Toyota today unveiled a concept car that points to a possible future direction for the company’s hybrid benchmark, Prius.
Battling head-to-head with the Chevy Volt, Hybrid X with its futuristic body shape and advanced technological features is clearly an evolution of the current Prius.
Created and developed by Toyota's European styling centre ED² in the south of France, the four-door, four-seat concept car proposes a new design language for Toyota's hybrid models.
It is also a technology showcase for future hybrid cars, moving a step closer to Toyota's vision of the ultimate environmentally-friendly motoring.
Hybrid X will influence the entire Toyota brand and its hybrid models in the future.
It is one of three future-oriented hybrid models Toyota is displaying at this year's Australian International Motor Show.
Hybrid X is joined by the Hybrid Supra HV-R race car – the only hybrid car to win a motor race – and a US-specification version of the hybrid Camry to be built in Australia from 2010.
Toyota’s stand also includes current Prius as well as technology displays including an interactive Hybrid Synergy Drive pod and the Toyota Scan-Vision, providing an under-the-skin view that resembles an X-ray of Prius.
The motor-show appearance of Hybrid X comes soon after Toyota announced it would build a hybrid Camry in Australia from 2010.
Hybrid X is the latest concept to demonstrate Toyota's world-leading Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, which is at the core of the company's strategy to develop the ultimate eco-car.
The show car fits clearly within Toyota's environmental strategy of offering sustainable mobility for modern families.
It has the dimensions of a conventional family car with an overall length of 4,500mm and wheelbase of 2,800mm. The width is 1,850mm and height 1,440mm.
It proposes unconventional creative solutions that will potentially become the signature points of a specific hybrid identity.
Hybrid X features a futuristic body shape that is dominated by two 'U' shapes created by the upper glass frame area and the unconventional A and C pillars.
Viewed from above, this gives the impression of a large X - hence the name of the concept, Hybrid X.
Dynamic hints of driving performance are provided by the customised 20-inch alloy wheels with ultra-low profile 225/40 R20 tyres.
LED headlamps are integrated into the dashboard and are now part of the interior of the car and can communicate information such as safety distances, acceleration and braking to other drivers and pedestrians.
The driver can set the ambience within the car, controlling sight, sound, touch and even smell.
A drive-by-wire steering pad features a central screen to relay information to the driver about the energy flow path, fuel consumption and gear position.
Space-saving seats are formed using injected foam techniques, which create comfort while reducing weight.
The two independent rear seats can swivel by 12 degrees to allow passengers to enjoy the scenery or conversation.