The Toyota Proace Verso people-carrier is now available in a special conversion to accommodate wheelchair users. Devon-based GM Coachworks has been approved by Toyota to carry out the modification work and sell as a wheelchair access vehicle – the Proace Verso Quantum. It will also be available to customers through the UK’s Motability scheme.
The vehicle is based on the medium-wheelbase Proace Verso with a choice of Shuttle or Family equipment specification. Likewise, there are two powertrain options: 140 or 180bhp 2.0-litre diesel engines with, respectively, six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmission.Opening the one-piece tailgate releases a bi-fold ramp, designed with a gentle angle so minimum effort is needed for the user to board the vehicle. In the cabin the floor has been lowered so that the wheelchair occupant has good headroom and is seated at a similar height to other people on board, making for a more inclusive atmosphere.
Safety has been a top priority: the conversion meets industry standards and has been accredited by the UK Vehicle Certification Authority. A restraint system anchors all four corners of the wheelchair to the floor and the occupant is supported by a lap-diagonal seatbelt.
Even with the conversion work, the vehicle can accommodate up to eight people, including the driver, with two single seats in the second row and two tip-and-fold seats in the third row that can be swivelled and folded when not in use.
Stephen Murphy of GM Coachworks said: “Working with the Toyota team to achieve authorised converter status has been a beneficial process for us and we’re looking forward to working together in the future.”
Gareth Matthews, Toyota (GB) LCV Manager, added: “We are pleased to add yet more diversity to our vehicle range and working with GM Coachworks towards our goal of mobility for all.”