Yes, it’s true, the Toyota Camatte is not for adults but kids. Although this concept car with a difference is not a classic scaled-down electric buggy but more like the real thing, functional dashboard and adjustable seats and all, its makers at Toyota see it very much as a driving toy. Meant to introduce younger people to the joys and practicalities of driving, it will therefore be launched, not at the Tokyo Motor Show, but at the Tokyo Toy Show.
Perhaps worried that cars are no longer the dream objects they once were, and by recent indications that today’s adolescents have replaced it with computers, smartphones and internet access on their list of priorities, the world’s largest car manufacturer has decided to introduce driving to a younger audience in the hope that it will reawaken the automotive enthusiasm of earlier generations.
Made of ultra-strong durable plastics, the Toyota Camatte is also easy to maintain and customise, but its creators are keen to reassure those already using the roads that we’re not about to be flooded with a new tide of kiddie traffic. Considered purely a concept at this point, Toyota say that should the Camatte ever make it to production it will be exclusively for use in specialised venues such as karting tracks – and not on the road.
With that reassurance in mind you can actually allow yourself to admire the quirky styling and fun aspect of this novel little car, which comes in two versions. Where the Camatte Daichi offers the robust cuteness of a mini offroad, the Camatte Sora is a sweet little retro mini car that would certainly have a following as a regular road-going city vehicle, but could just become the model to introduce a new generation to the art of driving.