You are looking at the Toyota FV2. We know, it’s one of those things that’ll make you cock your head to work out exactly what it is and what's supposed to go where. Originally announced at the Tokyo Motor Show, it’s taken until the 2014 Geneva Motor Show for us to lay eyes on this futuristic concept.
Whereas some other "concept" cars are actually early renditions of next year’s models, the FV2 goes all out to look like it’s been extracted from the set of Tron. Either that or it's a hypersleep chamber on wheels. All very science fiction. Or not, as we're staring at it in the real world.
The FV2 - which stands for "Fun Vehicle 2" - represents Toyota's car design team being given free rein to delve into their minds and see what they come up with. And it's very Japanese, with a firm focus on the interaction between man and machine. There are no pedals and no steering wheel, instead the lean of the driver’s body interacts to control the vehicle.
Giving the FV2 an extra lick of life it even has a "mood-based" mirrored exterior that constantly moves and shifts colours and patterns. All this does sound a bit like a Windows screen saver, and does look somewhat strange, but we like the science fiction sentiment - of a machine with feeling that can interact with its surroundings. The sign next to it on the show floor instructed onlookers to wave to get a response. We waved and quickly felt rather silly as nothing happened. Perhaps the we're just not fun enough for the FV2 to take notice.
From one design oddity to another: the whole vehicle itself. The resulting three-wheeler design that Toyota has made is as far from a Robin Reliant as you could get. If Only Fools And Horses made a return in 100 years’ time we don’t think that Del Boy would come flying around the corner on one of those. There’s no boot for starters, and it’s a one man only vehicle too. Poor Rodney, eh?
Toyota showed off the FV2 in an unmanned but semi-functional format on the show floor. And while you are probably, as we also assumed, thinking that someone sits inside this vehicle low to the ground, you would be wrong. Instead the 99cm-tall device’s front panel rises up to 178cms to be used in a standing, feet-to-the-floor way. Like a space-age Segway or something.
Our conclusion? It’s completely whacky, but that’s the vey reason we seem to love it. To us it looks implausible to the extreme, particularly as at 3m long and with a 2.4m-wide wheelbase it’s not particularly small, so we don’t think anything like this will rule the future of the roads. But we appreciate how it represents a deep dive into the human creative mind - even if it's more Tron than true.