The best selling hybrid in the world is the Toyota Prius. The green vehicle has been on the market since 1997 and has sold millions of units globally. Toyota is expanding the Prius family with a new version called the Prius Plus. The Plus has three-row seating in some models.
Toyota has announced that it is developing a new alternative electric motor to be used in its hybrid vehicles. The new motor is being designed to reduce the need for rare earth Toyota uses in the construction of its vehicles. The move comes after a spat between Japan and China led to China withholding shipments of rare earth to Japan for a few months.
Toyota, Panasonic and a consortium of twenty other Japanese companies are hoping to take advantage of your shuffling buttocks, with plans to create and commercialize [sub required] movement and heat powered components to reduce wiring in cars. The project - led by an NTT Data lab - believes the new technology could cut down on kilometer of power wiring to the average 150 sensors in a luxury car, though it also has applications in pacemakers and boilers.
Nikkei, a Japanese business news source is reporting that Toyota will be unveiling a Prius that will have built-in solar panels. It is also said to be manufactured by Kyocera Corp. There is no official word on this, since Toyota has not actually confirmed the reports just yet.
Keen A/V addict Simon Smith set out to save money by building his own component rack from scratch. However, as the install continued - complete with multiple audio zones, MythTV-powered PVR and even a fire suppression system - his hobby won him a new set of wheels. Courtesy of Intel and the ZDNet Homebrew Challenge, a brand new Toyota Prius hybrid is sitting outside Simon's house.
The car - worth around £20k in the UK - is almost as gadget packed as Simon's house, and of course is the ideal excuse for him to keep buying A/V kit. Next up is active ventilation and some improved lighting. If you're interested in home automation or distributed media then it's worth checking out his build log.
Toyota has released several renderings of a stunning RWD hybrid concept car that will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2007. Dubbed the FT-HS Hybrid Sports Concept, this futuristic vehicle will have a 400-horsepower hybrid powertrain with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and a target performance of 0-60 in 4 seconds.
This “Prius on steroids” as some call it, is envisioned to replace the retired Supra and add more emotional punch to Toyota’s product line which hasn’t had a sports car since they dropped the Supra in 1997.
Over the next three years, Toyota plans to cut the cost of its hybrid technology in half. Also to be reduced is the weight of the hybrid drivetrain, which will increase both fuel efficiency and performance. This next generation Prius is planned for 2009 with an anticipated fuel rating of 90mpg.
This decade Toyota made their mark by introducing the Prius, the first hybrid car to hit the market. The CS&S is a 4-wheel-drive mid-engine 2+2 sports car. Employing Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, an electric motor drives the front wheels, while a gas engine and electric motor in combination drive the rear. CS&S also unveils Toyota Space Touch, where the driver selects functions by touching holographic projections. The all-wheel-drive sports mobile may have a 105hp next-generation hybrid engine. Thanks to a 3-liter V6 augmented by dual front and rear electric motors, this car boasts a breakneck 0-60 mph in just over four seconds while still offering around 30/mpg under normal driving conditions.
The launch of Tesla's Model X may have been pushed back until later in 2015, but someone is apparently getting to enjoy how the electric SUV launches from a standing start. A case of "right place, right time" saw Juan del Real catch the camouflaged car undergoing testing in Alameda, California, hooning up and down a runway as some lucky driver got to put the EV powertrain - and the prototype's brakes - through their paces. However, there's also speculation that what we're seeing is no Model X, and could in fact be something much more interesting: Tesla's upcoming "affordable" EV, the Model 3.
Who says augmented reality is just for games or entertainment? The same ideas and technologies that allows us to superimpose virtual images onto real objects in almost realistic fashion could very well save lives in the future. Take, for example, this "transparent car" concept from researchers from Keio University in Japan, a system that could potentially work around drivers' blind spots, letting them see crucial information that are otherwise occluded to them by doors, windows, ceilings or floors, giving them the details that they need to make that life-saving decision.