Jay Leno Drives Toyota i-Road – Video


Jay Leno On The Course In the Toyota i-Road

Jay Leno On The Course In the Toyota i-Road

The Toyota i-Road EV concept combines the convenience of a motorbike with the stability and comfort of a car. It is Toyota’s answer to the future of mobility.

Jay Leno had an opportunity to drive the vehicle on a recent episode of the second season of Jay Leno’s Garage. He did a great job on the course. He explained:

“The trick is to maintain your speed and try not to use the brakes at all.”

“Well it’s a very odd sensation. It feels like I’m driving a car, but it’s almost like I’m on skis.” 

The ultra-compact, zero-emission EV can travel about 31 miles on a charge, when speeds average around 19 mph. It takes up less than half of a standard lane and parking space.

Toyota i-Road, Image Credit (Toyota)

Toyota i-Road, Image Credit (Toyota)

The front wheels move up and down independently as the driver moves. As Jay said, it can be compared to skiing. The vehicle balances itself, leaning and choosing the correct angle as the driver proceeds around each corner. The driver is covered from the elements, and a helmet is not needed.

Check out Toyota’s i-Road videos.

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20 Comments on "Jay Leno Drives Toyota i-Road – Video"

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God Forbid!!!!!!!

Forbid What?

I wonder how its handling/performance compares to Twizy?

It seems to have doors and windows so that’s already a huge plus!

handling, not comfort.

Ok sorry. I’ll make it up. Twizy can go 80kph which makes it even highway legal (at least in the Netherlands). This car can’t do that. Acceleration not sure, I don’t have time to look it up. I’ve seen twizy zip around town and it looks quick but has fout wheels so you it’s wider, which makes it less easy to pass in between lines like a motorcycle (impossible actually).

The top speed and range of the Toyota presented here are… disappointing though.

I’d probably be okay with something like this if the price were right… I’m thinking $6,000. However, my suspicion is it will cost 3 times that much and just not make any sense.

This is Toyotas vision of the future. Wow. Where can I put down 1000 to get on a reservation list.

You can’t! It’s Electric, not a Fuel Cell Vehicle! They don’t sell them!

Well, on the one hand it would be a great commuter for most people, but I’m wondering how it would fare in a side impact crash. Maybe better than a motorcycle.

Toyota; bring this to market for less than $20K CAD and I think you’ll make good sales.

“Great commuter”? Did you miss the part about the 19mph, which are most likely near top speed? I am as pro-EV as they come, but this thing would be suicidal even in purely urban settings.

Yes, I had missed that.
Having said that my Leaf tells me my average speed over the last 6000 km was 36kph, which includes 20 highway speeds, so maybe 30kph *is* an adequate “average’?

20% at highway speeds….

Interesting. So, it’s like a three-wheel scooter with rear wheel steering. I guess it won’t require counter-steering (more intuitive to car drivers, harder to motorcyclists) but all that active stabilisation may make it numb to drive.

It is a good idea but all I need is a quality electric maxi scooter from a trusted brand. Strangely, all makers seem to be married to ICEs and Chinese brands are still several years behind quality-wise.

Honda was doing this back in the 80’s with its 3 wheeled 50cc 2-stroke scooter called the Gyro. US public found it too strange and it didn’t sell even though it worked really well. It had a locking lever that would hold it upright while parked.

Here’s a video of one being ridden:

Cool! Thanks for posting!

The range sucks, and the slow speed is to prevent rollovers and reduce deaths. Both factors severely limit how useful this would be as a city commuter vehicle.

Is Toyota planning a Fuel Cell version of this thing?

Just get a Miev

I wish the i-Road was available with pedal-electric assist. Full electric is cool but making this vehicle for velocar sharing would be a better application for many urban markets.

Making the vehicle an active transport solution would mean the vehicle could be used in bike lanes, not require insurance, be parked on smaller spaces or even on sidewalks, not require a license. This sort of hybrid solution would be highly disruptive to car sharing in the urban core where 32 kph speed is fine. Velocar sharing is a sweet fit between bike sharing and car sharing. Safer than cycling and ready for any weather conditions. No need to arrive to work with a sweat on if the vehicle could have A/C powered by solar on the roof like the VeloMetro Veemo.

Rear-wheel steering? No thanks, not for me! (I want the possibility to counter-steer!)