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Concept Madness

A more detailed look at the star of SCE's Gran Turismo Concept, the Toyota Pod

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

When we first encountered the Toyota Pod it was part of Polyphony Digital's peculiar-looking Gran Turismo Concept. Few details were released on the Pod's design and capabilities, leaving us to find whatever detail we could in screenshots. Thumbing through a back issue of Future's T3 magazine, however, reveals an instalment of 'technofile' dedicated exclusively to the strangely-shaped contraption. One glance and we knew you would want to know more. After all, who wouldn't want to hear about a futuristic space car with rotating pod seats and rudimentary emotions. Although we fear a lot of the Pod's individuality may be lost in the translation to the small screen, may it be immortalized forever on these fine pages. Toyota's Pod has a uniquely-shaped front end, which includes all the features of a face. Headlamps and wing mirrors form the car's eyes and ears, and the U-shaped groove on the front represents the mouth. Rear-mounted antennae acts like a waggly tail. The car's abilities stretch to the chameleonic. Changing colour playfully as you approach, you may enter an orange Pod. By sensing your pulse rate and the amount of sweat you're producing, the Pod adjusts its colour to warn outsiders of your mood. A red Pod should be avoided, but a blue one may need comforting. Pod is in tune with its own receptors too. The Pod sheds tears from its headlamps and turns blue if it gets a puncture, and other damage may evoke a different response. The Pod will stop short of running you down itself, but it will take an active role in calming you down in case of annoyance. Brake angrily or accelerate madly and the Pod will play soothing music from the dash and display a warning message. It will also douse you with cooling air. The Pod's name is taken from its seating interior. Each of the car's four passengers have a swivelling 'Pod' chair, complete with the ability to face the other four, and built in head speakers and subwoofer for the seat of your pants. Every seat comes with its own LCD screen enabling you to select from music, movies and other entertainment. As for the car's roadworthiness, all we know is that you control it with a joystick. Related Feature - Gran Turismo Concept 2001 Tokyo preview

The obscure Pod in all its glory

Source - T3

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