for immediate release
June 15, 2001
Estima Hybrid-Gleaming Example of Automotive Evolution

Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) opened the way to a more fulfilling and enjoyable automotive way of life today by introducing the world's first mass-produced gasoline, electric-four-wheel-drive hybrid vehicle—the Estima Hybrid minivan.

The clean and futuristic-looking Estima Hybrid gives users greater on-the-road freedom with its power-generating and other convenience-enhancing features. It also combines three key power-management technologies unprecedented on a production vehicle. These are: THS-C (Toyota Hybrid System-CVT*1), featuring a gasoline engine, CVT and electric motor for front-wheel power; E-Four, which regulates a rear-mounted, rear-wheel-propelling electric motor and coordinates electric power distribution to all four wheels; and ECB (Electronically Controlled Brake system), for efficient wheel-by-wheel brake control and optimum management of the vehicle's regenerative brake system.

The end result is a stylish minivan with driving stability, fuel economy and environmental compatibility unlike any other. Chief Engineer Shigeru Matsuhashi explains: "We took our desire to create a vehicle like none before it and reflected it against the key automotive elements of 'environment', 'safety' and 'fun to drive'. We also realized that our new hybrid system was well-suited for a medium-size or large vehicle. The final product is a gleaming example of a leap in automotive evolution—the Estima Hybrid".

With a top cruising range of 1,000 kilometers*2 (roughly the distance between Tokyo and Nagasaki), the Estima Hybrid gets double the fuel efficiency outlined by Japanese government standards for 2010. It greatly reduces CO2 emissions and slashes HC and NOx output to more than 75% below 2000 standards.

But for this minivan, the possibilities don't stop there—the Estima Hybrid's innovative hybrid system generates up to 1,500 watts of auxiliary 100-volt AC—more than enough to power anything from a laptop to a hairdryer. Advanced Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technologies include a navigation and Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)-compatible multi-information display, as well as an optional backup guide monitor system.

"The Estima Hybrid brings together the joy of driving, stability and peace of mind, creating a level of convenience never before possible in a motor vehicle", says Matsuhashi.

Revolutionizing the Minivan

Groundbreaking environmental performance
The Estima Hybrid's low fuel consumption provides about twice the fuel efficiency called for in the 2010 fuel efficiency standards for minivans in the same class (in the Japanese test cycle). Its clean emissions contain HC and NOx levels more than 75% below the level specified by the latest regulations.

Outstandingly low fuel consumption
Consuming fuel at the rate of 1 liter every 18.0 kilometers (in the Japanese test cycle), the Estima Hybrid rivals the fuel efficiency of compact cars and provides about twice the level of fuel efficiency the Japanese government has imposed as the standard for 2010. To achieve this superior performance, the Estima Hybrid's new THS-C hybrid system efficiently combines the drive power of the engine and the front motor. For an even more efficient ride, ride resistance has been reduced and the E-Four electric 4WD system recovers energy from each wheel. Taking efficiency even further, the insulated body, which prevents the car from heating up in combination with a newly adopted humidity sensor, optimizes the use of the air conditioner, thus conserving fuel.

Reduced ride resistance
The highly aerodynamic body design along with reductions of the operating resistance in each part of the powertrain have reduced ride resistance and loss of drive energy, helping lower fuel consumption.

Insulated body
The roof and roof panels contain an insulating material to reduce cabin temperature which helps conserve energy when the air conditioner is operating.

Intuitive air conditioning system
A humidity sensor that helps prevent excessive dehumidification when humidity is low optimizes the air conditioner by not engaging the compressor and it also helps keep windows defogged, thereby lessening fuel consumption.

Clean emissions
The Estima Hybrid is the first minivan on the market to have HC and NOx levels that meet the levels set by Japan's Ministry of the Environment as standards for vehicles with emissions more than 75% below 2000 values (for ultra low emissions).

Ultra-advanced driving performance

New Hybrid system, E-Four
The newly developed THS-C hybrid system combines a 2.4-liter high-efficiency gasoline engine, front motor and Super CVT transmission. Its efficient use of drive power creates low fuel consumption and a smooth ride. The E-Four electric 4WD system provides better driving performance by controlling the rear-wheel drive motor as it coordinates electric power distribution to all four wheels according to the driving conditions. It provides additional drive power when needed, such as when accelerating from a standing start or on slippery road surfaces.

Engine — Newly developed for hybrid vehicles, the new 2.4-liter 2AZ-FXE engine has a high-expansion ratio cycle that enhances fuel economy by improving efficiency and reducing friction loss. Additionally, optimum control of the Super CVT and front motor create low emissions levels. Combined with the motor, the engine allows for powerful driving from low to high speeds.

Transaxles — The CVT's wide-range continuously variable gear ratio enables a high-performance, compact front transaxle, providing smooth transitions from low to high speeds. The rear transaxle combines the motor and differential gear in a single unit, for a more lightweight, compact structure. This design eliminates the need for a propeller shaft, keeping overall weight increase to a minimum.

