Toyota Announces Revolutionary New Hybrid Technology At North American International Auto Show
01/07/2003 Detroit, MI

Toyota, the first company to sell a mass-produced hybrid electric/gasoline car, today unveiled plans to offer a revolutionary new hybrid powertrain in future vehicles. This hybrid system will be offered in the Lexus RX 330 and will arrive in dealer showrooms in about two years. The announcement was made at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and a sport utility hybrid vehicle (SU-HV) show car was displayed.

This innovative electric/gasoline hybrid technology, called Hybrid Synergy Drive, offers benefits far beyond today's hybrid vehicles. While the strengths of current hybrid systems include low emissions and high fuel economy, this new hybrid technology adds the benefit of outstanding performance. 

"The RX with Hybrid Synergy Drive has a V6 engine with the power and torque of a V8 and delivers the fuel mileage of a compact car while producing a fraction of the emissions of standard SUVs," said Toyota Motor Corporation President Fujio Cho. 

The Hybrid Synergy Drive operates with front and rear electric motors and a front internal combustion engine. The system in the RX operates at nearly double the voltage of the current Prius and generates more power with high efficiency, dramatically cutting fuel consumption and emissions. 

In addition, the front and rear electric drive provides the benefits of all-wheel drive in a lighter and more compact package. And, the system is highly modular so it is extremely flexible. Different size motors and engines can be combined to favor either fuel economy or power…or both. This means the Hybrid Synergy Drive can be easily adapted to a broad range of vehicles.

"These major advances in our hybrid system and in the number of vehicles carrying it will help us achieve our worldwide goal to put 300,000 hybrid vehicles on the road annually by the middle of this decade," said Cho. "More importantly, it will spread advanced, low-emission technology faster and further around the world."