The Toyota PM doesn't resemble the traditional definition of a car. It lacks side doors and accommodates just a single passenger. This single-passenger cockpit design more resembles a flightless helicopter on wheels than a car.
Rather than stepping into a side door, passengers enter through a front hatch, which raises and lowers using hydraulic-lift bars. This front hatch also doubles as the vehicle's windshield.
As the vehicle moves, the wheelbase lengthens to allow the cabin encapsulating the cockpit to recline. The driver shifts from an upright position to a tilted position.
When exiting or entering the vehicle, the hydraulic door lifts and the vehicle's seat slides forward to ease the driver's entry or exit. Once you're seated, or when the door shuts, the seat slides back into the body of the vehicle and is positioned for travel.
Other innovations in the PM design include hollow-center wheels and see-through shaftless construction. Each wheel is independent of the other three, which gives the vehicle unique steering ability.
- Length: 5.74-8.69 feet (1.75-2.650 m), depending on position of cabin
- Width: 4.81 feet (1.47 m)
- Height: 3.99-6.09 feet (1.22-1.86 m)
- Wheelbase: 3.61-6.56 feet (1.10-2.00 m), depending on position
- Minimum turning radius: 3.94 feet (1.2 m), in entry/exit mode
In the next section, we'll look at the PM's handling ability.