Concept vehicle represents Toyota's vision for the race of the future

Imagine a Fomula 1 racer that actually predicts and responds to changing track conditions, letting the driver focus on driving. Imagine a racer that's equally at home on the CART circuit or in the Dakar Rally across the Sahara. Imagine a racer that releases nothing more than water from the exhaust as it burns up the track.

Those attending the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto month won't need to just imagine it. They'll see this amazing vehicle - the Toyota Motor Triathlon Race Car - in person at the Toyota booth in the Rogers Centre.

Designed and built at Toyota's European design studio, ED2, the Toyota MTRC is Toyota's vision of a high-performance future.

"The Motor Triathlon Race Car concept embodies three strengths that are unquestionably 'Toyota'," explained Tony Wearing, Managing Director for Toyota in Canada. "It embodies Toyota's passion for motorsports, our proud heritage in developing four-wheel-drive vehicles, and our strong leadership in developing Eco-friendly technologies. The MTRC is ready to compete in three radically different racing environments: a smooth and high-grip racetrack, a narrow city street circuit, and an off-road course."

The MTRC is a two-seater, and features innovative four-wheel drive transmission. An electric motor mounted on each wheel is powered by hydrogen fuel cells that generate zero emissions: The exhaust system produces only water.

An electronically controlled suspension constantly adapts to ground conditions, adjusting ride height and other settings. Meantime, smart tires mold themselves to the road surface and weather conditions, maximizing traction.

The MTRC also features Toyota's innovative Mixed Reality technology. The driver and navigator wear special helmets that provide current performance statistics. Beyond that, this virtual interface with the vehicle helps the crew foresee and prepare for upcoming driving challenges.

"With this MTRC, Toyota is extending its brand message to future generations of car buyers: Those raised on a steady diet of information technologies, high-tech entertainment, and environmental awareness," Mr. Wearing added.

The Canadian International Auto Show runs February 16-25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Rogers Centre.