Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing all our friends a safe and Happy New Year!

Let's hope for a breakthrough year for alternate energy automobiles in 2013.

AUTO TEST WINNERS in GREEN! 2013: M-Class and B-Class are the most environmentally friendly


Stuttgart – The renowned German environmental research institute "ÖkoTrend" has ascertained that the Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC and Mercedes-Benz B 200 Natural Gas Drive are the most eco- friendly cars in their class. Both models have thus now been honoured as "Winners in Green" by the magazine AUTO TEST.

The independent research institute "ÖkoTrend" in Germany has been analysing and evaluating products according to ecological criteria and in terms of the social and environmental responsibility of their manufacturers since 1995. The environmental car ranking, published annually, is always awaited with great interest. The environmental credentials of a broad range of cars are thoroughly assessed in twelve different categories on the basis of extensive data accumulated by the Institute. The categories include fuel consumption, pollutant emissions, manufacturing, logistics, recycling and the environmental management system operated by the manufacturer.

For the second consecutive time, the top spot among the SUVs has been taken by the Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC. When it came to the compact MPVs, first place also went to a Mercedes-Benz – the B 200 Natural Gas Drive. Specialist journal AUTO TEST has therefore honoured both cars with the title of "AUTO TEST WINNER in GREEN! 2013".

The Mercedes-Benz ML 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC owes its top ranking among the SUVs to, amongst other things, its state-of-the-art four-cylinder diesel engine, which features both direct injection and turbocharging. From a displacement of 2143 cc the car delivers an output of 150 kW (204 hp) and impressive torque of 500 Newton metres. This allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9 seconds and to use a mere 6 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, while emitting just 158 g/km of CO2 (combined). It is therefore able to travel a distance of up to 1500 kilometres without the need for refuelling. The Mercedes-Benz B 200 Natural Gas Drive operates on the basis of Monovalent+. This means that the engine runs as a general rule on natural gas, but that the vehicle also has a small, 12‑litre petrol tank on board to cope with any emergencies. Should the natural gas tank at any point run empty, the vehicle will switch automatically and imperceptibly to run on petrol.

Thanks to its natural gas drive system, the CO2 emissions of the 115 kW (156 hp) engine in the B 200 Natural Gas Drive have been reduced by more than 16 percent. Furthermore its exhaust gas emissions are significantly cleaner than those of a vehicle running on petrol or diesel, while the fuel costs are around 50 percent lower than for the equivalent petrol-engine model.

Because the driver is not able to actively select the petrol operating mode, the B 200 natural Gas Drive is certified as a natural gas vehicle and thus able to benefit from tax incentives. The range of the vehicle in natural gas operating mode is around 500 kilometres.

Pike Research ranks ChargePoint, DBT as top EV charging equipment supply companies

The new Pike Pulse Grid for EVSE manufacturers. Click to enlarge.

