2008 Toyota HI-CT Concept Car

he Toyota Hi-CT concept car is a departure from conventional cars. The Toyota Hi-CT wants to offer new ways of being “cool” and new ways of having fun.

With a beltline cinched higher than your grandpa’s waist band, the Hi-CT was officially revealed as a design concept by Toyota here at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. As we’ve said before, the Hi-CT concept car’s meant to continue where the Scion brand leaves off — be youth-friendly and almost over-exaggeratedly toy-like.

Much like the Suzuki X-Head, it succeeds in at least the latter. The Hi-CT also goes a step beyond the tiny motor of the automaker’s Yasui brand mating a hybrid motor to the 1.5-liter engine, then giving the whole shebang plug-in capability. Now if only it didn’t look like someone was supposed to stand on the back bumper and push it along with their feet, we could totally get behind making something like it.

Toyota says that the Hi-CT concept was inspired by the thinking and lifestyle of younger drivers.

The Toyota Hi-CT aims to offer a new “coolness” and new ways to have fun as a departure from conventional vehicles—an edgy, urban vehicle inspired by the thinking and lifestyles of youth.

- Offers a new kind of automotive “cool” and sense of enjoyment.
- Has a new look unconstrained by conventional vehicle size (length 3,330mm x width 1,695mm x height 1,780mm).
- Adopts plug-in hybrid technology, which allows it to charge from an external power source and gives it a greater driving range when running on its battery-powered motor; by placing the battery under the floor, achieves a highly efficient cabin with a higher driver position.
- Comes with an AC100V accessory socket that enables stored electricity—made possible by plug-in
hybrid technology—to be used for a variety of applications.
- Features a removable rear trunk and a deck where surfboards, bicycles and other equipment can be loaded.

You get the general idea of Toyota’s quirky Hi-CT, which the automaker describes as “an edgy, urban vehicle inspired by the thinking and lifestyles of youth.” And in a nod to the whole notion of truth in advertising, Toyota with typical understatement says the Hi-CT is “a departure from conventional vehicles.”

No kidding. The shape is boxy and the dimensions almost rectangular: 131 inches long, 67 inches wide and 70 inches tall.

More importantly, the vehicle showcases Toyota’s latest plug-in hybrid technology. The under-floor battery pack can be recharged from an external power source — household current, for instance — and the vehicle has a 100-volt accessory socket, so you can power any number of electrical/electronic gadgets while you’re parked or on the road.


Back to the shape: Toyota notes that the Hi-CT boasts a removable trunk and a deck where one can store bicycles and surfboards.

Scribbled on May 9th 2008 in Toyota, Toyota HI-CT
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