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2008 Melbourne International Motor Show



Sports cars will thrive in the 21st century world of rising fuel prices and environmental responsibility, judging by a concept car unveiled today by Toyota Australia.

The FT-HS - which stands for Future Toyota Hybrid Sports - is a futuristic sports-car concept with a sleek, aerodynamic profile and a potent petrol-electric hybrid engine.

Its front-engine, rear-drive layout provides revolutionary hybrid acceleration and optimal performance with a projected 0-100km/h dash in the four-second range.

It also features the fuel-saving benefits and ultra-low emissions of Toyota's hybrid technology.

Toyota Australia's corporate manager product planning Peter Evans said the FT-HS is exhilarating to drive while having eco-friendly benefits such as impressive fuel efficiency and low emissions.

"To really appreciate FT-HS, think of it as a 'Prius on steroids'.

"Alternatively, it could be a vision for a Toyota Supra of the future," Mr Evans said.

"FT-HS shows what Toyota can achieve by combining its 50 years in motorsport with more than a decade of hybrid experience and development.

"The ability to enjoy the ultimate driving pleasure with a clear conscience makes FT-HS the ideal sports car for the 21st century.

"It will appeal to an emerging group of buyers who are environmentally aware and regard technology as a necessity, not a luxury."

Toyota is the global leader in hybrid technology, having sold more than one million units of the world's first mass-produced hybrid, Prius.

The new concept car mates an electric motor to a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, which is similar to that used in several production models.

Its combined power output target is about 300kW - or almost 50 per cent more than the V6 petrol-only engine in the Aurion family car, Kluger mid-size SUV, Tarago people mover and RAV4 compact SUV.

FT-HS was produced by Calty, Toyota's California research and design centre.

The centre set out to develop a mid-priced sports car that integrates ecology and emotion in a concept that addresses the question: "What is a suitable sports car for the 21st century?"

Australians can view the FT-HS concept on Toyota's stand at the Melbourne International Motor Show (29 February to 10 March).



3.5-litre V6 hybrid electric

Target output: around 300kW

Projected 0-100kmh time: mid four-second range


Overall length: 4325mm (170.27 in)

Overall width: 1860mm (73.23 in)

Overall height: 1290mm (50.79 in)

Wheelbase: 2650mm (104.33 in)

Tracks - front: 1600mm (63.0 in); rear: 1555mm (61.2 in)

Wheels: Carbon fibre

Tyres - front: 245/35R21; rear 285/30R21

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Toyota's FT-HS concept car has been sculpted to achieve sleek, taut surfaces and an aggressive triangular profile - a theme repeated throughout the design.

Designers have removed mass around key functional components to reduce weight and give the car a lightweight look.

They have also integrated flowing surfaces and hard edges to promote smooth airflow and reduce turbulence.

Paul Beranger, corporate manager of Toyota Style Australia, said FT-HS was inspired by Toyota's 50 years' experience in motorsport.

"It displays an aesthetic driven by function, with hard edges that are aerodynamically functional," Mr Beranger said.

"As with Formula One cars, individual aerodynamic elements in FT-HS are more important than overall streamlining."

The vehicle's triangular profile has a floating "C" pillar, aerodynamic corners, a full upper-body pan and innovative open top.

The bonnet features a scalloped channel with the engine visible through an opening, designed to emphasise the hybrid technology.

Large air intakes ahead of the rear wheel wells are functional, directing cool air to the rear-mounted battery pack.

A full belly pan enhances aerodynamic slipperiness. The car rides on 21-inch carbon-fibre wheels with low-profile tyres.

The roof, made from carbon-fibre Kevlar, has a distinctive scooped-out section designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and provide head room in key areas.

The retractable roof stows in the rear-seat space, pivoting fluidly with the back window in a downward motion.

Other exterior features include a speed-activated wing that elevates at high speed for additional stability and traction. The rear showcases a carbon fibre lower diffuser with integrated exhaust.

Aerospace-inspired lighting includes light-emitting diode (LED) clusters in the headlamps and the wing for energy-efficiency and decreased heat loss. The tail lamp unit spans the entire rear.

Mr Beranger said FT-HS expresses the core values of Toyota's new design language, Vibrant Clarity.

"It is also inspired by the J-Factor, which is the local and global acceptance of Japanese-inspired design and cultural sensibilities."

