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Toyota Alphard Hybrid Review

August 2005
Filed under: TOYOTA Car News | TOYOTA Headlines

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TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION announced the nationwide launch of the Alphard Hybrid, the hybrid version of the dynamic Alphard minivan, through "Toyopet" dealers ("Osaka Toyota" dealers in the Osaka region) and through "Toyota Vista" dealers, which will have hybrid vehicles in their product line-ups for the first time.

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-liter high-efficiency gasoline engine, front motor and Super CVT and works in unison with an E-Four 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 outstanding 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 17.2km/liter 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.

The high-efficiency 2.4-liter gasoline engine, front motor and Super CVT transmission combine to ensure a smooth and dynamic performance. The 4WD system provides better driving performance by using power from the rear-wheel drive motor when accelerating from start or on slippery road surfaces.

At the same time, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) and Brake Assist, along with VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), TRC (Traction Control System), ECB and the hybrid system integrate control of the electric 4WD system to coordinate electric power distribution and braking force to all four wheels for superior handling and driving stability by controlling the vehicle before it breeches the limits of normal controllable movement.

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.

Outstandingly low fuel consumption

The Alphard Hybrid realizes about twice the fuel efficiency specified by Japanese 2010 fuel efficiency standards while also qualifying as an ultra-low emission vehicle, consuming fuel at the rate of 1 liter every 17.2 kilometers (in the Japanese 10-15 test cycle).
To achieve this superior performance, the Alphard Hybrid's THS-C hybrid system efficiently combines the drive power of the engine and the front motor, and the E-Four electric 4WD system recovers energy from each wheel, while driving resistance has been reduced.

The insulated body and the newly developed two-way compressor incorporated in the motor optimize the use of the air conditioner, thus conserving fuel.

Reduced drive resistance
The highly aerodynamic body design along with reductions of the operating resistance in each part of the powertrain have reduced drive resistance and loss of drive energy, helping lower fuel consumption.

Insulated body
The specially developed windshield glass reduces the amount of solar radiation penetration and the roof and roof panels contain an insulating material to reduce cabin temperature, which helps conserve energy when the air conditioner is operating.

Exterior and interior design

Futuristic styling with a sense of presence
The exterior design portrays dynamic and distinctive styling that assumes a commanding presence. The impressive front introduces a robust body, while the distinct rear expresses a futuristic vision.
The styles of the hybrid-exclusive front grill, front bumper, headlights, LED rear combination lamp, rear garnish and emblem all work to mark a clear distinction from the Alphard G and Alphard V.

The front grill adopts the same paint color as the body. A chrome-plated latticework with two horizontal lines and a chrome-plated emblem create an elegant effect.

The Alphard Hybrid features solid bumpers that offer functionality and advanced styling. Square, dual-lens low-beam headlights enhance its hi-tech image.

Interior design

A new interior layout that stores the hybrid batteries underneath the front seat allows for a large luggage space that can hold eight golf bags even with eight passengers in the vehicle.

The instrument panel achieves a futuristic and luxury feel through its center cluster panel with a black wood grain "inner maple" motif not available in the conventionally powered Alphard minivans and a Wide Multi-AV Station panel in a metallic tone. The Optitron Meter uses LEDs as the light source for enhanced visibility and a high-quality feel and includes a real-time fuel gauge.
The seat cover is made exclusively for hybrid vehicles. The jacquard moquette fabric, which provides a sense of volume and a nice feeling to the touch, is available on the G Edition, and a smooth printed knit fabric is offered on the standard grade.

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