July 31, 2003

Toyota launches Alphard minivan hybrid in Japan

Toyota Alphard Hybrid
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Tokyo, Japan – Toyota has introduced a new gas-electric hybrid version of the Alphard minivan.

The Alphard Hybrid features the Toyota Hybrid System-CVT (continuously variable transmission) (THS-C), which employs a hybrid battery with greater output than previous hybrid batteries and boasts better energy management. The system comprises a 2.4-litre high-efficiency gasoline engine, front motor and Super CVT and works in unison with an electric 4WD system that regulates a rear-mounted, rear-wheel-propelling electric motor and coordinates electric power distribution to all four wheels. An ECB (Electrically Controlled Brake system) provides efficient wheel-by-wheel brake control. Together, these features allow the Alphard Hybrid to simultaneously achieve groundbreaking high fuel efficiency, low emission levels and maneuverability and cruising stability.

The Alphard Hybrid can generate large amounts of electricity, which allows the use of a variety of home appliances, thus reaching new horizons in minivan enjoyment.

The advanced THS-C hybrid system efficiently uses engine and motor drive power, while the E-Four electric 4WD system recovers energy from each wheel, to achieve roughly twice the fuel efficiency called for by Japanese 2010 fuel efficiency standards (at 17.2 km/litre in the 10-15 Japanese test cycle, as certified by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) and greatly reduce CO2 emissions, despite the fact that the Alphard Hybrid is a 2-ton class 4WD vehicle. The Alphard Hybrid also qualifies as an ultra-low emission vehicle achieving emission levels 75% lower than 2000 standards under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles.

Taking advantage of its innovative hybrid system, the Alphard Hybrid can generate up to 1,500 watts of power while it is stationary or moving. It has standard household 100-volt AC power outlets that can be used to power a variety of home appliances, adding a new dimension to outdoor and business activities.

Toyota also announced that it has begun sales of a more stylish and fuel-efficient Estima Hybrid in Japan.

The Estima Hybrid’s THS-C (Toyota Hybrid System-CVT) hybrid system has been further evolved, leading to better acceleration and improved fuel efficiency. The Estima Hybrid now gets 18.6 km to the litre in the 10-15 Japanese test cycle, compared to a previous 18.0 km/litre, as certified by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The Estima Hybrid now comes with a pedestrian-injury-lessening body designed to minimize pedestrian head and leg injury in the event of a collision. It also incorporates a dedicated ISO-FIX1 compliant anchor point that can accommodate child seats equipped with a top-end tether tie-down.

Other new features include a Wide Multi-AV Station with a DVD voice navigation system compatible with G-BOOK information network services and a theater system engineered just for the Estima Hybrid that includes a DVD player, nine speakers and a nine-inch rear seat LCD monitor. The improved Estima Hybrid also boasts a range of advanced features, including a blind-corner monitor that displays views to the front left and right of the vehicle as well as of the ground immediately in front of the vehicle.

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