At the 2012 Detroit Motor Show Toyota has presented the NS4 Concept, a midsize plug-in hybrid vehicle that previews the design and technology direction for a 2015 production model.
Focused on efficient technologies as well as connectivity and human interfaces, the NS4 is a dedicated plug-in hybrid, separate from the Prius family, with a potential global market introduction within 2015.
Toyota NS4 Concept The main proportions of the NS4 Concept are defined by a generous length of 4,650 mm, by the arched profile – a trademark element of the Prius -, the low height, cabin-forward layout and relatively extended rear overhang. All these elements contribute to emphasize the aerodynamic qualities of the car.
While borrowing some styling cues from the recently unveiled FCV-R Concept (especially in the rear section), the NS4 introduces a new language that according to the company “signals a new styling direction for the Toyota brand aimed at creating an emotional connection with consumers”.
The smooth, clean surfaces are combined with thin, dynamic elements finished in chrome, such as the trims on the sill, roofline – including the ultra thin A pillars -, belt line, and the wing-like daytime running lights on both the front and rear lighting units.
The front end is an evolution of the Toyota’s face; the nose of the hood has been extended down to the floating spoiler, splitting in two halves the trapezoidal grille, which is contoured by sharp surfaces.
The rear lamps wrap around the sides of the vehicle to quarter sections layered into blistered fenders, while the rear lamp wings create a sharp edge and the effect of a rear spoiler.
Toyota NS4 Concept Interior The cabin features a more linear surface language, which could be quite easily turned into a production reality.
The focus on technology is underlined by the hi-tech blue light accents, also present on the roof, which integrates solar panels.
Developed in partnership with Microsoft, Intel and Salesforc, the onboard technologies include a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) built around a multi-touch screen with the look and feel of a smartphone, which includes both multimedia and vehicle-controls.
The HMI system is capable of “learning” driver preferences and habits to anticipate driver responses in specific environments and situations.A dedicated dashboard mounted screen above the navigation screen displays a panoramic rearward view provided by a set of cameras, replacing the inner and outer rear view mirrors.
Toyota NS4 Concept Interior The NS4 is equipped with a next-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system featuring reductions in component size and weight with improved overall fuel economy, better acceleration and longer all-electric range, while maintaining a short charge time.
Among the technical highlights of the NS4 is the next generation Pre-Collision System (PCS) that uses a millimeter-wave radar and stereo cameras mounted on the front of the vehicle to detect and react to lane departure, pedestrians and other vehicles, and also emits near-infrared beams to enhance PCS recognition at night.
Other onboard technologies include the Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) headlights with a camera mounted behind the front grille and partial shielding inside the headlights.
Toyota NS4 Concept The hood has a pop-up structure that in case of front collisions automatically raises the rear of the hood to increase the space underneath, helping to reduce pedestrian head injuries. within certain speed ranges.
Four new glass technologies are integrated into the windshield and front triangle, door, and rear windows.
The Hydrophobic coating – Fluorine coated glass causes rain drops to form into semispherical shapes for improved visibility and rain drop elimination
Anti-fog film – resin material with anti-fogging characteristics and increased durability
The High ultraviolet (UV) absorbing inner-layer
Anti-solar film with radio-wave transparency – Reduces the internal vehicle temperature