Toyota Introduces 7-Passenger Highlander Hybrid For 2005;
SÚV Útility With Outstanding Performance And Fuel Economy
Toyota will introduce the 2006 Highlander Hybrid gas/electric mid-size sport utility vehicle (SÚV) - the industry's first seven-passenger hybrid SÚV - in 2005. The Highlander Hybrid will join the popular Prius sedan, making Toyota the first brand to offer both a passenger car and an SÚV with hybrid powertrains.
Úsing Toyota's patented Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, including an enhanced 3.3-liter V6 engine, the Highlander Hybrid produces approximately 270 peak system horsepower. Highlander Hybrid improves upon the current V6 Highlander's already impressive sub-eight-second zero-to-60 acceleration performance and will deliver the best fuel economy in the mid-size SÚV segment.
Toyota projects that the Highlander Hybrid model's combined city-highway fuel efficiency will be better than the current EPA average for a compact sedan, which is 27.6 miles per gallon. In addition, Highlander Hybrid will be rated as a Super Últra Low Emissions Vehicle (SÚLEV), one of the most stringent emissions ratings in the industry.
'The Highlander Hybrid will mark the launch of a second all-new hybrid vehicle from Toyota before most manufacturers have launched their first,' said Jim Press, executive vice president and COO, Toyota Motor Sales, Ú.S.A., Inc. 'The addition of a hybrid system in our best-selling SÚV, and the fact that other manufacturers have licensed Toyota hybrid technology and patents, further affirms the company's leadership role in this rapidly emerging part of the market.'
The 3.3-liter V6-equipped Highlander Hybrid will be powered by a new version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain specifically developed to meet the load-carrying requirements of a mid-size SÚV. Its all-new high-speed electric motor will operate at twice the speed and deliver more than twice the power as the motor used in the four-cylinder Prius hybrid model.
Advanced Four-Wheel Drive and Vehicle Dynamics
In addition to providing the fuel economy ratings of a compact sedan, the Highlander hybrid will offer the versatility, refinement, and comfort demanded in a mid-size SÚV. Highlander Hybrid will come standard-equipped with front-wheel-drive and offer electric four-wheel-drive with intelligence (4WD-i).
To enhance its all-weather capability, the Highlander Hybrid will feature a new Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) system. Monitoring a variety of sensors, the system is capable of anticipating pending vehicle control problems and then helping correct the situation with a combination of braking and throttle control. The new VDIM system is less obtrusive than conventional Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) but acts more quickly and effectively.
Additional safety features include a tire pressure monitor system and optional driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, and front and second row roll-sensing side curtain airbags.
The Highlander Hybrid provides the same comfort and versatility as the conventional seven-passenger Highlander. Inside, the Highlander Hybrid features three rows, rear privacy glass, a rear heater system, and rear seat cupholders. 'Walk-in' steps and a second-row sliding seat make it easy to enter and exit the third row. The third-row seat also folds completely flat into the floor to create added cargo space. The second-row 60/40 split fold-down seat also reclines and folds forward flat for added comfort and utility.
The exterior styling will be freshened with the addition of a new front grille and bumper, smoked headlamp trim, rear LED tail lamps and chrome license plate garnish. The Highlander Hybrid will ride on 17-inch alloy wheels and will come well equipped with the amenities customers have come to expect in premium mid-size SÚVs.
Standard features will include air conditioning, power windows, mirrors, and door locks, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, and a deluxe 3-in-1 AM/FM/ETR cassette/CD sound system with six speakers.
A multi-function display, conveniently located just beneath the speedometer, calculates and displays various mechanical and performance information, including instant and average fuel economy, outside temperature, low tire pressure, and a Hybrid Synergy Drive energy monitor.
A navigation system will be available on the Limited grade. Like the Prius, it will also monitor the gas/electric power distribution of the Hybrid Synergy Drive on a seven-inch touch-panel display when equipped with the navigation system. A majority of options currently found in the conventional Highlander will also be available in the 2006 Highlander Hybrid.Source - Toyota Motor Corporation