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Frankfurt Preview: Toyota Auris HSD Concept Revealed

Corolla-based hatchback to get Prius powerplant

 |  Sep 14 2009, 5:43 AM

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Notoriously good at keeping secrets, Toyota has decided to blow its own cover and has released a smattering of details on the Auris HSD Concept that will debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show tomorrow (September 15th).

Designed specifically for the U.K.,the Auris HSD Concept uses the same Hybrid Synergy Drive powerplant as found in the current third-generation Prius. With a 1.8-liter gasoline engine and electric motor, power output should be about the same with 134 ponies under the hood. With a slightly heavier package acceleration should be close with a 10 second 0-60 mph time. Fuel-economy is expected to be similar as well, but not quite as high as the Prius, due in part to a drag coefficient that isn’t quite as good as 0.28 cd, as compared to the Prius’s 0.25 cd rating. The Prius gets a rating of 51/48 mpg, so even a close rating will still be impressive.

Aerodynamic enhancements have been made over the current Auris, however, with different front and rear bumpers, underbody panels, a larger rear spoiler, a ride height that has been lowered by 20mm, low rolling resistance tires and special 18-inch wheels that cut air turbulence in the wheel arches.

Like the Prius, the Auris HSD Concept will get four driving modes, including ECO, Power and EV mode. The EV mode will allow the car to travel 1.25 miles or 2 km on just electric power at speeds up to 31 mph.

Another similar feature between the two cars are solar panels on the roof which work to power the fans in order to keep the car cool when parked. Toyota says it continues to look into ways to expand the use of solar panels on its hybrids and shows an example on the Auris HSD with solar panels on the dash that can be used to power cellular phones.

Toyota plans to bring a production model of the Auris HSD Concept to market in the U.K. in the second half of 2010 and will build the hybrid at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) in Burnaston, U.K. The launch of this new model will usher in a new era for Toyota in Europe as it plans to offer all of its models with hybrid technology by 2020.

As the Auris is based on the Corolla platform, can a hybrid Corolla be far behind?

GALLERY: Toyota Auris HSD Concept

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Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

TOYOTA UNVEILS AURIS HSD FULL HYBRID* CONCEPT

Frankfurt motor show debut for precursor to Toyota’s first full hybrid mainstream European production model

KEY POINTS

* Concept previews new Auris HSD Full Hybrid, Toyota’s first full hybrid mainstream model in Europe
* World debut at the Frankfurt motor show
* Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, shared with latest generation Prius
* Sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, class-leading combined cycle fuel consumption and 0-62mph acceleration in around 10 seconds
* Detailed exterior styling changes to improve aerodynamic performance
* Extension of on-board solar power technology
* Auris HSD Full Hybrid production model to be built at TMUK’s Burnaston factory
* Sales scheduled to start during second half of 2010

* ‘Full Hybrid’ means the car can be driven on petrol engine alone, electric motor alone or combination of both. Not all hybrids can do this.

The new Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept, presented publicly for the first time at the Frankfurt motor show, marks a significant milestone in Toyota’s plan to equip its mainstream European models with full hybrid technology. Toyota is committed to making the environmental benefits of its Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) accessible to a wider customer base and it is on track to offer a hybrid version of every model in its range by the early 2020s.

A five door hatchback is the best selling type of car in Europe and consequently the installation of HSD in Auris is the logical first step in deploying full hybrid technology across Toyota’s entire European model line-up.

By introducing the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept, Toyota also aims to shift customer perceptions of hybrid technology. The obvious advantages are exceptional fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions, but customers will also experience smooth and sophisticated driving unlike any other family hatchback, thanks to the everyday usability, comfort and quietness of the Toyota full hybrid powertrain.

The Auris HSD Full Hybrid will be built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) at the Burnaston factory, near Derby, with sales scheduled to start during the second half of 2010.

The news that Europe’s first hybrid production model will be built in the UK has been welcomed by the British Government. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: “I’m delighted Toyota has chosen the UK to build its first hybrid vehicle in Europe. When I visited the Burnaston plant in July, I saw for myself the energy and commitment of Toyota and its workers. The unveiling of the new car at the Frankfurt Motor Show brings the vision of making the UK the best place in the world to develop low carbon vehicles a step closer. I look forward to seeing the cars roll off the line next year.”

Exterior design

The design of the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept reflects the installation of a full hybrid powertrain in a mainstream package. Subtle changes have been made to Auris’s styling to improve aerodynamic efficiency and blue hybrid badging identifies the car as a member of Toyota’s full hybrid fleet.

The front end is designed to optimise airflow and so help maximise fuel efficiency. The front and rear bumper corners have flat surfaces, a feature that not only accentuates the car’s wide and solid stance, but also smoothes the flow of air over the vehicle’s flanks, minimising turbulence and drag.

The ride height is lower by 20mm compared to the conventional Auris, and underbody panels and a rear diffuser have been fitted to smooth and control airflow beneath the car. The bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels are designed to cut air turbulence in the wheel arches and are shod with low rolling resistance tyres. A larger, more efficient rear spoiler is also fitted. These aerodynamic elements target a drag coefficient of 0.28.

Interior design

The cabin has a number of special features that are linked to the car’s full hybrid status.

The seats and upper dashboard are finished in blue Gaucholino leather with light blue accent stitching. To complement the exterior body colour, the centre console and side air vents have a tactile, pearl white finish.

The instrument cluster has hybrid blue illumination, with a design that combines high technology with easy-to-read displays. Alloy pedals reinforce the performance dimension of HSD technology and the steering wheel has a flat bottom section for easy driver access and better legroom.

Sequenced entry and exit lighting is provided, including puddle lights integrated in the door mirrors and ambient illumination of the footwells and headlining. Thick carpeting raises the on-board comfort and refinement levels and also contributes to a marked improvement in cabin quietness.

Refined driving experience

Using the same powertrain as the latest generation Prius, the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept is the first mainstream model in Europe to benefit from Toyota’s refined, smooth and quiet Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The car will accelerate from nought to 62mph in around 10 seconds, while returning class-leading combined cycle fuel economy and sub-100g/km CO2 emissions. It offers four driving modes, three of which can be selected on-demand by the driver: ECO mode maximises hybrid system efficiency and fuel economy; Power mode boosts performance; and EV mode – a feature only available with a full hybrid system – allows for ultra-quiet running on electric motor power alone for up to 1.25 miles (2km) at speeds up to 31mph, with zero fuel consumption and zero CO2 and particulates (PM) emissions.

Building on the inherent quietness of HSD, particular attention has been paid to further NVH reduction measures to achieve a calm, quiet cabin environment at all speeds. Road and engine noise have been suppressed by comprehensive use of soundproofing materials, and full thickness glazing and an acoustic windscreen reduce wind noise at cruising speeds.

Environmentally efficient technology

Using technology that was first brought to the market in the latest generation Prius, the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept marks a further development of solar powered ventilation, with solar panels covering the entire roof.

Similar technology is used inside the cabin, with solar panels on top of the dashboard that generate sufficient energy to recharge mobile phones or portable music plays mounted in purpose-designed charging trays. In the future, Toyota aims to advance this technology to provide solar powered recharging of the hybrid battery.

Further energy-saving measures include the use of LED technology for the front and rear lights.