Toyota wants to make bad cab experiences a thing of the past with a new taxi inspired by the best qualities of Japanese hospitality. Launched at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the new JPN Taxi is designed to be accessible, comfortable and safe for all kinds of passengers, from children to wheelchair users.
Toyota sees the new model as a way of presenting Japan as a more accessible, tourist-oriented country, making its cities places where everyone can enjoy barrier-free travel.
The new JPN Taxi is unmistakably a taxi in appearance, with its tall, classic shape and deep indigo paintwork – the colour koiai that’s long been a symbol of Japan. But clever features make it a modern, user-friendly vehicle, including a low, flat floor, a power sliding rear door and space inside to accommodate a wheelchair.
The driver’s field of vision has been maximised through the shape and position of the front pillars and fitting side mirrors towards the further edge of the front wings. Inside the JPN Taxi, the navigation system and fare meter have been placed so they can be clearly seen by passengers in the rear.
Clever details include LED lights and extenders for the rear seatbelts to make them easier for passengers to find at night; windows with soundproof glass; and a sophisticated climate control system with a built-in air purifier.
The JPN Taxi runs on a Toyota hybrid power system that combines an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) engine and an electric motor, giving cleaner running in city centres with lower CO2 emissions and fuel economy of around 55mpg. The JPN Taxi has impressive safety features, including a suite of Toyota Safety Sense active protection features and six cabin airbags.
Toyota has a fine heritage of taxi design and manufacturing, stretching back to its original model, the AA saloon, in 1936. Its cars have earned a reputation for reliable performance over extended mileages, often working in harsh conditions.
Learn more: Toyota’s cab of the future gets the London look
Details in this article were correct at the time of going to press.