SMOOTH RIDE: Is it a car, is it a motorbike, no it’s the Toyota i-Road. PHOTO: FILE IMAGE.

Is it a car, is it a motorbike, no it’s the Toyota i-Road. First shown at Geneva in 2013, Toyota’s Personal Mobility Vehicle (PMV) has been transformed into a road-legal vehicle that can get you through the traffic in comfort while turning heads.

The PMV is weatherproof, stable, has a low running cost and about the same width as a conventional motorbike (870mm), giving them the essential manoeuvrability needed for negotiating city traffic and easy parking.

It’s also fully electric, a lithium-ion battery powers a pair of 1.9kW electric motors mounted in the front wheels. With brisk acceleration and near-silent running, i-Road has a driving range of around 50km. 

But it’s the ability to lean into corners that makes this trike so special. Called Active Lean Technology, the system has a lean actuator motor and gearing mounted above the front suspension and linked to both front wheels.
 
An ECU calculates just the right amount of lean based on steering angle and speed and automatically moves the front wheels accordingly. That means you never have to put your feet on the ground as with a conventional two-wheeler, and you get to stay snug in the cabin in wet conditions.

[email protected]