ECB (Electronically Controlled Brake) system

The Estima Hybrid's ECB system is the first electronically controlled braking system in a production vehicle on the market, providing excellent environmental performance, outstanding handling and driving stability using independent as well as linear hydraulic controls for each wheel

Providing environment performance—Vehicle-mounted sensors provide information such as the amount of brake pedal operation, as well as vehicle speed. The system determines the most efficient distribution of labor between electric and hydraulic application of the brakes, in addition to using gathered information to calculate optimum oil pressure. The ECB system is controlled together with the E-Four to maximize the regenerating running energy. The system also controls the brake pedal's rigidity in response to the amount of pressure applied, creating a natural operation feel.

Pursuing Vehicle Dynamics Management for outstanding driving stability — Based on next-generation technology for vehicle operation control, Vehicle Dynamics Management, the VSC*1 and TRC*2 systems, the ABS*3 with EBD*4 and Brake Assist as well as the ECB system, the new hybrid system, and the E-Four integrate coordination, drive and control. Through these technologies, groundbreaking level of driving stability has been achieved to make the car safer and easier to control the vehicle during normal performance before it goes out of control.

*1 Vehicle Stability Control; *2 Traction Control; *3 Anti-lock Braking System; *4 Electronic Brake-force Distribution

Reaching new horizons in outdoor possibilities
Since the hybrid system can generate up to 1,500 watts of power, the Estima Hybrid offers an unprecedented vehicle experience, expanding the range of possibilities for outdoor activities.

Up to 1,500 watts of power for unparalleled convenience
The hybrid system can generate up to 1,500 watts of power when the vehicle is stationary or moving, and has standard 100-volt household AC sockets in the center cluster and luggage area. These sockets can be used to power home appliances such as hairdryers and microwave ovens and recharge items such as power-assisted bicycles and electric carts adding a new dimension to leisure activities. Work equipment or equipment for the elderly or disabled can also be used with ease.

Advanced ITS features

Multi-information display
The 6.5-inch multi-information display in the center of the instrument panel has an energy monitor showing the hybrid system's operating status. The fuel meter can display real-time and per-minute fuel consumption rates as well as calculate such rates over any interval and show the amount of regenerated energy. A navigation system (maker option) and (dealer option) Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) unit also use this screen to display other types of information.

Optional color backup guide monitor system with voice guidance
Designed to aid in reversing and parking, the system now features a color display for better visibility, a wider camera angle for a wider field of view and guiding lines that can be turned on or off as well as voice guidance to assist the driver during parallel parking.

Exciting, hi-tech exterior and interior
The exterior's clean, intelligent and futuristic design gives the Estima Hybrid the look of a truly 21st century minivan. The interior has been designed for roominess and enjoyment. An innovative instrument panel design and the metallic multi-information display (described above) make the interior an exciting, hi-tech space.

Distinctive front and rear views for a sleek look
The press lines in the center of the hood give the design an outward projection. Exaggerated character lines flow from the grille to the front combination lamps and sides and consecutive ovals of varying sizes in the front combination lamps create an innovative look. The distinctive metallic light rims are joined to the grille.

The rear combination lamps match those at the front while the overlapping oval graphic design and LED turn signal clusters create a fresh look.

Sophisticated instrument panel
The blue gradation Optitron meter's readout appears on a full-color printed pattern of seamless color gradations. LEDs are used as the light source, and the readout's color and illumination suggest a starlit dawn sky. The metallic multi-information display creates a clean, hi-tech look.

Roomy seats
The roomy seats have a simple design, and are covered with a special fabric. They feature large seat backs and are amply sized, yet well-proportioned. Seven-seat models have captain seats in the second row, with long-slide and footrest features while eight-seat models feature a long-slide, 6:4-split folding bench-type seat in the second row.

Spacious luggage area
A luggage tray on the floor at the rear can be used to store vehicle accessories or tools such as the jack.

Welcabs—Specially equipped vehicles with factory-installed features for the disabled

The fully automated "Welcab Lift-up Front Passenger Seat" model allows a passenger in need of care to sit up front for easy attendance by the driver, when the driver is the sole caregiver in the vehicle.
In the "Welcab Side Lift-up Seat" type, all the functions of the left-side second seat (such as rotation and up/down movement) are automatic. Another version of this type enables removal of the left-side second seat for use as a wheelchair.

Sales Outline
Sales outlets:
"Toyota"("Osaka Toyopet" in the Osaka area) and
"Toyota Corolla" dealers in Japan

Monthly sales target:
1,000 units

Copyright 2000 Toyota Motor Corporation. All Rights Reserved
The information in this release speaks as of the date issued. Toyota Motor Corporation does not, does not intend to, and expressly disclaims any duty to, update or correct such information.