Published on April 27th, 2013 | by Tim0
Toyota Unveils ME.WE Concept EV (VIDEOS)
Toyota has just released its newest EV concept car — the ME.WE. The ME.WE is the innovative result of a partnership between Toyota European Design & Development (ED2) and creative designer Jean-Marie Massaud. The car embodies a visionary concept for a lighter and more affordable environmentally friendly car that marks a paradigm shift compared to traditional vehicle design and engineering.
The Toyota ME.WE has been conceived as an electric car with integrated wheel motors, and with batteries located under the floor. Without traditional packaging constraints, the interior is designed entirely to fit the needs of its five passengers and their possessions.
1. Pertinence. A passionate but considered vision of the car, rather than simply an intellectualized concept that Jean-Marie Massaud is creating with Toyota. The quest is to deliver an absorbing sensory experience that is adaptable to a wide variety of lifestyles, alongside the essential need for high quality and innovation.
2. Synthesis. Reduction and consolidation – an approach based on a genuine shift away from auto industry tradition, to remove excess and suggest a new way of responding to how we behave and the expectations we have, and a proposal for an alternative synthesis based on personal choice in the fields of vehicle architecture, cost reduction, and user behaviour.
3. Modernity. Now is the time to challenge current conventions and look for change. A car that is not satisfied simply with looking good, but goes further through the experience it offers, the intelligence of its solutions and its desire to exceed our needs. Ultimately, a car that reflects the values of forward-thinking individuals, rather than simply reflecting their social status.
According to the Toyota press release, Jean-Marie Massaud’s vision for the design is as such:
By losing sight of reality and as a result of an idealised approach, the car has become an accumulation of constraints more than a source of freedom. However, our lives and needs require more adaptability, simplicity and lightness. The car of today should be seen as a personal mobility solution that can deliver more.
One of the goals was weight reduction in the Toyota ME.WE, so they achieved this by using aluminium structure clad in body panels that have been formed from expanded polypropylene. This helped slim the car down by a minimum of 20% compared to the traditional B-segment car with a steel body.
Almost 100% of the polypropylene can be recycled and the same is true of aluminium, while the bamboo used for the floor and horizontal surfaces has been selected for its aesthetic qualities and its renewable character.
Until now, no car has been able to resolve the contradictions of real life as well as ME.WE does:
Light and resilient: the tubular aluminium structure of ME.WE carries interchangeable body panels (doors, wings, bonnet, bumpers, etc.) designed in expanded polypropylene, an ultra-resilient, ultra-light thermoplastic polymer
Individual and standard: each panel of the body can be easily personalised, whilst their moulded production method provides a way of standardising production to achieve maximum return on investment
Freedom and responsibility: as a pickup, convertible, off-road and small city car all in one, ME.WE is designed for a very wide range of users, whilst its eco-footprint is minimised by the light weight of the concept car and the materials it uses
ME and WE: perfect for me and good for others. Its name reflects a simultaneous concern for personal wellbeing (ME) and the well-being of others (WE), summarising the identity of a route to freedom that is desirable to each, and responsible for all
The Toyota ME.WE delivers an intelligent response to the ecological threats posed by mass production and the growth of the global car fleet.
One of the coolest features is with an electric motor in each wheel, the ME.WE can be a two or four-wheel-drive vehicle.