Toyota previews Tokyo-bound JPN Taxi Concept

Toyota previews Tokyo-bound JPN Taxi Concept

Toyota will travel to tomorrow’s Tokyo Motor Show to introduce the JPN Taxi Concept. Designed to replace the 20-year old Toyota Crown Comfort, Japan’s most popular taxi, the show car accurately previews the high-tech, eco-friendly cab that will roam the streets of Tokyo by the end of the decade.

Careful observers will notice the JPN Taxi Concept is essentially a toned-down version of the eponymous show car that was displayed at the 2013 edition of the Tokyo event. It gains a less futuristic-looking front end with horizontal lights that stretch into a five-slat grille with a chrome frame, a body-colored bumpers, less chrome trim and steel wheels fitted with plastic hubcaps. A surprisingly tall green house gives the passengers a clear view of the world around them.

The cockpit is wheelchair-accessible thanks to a sliding door on the passenger-side of the taxi and a low loading floor. Interior pictures won’t be published until the start of the Tokyo show, but Toyota explains the cabin was designed with Japanese hospitality in mind.

Power for the JPN Taxi Concept comes from a hybrid drivetrain that’s made up of a small electric motor and a four-cylinder engine that runs on liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Full technical details haven’t been published yet because Toyota is still fine-tuning the drivetrain in order to make it more robust and smoother to drive in stop-and-go traffic.

The JPN Taxi Concept is expected to make the jump from concept to production with only minor modifications. It will go on sale in April of 2018, though it’s too early to tell whether or not Toyota will offer it outside of Japan.

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