Toyota is expanding its hybrid beyond the Prius with the debut of the Toyota NS4 Plug in Hybrid Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. According to the automaker, the sedan represents its design, powertrain, and infotainment directions through 2015.
Who It's For
Toyota says the NS4 Plugin Hybrid concept exemplifies a potential future model which will be driven by its next-generation plug-in hybrid powertrain; a more "emotional" design to appeal to consumers (i.e., "what a hot car!"); and infotaiment connectivity through devices like smartphones.
On style alone, the Toyota NS4 Plug-in hybrid concept's coupe-like design represents a radically different direction than Toyota's current more conservative offerings. The concept's powertrain will be a lighter, more powerful, version of Toyota's current Hybrid Synergy Plug-in system, which powers the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.
Other features found on the Toyota NS4 Plug-in Hybrid include:
- Glass roof
- Cameras instead of rearview mirrors
- Active safety systems that use radar and cameras to monitor traffic around the car.
- Infotainment systems that "learn" driver's performances
What We Think
2015 is actually not that far away as new models are concerned. We can definitely see a production version of the Toyota NS4 Plug-in hybrid debuting in auto shows around that time, if not earlier. While the more extreme elements of the styling won't make it to production, when we squint a little we can easily the NS4's design language, powertrain, and, especially, infotainment systems showing up in various future Toyota models.
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