Toyota unveils 'car for kids'

Having dominated the green driver market, Toyota looks set to take over another untapped customer base with its newest concept: young children.

The Japanese manufacturer has just unveiled the Camatte concept at the Tokyo International Toy Show, but the diminutive three-seater is no toy — it's a fully functioning road car which Toyota says is designed to "introduce children to the fun of driving, customising and owning a car".

On the outside the Camatte is similar in size to the company's current small car, the iQ, measuring just 2.7m long by 1.2m tall. Looks resemble something of a cross between a smart car and an old Citroen 2CV and the mantra here is definitely function over form; the old-school round headlights, skinny wheels and bicycle tyre guards don't make the Camatte the prettiest car to look at.

You can however modify the look and colour of the exterior if you get sick of it (as kids may be inclined to) with the detachable body panels, lights and wheels.

The interior is what sets the Camatte apart though, with the driving position and adjustable pedals designed to allow young kids to experience the joy of driving. The cockpit is set up so that a child can sit in the front while a parent sits in the rear but is still able to control the steering, braking and acceleration in a similar manner to that of a tandem bicycle.

We're not sure how Toyota intends to get around the obvious illegalities here — which is why the Camatte will probably stay in concept mode for a while — but this is certainly a positive move in educating young drivers before they hit the road on their own.

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