Toyota Fun-Vii Concept Is High-Tech Chameleon


  • Toyota Fun-Vii Concept Picture

    Toyota Fun-Vii Concept Picture

    The chameleon-like Toyota Fun-Vii debuted at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show. | November 29, 2011

4 Photos

2011 Tokyo Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • The Toyota Fun-Vii concept, a high-tech chameleon that features a navigation concierge and a changeable look, debuted Tuesday ahead of the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show.
  • Toyota takes customization to the next level with the concept, which can be instantly altered inside and out.
  • Toyota says changing the look of the car is as easy as uploading an image to Facebook.

TOKYO — The Toyota Fun-Vii concept, a high-tech chameleon that features a navigation concierge and a changeable look, debuted Tuesday ahead of the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show.

The Fun-Vii is the highly anticipated mystery concept that Toyota teased earlier this month in the run-up to the show. Its name stands for "Fun Interactive Internet" and Toyota says it "heralds a future where people, cars and society are linked."

The images of the car show what is basically a futuristic-looking blank slate — think of it as a postmodern riff on the 1970s "mood ring" — that can be decorated with advertising or other messages. The idea is to take customization to the next level, since the car can be instantly altered inside and out, depending on the owner.

"This allows the entire vehicle to function as a display for messages or images as you choose," Toyota said.

The look of the three-passenger car can be changed "as easily as downloading a phone app or uploading an image to Facebook," according to the automaker. It is not clear if the look of the concept can be changed while in motion — something that would be sure to irk those concerned about distracted driving and annoyed by such things as changing LED billboards on the highway.

The cabin features an intriguing "navigation concierge" who provides driving information courtesy of "augmented reality," says Toyota. The image provided by Toyota shows what appears to be a hologram of a woman with a French twist and a strange little outfit that looks like a cross between the Jetsons and a 1960s stewardess. It is also reminiscent of the iconic Princess Leia hologram from Star Wars.

No details were provided about the concept's powertrain. The Fun-Vii is 13 feet long and is 55 inches tall. Toyota says it is able to link with surrounding vehicles and infrastructure as an added benefit.

Edmunds.com says: Toyota shows off its fun side and dabbles in "augmented reality" with the unveiling of the mystery concept.

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