Toyota Hybrid Cars: The Future Is Here
In 1997, Toyota introduced the Prius hybrid car. So overwhelming was the response to this gasoline-electric car that Toyota mass-produced it and it became an instant best seller. It led to the conviction that car-lovers are beginning to think of their cars in terms of environmental impact. Since then, Toyota has been fast-tracking its research and development of hybrid technology.
Toyota’s venture in the world of hybrids was not an accident. It is a corporate dream espoused by their President Katsuaki Watanabe who wanted cars that run on limited fuel and do not leave toxic emissions along the way. That dream of the future of cars is becoming true today, with Toyota hybrid cars paving the way to the realization. Toyota’s use of alternative fuels is the first thrust to include hydrogen and bio-fuel, and electricity.
Not only in reducing the use of fossil fuel, but even in the use of alternative fuel, the second thrust and overriding principle is fuel consumption economy that reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Alternative energy source and reduced emissions point toward the third thrust of Toyota’s dream – improving air quality.
Toyota hybrid cars, and even non-hybrid conventional-fuel ones, consider the above principles to ensure minimum impact to the environment. That is why from development up to production, environment-friendly materials go into both hybrid and non-hybrid cars. Some Toyota spare parts contain natural and recycled plant materials. Disposed-of parts from first to final test runs are recyclable and minimize waste disposal. Toyota aims to be environment-friendly every step of the way.
The Present Array is Impressive
From Prius’ entry in 1997, the world of hybrids has never been the same. Prius may have started it but Toyota has come a long way. Its newest best seller in America, the Camry, already has its hybrid version. The Camry Hybrid uses the hybrid synergy drive on battery and gasoline. Loaded with impressive features, the Camry Hybrid can run either on gas alone or on electricity alone. Then again, when push comes to shove and the unit wants more power, it can combine both. Fuel-efficient, low emitting, safe and smooth driving, the Camry Hybrid delivers the expectations that the Prius lovers have.
Another winner is the 2008 Highlander, Toyota’s version of the hybrid SUV. Powerful yet highly fuel-efficient, the Highlander adds an extra touch to safety for the hybrid driver with its Star Safety System. The system comes with vehicle stability, traction, and electronic brake controls. Ride rough but rest assured of driver and passenger protection from the worst conditions. The Highlander comes in 2-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive, in Sport and Limited editions, in hybrid and hybrid-limited versions.
The Possibilities for the Future are Endless
Toyota will not stop. In the drawing boards are several concept vehicles that stretch the limit of enthusiast’s imagination. From hybrid sports cars to hydrogen fuel cell-packed units, name it, Toyota is into it.
Racers will love the racing hybrid, the CS&S concept sports car. It has an electric motor that runs on the hybrid synergy drive. This runs the front wheels while combined gas-electric motor drives the rear wheels. The CS&S is the space age and Star Trek unit personified, with holographic controls needing only the driver’s “touch” to function instantly.
Fuel-celled cars may be looking for improved speed but the Fine-S Toyota concept car already has high-velocity attained with the use of hydrogen cells mounted under the passenger compartment for air-weight at near zero gravity. Its 4 wheels will be independently controlled guaranteeing more flexibility and maneuverability.
Another racing hybrid potential is the FT-HS concept sports car with all the fundamentals of a racecar running on hybrid powertrain. Its V6 engine, combined with the Hybrid Synergy Drive Toyota is famous for produces roughly 400 horsepower to allow the car to go from zero to 60 within 4 seconds. How’s that for rapid acceleration?
Finally there’s the Hybrid X, the maverick of hybrids. It defies all convention of present hybrids, with its futuristic exterior and interior design. It brings surprising sustainability and environmental technology. Everything is interactive, from driver controls interface to navigation, to passenger comfort controls, all at the touch of a finger.
Toyota has always considered the mobility needs of people around the world. With Toyota hybrid cars, the company is certainly fulfilling this objective.