If you like motor vehicles (and what red-blooded American doesn’t?) you probably take a greedy peek now and then at the concept cars the automakers unveil at the annual auto shows.
The Beijing auto show just ended — that’s right, Detroit, the Beijing auto show — and it featured the standard weird cars and high-heeling wearing models. One of the concepts, Toyota’s i-Real electric vehicle, offered a chilling vision of what the decades to come might be like.
The vehicle itself is innocent enough. It’s called an “electric personal vehicle,” and it’s like a cross between a wheelchair and a La-Z-Boy. Controlled by two joysticks, it can reach a speed of 20 m.p.h. It looks indecently comfortable and fun to tool around in, to boot.
Everyone who looks at the i-Real knows people who would love to have one and use it all day long. They’d wake up in the morning, collapse into the i-Real, and zip off to the bathroom, then use it to get to the kitchen for a snack, then lounge in the i-Real all day, watching TV. It’s like the plot of WALL-E has become reality!
Finally, a vehicle that appeals directly to the innate laziness of countless tubby modern Americans. How can it not be fabulously successful?
Time to buy stock in Toyota.