Pike Research forecasts that global sales of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37% between 2012 and 2020 as the global market for plug-in vehicles (PEVs) grows, rising from less than 200,000 units sold in 2012 to almost 2.4 million units in 2020.
The market is also entering a new phase, Pike notes, in which companies will be less dependent on government-funded deployments and thus required to present an attractive return on investment for potential EVSE operators. In a new Pike Pulse report, Pike evaluates 14 electric vehicle charging equipment manufacturers, and ranks ChargePoint (formerly Coulomb Technologies) and DBT as Leaders as a result of their range of feature-rich EVSE offerings, current market share, geographic reach, and vision for competing successfully in the next phase of the EVSE market. (ChargePoint and DBT USA will showcase a joint EV charging station innovation at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas).
However, Pike notes, at this stage in this market’s development, it is not clear what the most viable business models are. Pike also suggests that EVSE companies will have to keep enhancing their EVSE units, reducing the cost in order to successfully compete.
The 14 electric vehicle charging equipment manufacturers in this Pike Pulse report all offer Level 2 units to residential and commercial customers, with many also offering Level 1 equipment and DC charging.
To be included in the Pike report, the EVSE companies had to:
  • sell EVSE units as individual products, not EVSE provided by an automaker with its PEV;
  • be a manufacturer, not just a service provider that purchased hardware from other companies;
  • manufacture Level 2 chargers—i.e., excluding companies that only provide DC fast chargers; and
  • be offering Level 2 chargers in at least two top 10 PEV markets or one top 10 and at least three top 11-20 countries, as defined by Pike Research in its PEV forecasts. Pike top 10 PEV markets are: Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Korea, United Kingdom, and United States. Pike’s top 11-20 countries are: Austria, Australia, Belgium, India, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The criteria for ranking were:
  • Strategy: vision, go-to-market strategy, partners, production strategy and roadmap, technical innovation, and geographic reach.
  • Execution: market share, sales and marketing, product performance and features, product portfolio and ecosystem, pricing, and staying power.
Based on the scoring on these criteria, Pike then ranks companies as Leaders, Contenders, Challengers, or Followers in the global market.
Leaders. Last year’s Pike Pulse did not include any Leaders. (Earlier post.) ChargePoint (formerly Coulomb Technologies) took the number one spot, joined now by DBT. Pike says that both companies have secured a significant level of market share, are operating in a range of critical geographic markets, are offering a wide range of feature-rich EVSE products, and demonstrate a focus on competing successfully in the next phase of the EVSE market.
Contenders. The majority of companies in the Pulse report were classified as Contenders. Contenders include many large conglomerates that have entered the EVSE space to complement their existing businesses: Eaton, Efacec, General Electric (GE), Leviton, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. These are companies that have not yet captured significant market share, but that score well in Strategy due to an ability to invest in product development and to leverage their existing distribution channels and power technologies, Pike suggests. These companies also tend to score well on Staying Power.
Other companies in this category are smaller and more focused on EVSE as a primary product: AeroVironment, Chargemaster, ClipperCreek, and ECOtality. Although these companies have initially captured higher market share than the majors, they lack the massive resources that will allow them to stay in the market even if it proves to be very slow growing, Pike cautions.
Challengers. Pike’s analysis found two Challengers: Legrand and Better Place. Legrand is just beginning to make a major play in this market and is focused more on the residential sector, while Better Place is a relative newcomer, having more recently started offering EVSE to complement its battery switching business.

Toyota Prius is 2012's second-most searched car on Autoweek

Searches don't equal purchases, but there's a lot of interest in the Toyota Prius out there – if not quite so much as for iconic muscle cars with horses on them. Hybrid Cars notes that the Prius was the second-most-searched-for model on Autoweek this year, trailing only the Ford Mustang and coming in ahead of theChevrolet Corvette.

While Autoweek readers tend to put more of an emphasis on speed and performance that green credentials,Hybrid Cars says the lofty ranking of the Prius reflects a car that's reached "cult status" in the US. WithToyota being the first to mass-market a hybrid, the Prius has become as much a personal statement as it is a way to combat both rising gas prices and auto emissions.

That said, US Prius sales, which have surged 81 percent this year, have dwarfed those of the Mustang. The hybrid was the best-selling car in California and through November, Toyota sold almost 217,000 Prius variants, including almost 135,000 of the standard hatchback and more than 32,000 each of the Prius V wagon and Prius C compact. By comparison, Mustang sales through November totaled 77,458 units, up 18 percent from a year earlier.

Source: Autoblog Green

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid sedan EPA-rated at 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined; Ford projects best hybrid sales quarter ever

