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Toyota shows 'anti-excess' car

2013-04-25 10:57

SIMPLICITY IS KEY: Toyota's ME.WE concept expresses concern for personal well-being and that of others, hence the name. Image: Newspress

LONDON, England - Toyota’s collaboration with Jean-Marie Massaud resulted in the ME.WE concept. The name expresses concern for personal well-being (ME) and that of others (WE), according to the automaker.

According to Toyota, the ME.WE is a pick-up, convertible, off-roader and small city - car in one. It appeals to a wide range of users, and has a small eco-footprint thanks to its light weight and the materials used in its construction.

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"The design," Toyota says, "s intended to be able to adapt to a variety of lifestyles, to steer away from motor industry tradition, to challenge convention by making a car that reflects the values of forward-thinking people rather than their social status."

LESS IS MORE

It's a no-extras package conceived as an “anti-excess” vehicle. In short, Toyota claims it represents the transition from the culture of “more” to the culture of “better”. The goal was to do more and create better while using less.

ME.WE is battery-powered, using the same motors as the Toyota i-Road. It can be operated in two or all-wheel drive and lightweight construction has kept the car to 750kg, about 20% less than a conventional steel supermini.

INTERIOR

Bamboo is used for the floor and other flat surfaces in the interest of "renewable resources" and aesthetics. Luggage can be carried on the roof beneath a fold-out, weatherproof neoprene cover. However, the boot can also be extended.

The rear seats are mounted on rails and can be folded and stored beneath the front seats when not in use.

Trip data comes from a single screen above the steering-wheel which shows vehicle speed, battery charge, journey information and navigation instructions, delivered via a smartphone - which is mounted below the screen so the driver can personalise the cabin with music and set the aircon.

IAll the glass, even the windscreen, can be opened. Face full of bugs, anybody?

The ME.WE will make its debut at Le Rendezvous Toyota, the automaker’s brand experience centre in Paris.

See vehicle specs here

Do you agree with the idea of “less is more” in a car nowadays? Or do you think Toyota has lost its marbles? And what's the bets, being small, that it will be nicknamed the WEE.WE
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