Less is more for Toyota ME.WE

ToyotaMeWe-1Toyota has unveiled a new stripped-out electric vehicle which the Japanese manufacturer claims is an all-in-one city car, off-roader, pick-up and convertible.

Produced in collaboration with French architect Jean-Marie Massaud, the Toyota ME.WE has been conceived as an ‘anti-excess’ vehicle.

The ethos behind the new concept, certainly according to Toyota, is “do more and create better while using less”. And that, in turn, explains why it has labelled the car as multi-functional in the extreme.

Thanks to its combination of a tubular aluminium chassis with interchangeable polypropylene body panels — which each weigh just 14kg — the ME.WE tips the scales at 750kg.

ToyotaMeWe-2Using the same design of in-wheel electric motors as the i-ROAD concept — which was revealed last month in Geneva — the ME.WE’s four wheels allow for on-demand 4WD.

Significantly, the use of electric motors does away with the need for a cumbersome and weighty all-wheel-drive transmission.

The ME.We can quickly be turned into a convertible by lowering all of the windows, including the windscreen.

And battery power can also be preserved as a result of the car’s air conditioning and seat heaters being supplied by a low-energy air pump.

ToyotaMeWe-4The Toyota concept also takes environmentally-friendly and ecologically aware concepts to a new level in terms of cars: the interior includes bamboo, from renewable sources, which has been used for the cabin’s horizontal surfaces.

By storing the batteries under the floor, the cabin has more space for passengers, and the single instrument binnacle displays speed, battery charge and sat-nav instructions. A fold-out, weatherproof cover protects the luggage, which is stored on the roof.

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Jim McGill


Jim McGill is an award-winning motoring and motorsport journalist with more than 25 years' industry experience. He contributes to a number of newspapers and magazines, including The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Scotsman, Sunday Herald and AA Magazine.

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