For the third year in a row, Toyota has gone to the Tokyo Toy Show to introduce the latest version of its Camatte 57s concept.
Powered by a wholly electric drivetrain, the Camatte is a skeleton frame upon which various body panels can be attached. Its purpose, Toyota says, and the reason why it’s displayed at a toy show, is to pique children’s interest in cars.
The latest iteration features a hood covered with an array of LEDs. Children can customize the car by drawing pictures that are scanned an translated into pixels. A second Cammate 57s Sport is displayed without panels, so that children can see how its steering, differential, and accelerator work.
Past versions of the Camatte have included a minimalist roadster in the vein of the Lotus Super 7, a dune-buggy-like off roader, and coupe whose roof, windshield and cowl swing open like a jet fighter’s canopy. All of them employ a triangular 1+2 seating layout, configured so that an adult in the right rear seat can steer or brake in the event of an emergency or overzealous budding speed demon.
So far these are concepts only, but the interchangeable panel design will be put into production this summer on the Daihatsu Copen roadster. Daihatsu is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota specializing in kei cars.
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