Toyota's new concept hopes to prove that the family that plays at building a car together, stays together.

The Camatte 57s concept is a small, lightweight, four-seater, open-top electric car that will no doubt evoke nostalgic thoughts in anyone who is old enough to remember Meccano or the original Lotus 7 sportscar of the 1950s and 1960s.

But though it may look familiar to people of a certain age, this is a very unusual concept car and one that will not be making its official debut at a motorshow. Instead, it will be unveiled at the International Tokyo Toy Show on later this week -- a big clue as to what makes the car so different.

This is a car that a family can drive together and create together, hence the name 'Camatte', which derives from the Japanese word for care. Each of its 57 lightweight panels can be removed and exchanged with new pieces to create different designs and different looks. What's more, the pedals and seats can be adjusted so that children can drive -- not on public roads, of course -- while a parent in a rear seat can still help with steering and braking.

Toyota hopes the car will help the next generation understand the fun and the responsibility of driving, while the fact that the car is interactive in the truest sense of the word, will help to bring families together in structured play and learning.

Powered by a small electric motor, the car measures 3m long, is 1.


4m wide and is 1m high, and seats three comfortably.