Spy Shots: Guangzhou-Toyota Leahead i1 EV for China

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This is the Guangzhou-Toyota Leahead i1 EV for China, a new electric car that will be launched on the Chinese car market in early 2016. The i1EV debuted as a concept on the Shanghai Auto Show in April.

Leahead is a new sub-brand under the Guangzhou-Toyota joint venture focused on making cheap electric cars for the masses. It should not be confused with ‘Ranz‘, which is another Chinese Toyota brand.

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The concept had a different grille and bumper, and we are not unhappy those are gone on the production car. But the blue-silver wheels were kinda cool.


Huge Leahead logo on the back, flanked by light blue wings.

Initially, the i1 will launch as a lease-only demonstration project, similar to what BMW does with the Zinoro 1E.

It is based on the previous generation Toyota Yaris hatchback (not on the new Yaris L). Power comes from an electric motor with an output of 95hp. Size: 3930/1695/1555, wheelbase is 2460.

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  1. Wait for the battery pack capacity and real world range. Looks that also this will be a car that will never find a market in China and in any other places. I wonder why these respectable automakers dont even try to make a decent EV… the technology to make long range and low cost Ev is available in the market since several years…

  2. Paul, the name Leahead is just a convenient nickname for the “Leap Ahead” or Lingzhi. And my guess is that this model will not be seen beyond China. It appears that Toyota is simply complying with Beijing’s official urgings to turn out EVs, by producing an EV for each of their joint ventures, Guangzhou Auto and FAW.

    • No nickname. Leahead is the official English name. But it is indeed short for ‘Leap Ahead’. And there is absolutely no way this model will ever be seen outside of China, and even inside China only a very few will hit the road.


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