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Toyota i-Road Concept: Urban Electric Car Appears In Geneva

 
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Unusual urban microcars have been a staple of Japanese auto shows for years, but as electric propulsion becomes more realistic and city landscapes change, most big carmakers have now developed some kind of tiny urban electric vehicle.

Latest to debut is Toyota's i-Road concept, due at next week's Geneva Motor Show.

We know little beyond what you see in the animated teaser video, but what we can deduce is that it's an electric, enclosed three-wheel vehicle.

Its wheels are arranged in a "tadpole" layout--two at the front, and one at the narrower rear end of the vehicle--more stable than two wheels at the back and one at the front.

Further improving stability--one of the major hurdles tiny, narrow vehicles have to overcome--the i-Road leans into turns like a motorcycle.

It's hard to tell from the few brief video frames, but the i-Road looks suitably modern too--no doubt styled to compete with the unusual looks of cars like the Renault Twizy, Opel RAKe concept and Volkswagen Nils. So far, only the Twizy has actually gone on sale.

Will the i-Road follow? We're doubtful, and even if it does, there's little chance such a car would be sold in the U.S.

We'll bring you more details on the Toyota i-Road when the Geneva Motor Show begins next week. Head over to our dedicated show page for more from the show--or check out our green car preview.

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