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Toyota at Paris Motor Show 2014

Motoring fans, journalists and manufacturers from around the globe will be spilling through the doors of the Mondial de l’Automobile 2014 over the coming days, bubbling with excitement as new models are launched and futuristic concept cars revealed.

Toyota C-HR Concept

Making its world debut and capturing everyone’s attention at the show is a vision of our future with Hybrid – the synthesis of 20 years of creativity – the C-HR Concept car. Just as the RAV4 brought a fresh and unique view to the 4x4 market in 1994, the Toyota C-HR Concept represents Toyota’s unique view of the compact crossover segment.

Introducing an expressive new, diamond architecture styling theme to the segment, the new concept is packed full of eye-catching details that have been sculpted to represent the facetted surfaces of a precision-cut gemstone.

The new look which was a result of a global cooperation of design centres, represents a further development of our Under Priority and Keen Look design identity, but introduces new styling themes that hint at a future design direction for Toyota vehicles.

Sat beneath its coupe profile with its floating spoiler-tipped roofline, and dramatic bodywork, sits a new platform designed to satisfy customers’ demands for state-of-the-art handling and control. In conjunction, a new advanced full hybrid powertrain offers a uniquely engaging driving experience, whilst delivering outstanding efficiency.

The purpose of all concept car designs is to gauge reaction to new styling and design direction, so with head-turning looks, agile driving dynamics and advanced powertrain, we hope that a compact crossover like the C-HR will become a reality for Toyota.

Elsewhere on the stand, our vision for mobility in the future is impossible to miss. In contrast to many other manufacturers, we do not believe there is one ultimate technology for the future, we feel the best way of powering a car will depend entirely on how the customer intends to use it.

i-ROAD

We believe i-ROAD is the answer for the last few miles of travel at the beginning or end of our journeys in the city. Shown nearly two years before as a concept, our compact, fun and emissions free personal mobility vehicle (PMV), is now road legal and ready to roam.

Key to the i-ROAD’s unique driving experience is our new, entirely intuitive ‘Active Lean’ technology. Incorporating a clever setup of sensors, motors and gearing, the system automatically moves the wheels up and down in opposite directions and is able to apply lean angle when you negotiate a corner.

The fully electric PMV combines the agility of a motorcycle with the comfort of a car thanks to its weatherproof cabin (no helmet is required). The system eliminates the need to lower your feet at any point, so the driver remains enclosed in a safer closed body construction and benefit from car-like features, such as heating, audio and mobile phone connectivity.

Offering brisk acceleration and near-silent running, the i-ROAD can travel at up to 50km/h and can be recharged from a household socket in only three hours. With its futuristic looks and agility, its hard to believe the lucky residents of Grenoble (France), can now get behind the wheel of one as part of a new total mobility solution.

In a project that sees Toyota partnering with the local authorities of the city and region of Grenoble, EDF, Sodetrel and car-sharing operator Citelib, 35 fun-to-drive three-wheel Toyota i-ROADs and 35 four-wheel COMS personal mobility vehicles have been contributed by Toyota to complement Grenoble’s existing public transport network. The trial, which is scheduled to run for three years and begins this month, will offer residents a solution for the short trips planned as part of their city journey, while reducing traffic congestion and emissions and improving air quality in the city.

Powering the future

We consider fuel cell to be a key technology to future mobility – and on our stand at Paris we have another showstopper: the Fuel Cell Sedan. After 20 years of development, our first production hydrogen car, the Fuel Cell Sedan will be coming to Europe in the summer of 2015, initially available in the UK, Germany and Denmark.

At first glance you could be mistaken for thinking you were looking at a conventional petrol powered sedan, but look a little closer and you’ll see that beneath its body sits the future of sustainable motoring.

In place of the much-loved combustion engine sits something completely new: a fuel cell stack. Hydrogen, which can be manufactured from natural energies such as solar and wind, reacts with oxygen from the air to generate electricity. Working independently or both together, the hydrogen fuel cell along with electricity stored in a battery can take you wherever you want to go.

And the most incredible thing: the only emission from the exhaust is water vapour! Combine this with a refuelling time of around three minutes and driving range of over 500km, and space for four, and you can see that the Fuel Cell Sedan offers the flexibility of a conventional car, without any of the harmful drawbacks.

It will take time, and we will take it step-by-step, but we are positive that in the not-too distant future fuel cell cars will become a common sight on our roads. There’s no question that the future looks bright, but for the here and now Hybrid technology remains at the core of our business. Hybrid has become synonymous with Toyota and vice-versa, and we expect it to be the powertrain of choice for the majority of the market.

With nearly half of all Auris, and over a third of Yaris sales powered by hybrid, this technology has become a real differentiator for Toyota.

The freshest compact cars on the market

For Toyota, the mood at the motor show is one of overwhelming optimism. The past few months has been an exciting period, as two new faces have arrived on the scene: AYGO and Yaris. These two models have given us the freshest offering in the compact car market and, delivering on our promise of adding emotion to the range, they are bursting with personality, fun, cutting-edge design and rewarding driving dynamics.

A series of films designed to get you to the heart of the action from our stand at the Paris Motor Show will be available on our YouTube channel over the coming days.

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