Toyota ME.WE (2013)
Toyota has revealed the ME.WE Concept, a lightweight compact car developed by Toyota European Design & Development (ED2) in collaboration with designer Jean-Marie Massaud.
The result of another collaboration between automotive designers and colleagues from other fields was the Toyota ME.WE concept – the famous French architect Jean-Marie Massaud took part in its creation. The concept turned out to be extremely light and endowed with wide transformation capabilities.
“Losing the sense of reality, and as a result, ideals, the car began to bring more restrictions than freedom. In turn, our life requires greater simplicity and ease. The car should now be considered as a personal means of transportation, which could provide something more,” said Massot.
Most likely, the ME.WE compact will remain just a design exercise, although the technologies and capabilities tested on it could find application in real life. The concept received an original body – it is based on a steel tubular frame, and the body panels are made of foamed polypropylene. The compact can be easily “changed” into other parts – a set of body panels weighs only 14 kg. The weight of the concept itself is about 750 kg.
Interestingly, Toyota talks about the ME.WE as a hybrid of a pickup truck, convertible, SUV and city compact car. With a length of only 3440 mm, the concept does not have a cargo compartment – its interior is completely dedicated to passengers. The luggage is supposed to be fixed on the roof or placed on a special retractable platform. At the same time, the rear sofa, which can move on special rails, can either be folded under the front seats, or taken out of the cabin and used as picnic furniture. The floor in the ME.WE cabin is made of bamboo.
The concept is driven by four electric motors – one in each wheel. It is claimed that the ME.WE uses the same design as the Geneva Toyota i-Road concept, except that the “architectural” compact can be all-wheel drive.