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Published Date: 22/10/2014

Toyota has presented its road-legal two-seater i-Road vehicle at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
The Toyota i-Road two seater, as seen at the Paris Motor Show

First unveiled as a concept back in March 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show, the tricycle-based vehicle aims to offer the flexibility of a motorcycle with the traditional comfort of a car.

The i-Road has been designed to be a more effective mode of transport in and around urban areas that is safer and more luxurious than normal scooters and motorcycles.

At just 2.345m long, 1.455mm high and 870mm wide, the production i-Road is in fact 5mm shorter than the concept car.

Producing no emissions and with incredibly low running costs, the i-Road has been engineered to be easy to manoeuvre around narrow city streets and simple to park in tight spots.

The i-Road has also been fitted with manually-operated windows, meaning it’s not only totally waterproof but it can now be driven without a helmet or protective clothing in all weather conditions.

The fully electric engine, which can reach total charge in just three hours, is unchanged from the concept; a pair of 2.5bhp electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery give the i-Road a maximum driving range of 30 miles.

Central to the i-Road’s excellent levels of stability, safety, comfort and enjoyment is Toyota’s all new Active Lean technology.

Operated with a traditional steering wheel and in combination with rear-wheel steering, the Active Lean mechanics features a lean actuator motor and gearing seated above the front suspension member and connected via a yoke to the left and right front wheels.

An electronic control unit is used to work out the correct angle of lean required based on the steering angle, speed of the i-Road and information received from a gyro sensor.

Drivers of the i-Road are not required to use their feet on the road surface at any time, meaning that the vehicle has a safer, closed body build and the driver is not required by law to wear a helmet.

Another benefit of the more traditional car-like environment inside is the inclusion of heating, a music system and Bluetooth connectivity.

Pricing for the new i-Road has yet to be announced, but it’s expected to cost in and around £10,000.

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