Have you ever played “corrupt a wish?” It’s a game where someone makes a wish, and the next person in line “grants” it, but adds caveats that ruin it. Toyota has seemingly been playing for years, first answering calls for a new, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe with a rebadged Subaru that’s got cylinder head problems, then a rebranded BMW with under-developed factory suspension. And before 2020 was out, Toyota had to yank our chains again, releasing yet another lightweight, rear-drive two-door, this one compromised by its meager output of 12 horsepower.
The coupe in question is the C+pod, a $15,900 electric city car Toyota hopes will appeal to corporate fleets and local governments. It’s about the same height as a Smart Fortwo (or its weird high-performance Brabus version), but four inches shorter in length, and over a foot narrower, making it just large enough for two adults and the groceries needed to feed them for a week. It’s not completely spartan, either, as it features collision detection technology and both LED headlights and taillights.
Rather than being a safety feature, though, those LED taillights are likely a measure to reduce load on the C+pod’s minuscule, 9.06-kilowatt-hour battery. Toyota claims it to be good for 93 miles of city driving on the WLTP cycle, making the C+pod roughly twice as efficient as a long-range Tesla Model S. Much of this efficiency comes from the C+pod’s minuscule curb weight, as low as 1,477 pounds, though some also comes from having a shrimpy motor, one which generates just 12 horsepower and 41 pound-feet of torque.
Those may sound inadequate for keeping up with highway traffic, though with a top speed of just 37 mph, the C+pod isn’t really highway-suitable in the first place. For countries where Toyota will actually sell the C+pod, though, where intercity transport doesn’t rely on cars, that’s hardly an issue. No need for a vehicle that does it all when it doesn’t have to do it all.
Toyota C+pod EV
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