Toyota previewed an assortment of models ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, but the company also kept a few surprises under wraps.
One of them was the stylish e-Racer concept which was designed to show that future automobiles can still be fun to drive.
The company didn’t say much about the concept, but it’s a radically styled sports car with an open cockpit and no windshield. The driver sits in the center of the vehicle and finds themselves looking at a futuristic steering wheel which holds "specialized digital glasses."
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Once the driver puts the glasses on, they show vehicle information such as the current speed and gear selection as well as the status of the battery. However, they also have an augmented reality function which can apparently simulate a grand prix race, an underwater driving experience and roads in a futuristic city.
A single passenger can sit directly behind the driver and they can apparently experience the same augmented reality function using a screen or headset mounted on the back of the GR-branded roll bar.
Getting back to the car itself, it has a two-tone design and wheels that are separated from the main body. The e-Racer also has slender LED lighting units and C-shaped accents.
The model is clearly a flight of fantasy, but Toyota President Akio Toyoda said it has a point. As he noted during his speech, "The birth of the automobile led to 15 million horses being replaced by cars in the United States." Despite that seismic shift in the world of transportation, Toyoda noted we still have racehorses.
In effect, Toyoda is saying enthusiasts can relax. While the cars of the future will embrace electrification and autonomous driving technology, that doesn’t mean sports cars are going to fall by the wayside.