Vibrant Clarity is the combination of perfect imbalance, freeform geometrics and integrated component architecture.

"The result of these three elements is subtractive mass, a minimalist style that is not only lightweight, but also looks lightweight," Mr Beranger said.


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Toyota's FT-HS concept sports car has a driver-oriented interior featuring the same aggressive style as the exterior.
Featuring a two-plus-two layout, the flowing surfaces and sharp edges of the FT-HS exude sleekness, technology and performance.

Toyota describes the interior design as "subtractive mass" - a minimalist style that is not only lightweight, but also looks lightweight.

The resulting lean, skeletal look emanates from an exposed beam that runs the width of the car and from the use of high-tech materials such as carbon fibre and titanium.

All important functions and details are presented almost exclusively to the driver.

An integrated instrument panel surrounds the driver, creating an enclosed pod effect.

The "delta-wing" driver's pod integrates many useful functions into a lightweight structural unit.

A telescoping hub-less steering wheel incorporates semi-automatic paddle shifters.

The system allows the main dials to be shifted forward in order to shorten the driver's focus-time.

Touch-trace sensors, which surround the driver, act as tactile guides for finger controls when travelling at high speeds.

Seating is optimised for a lightweight appearance and function, leaving only the important contact points while cutting away unnecessary bulk and weight.

The seating accommodates four, converting to a two-seater when the roof retracts.

The passenger-seat area is open with a simple exposed airbag on the cross-car beam.

Armrests flow seamlessly into the door and surrounding interior.


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The FT-HS concept car shows Toyota plans to keep pushing the hybrid envelope in terms of efficiency, performance, style - and fun.

Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said hybrid technology is amazingly flexible and a key plank in the pursuit of sustainable mobility.

"We think it's time to have more fun with hybrids - and that's what the FT-HS is all about," Mr Buttner said.

"Toyota is already at the forefront of technologies being mooted for Formula One in the near future, such as regenerative braking and the reuse of waste engine heat.

"Such developments will help boost the public's demand for efficiency and enable these advanced technologies to find their way into street cars like the FT-HS."

In July last year a hybrid Toyota racing car convincingly won the Tokachi 24-hour endurance race in Japan - the first victory of its type for a hybrid-powered vehicle.

"The success of the Supra HV-R hybrid GT was part of the on-going development of hybrid technology for future mass-production vehicles," Mr Buttner said.

"It also helps provide insight into how to make hybrid systems smaller, lighter and more efficient and the potential of hybrid systems in motorsport."

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has been researching and developing environmentally advanced vehicles, particularly petrol-electric hybrids, for more than a decade.

The world's first mass-produced hybrid car, Prius, was launched in Japan in 1997 and in Australia in 2001.

The one-millionth Prius is expected to be sold in the second quarter of this year, including more than 8000 in Australia.

Global cumulative sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles have exceeded 1.3 million, which is estimated to have reduced CO2 emissions by five million tonnes.

Toyota's goal is to achieve hybrid vehicle sales of one million units annually as soon as possible in the early 2010s.

In a recent statement TMC president Katsuaki Watanabe said hybrid is a core technology for the company's research into petrol, diesel, electricity and alternative fuels as it moves towards developing the ultimate eco-car.

In June 2005 the Toyota FCHV (fuel cell hybrid vehicle) obtained vehicle certification in Japan - a first for a fuel-cell vehicle.

Toyota is also conducting verification tests in Japan, the US and Europe for plug-in hybrid vehicles that can be recharged from a household socket.

Last month, TMC said it planned to commence sales of lithium-ion battery-equipped plug-in hybrid vehicles to fleet customers in the US and elsewhere by 2010.

In the near future, Toyota intends to offer a newly developed clean-diesel V8 engine as part of its goal to make diesel engines as clean as petrol engines.

In addition to the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in the Prius, TMC and its partner Panasonic are developing lithium-ion batteries, which offer greater energy and output.

TMC is also developing cellulosic ethanol using its specialised biotechnologies.

TMC has openly pursued a policy of broadly sharing its environmental technologies.

In 1999, TMC and General Motors signed a five-year technical agreement aimed at speeding the development of "next-generation" vehicles and vehicle technology for electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

In 2002, TMC and Nissan concluded a basic agreement on the long-term, continuous transaction of hybrid systems, including technical cooperation.