2013 Fusion Energi. Click to enlarge.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has rated the new Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid at up to 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined (2.2, 2.6 and 2.4 l/100km-equivalent, respectively).
Fusion Energi is the Ford brand’s fifth electrified vehicle to launch in the past year—and its second plug-in hybrid after the C-MAX Energi. Ford expects the Fusion Energi to accelerate its record hybrid sales pace, including its highest monthly hybrid sales month ever in November. Ford projects 19,000-plus hybrid/electric vehicle sales in the fourth quarter of this year, making it the company’s best quarter for hybrids ever and besting its own previous hybrid vehicle sales record by more than 50%; Ford expects more than half of hybrid sales this year to come in this quarter.
With Fusion Energi and Fusion Hybrid, the Fusion lineup brings the widest range of powertrain options to the US midsize segment. Fusion also is available in gasoline-fueled versions with a choice between a pair of fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines and a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine.
Like its cousin, the C-MAX Energi PHEV, the Fusion PHEV offers:
  • SmartGauge with EcoGuide to provide in-vehicle customizable displays, including instantaneous fuel economy readings and coaching functions to help drivers understand and optimize their fuel efficiency.
  • SYNC with MyFord Touch to manage and control phone, available navigation, entertainment and climate functions. Plug-in hybrids and all-electric models have additional options for monitoring information like battery state of charge.
  • EV+ combining the built-in GPS of Ford SYNC with proprietary software algorithms developed by Ford engineers to learn frequent destinations. As a result, vehicles give drivers more drive time in electric-only mode.
C-MAX became the fastest-selling hybrid ever at launch after 8,030 units were sold in October and November, the first two months C-MAX was on the market. The pace beat Toyota Camry Hybrid’s 7,300 sales in its first two full months of availability in May and June 2006.
The response to C-MAX really shows the amount of pent-up demand from a specific market for C-segment hybrids. Fusion Energi has a different audience in the midsize sedan market, but delivers many of the characteristics and technologies that make C-MAX Energi so great, which is why we’re anticipating a similar positive response.
—C.J. O’Donnell, marketing manager, Ford Electrified Vehicles
Ford differentiates between the two PHEVs by noting that C-MAX is geared toward those most concerned with fuel economy, but designed so that owners aren’t forced to sacrifice comfort and convenience. Fusion is designed with the driver’s sense of style in mind, delivering a midsize sedan that offers functional design elements that enhance its sleek exterior and promote fuel economy.
Many of the technologies of Fusion Energi are shared across Ford’s electrified vehicle lineup and draw from the automaker’s portfolio of about 500 patents related specifically to hybrid technology:
  • MyFord Mobile: Enables access via smartphone or Web-based interface to perform key tasks, such as monitoring a vehicle’s state of charge and current range or locating charge stations and planning routes to find them.
  • Eco cruise: Saves vehicle energy by relaxing acceleration compared to standard cruise control.
  • EV mode button: Conveniently mounted on the console to the right of the shifter—allows a driver to switch vehicle operation between three modes: all-electric, normal hybrid operation and conserve battery power for later use.
  • Regenerative braking is capable of capturing and reusing more than 90% of the braking energy normally lost during the braking process.
  • Hybrid transmission, designed by Ford engineers in-house, is capable of operating at high speeds and in a smooth, fuel-efficient manner at the same time. 
  • Advanced lithium-ion batteries covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile component limited warranty.
  • Charge port with LED light ring, conveniently located on the driver’s side and near the front of the car, it features a light ring that illuminates to indicate charge status.

Ford Focus tracking to become best-selling global nameplate in 2012, Fiesta best-selling B-car worldwide

The Ford Focus is tracking to become this year’s best-selling global nameplate, while the Ford Fiesta is on pace to be this year's best-selling global B-Car—giving Ford the best-selling B and C-Car in the world—based on the latest Polk global industry data through September.
Global Focus new registrations totaled 737,856 through September. Fiesta new vehicle registrations totaled 560,061 for the same period, making it the world's best-selling B-Car, according to Polk data provided by Ford.
Ford is also tracking to sell more than 520,000 EcoBoost-powered vehicles by year-end since the engine’s introduction in 2009.
Ford is the only brand to have three of the top 10 best-selling vehicles worldwide, through September 2012, the most recent reporting of all markets globally by Polk. In addition to Focus at Nº 1 and Fiesta at Nº 5, F-Series is the fourth best-selling global nameplate at 576,339 vehicles, according to Polk global new vehicle registration data.
In the US, the Ford brand is on track to sell 2.2 million vehicles in 2012, marking two straight years above the 2 million mark—the only brand to top 2 million US sales since 2007.

First car to meet California’s SULEV20: 2014 Honda Accord PHEV

Honda’s 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid has become the first car for sale in California to meet the California’s Air Resources Board’s SULEV20 standard.
The car produces 20 milligrams of combined smog-forming emissions per mile. This makes it the first gasoline-powered car in California to meet the most stringent standard in the nation and one-third cleaner (in terms of smog-forming pollution) than the previous lowest state standard.

