Well, it can’t fly, it won’t deploy your kids and wife to school or to the mall in their own domed, one-man flying saucer directly from the car’s floor, and it won’t fold up into a stylish little briefcase like George Jetson’s iconic ride. But Toyota’s new Fun-Vii concept car can do just about anything else you’ve imagined that the car of the future would do. We’re just not sure where the spark plugs go.
Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show earlier this month the Fun V-ii (which stands for “Vehicle Interactive Internet) is being described as a smartphone on four wheels. And it takes personalization to the extreme. At first glance the car looks a bit like an oversized, curved-out iPod docking station with a smooth black finish and silver accents. But those looks can change with the swish of a fingertip across a smartphone screen. That’s because the car’s exterior surface essentially is a digital interface that can display any color or photo chosen, or even reflect the surroundings as a the car drives down the street.
Inside, a driver and two passengers have more legroom than you’ve ever seen in a compact car. Dashboard displays include a hot little hologram assistant popping out of the digital ethers to help you find a great little coffee shop. And the car’s interior walls feature the same customized visual options as the exterior surface. Want to set a romantic tone for the evening? How about a covering the walls with images of rose petals? Or, bring the outside in by displaying the local scenery on the car’s walls. You’ll feel like you’re cruising in one of James Bond’s invisible cars.
Digital features allow a driver to run an automotive diagnostics test, get a weather forecast, check email, locate friends and talk with the people in the car two lanes over without ever picking up a smartphone or rolling down a window. There’s even an autopilot option so you can Facebook/eat lunch/kiss your girlfriend/call your mom/knit a sweater, etc. and still get to your destination without causing a multi-car pileup on the Interstate.
Too far-fetched to ever become reality? Check out the video and decide for yourself. In the meantime, E3 Spark Plugs wants to know: Which is your all-time favorite TV or movie futuristic ride? And would you rather have this…