In 2004, TMC and Ford concluded a licensing agreement for hybrid system patents. TMC hybrid system control technology patents, among a number of TMC patents resulting from TMC's hybrid system development, were licensed for use in Ford's own hybrid system.

Toyota hybrid vehicle chronology

1997MarUnveiling of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS)
DecPrius launched in Japan; wins Japan Car of the Year award
2000NovCumulative Prius sales top 50,000 vehicles
2001OctPrius launched in Australia
2002MarCumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 100,000 mark
AugCumulative Prius sales top 100,000 vehicles
2003AprUnveiling of the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II)
OctSecond-generation Prius launched in Australia
2004JanPrius wins North American Car of the Year award
NovPrius wins European Car of the Year award
2005OctCumulative hybrid vehicle sales top 500,000
JuneToyota FCHV obtains vehicle certification in Japan - a first for a fuel-cell vehicle
2006AprCumulative Prius sales top 500,000 vehicles
2007MayCumulative hybrid vehicle sales top one million
2008Apr (est)Cumulative Prius sales top one million


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Toyota's new TRD HiLux sports ute achieves better fuel economy while significantly improving performance compared with the standard vehicle.

TRD chief engineer Stephen Castles said the supercharged TRD HiLux uses a fraction less fuel than the naturally aspirated engine in the HiLux SR5 double cab.

"TRD HiLux is more fuel-efficient while power increases more than 25 per cent and torque by almost 20 per cent," Mr Castles said.

"The standard HiLux 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine produces maximum torque of 376Nm at 3800rpm, which makes it a terrific workhorse," he said.

"Our TRD engineers focused on excellent low to mid-range torque to give TRD HiLux even more pulling power.

"In fact, from just above idle right through to around 5700rpm, the TRD HiLux generates more torque than the standard vehicle's maximum.

"As a result, we have achieved a 0-100km/h acceleration time in the low seven-second range."

Mr Castles said the supercharged engine is Euro IV-compliant.

He said the Eaton M90 supercharger and intercooler were developed jointly by TRD, Toyota Motor Sales (US) and Magnuson Products Inc.

TRD HiLux has undergone extensive testing, including hot-weather hill-climbs and towing in central Australia, high-speed and load tests at Phillip Island and Winton raceways, plus cold-weather tests at Mt Hotham.

"TRD HiLux will have improved grip under all conditions, with sharper steering and handling," Mr Castles said.

"Bigger brakes result in shorter stopping distances and greater resistance to fade.

"Overall, drivers will notice a flatter, more controlled body motion with enhanced ride comfort that is more in keeping with an SUV than a truck.

"We are also proud of the fact that the TRD enhancements have improved the renowned off-road capabilities of the HiLux," he said.

TRD HiLux, which features 17-inch alloy wheels, is being officially unveiled at the Melbourne International Motor Show from 29 February ahead of its April launch.


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Former Australian Pro Stock drag racing champion Tony Wedlock will give his 1300kW turbocharged Toyota drag racing car its Australian motor show debut at the 2008 Melbourne International Motor Show in March.

Powered by a six-cylinder 3.2-litre Toyota 2JZ turbocharged engine, Wedlock's Toyota is the fastest Pro Factory Extreme car in the country - and one of the fastest in the world.

Able to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in less than one second, Wedlock cannot wait to see the reaction of show visitors when they see his car on the Toyota stand.

"This is unlike any Toyota ever seen in Australia and has to be one of the fastest Toyotas ever built," said Wedlock.

"I have been drag racing for more than 20 years and this car puts a smile on my face every time I start it up. It is an absolute beast of a machine.

"People are continually surprised to find that the engine is developed from a standard Toyota unit, and the fact we get more than 1300kW out of it is a real testament to how good these engines really are."

In full flight the Camry can cover the quarter mile in less than 6.5 seconds and its carbon-fibre body shell keeps weight down to just 1115kg.

Wedlock is the former Australian National Drag Racing Association Group One Pro Stock champion and is excited about running in the new Pro Factory Extreme category.

"Vehicles in this class must have an engine that matches the badge on the bonnet," Wedlock said.

"That means a Toyota body shape must have a Toyota engine, and the engine must be less than four-litre capacity. We think we've made the right choice for the rules - the car is amazing."

Wedlock and his Ultimate Motorsports Team are looking to bring a second Toyota drag car to Australia sometime this year to enter into the emerging Pro Factory Extreme category.


