2011 Tokyo Auto Show: Toyota Fun-Vii Concept

Toyota builds a car to replace your iPhone.

Do you think Apple’s legal department buys into the theory that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? We sure hope so, if only for the sake of Toyota’s totally wacky Fun-Vii Concept, shown this week during the Tokyo Auto Show. This three-passenger vehicle looks more like the lovechild of a mouse-pad and iPhone than any Toyota we’ve seen.

Toyota says the Fun-Vii offers “the ultimate in personalization,” since both the interior and exterior are completely customizable. The entire vehicle body can be used as a display space. That seems perfect for businesses that want to show ads and contact info. Though you can’t help but wonder how this technology might be used for less, shall we say, business-oriented messaging.

Someone cuts you off on the highway, or there’s a hottie in the car next to you at a stoplight…we’ll let you conjure up the type of images you’ll start downloading for display. Toyota has not said whether or not the displays can be altered while in motion.

Things only get weirder once you fire up the navigation system. A 3-D holographic image, a “navigation concierge” according to Toyota, pops up to assist you with directions and other guidance functions. The Fun-Vii is also capable of linking its network to other vehicles and infrastructure, allowing for everything from blind spot assistance to connecting your vehicle with friends driving nearby.

And you thought a mobile phone was a driving distraction?