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Motoring: Toyota could take Lotus Seven-inspired carbon-fiber hybrid beyond concept

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International | Technology

An interesting May 22 report from the Australian Motoring website points to a three-seater carbon-fiber hybrid concept from Toyota that seems to have potential to be the Japanese automaker’s version of the BMW i3.

The article, which cites a “source close to Toyota,” describes an open-wheel sports car taking a nod from the Lotus Seven. The website posted a photo from Japan’s Best Car magazine which apparently depicts the vehicle, which would have staggered seating and a curb weight of 1,543 pounds.

The car will make an appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, Motoring reported.

This screenshot from The Australian website Motoring shows a Japan's Best Car magazine image of a new Toyota concept car. (Screenshot from motoring.com.au)

“What’s more, the source says that if it gets the thumbs-up from the press and public, the world’s biggest car-maker will seriously consider building it,” the article states.

If the car actually went to production, it’d sell for $23,055 and be sold internationally in 2018, according to the site.

Assuming all of this is true, what Toyota learns from the car’s carbon-fiber — whether the vehicle stays a concept or receives a spot on an assembly line — could be the real item to watch for collision repair.

Ford is studying how to make the light, strong material more cost-effective for mass production, and BMW probably has learned a thing or two about that already. Toyota’s interest and the car’s theoretically cheap price tag (admittedly, minus a seat and trunk) could further push the material into the mainstream.

More information:

“Toyota to reveal radical open-wheel sports car”

Motoring.com.au, May 22, 2015

Images:

A Lotus Seven is seen May 18, 2012, at the ”Mille Miglia” historical race for classic cars in Italy. (bernotto/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock file)

This screenshot from The Australian website Motoring shows a Japan’s Best Car magazine image of a new Toyota concept car. (Screenshot from motoring.com.au)