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All Toyota dealers will be able to sell and service performance-enhanced TRD vehicles from tomorrow (1 March). Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the move was prompted by customer convenience and dealer demand.

TRD sales and service were originally undertaken by a small group of Toyota dealers.

"Customers may be prepared to travel reasonable distances to buy a vehicle, but they definitely want to have it serviced locally," Mr Buttner said.

"Expanding the TRD network is a positive response to this customer requirement," he said.

"It also opens the door to the many dealers who wanted to offer TRD from day one," he said.

Australia is the first country in the world to develop and sell cars under the TRD banner.

The business model is being considered by Toyota distributors in other countries.

The 241kW TRD Aurion was launched in August last year and a 225kW TRD HiLux is due for release in April.

Both vehicles feature significant local development, including supercharged engines and sharper steering, handling, braking and styling.

"Toyota monitored TRD over the past six months and is widening the distribution because of our commitment to 'kaizen', or continuous improvement," Mr Buttner said.

"All dealerships will receive specific training on TRD to ensure they present, sell and service the vehicles according to TRD standards.

"As Toyota's performance division, TRD is an important part of our future because it is adding excitement and passion to the brand.

"We now have the full strength of the Toyota dealer network behind it, which reinforces our commitment to TRD and its success."


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New Toyota customers will pay substantially less to service their vehicles with new fixed-price servicing. Toyota Australia's divisional manager of customer services Matthew Callachor said Toyota Service Advantage is soon to become standard on the majority of Toyota's vehicles.

Under Toyota Service Advantage, purchasers of new Toyota vehicles are automatically eligible for a reduced and capped price for each standard scheduled service within the first three years or 60,000km of vehicle ownership * .

"The pricing is fixed when the vehicle is purchased, effectively insuring Toyota owners against rises in labour costs or inflation at the same time as saving them hundreds of dollars over the life of the plan," said Mr Callachor.

"Toyota is setting the benchmark for the provision of affordable vehicle servicing to customers.

"Toyota Service Advantage removes the need to search around aftermarket and mobile servicing operations for the best price - Toyota offers a high-quality service and is now making vehicle ownership even easier and cheaper," he said.

The fixed pricing has been trialled on the Camry and Aurion. It was then extended to Corolla, TRD Aurion, Kluger, RAV4 V6 and LandCruiser 200 Series in 2007.

In January it was applied to Yaris, Prius, Tarago, Avensis and four-cylinder RAV4 for January 2008 compliance-plated stock.

April 2008 compliance-plated stock of Prado, HiLux, HiAce and Coaster bus will also be eligible for the service plan.

The savings and service intervals vary by model, with the price cap for passenger vehicles set between $120 and $150, depending on the vehicle.

"Customers buying our biggest-selling car, Corolla, will expect to pay a maximum of $120 for up to the first six scheduled services," he said.

"That represents a total saving of more than $400 over the old service price structure - and it still includes all labour, fluids and Toyota Genuine parts.

"Toyota is now not only extremely competitive on price; there is no comparison when it comes to facilities, technology, training and expertise in Toyota vehicles."

Mr Callachor said Toyota Service Advantage provides added peace of mind that vehicles are serviced by specialised Toyota-trained technicians using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

Toyota Service Advantage

  Cost per standard scheduled service Quantity of standard scheduled services
covered by Service Advantage
April 2008 compliance plates onwards:    
HiLux, HiAce $150 Up to 6
Prado $180 Up to 6
Coaster $250 Up to 6
January 2008 compliance plates onwards:    
Yaris, Prius, Avensis $120 Up to 6
Tarago, RAV4 4-cyl $150 Up to 6
Other models:    
Camry ^ , Aurion, TRD Aurion $120 Up to 4
Corolla $120 Up to 6
RAV4 V6, Kluger $150 Up to 6
LandCruiser 200 series $180 Up to 6

*Toyota Service Advantage pricing represents the maximum amount payable for standard scheduled services, as per 'maintenance for normal operating conditions' outlined in the Warranty and Service Handbook's service schedule. Toyota Service Advantage eligibility excludes government vehicles, rental vehicles and Employee Family Vehicle Finance vehicles. Certain other exclusions apply. Terms and conditions apply. Contact your Toyota Dealer for details of eligibility or visit

^Camrys sold with 2007 compliance plates are eligible for up to four standard scheduled services at $100 per service during the warranty period stated above.


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