The baja racer design of many off-road cars and trucks makes them fast over almost any surface, indestructible and, above all, fun!
How to bring that joyful rally racing function to a life-sized prototype? One that can have a wild body shape, self-lifting suspension and a smooth underbody (and big splitters) to maximize downforce?
The Toyota MTRC stands for Motor Triathlon Race Car — and employs a variety of very smart techniques for making a life-size RC car.
Tandem seating and in-wheel motor-generators let the MTRC have perfect weight distribution, a lean body-shell, and no packaging constraints from a typical engine.
The suspension on single cantilever arms is one of the coolest parts of the MTRC – with each arm able to individually raise that part of the truck up nearly a foot from its low-slung, street-racing angle shown here. As the wheels rise and give more ground clearance, the fenders move to shield the drivers from any flying rocks or other debris.
Overall, the design is a perfect realization of a grown-up boy’s toy.
2004 Toyota MTRC
OFF-ROAD SPORTS CAR FROM TOYOTA TO STAR AT GENEVA MOTOR SHOW
New Toyota Concept Car Responds To Desires of The Drivers Of Tomorrow
Like a full-size remote-control toy buggy, the outrageous Motor Triathlon Race Car (MTRC) is Toyota’s response to future customer demands. A tandem two-seater that combines off-road ability, sports car performance and motor sport derived high technology, the MTRC shows that Toyota is now targeting not only the customers of today, but also tapped into what will appeal to future generations.
The MTRC was designed and built at Toyota’s European design studio, ED2. It is propelled by four in-wheel electric motors powered by a Toyota fuel cell stack, enabling the stylists much more freedom when designing the shape of the car than a conventional internal combustion engine and four-wheel drive transmission would allow.
MTRC has been conceived from the outset to compete in three different environments, as if in an automotive triathlon: off-road, race track and city street circuits. That combination of tracks might seem unusual, but it is common place to the millions who play and enjoy car racing computer games where part of the attraction is dramatic, high speed dicing through varied, realistic environments.
No surprise then that the MTRC will be available to ‘drive‘ in the upcoming Gran Turismo 4, the latest version of the massively popular video game developed by Sony Computer Entertainment and Polyphony Digital. Visitors to the Toyota stand at the Geneva Motor Show (4 – 14 March) will have a chance to try a preview of the game featuring the MTRC.