TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. is going futuristic at this month's Tokyo auto show.
It will debut a wave-inspired fuel cell sedan, a next-generation Japan taxi and a podlike one-seater that steers with a tilt of the driver's body as the brand tries to rekindle its reputation for innovation.
The hydrogen fuel cell car, styled with fluidic side curves to remind observers of its water vapor emissions, is a close-to-production concept of the car Toyota aims to bring to market in 2015.
The design gets a pointed nose with exaggerated side air intakes, a low-set grille, bulbous cabin, squinty headlights and well-defined character lines that sweep over the fenders.
The four-seat concept rides on an all-new dedicated fuel cell platform. Its two high-pressure hydrogen tanks give it a range of 310 miles.
Toyota says the car takes its styling cues from a catamaran and that the wavy side view conveys the "air-to-water transformation" occurring in the car's fuel cell stack, which combines air and hydrogen to produce electricity and water vapor. The fuel cap's water-drop motif underscores the message.
The fuel cell stack is about half the size of the one used in Toyota's previous fuel cell vehicle, a modified Highlander crossover called the Toyota FCHV-adv. It also uses fewer cells and gets a smaller-sized motor -- factors that improve packaging and cut costs, Toyota said.
At the Tokyo show, Toyota also will display its take on the taxi of tomorrow.
The JPN Taxi Concept is a vision for a hybrid runabout that may eventually replace the Toyota Crown Comfort, the ubiquitous workhorse of Japan's gigantic taxi fleet.