Toyota i-TRIL concept takes new angle on future transport

Electric concept car does without pedals and leans during cornering

There are two kinds of concept car. One looks to the near future and generally exists to gauge public and press reaction to a forthcoming production vehicle; the second looks further ahead, indicating where a manufacturer perceives the future of motoring and transport to lie.

The Toyota i-TRIL falls into the second of those groups; it’s far too radical to be close to a “production-intent” model. Nonetheless, some of the ideas and features it showcases may make it into future production cars – although others may not.

The i-TRIL is an electric car designed for “parents who live in small or medium-sized towns”. Radical looks aside, it has a few noteworthy features.

One of these is Toyota’s Active Lean technology, which is intended to add a sense of fun when driving at lower urban speeds. During cornering, the i-TRIL’s body and front tyres lean by up to 10 degrees, while the rear wheels stay perpendicular to the road.

That theatrical movement will take place without any driver involvement, as the i-TRIL is (theoretically) capable of driving itself. To avoid feeling too much like a roller coaster, when in autonomous mode the right or left-hand side of the i-TRIL’s dashboard lights up to alert its occupants to an impending turn.

Should its owner want to take over driving, they’ll be able to – although they’ll have to adjust their mindset slightly, as the i-TRIL features no pedals. Instead, it’s operated by “control nodes” that work “like computer mice or games controllers”.

Other innovations include “butterfly” doors, an interior that’s been specifically designed to avoid feeling like a car and a one-plus-two seating arrangement, which places the driver front and centre, and accommodates two passengers on a bench-like seat.

In fact, the only conventional items fitted to the i-TRIL are its alloy wheels that, in keeping with modern tastes, are huge.

Recommended

Audi Q4 e-tron updated for 2022
2021 Audi Q4 e-tron SUV - front 3/4 dynamic
Audi
3 Mar 2022

Audi Q4 e-tron updated for 2022

New 2023 Fiat Panda SUV one of several cheap EVs planned
2023 fiat panda render
Fiat
21 Jan 2022

New 2023 Fiat Panda SUV one of several cheap EVs planned

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Honda CR-V deal
Deals
13 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

It’s here: all-new Range Rover Sport unveiled
Sport 1
Range Rover Sport
10 May 2022

It’s here: all-new Range Rover Sport unveiled

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
21 Jan 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022