Toyota Auto Body Co Ltd exhibited a single-seater electric vehicle (EV) to be released in the summer of 2012 at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011.
The EV is a new version of the "Coms." It was developed by improving the platform of the first Coms and will have a lower price tag than the first model.
While the first Coms is priced at about ¥800,000 (approx US$10,260), the price target for the new version is about ¥700,000. To meet that goal, Toyota Auto Body employed a new structure that does not use an aluminum alloy frame or an in-wheel motor, both of which are used by the first model.
The new Coms has a steel ladder frame and one motor. Its rear wheels are driven by a drive shaft via reduction and differential gears. Also, while the first model uses double wishbone type suspensions for all of its four wheels, the new model uses strut suspensions for its front wheels and three-link suspensions similar to torsion beam suspensions for its rear wheels.
This time, Toyota Auto Body improved the stability of the Coms by increasing its length and width and enhancing its maximum speed from 50 to 60km/h. The dimensions of the new model are 2,400 (L) x 1,095 (W) x 1,465mm (H), and its wheel base is 1,530mm. The length and width are respectively 465 and 140mm larger than those of the first model.
The company reduced the height of the vehicle by 135mm so that it can be parked in a multistory parking lot. The mass of the new model is 405kg and 65kg heavier than the first model (340kg).
The new Coms is equipped with a motor with a rated output of 600W and six lead rechargeable batteries, each of which has a capacity of 55Ah. The drive range of the new model is 50km, which is 15km longer than that of the first model.
At the show, Toyota Auto Body showed two types of the vehicle. One is for personal use, and the other is for business use and has more space for luggage. To make a two-seater model of the vehicle, it is necessary to extend its wheel base, the company said.
While the first model has an angular head lamp in the center, the new model is equipped with two head lamps for more sophisticated appearance. Only about 2,500 units of the first model have been sold for 11 years. But Toyota Auto Body aims to sell 1,000 units of the new model in a year.