In addition, the ARB says this Honda model has lower greenhouse gas emissions than the fleet average standard required by all cars in 2025, the equivalent of a 50-percent reduction from current required levels.
“Once again, Honda is the first to comply with ARB’s most stringent standard,” said Tom Cackette, ARB’s Deputy Executive Officer and head of the mobile source program. “Honda has demonstrated that a dedicated commitment to the environment and advanced engineering at every level of the company can deliver the cleanest cars well ahead of schedule.”
ARB stated that Honda has a history of being the first manufacturer to comply with California’s strict emission standards. In 1995, the 1996 Civic was the first certified Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) gasoline vehicle. In 1997, the 1998 Accord was the first certified ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) gasoline vehicle. The following year, in 1999, the 2000 Accord was the first certified Super Ultra-low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) gasoline vehicle. In 2001, the 2001 Civic GX powered by compressed natural gas was the first certified Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle (AT PZEV). And in 2002, the 2003 Civic Hybrid was the first certified Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle (AT PZEV) hybrid vehicle.
The Executive Order allowing Honda to sell the newly certified ultra-clean cars in California was signed on December 21, following a detailed examination of emissions andperformance test results. Honda began production of the car that same day.
As a result of the technology in its design, the full-size sedan model achieves 124 MPGe city / 105 MPGe highway in hybrid mode, and 47 MPG city / 46 MPG highway in standard (gas only) mode.
The ARB stated that the low emissions standards that this Honda model meets are part of California’s Advanced Clean Cars package of regulations, adopted in January 2012, that will ensure increasingly cleaner cars for sale in the state, and provide for increased choices of zero-emission vehicles.
The ARB believes that when fully in force in 2025, the new set of standards will reduce smog-causing pollutants from low-emission vehicles 75 percent from current levels, and greenhouse gases by 34 percent. This will result in less overall vehicle emissions and cleaner air, along with more efficient cars that will ultimately require less fossil fuel to operate.
The new requirements will save California drivers $5 billion in operating costs in 2025, and $10 billion by 2030 when more advanced cars are on the road, according to the ARB.

EPA Approves California’s Advanced Clean Car Package

By Philippe Crowe
While we’re talking about California oriented news, latest from the Golden state that stands to affect the auto industry is its Advanced Clean Car package including Zero Emission Vehicle and Low Emission Vehicle standard has been federally green-lighted.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave yesterday the OK to California to put in place its Advanced Clean Cars package of regulations.

This sets the stage for a new generation of ultra-clean cars starting in 2017 that slash smog-forming and greenhouse gas emissions and pave the way for increased numbers of zero-emission vehicles through 2025 and beyond.
This announcement by the U.S.E.P.A. also clears the way for other states covering up to 40 percent of new car sales nationally to adopt California’s standards as their own. According to the California Air Resources Board (ARB), this will ensure that the latest technologies will further reduce smog-forming emissions nearly to zero and boost the numbers of zero-emission vehicles sold through 2025.
“This decision by the federal government recognizes California’s important role under the Clean Air Act to set the toughest vehicle emissions standards in the nation, ,” said Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “It also allows other states to adopt California’s package of clean car regulations, helping clean up the air and save consumers nationwide billions of dollars at the pump.”
The Advanced Clean Car package includes the Low Emission Vehicle standard (LEV III) regulation, designed to reduce by 75 percent smog-causing pollutants in gasoline powered vehicles by 2025 from 2017 levels. The ARB states this standard will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from those same vehicles by 34 percent, a figure that parallels federal regulations.
California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standard will drive a shift from gasoline engines to a wider variety of fuel sources, including plug-in hybrids, electric and fuel cell vehicles. These vehicles approach or achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions.
By 2025 the ZEV regulations are expected by the authorities to put 1.4 million of these vehicles on the road in California, and make them represent 15 percent of annualnew vehicle sales, with further dramatic growth expected through 2050 and beyond.
The state of California pushed these regulations forward as cars are considered by this state to be their largest source of air pollution and greenhouse gases. California’s Advanced Clean Car Program aims to continue to drive new vehicle technology, accelerating the next generation of clean cars that are already commercially available.
According to the ARB, economically, California drivers will save $5 billion in operating costs in 2025, and $10 billion by 2030 when more advanced cars are on the road. In 2025, average consumers will see nearly $6,000 in fuel cost savings over the life of the car, nearly triple the estimated per vehicle cost. Based on typical financing for a new vehicle, savings accrue the minute the car drives off the lot.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can't Wait For That Electric Porsche Boxster? Convert One Yourself

Remember the Porsche Boxster E?

