - rather fittingly - it's the JPN Taxi Concept that will be first off the rank. And it's most certainly the concept that's captured our imagination.

Toyota JPN Taxi Concept

Looking every inch the next generation London 'black cab', the Toyota JPN Taxi Concept has been conceived with the Japanese government's programme for designing buses and taxis that are more user-friendly.

The JPN Taxi – which is fitted with an LPG hybrid system – seats five and features a large interior monitor showing passenger information, including the route to the destination and the fare.

For ease of access, the JPN Taxi has a low, flat floor and large electric doors. A concept it may be, but it doesn't take too much imagination to see this Toyota doing battle on the streets of London.

The Tokyo Motor Show is known for its wild and outlandish concepts, so we might have been reaching for a 'Crazy Taxi' headline to accompany this piece. But – on the basis of the pre-event material we've seen – we reckon Toyota has cracked the London taxi recipe quite raionally.

An iconic look, well-considered proportions and what will undoubtedly be an ability to 'turn on a six-pence', we doff our caps to Toyota. Now go and build it!

Toyota FCV Concept

The Toyota FCV Concept – which will make its world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show – previews the fuel cell vehicle Toyota plans to launch in 2015 as a pioneer in the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The striking exterior design of the FCV Concept is said to express the characteristics of a fuel cell vehicle – the transformation of air into water as the system produces electricity, and the powerful acceleration delivered by the electric drive motor.

This is made possible by those huge front air intakes, with Toyota claiming that the FCV would deliver a range of 300 miles, with refuelling taking around three minutes – about the time it takes you to fill your car with petrol or diesel.

The four-seater car features a compact and lightweight fuel cell stack and a pair of high-pressure (70mPa) hydrogen tanks. It's a development of the earlier FCHV-ad concept and offers greater power from a smaller motor and a reduced number of fuel cells.


Toyota FV2 Concept

Whilst it isn't hard to visualise the previous two concepts appearing on a high street near you soon, the FV2 requires significantly more imagination.

Designed to capture Toyota's 'fun-to-drive' philosophy, the FV2 doesn't have a steering wheel and is instead operated by the driver shifting his or her body intuitively to move the vehicle forwards or back, left or right. The FV2 will also connect with other vehicles to relay safety and traffic information to the driver. Or should that be rider?

Speaking of which, Toyota believes that the relationship between drivers and vehicles will continue to evolve, much like the 'trust and understanding' between a rider and a horse. With the bonus that a car doesn't need 'mucking out' having been left in a stable overnight.

It has to be said, the FV2 has the potential to be a lot of fun. Not that you'd necessarily want to venture out on to the M4 in it...

Toyota Voxy and Toyota Noah

We're not quite sure whether Voxy and Noah sounds more like a guitar-based music collaboration or the name of a children's TV show, but they're the names given to two seven-seat compact MPVs being unveiled by Toyota in Tokyo.

Production versions based on the Voxy and Noah are set to arrive in 2014. It's clear that the Voxy features the most dramatic styling, buy you couldn't exactly call either of them pretty. We're just hoping that Bryan Ferry is on hand to launch a Voxy Music special edition.

All five Toyota concepts will make their world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show on 20th November 2013.

On Bing: see pictures of the Toyota JPN Taxi ConceptFind out how much a used Toyota costs on Auto TraderRead a Toyota review on MSN CarsTwenty years of the Toyota SupraToyota Hybrid-R concept is 400hp Yaris

By Gavin Braithwaite-Smith, contributor, MSN Cars