Takara's Modern Times
Official Website: http://www.takaratoys.co.jp/q-car
TAKARA Co., Ltd.
Established September 17, 1955
4-19-16 Aoto, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo, Japan 125-8503
Japanese toymaker Takara Co Ltd President Keita
Sato drives onto stage in a battery-powered vintage-style
electric car called "Modern Times" at an unveiling in Tokyo
January 22, 2002. Takara hopes to drive into a new niche with the
single-seat electric cars due to hit the market around September this
year, which can be driven on the road, with an eight-hour battery charge
giving the car an 80 kilometer range. The vintage-style model electric
car will likely be priced at just over one million yen ($7490), he said.
Takara unveils electric vehicles
Jan 24, 2002
Japan's toymaker giant Takara unveiled single-seat electric
vehicles, dubbed "Q-Car," at a press conference held on
January 22, 2002. After considering the production of electric cars
for a long time, the company announced Tuesday to release two types
of electric cars in fall this year. Annual sales of 1,000 units are
To be incorporated in February 2002 is "Choro Q Motors," a
company to handle manufacturing and sales of Q-Cars. Takara has
embarked on a joint development of electric cars with Kanagawa-based
Cox, which is responsible for tuning up German cars. Although prices
are yet to be finalized, a sports car-type vehicle tentatively
called "2010" will be priced at around one million yen and
another type that comes with a roof tentatively called "Modern
Times" will be within the range of 1 to 1.5 million yen.
Takara used a parking space located at the hotel where the press
conference was held to demonstrate the actual movement of the
electric car. The compact body of the car seemed to help its driving
speed look fast in appearance. The vehicle performed cornering with
quick and responsive handling.
Classified as auto-cycle under Traffic Law
The newly unveiled electric car runs at a maximum 50km/hour and is
classified as motorized two-wheeled vehicle under the Japanese
Traffic Law. Although a user would need to obtain a standard
driver's license to drive the electric vehicle, automobile
inspection and Motor Vehicle Tonnage Tax are not required. The
battery can be charged from an ordinary 100V electric socket at
households. The vehicle purportedly is capable of driving an 80-km
range after being charged for eight hours. In addition to individual
users, Takara intends to attract users for use at tourist sites,
companies and events held by local governments.
Of the two types of electric cars, 2010-type measures 1930 mm by
1020 mm by 1560 mm and Modern Times 2040 mm by 1046 mm by 1154 mm.
Q-car will mount as their primary power supply six lead storage
batteries with an output voltage of 12V and current capacity 42Ah.
One additional lead storage battery with 12V output voltage and 28Ah
current capacity is incorporated as a redundant primary power
supply. The vehicle has a direct drive rear wheel driven by wheel-in
motor method. Q-car is equipped with regenerative braking system,
which is capable of recharging electricity to the primary power
source whenever the car throttles down. By employing four-wheel
double-wishbone suspension, Takara aimed to boost the
comfortableness and stability. Its minimum turning-radius is 2.6m.
To hit the market via multi-channels
Under the slogan of "Extending the definition of toys,"
Takara is setting its focus on developing toys that bring enjoyment
to adults. The launch of
electric vehicle is one of such examples. Says Takara President
"A great deal of tastes go into automobiles. Some users even
spend all they
earn on cars. Although automakers are currently making extremely
attractive proposals in the field of gasoline engine cars and hybrid
cars, they are yet to offer ample suggestions for electric cars. The
idea was that we could contribute to this field by adding a spice of
fun to electric cars through our position as a toymaker." In
terms of safety, Sato continued, "Makers who actually
manufacture bodies for automobiles are going to supply bodies to us
and our products will be registered to Land, Infrastructure and
Transportation Ministry. By all means drivers of electric vehicles
are required to pay attention to avoid accidents just as they would
when driving cars and auto-cycles."
In addition to the two models unveiled this time round, Takara is
market new models in the future. In addition to the company's
toy-store channels, Takara will explore such new channels as auto
motorcycle shops and bicycle shops. On its agenda are: (1) Launching
directly owned shop named "Q-Square;" (2) Promoting the
development of recharging stations in a form of vending machines;
and (3) Exploring a
broader base of electric car fans.
(By Fumitada Takahashi)
Toymaker Takara to market real cars
The Asahi Shimbun
Not every Japanese company is caught up in the race to miniaturize its products.
In fact, Takara Co. has followed a different route altogether.
The major toy manufacturer is gearing up to roll out two single-seater electric cars based on its popular Choro-Q series of miniature automobiles in the autumn.
The new Q-Cars are big and powerful enough to carry an adult at speeds of up to 60 kph. With an eight-hour charge, which can be accomplished using an ordinary household electrical outlet, the battery-powered car has a range of about 80 kilometers.
The first two Q-Car models, a sports car dubbed 2010 and a classic car called Modern Times, will retail in the neighborhood of 1 million yen. Takara hopes to sell 1,000 of the cars in the first year.
Takara is setting up a joint venture, Choro-Q Motors Co., with the Kanagawa-based racing car developer Cox Inc. in late February. The new firm will assemble the cars with parts supplied by an affiliate of Toyota Motor Corp. and other companies.
Takara will mainly be involved in designing the bodies of the Q-Cars.
The cars will be exempt from routine shaken inspections and certain taxes imposed on motor vehicles. Nor will they require parking permits.
What will be required, however, is that Q-Car drivers have an ordinary driver's license.