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Toyota shows some knockout concept vehicles


October 15, 2004

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October 16, 2004 Toyota has announced a striking and futuristic set of vehicles for specialty niches which it will display at the upcoming 38th Tokyo Motor show in Japan. Under the theme "Ecology & Emotion", Toyota will display over a dozen concept vehicles that offer superior environmental performance and respond to social needs. The pick of the crop involve three purpose-built solutions for outdoor Djs, go-kart racers and a design that facilitates mobility for the elderly and disabled without the need for a carer.

HIACE Sound Satellite

This is sure to be the "must have" vehicle for a generation of DJ's. The stylish design of the new HIACE has been used to create a "customized vehicle that makes work enjoyable," billed as a multifunctional mobile studio fitted with an "open studio" and merchandise showcase.

Open the double doors on the side of the vehicle and a fan-shaped "revolving open studio" equipped with a counter, audio gear and other fixtures emerges on the left, while a fan-shaped "revolving merchandise showcase" emerges on the right.

The vehicle can thus be used as a DJ booth, to set up equipment for an event, to display goods, or in a variety of other ways. In addition to its two large roof-mounted foldaway plasma display screens, this vehicle is also fitted with audio gear, indoor lighting and other equipment, allowing it to liven up any outdoor event.


The spacious interior of the new REGIUSACE Toyota model has been used to create a leisure-oriented customised vehicle that allows two racing karts to be stored on board at once, along with tools and other equipment, while still leaving room for relaxing in comfort.

The luggage space serves as a two-kart garage. The vehicle is fitted with a lift for loading and unloading the karts and large double doors at the rear allowing compact storage of tools, kart parts, etc.

Versatile seat arrangements cater to a variety of needs giving the cabin the feel of a lounge, allowing, for instance, the front and second seat rows to face each other or the second seat row to be turned sideways to serve as a spectator bench for races.


The driver seat and front passenger seat are both made wheelchair-accessible without assistance from a care-giver in this "new-concept, self-operated vehicle for the disabled" designed to allow two disabled people full access to free and convenient mobility through independent driving.

Electrically operated sliding doors with wide openings are provided on both sides. The driver seat is accessible in a dedicated wheelchair via an electric lift, while the passenger seat is an electrically operated detachable lift-up seat that can be used as a wheelchair and also permits problem-free access and alighting with the help of an electrically operated lift.

All these operations can be performed by wireless remote control. The electronic Friendmatic system reduces the strain of driving operations associated with the brake, accelerator and power steering, while the grouping and optimal layout of switches and controls facilitates driving.

The 38th annual Tokyo Motor Show runs November 3 to 7. http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/index.html

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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