Toyota Presents More Radically Innovative Concepts At Tokyo Motor Show

24 October 2001

A zero-emissions vehicle fuelled by hydrogen, a new kind of compact car, a high-utility luggage-carrier and a fun hatchback with voice recognition controls.

No, it is not the 22nd century, these are just five of the 17 innovative concept cars from Toyota at the 35th Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public this weekend. These new concept vehicles – along with the already announced FXS sports car and pod (the car with feelings) – demonstrate the fundamental value of cars to our modern way of life through the inclusion of internet communication, artificial intelligence and other functions appropriate for the new century.


The ist is a new-genre compact car that combines the active feel of an SUV, the utility of an estate car, the stylish sense of a coupe and the essence of a premium-class limousine. On the outside, large-diameter tyres – and the emphasis placed on them by the exterior styling – put forth an active feel, while the ist’s cab-forward form and the shape of its windows blend smoothly into the rear to express solidity.


Equipped with a high-utility luggage area, the Voltz (from the word “voltage”) is a new class of vehicle – a small “SU Estate” – that combines the powerful style of an SUV and the sportiness of a coupe for a versatile and electrifying experience.

An impressive front grille and sporty SUV-like bumpers and wheel arch flares combine to provide an agile side view. The rear seat of the Voltz can be folded away to create a flat, spacious luggage area with a resin deck floor. A bicycle rack, table or storage box can be attached to the floor rails, making multipurpose use possible. A glass hatch on the back door makes loading and unloading easier.


The WiLL VC is a five-door hatchback based on the WiLL* concept of “a sense of fun and authenticity” and equipped with an innovative “G-Book” information terminal to achieve the creation of a new mobile space suitable for the IT era.

The WiLL VC can be hooked up to network services such as Internet access, e-mail and real-time navigation. It also comes with such features as SD (secure digital) memory audio and provides non-intrusive two-way voice support that allows for voice-recognition operational commands, the reading aloud of received information and hands-free phone operation. Exterior styling revolves around a “cyber capsule” theme, while the interior design seeks to evoke a sense of attachment by repeating the use of circular elements.

*A 21st century-minded inter-industry marketing project initiated in 1999 by Toyota Motor Corporation and several non-auto companies. It now has seven member companies – including Panasonic and Ashii Beer – offering a wide range of products under the WiLL brand.


Toyota will demonstrate its efforts to make cars that reflect concern for the global environment by presenting ecology-minded vehicles featuring revolutionary environmental technologies for easy recycling, cleaner emissions, high fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.


Two different types of fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHVs) featuring the Toyota fuel cell stack and energy regeneration will be displayed: the FCHV-4, which uses high-pressure hydrogen storage tanks, and the FCHV-5, which features a clean hydrocarbon fuel (CHF) reformer.

While the FCHV-4 is based on the premise of a future pure-hydrogen society, the FCHV-5, out of consideration that certain regions may experience delays in the expansion of a hydrogen infrastructure, is fuelled by CHF, which can be obtained not only from petroleum, but also from natural gas, coal and other sources.

The FCHV-5’s on-board creation of hydrogen from reformed CHF allows it to immediately contribute to wider use of fuel-cell-powered vehicles. At the same time, because clean-burning CHF can also be used in conventional internal combustion engines, it can play an important role in making internal combustion engines more environmentally-friendly.


The FCHV-4 is a zero-emission vehicle fuelled by hydrogen stored in high-pressure tanks (as described above). A total of seven FCHV-4s are currently undergoing public road tests – five in Japan and two in California.


The FCHV-5, equipped with TMC’s new and independently developed CHF reformer (as described above), is currently undergoing test-course evaluation.

The compactness and optimal layout of the CHF reformer’s vaporizer, reforming catalyst unit, CO reduction elements (its high temperature shift catalyst, low temperature shift catalyst and CO selective oxidation unit) and other components enable the system to be installed below the vehicle floor without compromising interior cabin space.

Development is continuing toward achieving high performance, and efforts are being carried out to make the FCHV-5 more practical by reducing further the size of its reformer’s components, shortening start-up time and addressing a number of other issues.

More information on these vehicles will be available after Tokyo Motor Show.


Notes to Editors: Toyota is the world’s third largest car maker and market leader in Japan. It uses the bi-annual Tokyo Motor Show to showcase its advanced technology and styling concepts.

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Toyota Presents More Radically Innovative Concepts At Tokyo Motor Show


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