Click the 1/x for a high-res gallery
The Toyota 1/x (pronounced 1/xth) concept that debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall is making its North American debut at the Chicago Auto Show today. The super lightweight hybrid tips the scales at a mere 926 lbs thanks to a minimalist design and extensive use of carbon fiber. The 500cc flex fuel engine is part of a plug-in hybrid powertrain that weighs only one quarter of the equivalent system in a Prius. The interior has similar interior volume to the Prius while the battery is of the lithium ion variety. One interesting benefit of the of the flyweight design is that it doesn't require much rubber on the road. That allows for reduced aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance and water splash in the rain.
Toyota 1/X Concept Makes North American Debut At 2008 Chicago Auto Show
February 6, 2008 - Chicago, IL - The Toyota 1/X concept vehicle made its North American debut today at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. Developed by Toyota Motor Corporation, the Toyota 1/X compact hybrid offers a glimpse into the next era of automotive technological design. The Toyota 1/X redefines from its very roots the idea of what it means to be environmentally considerate. Pronounced 1/Xth, the name is derived from its vehicle mass, fuel consumption and emissions output, each totaling a fraction of that of other vehicles in its class.
The 1/X features an aerodynamic ultra-lightweight design that maintains the interior space of the Toyota Prius hybrid and is approximately one-third the weight of the Prius. Its low 926-pound curb weight is partially achieved through the use of a light but very strong carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) throughout the body frame.
The aerodynamic shape of the 1/X and unique cabin design result in smaller pillars, allowing passengers more visibility and helping to create a greater sense of openness and freedom with its outer surroundings for driver and passengers. The CFRP material is lighter and stronger than traditional metals, creating a shock-absorbing like structure with cross-sections that help absorb energy during an impact.
The 1/X roof is produced from a bio-plastic made from environmentally-responsible material derived from kenaf and ramie plants. The result is a roof that improves heat insulation, emits less carbon dioxide, increases the amount of light entering the cabin, and reducing noise.
On the inside, the 1/X employs four ultra-lightweight seats made of polyester fiber that is knitted three-dimensionally for added comfort. The material functions like a spring or damper that helps create a cushion-like feel for all occupants.
The ultra-lightweight stature of the 1/X also helps contribute to a fuel efficiency target that would double that of the Prius and allow the 1/X to operate with an ultra-small hybrid powertrain located under the rear seat. The system combines a home rechargeable plug-in hybrid unit with a small 500cc 0.5-liter flexible-fuel engine that is 1/4th of the total weight of the Prius powertrain. The hybrid plug-in concept is designed to accommodate a lithium-ion battery that would be rechargeable at home. The result is a vehicle with the possibility of traveling over 600 miles on a small four-gallon tank of fuel and achieving the acceleration performance that is equivalent to the Prius.
In consideration of pedestrians and oncoming traffic, the 1/X is equipped with non-glare headlights. The front of the 1/X is dominated by an LED lighting system that sweeps under and across its large front windshield. The LED system helps eliminate glare emanating from the headlights. At sunset, the entire surface of the LED system softly illuminates the entire front surface. With the headlights on, the LED system surrounds the headlights with a soft light, helping to prevent glare from striking oncoming cars and nearby pedestrians.
The light weight of the Toyota 1/X allowed designers to equip the vehicle with smaller and thinner wheels that help reduce splashing while driving in wet conditions. The tires are designed with central grooves that further help prevent water from splashing in the direction of pedestrians.
The 1/X concept is one more example of Toyota's commitment to designing clean, safe and innovative vehicles. The Toyota 1/X concept made its world debut at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.
TOYOTA 1/X CONCEPT AND PRIUS SPECIFICATION COMPARISON
1/X Concept Prius
Exterior Dimensions (inches)
Total Length 153.5 175.0
Total Width 63.8 67.9
Total Height 55.5 58.1
Wheelbase 102.4 106.3
Weights and Capacities
Curb Weight (lbs) 926 2,890
Seating Capacity 4 5
Gas Engine 0.5 liter 500 cc 1.5 liter 1,497 cc
Hybrid Battery Type Lithium ion Nickel Metal Hydride