The future of mobility is an exciting frontier that everyone in the automotive world is trying to explore. As a result, companies have taken creative and odd approaches to meet the challenge.
Recently, Toyota gave me the chance to test out their i-Road concept. The i-Road is one of Toyota proposed solutions to solving urban transportation.
To be honest, most of the prospective future mobility offerings I’ve seen thus far have either been impractical, boring to drive — or just flat out strange.
When it comes to cars, I’m a traditionalist. I love the visceral experience that a great drive can engender. The sound of the engine, the shifting of the gears, and the feedback from the steering. In the right car, it all comes together to create perfection. Although speed is often a fun aspect of a great car, it isn’t entirely necessary — you can chase some thrills without eye-tearing 0-60 acceleration.
So it was with a bit of apprehension that I tried out Toyota’s i-Road concept.
In one of the large halls of New York’s Javits Center, I got my first look at one of Toyota’s “urban mobility solutions.”
At first sight, the three-wheeled i-Road is anything but boring. It’s not quite what I would call a “car,” but it’s so much more than an electric scooter with a canopy. What the design allowed Toyota to do was combine the small, nimble characteristics of a scooter with the wet-weather capabilities and driving stability of a small city car.
After taking some photos of the car, I jumped in for test drive on the twisting indoor course Toyota set up.