For the armchair driver? Toyota unveils ‘sofa on wheels’ – among dozens of other futuristic cars at Beijing motor show

It looks like an electric wheelchair crossed with a recliner, it’s controlled by two joysticks at either side – and Toyota believes it might be the future of transport.

Toyota’s i-Real elelctric vehicle was one of the more surreal cars on show at the Beijing Motor Show this year – others included a drop-top electric version of the VW beetle.

The show attracted 2,000 companies from 36 countries – and 84 new vehicles were unveiled at the show, a sign that the Beijing show has increasing clout in the car market.

Sofa on wheels? A model drives a Toyota i-REAL during the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition

Sofa on wheels? A model drives a Toyota i-REAL during the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition

Green machine? A model stands beside a Volkwagen E.BUOSTER car

Green machine? A model stands beside a drop-top electrically powered version of the VW Beetle

 

A model of Japanese comic book hero Astro Boy model stands near a Toyota V2 car

A model of Japanese comic book hero Astro Boy model stands near a Toyota V2 car

 

More than 2,000 automotive enterprises from 14 countries and regions participated in the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition

More than 2,000 automotive enterprises from 14 countries and regions participated in the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition

Many Western and Japanese car manufacturers showed off new models – but Chinese companies unveiled their own rivals.

Companies such as Toyota also unveiled China-only models – including hybrid cars and

SUVs, many of which are also built in China.

President Akio Toyoda said: ‘We would like to put smiles on the faces of our Chinese customers with hybrid technology. I want the people of China to be able to experience the beauty of hybrid technology through a hybrid car born in China.’

SUVs, many of which are also built in China.

President Akio Toyoda said: ‘We would like to put smiles on the faces of our Chinese customers with hybrid technology. I want the people of China to be able to experience the beauty of hybrid technology through a hybrid car born in China.’

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