By Campbell Simpson
Toyota wants your kids to learn to drive, and to enjoy driving. Normally they'd have to wait until their mid-teens to get behind the wheel — legally, at least... unless they grew up out bush with an old Kingswood in the back paddock — but Toyota wants them now. The latest in its series of Camatte electric concept cars for kids will be on display at this year's Tokyo Toy Show, complete with young driver training and licences.
Demonstrated later this month at the Tokyo Toy Show, the Camatte Petta — and camatte is based on the Japanese word for caring, apparently — is an electric-powered roadster about three metres long, with a trio of seats. The steering wheel and front seat are centre-mounted, like a McLaren F1, and there's space for two passengers in the back.
Before being unleashed on the test track at Toyota's stand, kids will have to sit through a simulator course and earn a licence (complete with photo) that teaches them how to hold — and use — a steering wheel, as well as a car's accelerator and brake.
The entire car can be customised with magnetic decals and bodywork, too, before it's taken out onto the real (fake) road. It's just one of dozens of different Toyota concept cars and different Camatte variants, but I'm not going to pretend I'm not jealous of the kids who get to go for a ride in this.
For what it's worth, too, the Camatte is a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive machine, but don't expect its 12kW electric motor to be capable of any Tokyo drifting — especially with parents in the back. [Toyota]