Toyota has launched its latest taxi vehicle at the ongoing 2017 Tokyo Motorshow, dubbed the JPN Taxi, which promises to meet the needs of modern urban mobility and serve a wide variety of customer needs.
The JPN Taxi is the latest in a long line of taxi models supplied by Toyota, starting in 1936 with the introduction of the Toyota Model AA. Toyota plans sell 1,000 units of the JPN Taxi a month, which will be assembled at its Higashi-Fuji Plant.
The JPN Taxi was developed to provide robust usability and comfort to a wide range of people, including children, seniors citizens, and even wheelchair users.
The design incorporates a low, flat floor and wide-opening rear sliding door (width: 720 mm, height: 1,300 mm) making it easy for customers to ingress and egress from the taxi. The power rear sliding door (on the kerbside) provides to accommodate wheelchair users, regular hinge door feature on the driver’s side. Large windows enables passengers to have a generous view of the outside.
The design is meant to pay homage to the popular the Toyota Crown models of the past, and yet be instantly recognisable as a taxi. The standard-grade "Nagomi" model is distinguished by halogen headlights and simple front-end structure with turn signal lights positioned on the corners. The luxury model, "Takumi," incorporates Bi-Beam LED headlights, front position lights, and turn signal lights into a single unit for a more premium look.
On the inside, the dashboard places air conditioning and other instruments operated by the driver on the driver's right side while the navigation (GPS) system and taxi meter, are positioned in view of passengers. The Takumi variant comes with a ceiling air circulator and back seat heating system that customers can operate themselves.
The JPN offers luggage compartment of 401-liters (VDA standard) - enough space to fit two large suitcases horizontally and four golf bags.
The JPN Taxi is powered by Toyota's Hybrid System II powertrain incorporating the 1.5-litre 1NZ-FXP petrol engine. Toyota has yet to release official power figures, except that the engine with its newly developed Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hybrid system will return up to 19.4 km/L on the JC08 test cycle. Also not known, are definitive details of the automatic gearbox that sends power to the front wheels.
Safety equipment has also been modernised, with the integration of the Toyota Safety Sense C package (active collision avoidance support, comes standard for all grades) and six airbags as standard features.
Meanwhile, Toyota’s 'Intelligent Clearance Sonar' detects obstacles and helps prevent or mitigate collisions caused by rapid acceleration after pedal misapplication, is available as an option.
Toyota also plans to use the JPN taxi to greet visitors from around the world in 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.