News Release

June 12, 2006


Toyota Launches Completely Redesigned Estima Hybrid
Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today the nationwide sales launch in Japan of the completely redesigned Estima Hybrid minivan through "Toyota" ("Osaka Toyopet" in the Osaka area) and "Toyota Corolla" dealers.

The Estima Hybrid was initially launched in 2001 as the world's first hybrid minivan, demonstrating new potential for hybrid vehicles.  It achieved revolutionary fuel efficiency and clean exhaust emissions, and—through the world's first use of the E-Four (electric four-wheel-drive) system on a mass-production vehicle and an ECB (Electronically Controlled Brake) system—it provided exceptional maneuvering stability.

Estima Hybrid G (seven-seat vehicle, with options)
Estima Hybrid G (seven-seat vehicle, with options)

The new Estima Hybrid features the THS II*1, optimized for use on a minivan.  The THS II was designed to achieve even better environmental and driving performance based on the concept of Hybrid Synergy Drive, which seeks to realize high fuel efficiency, low emissions, outstanding driving performance and quiet operation.  As a result, the new Estima Hybrid boasts one of the world's highest fuel efficiency performances in its class*2, which is on par with a compact vehicle*3, and clean exhaust emissions.  Furthermore, its dynamic performance surpasses that of other vehicles in its class, with high responsiveness characteristic of a hybrid vehicle, smooth, powerful acceleration and extremely quiet operation.

In addition, the adoption as standard of the E-Four system with high-output rear motor and the first use in a minivan of VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management), which integrates and optimally balances drive power, steering and braking, aims to take "fun to drive" to a higher level with greater maneuverability and cruising stability.

*1 Toyota Hybrid System II
*2 Compared to vehicles of similar engine displacement
*3 Under the 10-15 test cycle outlined by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport

Sales Outline
Sales channels "Toyota" ("Osaka Toyopet" in the Osaka area) and "Toyota Corolla" dealers nationwide in Japan
Monthly sales targets in Japan 700 units
Dealer launch events June 24 and 25, 2006

Assembly Plant:
Fujimatsu Plant, Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (Prices in Hokkaido and Okinawa differ; unit: yen)
Trim Level Seating Powertrain Price*1
(including consumption tax)
  X 8 THS II with motor speed
reduction device
+ E-Four
  7 3,675,000
  "Welcab Side Lift-up Seat model" *2 3,770,000
  G 8 4,368,000
  7 4,410,000
  "Welcab Side Lift-up Seat model" *2 4,470,000
*1 Prices listed do not include recycling fees.
*2 Not subject to consumption tax.

Vehicle Outline

1. Hybrid System Optimized for Minivan Use

THS II with Motor Speed Reduction Device
  • The THS II features a front motor speed reduction device that amplifies the torque from the front motor, efficiently conveys drive power, achieves smooth and powerful acceleration and contributes to the reduced size of the motor.
  • The variable voltage system of the power control unit uses a booster circuit to increase the voltage supplied from the battery to the motors from 245V to 650V, increasing the power output of the front and rear motors.
  • In addition to the higher speed and output front motor, the engine output has been increased to boost overall system output, providing dynamic performance with power to spare, going beyond its class.
  • The hybrid system battery features improved cooling effectiveness and higher output.  Installing the battery within the center console allows for versatile seat arrangements, equivalent to those of a regular gasoline-engine Estima, and a comfortable interior space.
Higher-output, Higher-efficiency 2.4-liter, Four-cylinder Engine with High-expansion Ratio Cycle
  • The intake and exhaust systems, as well as engine control, were improved to increase engine speed and reduce friction for higher maximum output and better fuel efficiency.
Performance of Main Components of E-Four and THS II with Motor Speed Reduction Device
THS II with motor speed reduction device Engine Engine model 2AZ-FXE
Displacement [cc]
Maximum output  [kW (PS) / rpm]
110 (150) / 6,000
Maximum torque [N-m (kg-m)]
190 (19.4) / 4,000
Front motor
Maximum output [kW (PS)]
105 (143)
Maximum torque [N-m (kg-m)]
270 (27.5)
  Reduction gear
Gear ratio  
Hybrid system battery
Nickel-metal hydride
Rated voltage [V]
245 (DC)
E-Four Rear motor
Maximum output [kW (PS)]
50 (68)
Maximum torque [N-m (kg-m)]
130 (13.3)
Overall system
Maximum output* [kW (PS)]
140 (190)
* Output that the system can achieve using the engine power and motor power (the motor power is dependent on battery power) (based on TMC calculations)

2. High Fuel Efficiency, Low Emissions, Outstanding Driving Performance, Quieter Ride

World's Highest Fuel Efficiency in its Class and Clean Exhaust Emissions
  • With the aim of reducing CO2 emissions, the new Estima Hybrid boasts a fuel efficiency of 20.0km/l (in the 10-15 test cycle outlined by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport—MLIT), equivalent to that of a compact-class vehicle. In addition, fuel efficiency is more than 20% greater than the level called for by the Japanese 2010 standards*, and both NOx (nitrogen oxides) and NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons) have been cut, achieving emissions levels 75% lower than the 2005 standards under the Ministry’s Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles. These achievements mean the vehicle qualifies for incentives under the Japanese government’s Green Taxation System.  CO2 emissions under the 10-15 Japanese test cycle are just 116g/km (as measured by MLIT).
  • An exhaust heat recovery system has been adopted to recover thermal energy from the exhaust and use it to heat engine coolant.  This reduces engine warm-up time, which enables the engine to shut off earlier when idling, contributing to further improvements in actual fuel economy.
*Specified by the Japanese Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy.

