23
March
2012
|
04:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Geneva 2012: toyota ns4, the next generation toyota plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

— Plug-in Hybrid technology taken beyond the Prius family

— Styling embodies new Toyota brand design execution with a more emotional connection

— Introducing new interior technologies, bringing further occupant convenience and improving fuel efficiency

— Bringing state-of-the-art safety features to the mainstream segmentThe TOYOTA NS4 is a next generation Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) concept. Making its European debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the TOYOTA NS4 responds to changing customer perceptions of environmentally-conscientious motoring, taking PHEV technology a step beyond that of the Prius family.

In addition to the outstanding Eco credentials inherent in every Toyota equipped with Hybrid Synergy Drive® technology, it represents an increase in customer desire for added value in areas such as advanced design, refined sensory satisfaction, state-of-the-art safety features and sophisticated driving involvement.

Elegantly Proportioned Exterior Design

The TOYOTA NS4 concept signals a new styling direction for the Toyota brand aimed at creating an emotional connection with customers. The concept's styling reflects a new take on the aerodynamics of Toyota's Under Priority design language, with a low overall vehicle height and a cab-forward stance.

Based on a compact, next generation platform, the four-seater, four-door TOYOTA NS4 is 4,650 mm long, 1,770 mm wide and just 1,370 mm high. It shares it's generous 2,700 mm wheelbase with the Prius.

Aerodynamically efficient, the TOYOTA NS4 features a low frontal aspect and low roofline, linked by steeply raked A-pillars. The A-pillars themselves are of a particularly thin construction, not only enhancing the elegance of the PHEV concept's styling, but also offering dramatic improvements in interior visibility. Although ultra thin, the A-pillars maintain roof roll-over integrity.

Featuring a large, trapezoidal lower grille, the front of the vehicle reflects a development of Toyota's Under Priority design language. Keen Look styling is reflected in narrow, piercing headlamp clusters topped with the signature of thin, uniquely positioned Daytime Running Lights (DRL).

In profile, powered swan-wing doors ensure maximum ease of ingress and egress, whilst a new design language of subtle, overlaid chrome detailing adds a feeling of lightness to the concept. An elegant 19" alloy wheel design is clad in low rolling resistance 225/40R19 tyres.

To the rear, a large, trapezoidal bumper aperture reinforces the Under Priority frontal design. Keen Look, aero spoiler-style lamp clusters wrap around the sides of the vehicle and layer into the rear wing blisters, the lamps' sharp trailing edges functioning as an aerodynamic spoiler.

The practical rear design not only further enhances the vehicle styling, but also maximises accessibility to the luggage space.

Innovative Interior Design Technologies

The sweeping lines and strong individual forms of the beautiful cabin environment combine superb quality and comfort with an innovative, fun and intuitive Human-Machine Interface (HMI) and latest-generation, eco-friendly materials.

The TOYOTA NS4 concept's HMI provides a user interface built around a multi-touch screen with the look and feel of a smartphone.

The multimedia interface's simple, intuitive operation controls air-conditioning, audio and navigation systems, conveying vehicle and battery charge information quickly while minimising distractions and maximising driver awareness. The HMI system is even capable of 'learning' driver preferences and habits, anticipating driver responses to specific environments and situations.

Within the cabin, a constant, comfortable environment is ensured through careful temperature control. All glazing is in UV blocking and heat-resistant glass. Four new glass technologies are introduced to improve driver visibility, and both petrol and electric driving mode mileage efficiency:

  • Fluorine coated glass causes rain drops to form into hemispherical shapes for improved visibility and rain drop elimination. This technology is also used on the roof solar panel.
  • An integral, high-performance material creates an anti-fogging film to increase visibility.
  • An ultraviolet (UV) absorbing inner-layer removes 99% of harmful UV rays.
  • An anti-solar film with radio-wave transparency reduces the internal vehicle temperature and ensures electronic device functionality.

The heat-resistant instrument panel features a heat-dissipating carbon coating, and a next generation air-conditioning system combines air curtain technology with immediate comfort 'spot' air-conditioning.

The air curtain system directs ventilation from the windscreen base, over front and side glazing and along the roof. Traditional, instrument panel-mounted air outlets are not required, thus improving the styling of the dashboard. In addition, the system is able to direct air-conditioning to specific points, allowing faster heating or cooling of the cabin.

Even the vehicle bodyshell itself incorporates a heat-resistant coating an insulated paint finish that suppresses vehicle body temperature increase, even under hot sun.

The TOYOTA NS4 concept is equipped with a next generation Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain. Combining reductions in component size and weight with a rapid charging time, it aims at improved overall fuel economy, better acceleration and a greater all-electric range.

The powertrain incorporates a 2.0 litre petrol engine to combine the system's extended full electric driving mode and 2015 class-leading fuel efficiency with the performance to offer its driver a smooth driving experience.

Safety features brought to mainstream

Strengthening the company's lead in active, passive and preventive safety, the TOYOTA NS4 highlights the introduction of state-of-the-art safety technology to mainstream vehicles.

The concept introduces a next generation Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) which uses millimetre-wave radar and stereo cameras mounted on the front of the vehicle to detect and react to lane departure, pedestrians, and other vehicles.

This driver assistance feature helps to avoid collisions with other vehicles, road-side obstructions and pedestrians by applying the brakes and providing steering assistance. In addition, the system emits near-infrared beams to enhance PCS recognition at night.

Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) LED headlights help prevent vision-impairing glare for oncoming drivers. Using a camera mounted above the centre of the windshield and partial shielding inside the headlights, this feature allows drivers to maintain near-high beam illumination to improve night-time visibility.

Using sub-millimetre wave radar, the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane and alerts the driver using visual indicators placed in the upper dash.

Inner and outer rear view mirrors have been replaced with cameras that provide the driver with a panoramic rearward view. The rearward image is displayed on a dedicated dashboard mounted screen above the navigation screen and provides a wider view than conventional rear view mirrors.

Through advanced, beautifully proportioned styling, innovative, user-friendly technology and state-of-the-art safety features, the TOYOTA NS4 concept is designed to add increased desirability, sensory satisfaction and driving pleasure to the next generation plug-in hybrid ownership experience.