The idea is to replace the aging fleet of old Toyota Crown sedans that transport passengers around the Japanese metropolis with a new form that takes some inspiration from the Hackney carriages of London. That means a more upright hatchback/minivan form, with neo-classic styling (done up in black, naturally) and room for a wheelchair on board.
While the TX5 went with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, Toyota is developing a new LPG-electric system for its taxi. Another difference: Instead of suicide doors, the JPN Taxi concept uses minivan-style sliding rear doors to enhance ingress and egress even in crowded spaces. Our team on the ground at the Tokyo Big Sight exposition center will be on the lookout for the new taxi to debut alongside the S-FR, Kikai, and FCV Plus concepts this week, so watch this space.
Toyota City, Japan, October 26, 2015―Toyota plans to launch a new taxi for the Japanese market before April 2018, and is currently working on developing an updated version of its JPN Taxi Concept, which made its global debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The updated model will be shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show through a promotional video.
Toyota hopes that the vehicle, created to embody the spirit of Japanese hospitality, will become a common sight on city streets―much the way the Toyota Crown Comfort is considered the archetypal taxi throughout the country today. In keeping with recent trends both in and outside Japan, the taxi will achieve excellent environmental performance while also catering to societal changes such as a rapidly aging population.
Just like the concept exhibited at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, the next-generation taxi features a hatchback-type package. With its low floor and wide-opening sliding door, the vehicle will provide outstanding ease of ingress and egress, and its spacious interior will even allow passengers to board in a wheelchair. The chassis of this taxi will ensure excellent maneuverability in urban environments and offer a pleasant ride for driver and passenger alike. Furthermore, this vehicle aims to conform to the Japanese government's goal of providing buses and taxis that are barrier-free and tailored specifically to local needs.
The taxi will feature a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hybrid system―currently under development―which is highly economical and offers excellent environmental performance optimized for taxi driving conditions. In addition, Toyota is focusing on making this vehicle durable enough to withstand long-distance usage.
The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show will be held at Tokyo Big Sight from October 28 through November 8, with press days on October 28―29, a preview day on October 29, and public days from October 30 through November 8. To find out more, visit http://www.tokyo-motorshow.com/en/.