Environmental Considerations
  • By using Toyota's original comprehensive environmental impact assessment system known as Eco-VAS (Eco-Vehicle Assessment System), environmental targets were set in the development stage and a life cycle assessment was conducted to allow the reduction of CO2 emissions throughout all stages of the vehicle's life from production and use to disposal.
  • In addition to using materials with excellent recyclability, greater attention has been paid to the environment by, among other means, reducing VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions and the use of substances of environmental concern such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and others.
Outstanding Driving Performance
  • The combination of a high-output, high-efficiency 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with two high-performance motors provides the superior responsiveness characteristic of a hybrid vehicle with smooth, powerful acceleration that exceeds that of a conventional front-wheel-drive gasoline engine vehicle in the same class.

    Acceleration during passing: 40-70km/h in 4.2 seconds (as measured by TMC)
    Acceleration from start: 0-100km/h in 10.8 seconds (as measured by TMC)
Quiet Ride
  • Road noise and engine noise have been reduced by the use of more sound-absorbing materials, the optimal distribution of vibration-controlling and sound-blocking materials and the use of noise-reducing windshield glass.  Combined with the Estima Hybrid's ability to operate as an electric vehicle when starting up and operating at low speeds or with a light load on the powertrain, the result is a quiet ride, clearly distinct from that of a conventional gasoline-engine vehicle.
3. Increase in Driving Pleasure through Greater Maneuverability and Cruising Stability
  • The E-Four (electric four-wheel-drive) system's high-output rear motor assists the engine and front motor as needed and continuously optimizes the allocation of power between the front and rear wheels, delivering levels of power and drivability under bad-weather and slippery conditions that are found only in a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
  • The first VDIM used on minivans comes standard.  It stabilizes the vehicle before it reaches a critical state by coordinating control and achieving an optimum balance among drive power, steering and braking, thus allowing higher preventive safety and dynamic capability.
4. Equipment and Designs Created Specifically for Hybrid Vehicles

  • The front bumper, front grille and emblem, front and rear spoilers, headlights, combination taillights, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and numerous other components were designed specifically for the new Estima Hybrid to emphasize its high quality and advanced technology.
  • The shapes of the front and rear spoilers have been optimized to provide outstanding aerodynamics.
  • The translucent blue lens of the headlights and combination taillights evoke the clean image of a hybrid vehicle.
  • The hybrid vehicle-exclusive emblems on the side and rear emphasize the Estima's presence as a hybrid vehicle and convey an integrated image as a Toyota-brand hybrid.
  • "Light Purple Mica Metallic" has been adopted as a new exclusive body color to express the advanced nature of hybrid vehicles.
  • Alcantara® seats are featured in vehicles with G trim, while the instrument panel ornamentation boasts a silver wood-grain finish. In addition, the use of a large center console adds to a sophisticated feel while enhancing functionality.
  • The instrument cluster features blue tones that evoke the clean and advanced nature of hybrid vehicles.  It also incorporates a newly developed "energy meter" that displays the status of motor operation ("driving" or "energy regeneration"), electricity consumption from the air conditioner, headlights and other equipment to indicate the driving criteria for optimal fuel efficiency.  A dot-matrix multi-information display located within the instrument cluster indicates the energy flow, average fuel efficiency, possible cruising distance and other information.
Hybrid Vehicle Exclusive Features
  • The EV Drive Mode allows the Estima Hybrid to run on motor power alone for quiet and clean operation.
  • By limiting the drive power to less than would normally be applied in response to pressure on the accelerator, the Snow Mode makes possible smooth acceleration from a stop on slippery surfaces such as snow-covered and icy roads.
Welcabs: Specially equipped vehicles with factory-installed features for disabled people
  • On the Side Lift-up Seat model (detachable type), a seat from the second row can be pulled out of the vehicle and used as a wheelchair, providing enhanced comfort compared to conventional wheelchairs and alleviating fatigue when riding in the vehicle for extended periods.
  • Depending on user needs, the pull-out seat from the second row can be fitted as any one of the following three types of wheelchairs when purchasing: a manual caregiver-assisted type that is operated manually by the caregiver; an electric caregiver-assisted type that operates electrically to reduce caregiver burden; and an electric self-operating type that a disabled person can operate independently using a joystick.
  • A Side Lift-up Seat for the second row (non-detachable type) is available in an option package on all standard model vehicles.  This seat rotates and slides down outside the vehicle to help boarding and exiting from a wheel chair.
Welcab Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (Prices in Hokkaido and Okinawa differ; unit: yen)
Model type Trim Level Seating Powertrain Price*1
(Not subject to consumption tax)
Welcab Side Lift-up Seat model
(Detachable type)
"Manual caregiver-assisted type"*2
G 7 THS II with motor speed reduction device
+ E-Four
*1 Prices listed do not include recycling fees.
*2 An electric, caregiver-assisted type costs an additional 400,000 yen; an electric, self-operating type an additional 460,000 yen.

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