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Toyota's welcoming Fine-X Fuel Cell Hybrid

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October 24, 2005

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October 25, 2005 Toyota's 39th Tokyo Motor Show was probably the busiest of any manufacturer as the world's number two manufacturer of transport solutions fielded seven concept vehicles at its home motor show event. Apart from the i-swing personal mobility solution (covered in detail here), the most unconventional of the concept cars on show was the Fine-X, a new fuel cell hybrid vehicle. Toyota is touting the Fine-X as a glimpse of the automobile's future, providing the environmental performance of a fuel cell hybrid system and featuring an ease of movement through four-wheel independent drive control and a large, steering angle mechanism. The vehicle aims for a sense of "hospitality" through variable lighting intensity in the interior and through power "Welcome Seats" that move in and out of the car as the gull-wing doors open widely to assist getting in and out of the vehicle.

The revolutionary package is beautifully formed under a design philosophy of "Vibrant Clarity" and realizes an external size similar to that of the Toyota ist, with cabin space more in keeping with the Camry. The vehicle aims for a sense of "hospitality" through variable lighting intensity in the interior and through power "Welcome Seats" that move in and out of the car as the gull-wing doors open widely to assist getting in and out of the vehicle. Completely new operational performance, including on-the-spot rotation, and the ability to easily perform parking and U-turns, is afforded by the combination of four-wheel independent drive, four-wheel independent steering and a large-steering-angle steering mechanism with electric in-wheel motors housed in each of the four wheels. In the area of environmental performance, a fuel cell hybrid system is employed as a matter of course. In addition, TMC is also pursuing a carbon-neutral system by using plant-based materials, which grow by absorbing the CO2 in the natural environment, for interior and exterior components. As a result, even if these components are incinerated upon disposal (thermal recycling), there will be no overall addition to the amount of CO2 in the environment.

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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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