It sounds counter-intuitive, to say the least, but one of the latest offerings from Toyota is aimed at getting kids behind the steering wheel.
Billed as the world’s first car designed for juvenile drivers — with two cramped seats in back for their parents — the “Camatte” concept car was unveiled this week at the 2013 International Tokyo Toy Show.
“It’s basically no different than a regular car,” said Kenji Tsuji, a project manager for Toyota. “The power-train is an electric motor. The accelerator, brake, dashboard meters and seats are identical to those in conventional vehicles. The main difference is that it’s shorter, and sized to a kid’s proportions.”
About two-thirds the length of a conventional small car, the Camatte’s controls are geared to children as short as 120 centimeters, or around four feet. While the speedometer reads a top speed of about 44 mph, the car has an actual maximum speed of closer to 28 mph.
If even that cruising speed sends grownups into white-knuckle territory, the manufacturer has thoughtfully installed an override feature that allows parents to knock that top speed down to a crawl; as low as three mph.
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