Toyota has launched a new compact model startlingly similar in concept to the Peugeot 1007, which goes on sale later this year.

The Porte, now on sale at Toyota and Toyopet dealers in Japan, has a wide-opening wireless remote-control electric sliding door on the front passenger side - the Peugeot has a sliding door each side.

Based on the concept of a "Smart Life Supporter", the Porte (derived from the French word for "door") was developed following a detailed analysis of changes in people's lifestyles, Toyota claims.

"The result is a new-concept compact car distinguished by its unprecedented innovation," the automaker said.

The Porte has just 300mm of ground clearance and a flat doorway opening for easy entrance and exit. The roomy interior due to the high cabin height and flat floor isclaimed to be unparalleled for a vehicle in the compact car class.

The Porte's sliding door, with an opening width of 1,020mm and opening height of 1,265mm, makes it possible for all occupants to enter and exit the vehicle through the same door, which can also be used to load and unload all luggage and other items.

"This establishes groundbreaking levels of ease of ingress and egress and utility, and marks a departure from fixed ideas about having a different door for each occupant or separate doors for occupants and luggage," Toyota said.

The flatter, lower floor and the cabin height of 1,390mm, which is said to surpass that of many minivans, make for a spacious interior that allows smooth entry and exit and movement within the vehicle, in a walk-in, walk-through design.

Giving the passenger seat a long sliding range of 750mm makes possible versatile seat arrangements.

The seats are available in two colour schemes: a bright orange and ivory two-tone or a light brown monotone.

A new air cleaning technology called Plasmacluster Ions freshens cabin air.
The seat fabric is made of Fraichir, a material that incorporates the protein sericin (which is derived from natural silk) in its fibers to reduce skin irritation.

Multiple storage spaces include Toyota's first-ever umbrella holder and a remote-controlled 'smart' door lock system.

Innovative package simple to use for everyone.

Standard on all versions, the remote-controlled passenger-seat-side door opens and closes electrically, with a large opening 1,020mm in width and 1,265mm in height. It can be operated using a single switch from the driver or passenger seats and from inside or outside the vehicle.

An easy-closing mechanism for the sliding door fully and securely closes the door automatically once it is lightly closed.

The front passenger seat features a long sliding range of 750mm and a seatback table. The rear seats comes with a 60:40-split and a cushion tip-up function. Together, these allow versatile seat arrangements, including a "triangular mode", which facilitates unhindered communication between the driver's seat, the front passenger seat, and the rear seat on the driver's side.

The Japan-only Porte (so far) is offered with 1.3- and 1.5-litre engines with variable valve timing, both coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission.

All models achieve emission levels 50% lower than 2005 standards and the Japanese government's 2010 fuel efficiency standards.

Peugeot's similar 1007