The German sports car maker previewed the electric concept back in 2011, giving car enthusiasts a glimpse into what an official Stuttgart electric vehicle might be like.

The Boxster E has since faded from memory, thoughPorsche's 918 Spyder supercar will use plug-in hybrid technology--so not all the lessons have been lost. But what if you want your own electric Boxster right now?
Well, you could buy this one we found on eBay.

With a day and a half to go, one seller in South Carolina is asking $28,000 for their lithium-ion powered 2000 Boxster S.

Converted by Electric Vehicle Concepts, the modified S features a 9-inch electric motor hooked up to the standard car's six-speed manual transmission. The seller says that you'll mostly get around in third or fourth gear, though a change to fifth or sixth is advised for highway speeds above 60 mph. A top speed of "over 125 mph" is apparently attainable, as is a range of over 50 miles at 55 mph, courtesy of batteries mounted in both the front and back of the car.

Other than that, it's all standard Boxster S, just as it was when the 40,000-mile flat-six engine was removed.
Unless bidding rises soon it's looking unlikely to meet reserve--not helped by the rather high purchase price, double that of many standard Boxsters of similar age on eBay.

But if you want an electric Boxster, what else are you gonna do? You won't be getting one directly from Porsche...

Source: Green Car Reports

Toyota Launches New 'Crown' Series Sedans in Japan


Toyota City, Japan, December 25, 2012-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces the launch in Japan today of the redesigned "Crown Royal" and "Crown Athlete" sedans. Both will be sold through "Toyota" dealers across Japan.

The original "Crown" debuted in 1955 and established a tradition of trust and peace of mind, and has since evolved into a sedan that leads the premium car market in Japan.

Now, the 14th-generation of the Crown revisits its roots while also living up to today's demands and expectations by providing an exquisite ride and superbly quiet performance.

The new Crown series has been designed around the core concept of new innovation, and stands at the front of Toyota's ongoing efforts to make ever-better cars2 that exceed expectations.

The new Crown series features distinct and dynamic styling that indicates the extent of the redesign.

All major components have been updated, including a new 2.5-liter hybrid system that combines high output with high fuel economy, a matured suspension, and new cutting-edge technology and devices such as the Toyota Multi-Operation Touch, which consolidates various vehicle functions into one, convenient, easy-to-operate touch panel.

Monthly Sales Target for Japan: 4,000 units

Assembly Plant: Motomachi Plant, Toyota Motor Corporation

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices

Crown Royal
(V6 2.5-liter)
6 Super ECT*2Rear-wheel
3,530,000 yen
Royal Saloon4,090,000 yen
Royal Saloon G4,820,000 yen
Royal i-FourFour-wheel
3,800,000 yen
Royal Saloon i-Four4,360,000 yen
Royal Saloon G i-Four5,050,000 yen
RoyalTHS II with reduction gearRear-wheel
4,100,000 yen
Royal Saloon4,690,000 yen
Royal Saloon G5,360,000 yen
*1Includes consumption tax, does not include recycling fees and differs in Hokkaido and Okinawa; *2Super Intelligent Electronically-controlled, Six-speed Automatic Transmission

Crown Athlete
(V6 2.5-liter)
6 Super ECT*2Rear-wheel
3,570,000 yen
Athlete S4,130,000 yen
Athlete G4,900,000 yen
Athlete i-FourFour-wheel
3,800,000 yen
Athlete S i-Four4,360,000 yen
Athlete G i-Four5,130,000 yen
Athlete S2GR-FSE
(V6 3.5-liter)
8 Super ECTRear-wheel
4,970,000 yen
Athlete G5,750,000 yen
AthleteTHS II with reduction gear4,100,000 yen
Athlete S4,690,000 yen
Athlete G5,430,000 yen
*1Includes consumption tax, does not include recycling fees and differs in Hokkaido and Okinawa; *2Super Intelligent Electronically-controlled, Six-speed Automatic Transmission

