Power and Handling
There is no hood on the PM that you can open to get a look at the engine. For one reason, there's no engine. A rear-mounted DC brushless electric motor powers the PM. Toyota hasn't disclosed details about the vehicle's top speed or battery life. The PM is keyless, and a push-button similar to that on a PC starts the motor.
The body arrangement of the PM is not static. The wheelbase can lengthen to allow the cabin to recline depending on the vehicle's mode of operation. The cabin is isolated from the wheels, allowing the PM to vary its posture according to speed or for easy entry/exit. There are three modes of operation, including:
- Entry/Exit mode - At rest, the cabin is upright and its length is minimized. Because the wheels are independent of one another, the PM can turn in place by turning the left and right rear wheels in opposite directions.
- City - In stop-and-go travel, the cabin tilts back, which allows it to maneuver through the tight corners of an urban environment.
- High-speed - On the open road, the wheelbase extends to allow the cabin to recline to its lowest posture to increase stability in high-speed travel.
Navigation is also unique in the PM. Toyota designers took out the steering wheel and replaced it with two joystick controllers to control acceleration, deceleration and steering. The PM is equipped with additional computer equipment that allows it to communicate with other PMs. In the next section, we'll take a closer look at this technology.