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Automotive Intelligence News

News of  June 27, 2001


 


Estima Hybrid - Gleaming Example of Automotive Evolution Tokyo

Estima Hybrid

Photo: Toyota

Tokyo - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) opened the way to a more fulfilling and enjoyable automotive way of life by introducing the world’s first mass-produced gasoline, electric-four-wheel-drive hybrid vehicle—the Estima Hybrid minivan.

The clean and futuristic-looking Estima Hybrid gives users greater on-the-road freedom with its power-generating and other convenience-enhancing features. It also combines three key power-management technologies unprecedented on a production vehicle. These are: THS-C (Toyota Hybrid System-CVT*1), featuring a gasoline engine, CVT and electric motor for front-wheel power; E-Four, which regulates a rear-mounted, rear-wheel-propelling electric motor and coordinates electric power distribution to all four wheels; and ECB (Electronically Controlled Brake system), for efficient wheel-by-wheel brake control and optimum management of the vehicle’s regenerative brake system.

The end result is a stylish minivan with driving stability, fuel economy and environmental compatibility unlike any other. Chief Engineer Shigeru Matsuhashi explains: "We took our desire to create a vehicle like none before it and reflected it against the key automotive elements of ‘environment’, ‘safety’ and ‘fun to drive’. We also realized that our new hybrid system was well-suited for a medium-size or large vehicle. The final product is a gleaming example of a leap in automotive evolution -- the Estima Hybrid".

With a top cruising range of 1,000 kilometers*2 (roughly the distance between Tokyo and Nagasaki), the Estima Hybrid gets double the fuel efficiency outlined by Japanese government standards for 2010. It greatly reduces CO2 emissions and slashes HC and NOx output to more than 75% below 2000 standards.

But for this minivan, the possibilities don’t stop there -- the Estima Hybrid’s innovative hybrid system generates up to 1,500 watts of auxiliary 100-volt AC -- more than enough to power anything from a laptop to a hairdryer. Advanced Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technologies include a navigation and Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)-compatible multi-information display, as well as an optional backup guide monitor system.

Estima Hybrid G Selection (7-seater with options)

* 1Continously Variable Transmission; *2In the Japanese test cycle at 100 km/h

Sales outlets: "Toyota"("Osaka Toyopet" in the Osaka area) and "Toyota Corolla" dealers in Japan

Monthly sales target: 1,000 units

(June 15, 2001)

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