Concept cars may be fun, but there's something a little frustrating about them. Your first reaction might well be amazement, but in reality, you're unable to do the one thing that would make the concept car experience perfect: hop in behind the wheel and give it a go.
One of the most popular racing games available at the moment is the latest in the Gran Turismo series. The games are famous for their realistic depictions of the handling and looks of a huge range of vehicles. Gran Turismo 4 includes an unprecedented level of detail -- and the Toyota MTRC.
Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of Gran Turismo, describes the process of extracting the technology from a futuristic car as an "exciting experience." It's clear that another important influence for Toyota in designing the MTRC is the younger generation, in which mobile phones, video games and other pieces of cutting-edge technology are an important part of everyday life. Using youth-based technology as an inspiration has provided Toyota with a boost to its already dynamic image: Toyota has gained valuable advertising with a younger generation of gamers -- a generation that will become the next great mass of car buyers.
So we know the MTRC has made its debut on PS2 screens everywhere. The next question is: When will it make it onto the road in real life. Just how viable are the technologies Toyota showcases in this concept car?
The truth of the matter is that the MTRC is unlikely to be produced. The vehicle itself is more of an opportunity to show creative engineering, cutting-edge design and a sense of fun than a realistic attempt to design a mass-producible vehicle. Its virtual appearance on Gran Turismo 4 is the closest this concept will come to reality.
However, in the same way that the first-ever concept car provided GM with a wealth of new ideas, the technology embodied in the MTRC's sleek shell will undoubtedly influence Toyota's designs for the future.
For more information on the Toyota MTRC and other concept cars, check out the links on the next page.