TOKYO - There's no 'Web' at Toyota's new Mega Web automotive theme park.
Internet-related activities are noticeably absent. There are, however, plenty of other attractions at the park in Tokyo's recreational waterfront district.
'We want people to see, ride and dream,' said Toyota Motor Corp. President Hiroshi Okuda.
Spread over 260,500 square feet in three pavilions, Mega Web is intended to draw in young consumers in their 20s and early 30s - a slice of the population that has been cool to Toyota cars.
About 3 million people will visit Mega Web each year, said Toyota Vice President Fujio Cho. That would be well above the approximately 1.8 million who visited Amlux in Tokyo, Toyota's earlier attempt at a showroom not connected to a dealership, in its peak year.
Mega Web was designed by young Toyota staffers at a unit called Virtual Venture Co., which was created by Okuda to tap into the thinking and style of folks under 40.
Most of those staffers now have been transferred to the Amlux organization. About 30, however, continue to work on new marketing approaches and - the group's ultimate challenge - a new car that will appeal to 20-something buyers.
They have until next summer, when the group's mandate is set to expire. 'It's our hope to make it by then,' said Hideaki Homma, a coordinator at Virtual Venture.
Styling inspired by Virtual Venture already is on sale in a series of limited-edition Toyota models known as the Remix line.
Those cars are among the 140 on display at the Toyota City Showcase, the glitzy showroom at the entrance to Mega Web. It includes two elevated towers of cars. Push a button, and the car you chose comes to your level and rolls out for your inspection.
In addition to the static cars, there are driving simulators where visitors can test their skill on an urban, jungle or off-road course. They range from larger versions of common arcade games to elaborate simulators with six-way motion akin to full-scale airplane simulators.
Those who prefer real cars can test-drive any Toyota model on a course that circles the area, or they can sit back and ride in a self-guided electric vehicle over another course that roams in and out of the buildings.
Besides the Toyota City Showcase, the two other Mega Web pavilions are History Garage and Future World. The former presents cars of the 1950s and 1960s from around the world, including a 'Route 66' section.
Visitors to Future World find a 3-D interactive roller-coaster and intelligent transportation system displays, as well as a giant video theater showing, among other things, Japanese vaudeville-style comedians hitting each other with rolled-up newspapers.
Mega Web admission is free. Toyota says it may charge visitors for some attractions.
Mega Web is part of a waterfront complex called Palette Town. Located only a few monorail stops from a giant Sega arcade, it includes concert halls, a bowling center, stores such as Sports Authority and what is claimed to be the world's tallest Ferris wheel.
But why call it Mega Web if it doesn't somehow involve links to the World Wide Web? Said Homma: 'We wanted to tap that image among the Japanese. And it's a short name.'