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25 June 2012

Toyota Camatte Concept: Car Town comes to life... somewhat (w/ video)

Words by Jopet Tocino | Photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Company
 
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Japan - the land where some of the world's most outrageous ideas and things come from - has yet another one to add to the list. At the recent Tokyo Toy Show 2012, Toyota unveiled the Camette Concept. Named after the Japanese word for “care,” their latest “family-oriented” concept looks more like something that jumped out of Car Town than a would-be production car.
 
The event seemed to be the perfect avenue to launch a car that features interchangeable body panels, a feature that we're more used to see in toys. Just swap out the main shell, doors, and roof for another design and you've got an entirely new car. Two versions were displayed at the Toy Show - the turquoise 60's-inspired Camatte Sora (Japanese for “sky”) and the brown military-looking Camatte Daichi (Japanese for “Earth”).
 
This cutie seats three passengers in a triangular configuration with the driver in the middle and two passengers sitting behind on either side. Apparently, this layout facilitates better communication between kids and their parents. Another “kid-friendly” feature of the Camatte is its configurable pedals, which they say can help the child to develop driving skills while the parent handles the steering and braking. Well, I don’t know about you, but I personally wouldn’t feel very comfortable driving a car with a child having control of the gas pedal. But then again, that’s just me.  
 
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Although we've seen concepts with interchangeable body panels in the past, the idea of being able to have a completely different-looking ride makes the Camatte quite unique. And that's not all to it. According to Toyota, their main goal is to be able to introduce children to the joys of driving, customizing, and owning a car early on. Think of it as a supersized pedal car for kids.