Vehicle Outline

1. Distinct and Dynamic Styling Fitting for a New Era

The new Crown series boasts a dignified yet expressive side profile built around a lowered body complemented by free-flowing lines and dynamic styling. The impressive front mask-based on the shape of a crown-emphasizes the individuality of the Crown series' unyielding presence and dignity.

Crown Royal
The hood and sides of the body thrust forward to create a strong front view with a commanding presence. The thick, angled upper grille blends with the wide and open lower grille to create the new, dignified face of the Crown Royal

The lowered body combines with the horizontally accented shoulder lines to create a low front-center-of-gravity while presenting a sense of forward momentum through the side profile.

The cabin is tapered toward the rear with the tires set outward through the use of arch hemming3 to create an impressive rear view that conveys a sense of stability and sturdiness. The shortened wheel arch flanges and the hems are curved inward to present smooth flare surfaces.

Crown Athlete
The low-to-the-ground center body and fender strongly emphasize the tires to form a lively front view. The shape of the grille evokes the image of a crown while expressing the functionality of a sports model to produce a striking look.

With integrated side rocker molding consistent with the body, the side profile emphasizes the low center of gravity and excellent driving performance.

The rear view features combination taillights with rounded accents that convey an aggressive feel. The rear spoiler flows smoothly into the side rocker moldings to emphasize the low center of gravity, and the adoption of a lower garnish with aerodynamic effects conveys the quality of the driving performance.

Shapes and handiwork infused with traditional Japanese aesthetics (such as layers, overlapping patterns) show refinement, contrasting with the modern Toyota Multi-Operation Touch control unit, but realizing a harmony between these aspects to create a modern interior that integrates tradition with innovation.

Newly developed wood-grain panels-with lustrous gold stitching and intricate geometric patterns created through digital processing-are arranged and placed with extreme precision to create an interior space that pursues unprecedented quality in ornamentation design and detail.

Interior and Exterior Colors
The Crown Royal is available in six body colors, including new Precious Silver and two new interior colors-Chestnut and Flaxen.

The Crown Athlete is available in six body colors including new Precious Silver and Precious Black Pearl with two interior colors including new Terra Rossa.

2. Outstanding Performance

The new, exclusive rear-wheel-drive hybrid system combines a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder inline Atkinson cycle engine featuring next-generation D-4S4 technology with a high-torque motor to provide the drive performance of a 3.0-liter V6 vehicle and class-leading5 environmental performance.

The new 2AR-FSE engine achieves class-leading5 maximum thermal efficiency6 of 38.5 percent to achieve both high fuel efficiency and high output.

Fuel efficiency is 23.2 km/L under the JC08 test cycle of Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT; equivalent to CO2 emissions of 100 g/km), contributing to substantial reductions in CO2 emissions.

The 2015 fuel efficiency standards are exceeded by 20 percent. Combined with certification for emission levels 75 percent lower than 2005 standards under the MLIT approval system for low-emission vehicles, the new Crown series is eligible for tax reduction measures under the Japanese government's taxation system for environment-friendly vehicles.

Main Specifications of Crown Series Exclusive Rear-wheel-drive Hybrid System 
Displacement2,493 cc
Maximum output131 kW (178 PS)/6,000 rpm
Maximum torque221 N-m (22.5 kgf-m)/4,200-4,800 rpm
Maximum output105 kW (143 PS)
Maximum torque300 N-m (30.6 kgf-m)
Complete systemMaximum output*162 kW (220 PS)
BatteryNickel-metal hydride
*Using both engine power and electric motor power; based on TMC calculations

In addition to the 2.5-liter V6 engine with 6 Super ECT and the Athlete-only 3.5-liter V6 engine with 8 Super ECT, both vehicles are also equipped with the Driving Response and Acceleration Management System (DRAMS) for smooth and powerful acceleration.

