Toyota F3R Concept

From Toyota press: The essential Toyota values of roominess, style and environmentally advanced performance come together in a dynamic new way in the F3R, the latest concept vehicle from Toyota.

The surprising F3R, which makes its debut at the North American International Automobile Show in Detroit January 9, is an exercise in providing maximum space, efficiency and athletic style from the combined concepts of "box"and "wedge."It is a creative, sporty extension of a concept all but forgotten in today's automotive world - that of the minivan.

The project was a joint undertaking of Calty Design Research Inc., Toyota's California design studio, and the company's California-based Advanced Product Strategy group. It was commissioned because of changes in the minivan market.

Up front, the driver's seat reclines and swivels, and the passenger seat reclines to form a comfortable chaise. In the middle, the right and center sections of the 40/20/40-percent second-row seats fold into the floor and the left-hand seat reclines fully to form, with the rearmost or third row, an avant-garde sofa built around the sort of conversation area you might find in an upscale home.

This is surrounded by a casual, wrap-around backrest formed by the continuous, flowing curve of the instrument panel, doors and rear seatback panels. These are accented by fiber-optic lighting panels in the seat sides, and in the F3R's right-center grand entry, that can be lit to provide illumination during lounge chat sessions.

To enhance the F3R's utility, its center-row seats stow individually, and the center seat in the middle row can be configured as a "front-and-center" child seat.

The result, of course, is a concept vehicle filled not only with intelligent drama, but with exactly the fresh take on three rows of seating, and on the usable space that vans so effectively provide, that Toyota executives were looking for. They wanted anything but a minivan. What they got was a sporty new vehicle that defies an easy label. With a dramatic, iconic shape that is as distinctive as that of the Toyota Prius and an interior that is more adaptable and more family friendly than anything previously seen, it's reasonable to suspect that the automotive world could soon be seeing styling elements from the F3R on future Toyota production vehicles.

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