Toyota i-Road turns heads at NAIAS

Toyota i-Road is electric, three-wheel concept

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DETROIT - Every day at the North American International Auto Show, there's a big crowd surrounding the Toyota i-Road.

The narrow, electric, three-wheeled concept car is featured on a rotating platform at the Toyota display.

Because of its size, the company is calling it a "personal mobility vehicle." It some ways it looks more like a scooter than a car.

The i-Road is about half the width of a conventional automobile and only weighs about 660 pounds.

The fully-enclosed tandem, can seat two people and reach a maximum speed of about 30 mph. It also boasts a front suspension that leans into corners.

Power comes from a pair of 2.7-horsepower electric motors in the front wheel hubs. The i-Road can fully charge in about three hours, which would last approximately 30 miles.

Many auto industry analysts say that could make the i-Road a faster, safer and more comfortable bicycle alternative, especially in dense, urban areas.

"It takes the compactness of a motorcycle and the stability and convenience of an automobile," says a company representative.

According to Toyota, the i-Road is a concept car that's heading to production. It's going to be used as part of an urban car-sharing system in Japan. The company believes that's just the beginning of more to come for the i-Road. 

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