Toyota ME.WE is an "anti-excess vehicle" and was built by Toyota's European Design and Development (ED2) in collaboration with French architect and designer Jean-Marie Massaud. As Massaud himself describes: "By losing sight of reality and as a result of an idealised approach, the car has become an accumulation of constraints more than a source of freedom. However, our lives and needs require more adaptability, simplicity and lightness. The car of today should be seen as a personal mobility solution that can deliver more."
Toyota ME.WE is therefore a light and durable car, made from a tubular aluminium chassis and equipped with interchangeable polypropylene panels (bumpers, hood, doors) that weigh just 14 Kg. It is 3,440 mm long, 1,750 mm wide and 1,600 mm high. Each panel is easily customisable as a result of a standardised production.
The extreme flexibility of its components allows Toyota ME.WE to take the shape of a pick-up, a convertible, an SUV and a city car. The Japanese company has chosen the name ME.WE to express both a personal dimension (ME) as well as a collective source of usability (WE). The concept car employs the same design as the i-ROAD and has four in-wheel electric motors and can therefore travel in two or four-wheel drive, while the batteries are located under the floor panel. The passenger compartment can accommodate up to five passengers and luggage can be placed in a storage facility on the roof (protected by a neoprene cover).
The rear seat folds down and can also be removed, so that can be used independently. Toyota ME.WE weighs 750 Kg and most elements are made out of recyclable materials, like the floor and horizontal panels which are in bamboo. The engineers at Toyota European Design & Development have also paid attention to keep maintenance at minimal levels to cut costs. Air conditioning system and electric seat heaters are operated by a low consumption air pump, while the entertainment system includes a single screen positioned above the steering wheel that provide all the information.