What we have here is an evolution of a namesake concept unveiled a couple of years ago and now Toyota says they have plans to put the vehicle on the roads of Japan as a taxi before April 2018. It’s being described as a taxi able to “embody the spirit of Japanese hospitality” and is being developed to keep up with the most current societal modifications in the country. In addition, Toyota is also taking into account the aging population problem in the country and they are engineering the vehicle to reflect these important demographic changes.
The second version of the concept gets a low floor to enable an easier entrance and exit through the sliding door that has a wide opening. It’s important to mention the cabin is wheelchair accessible and Toyota mentions the production-ready model will take into account the Japanese government’s goal to have taxis (and buses) that are barrier-free and are engineered specifically for the local market.
It will benefit from an LPG (liquid petroleum gas) hybrid arrangement which for the moment is a work in progress as development has not been completed. Toyota mentions this hardware arrangement will be very economical and more nature-friendly in comparison with the current crop of taxis operating in Japan. The vehicle is also being developed for long-distance usage, so it will be a vehicle capable of doing longer journeys, not just quick rides around the city streets like most taxis of today.
For this week’s Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota will display the revised JPN Taxi Concept through a promotional video showcasing the vehicle’s most important features that will be implemented in the production variant which is currently a work in progress. It will be on display at the auto show together with the very interesting S-FR concept that will likely preview a sub GT86 model.