Tokyo 2007 Preview: Toyota 1/X (pronounced "1/Xth")
Toyota will have nine concept vehicles on display at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, some of which we've seen before while others, like the 1/X, we haven't. Toyota points out in its mini press release that the name of this concept is pronounced "1/Xth", as in the car weighs 1/Xth the weight of similarly sized vehicles. The automaker uses its own Prius as a basis of comparison, and the 1/X weighs about a third of that hybrid, or just 420 kilograms. That's 926 lbs. people. The feather light weight is made possible by extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic in the vehicle's frame, which keeps weight down but is apparently strong enough to protect occupants in a crash.
The 1/X also features a green powertrain that combines a flex fuel 500cc engine and plug-in hybrid drive system. The combo-powerplant is located beneath the rear seat and drives the rear wheels. Toyota quotes fuel efficiency that is double of the Prius in a package that's roughly the same size and seats four.
The design is, well, Japaneriffic, but the idea behind the 1/X and technology contained therein is the real story.
The 1/X (pronounced "one-Xth") is a concept vehicle that redefines from its very roots the idea of what it means to be environmentally considerate. Among its attributes, the vehicle-with a design that aims to harmoniously coexist with people and society-weighs only "1/Xth" that of other vehicles in its class.
- Maintains an interior space on par with that of the Prius, with an aimed-for fuel efficiency that is double and a weight reduced to 420 kilograms (about one third the weight of the Prius).
- Combines fossil fuel consumption-reducing FFV* technology and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a displacement of only 500cc that allows charging from an external power source and a longer electric-motor cruising distance; thus, in addition to being adapted for energy diversity, emits less CO2 and contributes to the prevention of air pollution.
- Locates the power unit beneath the rear seat (for a midship, rear-wheel-drive system) to contribute to an innovative and highly efficient package.
- Adopts light but highly rigid carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) throughout the body frame to ensure superior collision safety, while allowing narrower pillars for a better field of vision.
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