Remember Toyota’s JPN Taxi study unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show? The automaker hasn’t given up on the idea and will debut an updated version of that taxi concept later this week in Tokyo.
That updated concept will be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show through a promotional video and will likely represent a blueprint for a production model Toyota plans to launch in Japan before April 2018.
Toyota hopes that the new taxi will become a common sight on city streets, much like the Toyota Crown Comfort is considered the archetypal taxi throughout the country today.
Created to “embody the spirit of Japanese hospitality”, the next-generation taxi features a hatchback-type package, with the low floor and wide-opening sliding door providing “outstanding ease of ingress and egress”.
The spacious interior will even allow passengers to board in a wheelchair, catering to societal changes in Japan such as a rapidly aging population. Toyota promises the chassis will ensure “excellent maneuverability in urban environments” and offer a pleasant ride for driver and passenger alike.
The next-generation Toyota taxi is also expected to achieve excellent environmental performance optimized for taxi driving conditions thanks to its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hybrid system. Currently under development, the powertrain is said to be highly economical. In addition, Toyota says the vehicle will be durable enough to withstand long-distance usage.
Toyota’s upcoming taxi will conform to the Japanese government’s goal of providing buses and taxis that are barrier-free and tailored specifically to local needs.