Toyota I-Road Concept Looks Both Fun And A Lot Like An Old Benz Concept

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I think the most fun concept I saw at the LA Auto Show this year might be this one, the Toyota I-Road. It's another one in the very design-school trend of making little 'personal mobility pods' and crap like that, but this time it's less of a bubble made of hovering unobtanium and more a plausible little trike.

Unlike most concepts, this one actually was drivable, even if they wouldn't let drooling simpletons like myself try it out. They had a driver at the booth who'd weave and twist the little I-Road around, showing how it leaned in corners, and used that one rear wheel to steer.

That rear-wheel steering method may come from Toyota's forklift division, but the articulated corner-leaning really reminds me of a Mercedes-Benz concept from nearly 20 years ago, the Life-Jet.

Here, check out this pleasingly ridiculous video about it from 1997:

Look at those people. That's what we thought was cool, then? Jeezis.

Still, the Life-Jet's articulated driving was very cool, and the I-Road is smart to bring that idea back. It's wildly maneuverable, and looks like a hell of a lot more fun than just some covered three-wheeled motorbike.


The I-Road is electric, with two electric motors, and has a claimed range of around 30 miles or so. It's a compelling idea. Even if it is mostly cribbed from an old Benz concept.