In this incredibly me-centric world, there is an “i-something” at just about every street corner. However, even though I have deep disdain for such simpleton name-calling, it takes a big man to admit when an idea with a lame name is somewhat cool.
So here it goes… the Toyota i-Road is actually not a bad concept for an all electric personal transportation vehicle. It looks a hell of a lot more fun than a Smart Fortwo, it is obviously cheaper than a Tesla, and during a Midwest winter, it would be a hell of a lot more appealing than a bicycle.
The i-Road is powered by a pair of 2 kW electric motors mounted on the front wheels (there is only one wheel in back). The motors offer a combined rating of 27 horsepower, which will be good for a top speed of 28 mph. The motors are connected to a lithium-ion battery, which is stated to last about 30 miles on a single charge.
It is a fairly compact vehicle, weighing in at just 660 pounds. It measures only 2.35 meters long, 850 mm wide, and 1.4 meters tall. It could use better headlights, a more exotic rim design, and we’d prefer to straddle this bad boy, rather than sit in it like we’re waiting for tea and crumpets. However, that’s enough about its lame points… let’s get to the good stuff.
One of the coolest things about the i-Road is its “active lean” technology, which gives it the similar agility as a crotch rocket, without the necessity for a helmet or armored jacket. The magic lies within its fenders, which move up and down during a turn, giving the i-Road increased traction and stability.
While i-May hate most things with i-Something in its name… With the i-Road, i-Can learn to accept it.
Check it out in action: