Toyota’s New Electric Car Is One Your Kids, Not You, Will Want To Drive

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Toyota Camatte Toy Car

Toyota Camatte Toy Car

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If children are the future, then how do we get them driving clean, green electric cars? 

It’s a question we’ve thought a lot about, but Toyota thinks it has come up with a solution, with a new three-seat electric concept car that your kids can drive. 

As Automotive News (subscription required) details, the tiny car was unveiled this week at the Tokyo Toy Show, and measures 106 inches long, 51 inches wide and 47 inches high.

That’s actually a little longer and wider than the road-legal 2012 Renault Twizy we tested in Ibiza earlier this year. Unlike the Twizy however, the Toyota Camatte isn’t road legal.

Powered by a lead-acid battery and small electric motor, Toyota says the Camatte can reach a top speed of 25 mph, about 20 mph faster than the toy ride-on electric cars you can buy at the local toy store and fast enough to give most parent a panic attack.

With that in mind, Toyota has thought about safety with an unusual feature that will gain it some parental approval: back-seat driver function.

If you’re able to squeeze yourself into one of the two offset rear seats behind the centrally-positioned drivers’ seat, rear-seat parental controls allow you to provide assisted braking and steering when needed. 

While the Toyota Camatte may only be a concept car at present, Toyota, like many other automakers, is seriously looking at using high-end, high-ticket toys to encourage children of more affluent patrons to stick with the brand when they are old enough to drive their own car. 

We have to admit we like the Camatte’s retro-styled charm and zero-emissions drivetrain, but would you buy one for your kid? Let us know in the Comments below.


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Comments (8)
  1. 25 MPH in a toy car. What could possible go wrong?

  2. So when you buy something like this that is going to endanger your kid...and the worst happens...
    Who gets the Darwin award? Kid or Parent?

  3. This is a really dumb idea. But if they'd scale it up to adult size, increase the top speed to 45, and sell it for under $18k I'd give a serious look. I want an electric commuter car with some style, but I'm not going to fork out $40k.

  4. Many parents let their kids drive golf carts now....which they shouldn't. This vehicle would be a much safer alternative to golf carts as they are far less likely to fall over. Not a bad idea...but how do you market n show it to kids/parents?

  5. You know, I really love the styling of this car. It caught my eye immediately and I thought it was a serious road car. I'm actually disappointed that it's just a toy. I agree that if you put a serious battery, larger motor and... well, just make it a real road car, I would probably buy one.

    I really can't figure out what the deal is with the styling. It reminds me of something that I can't quite put my finger on. Like and old Volkswagen or something that I've seen before. Anyone recognize where it gets it's styling cues from?

  6. Oh, and make it a simple two seater too!

  7. It gets its styling from the 1970's era Volkswagon Thing. The front end styling looks exactly like a VW Thing.

  8. It certainly gives a new meaning to their name "TOY"ota. Like John said 25 mph is fast enough to get hurt/killed and children do not have the skills to operate this. Toyota if you’re listening why not put in a bigger battery pack for a longer electric range in the Prius plug in or a completely new Plug in EV that is a practical car with at least 100 miles of range. It seems like Tesla is the only company that is actually trying to build a great EV. Everyone of the automakers seem only interested in making a range compromised car (less than 100 miles range) or hiring an outside company like Magna make a compliance car out of one of their existing gasoline cars so they can meet California’s zero emission rule.

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