Rigidity of the front and rear suspension arms has been optimized. The rear suspension arms with open cross-sectional configuration provide a high-quality ride without transmitting vibration from the road surface. Offset tie-rod ends on the front suspension and toe-control arms in the rear suspension maintain high vehicle stability when cornering to greatly increase ride comfort.

The addition of spot welding to certain locations increases body rigidity, improving steering responsiveness, road grip and riding comfort.

The sides of the combination taillights feature aero-stabilizing fins that generate small eddy currents in the air that flow alongside the vehicle, applying force to the vehicle on both sides to maintain excellent steering stability.

Extensive vibration and noise countermeasures have been implemented on the body, this in addition to the hybrid system on hybrid models can provide much quieter performance7 over the existing V6 engine.

3. State-of-the-art Equipment

Driving Support
The Adaptive High Beam System ensures high forward nighttime visibility for the driver by detecting preceding and oncoming vehicles and selectively blocking sections of the high beams coming from the vehicle that could interfere with other drivers' vision.

The Panoramic View Monitor integrates images from four cameras mounted on the front, rear, left, and right of the vehicle and displays them on the navigation system screen in conjunction with gear-stick operation to enable the driver to monitor hard-to-see areas around the vehicle.

Safety and Peace of Mind
The new Crown series features a Pre-collision System (including an improved Pre-collision Brake Assist system and a Pre-collision Braking system) with millimeter-wave radar that improves deceleration performance for 90 percent of relative speeds at which rear-end collisions occur.

In addition, Intelligent Clearance Sonar automatically applies the brakes and mitigates damage in the event of a collision caused by pedal misapplication or application with excessive force. For example, when starting from a stop in a parking lot, if the clearance sonar detects an obstacle in the direction of travel, a warning is issued and the engine or motor output is controlled accordingly.

Drive-start Control, standard on all vehicles, provides an on-screen and auditory warning to the driver and controls the engine or motor output to limit sudden acceleration and mitigate collision damage in the event of irregular gear-stick operation.

In the unfortunate event of a collision with a pedestrian, the vehicle's Pop-up Hood instantly raises at the rear to reduce the force of impact on the pedestrian's head.

Options Packages*1 
Options PackagesMain features
1Advanced package- Pre-collision System (millimeter-wave radar)
- Clearance Sonar and Back Sonar
- Intelligent Clearance Sonar
- Radar Cruise Control (brake control)
- Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management*2 (gasoline-engine Royal Saloon models only)
2Driver support package*3
-Electric tilt and telescoping steering wheel with auto-tilt away and return function (gasoline-engine Royal Saloon, Royal Saloon i-Four, 2.5-liter gasoline-engine Athlete S and Athlete S i-Four)
-Automatic windshield wipers (rain detection)
-Automatic anti-glare rearview mirror
3Rear comfort package*4- Rear power seats (reclining with 40/20/40 split)
- Rear center arm rest (with cup holder, storage box, and various control switches)
- Rear accessory socket (DC 12 V, 120 W)
- Rear left and right SRS side airbags
4Leather seat package*5- Leather seats
- Front seat ventilation
- Front seat heaters*6
- Rear seat heaters (Royal Saloon G and Royal Saloon G i-Four only)
*1Not available on the Royal and Royal i-Four or the Athlete and Athlete i-Four.; *2Combines Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Traction Control, and Electric Power Steering; *3Standard on the Royal Saloon G, Royal Saloon G i-Four, Athlete G, and Athlete G i-Four; *4Standard on the Royal Saloon G, Royal Saloon G i-Four; not available on the Athlete series; *5Standard on the Athlete G and Athlete G i-Four; *6Standard on hybrid vehicles.

1Hybrid model production is scheduled to begin in late January 2013.
2A key concept of Toyota's automobile manufacturing in the Toyota Global Vision
3A structure or bending processing used on exterior and exterior-plate components
4Direct injection four-stroke gasoline engine superior version
5Compared to vehicles of similar engine displacement, according to TMC
6Calorific value effectively utilized for generating motive force (fuel that was used for actually moving the vehicle) as a percentage of the thermal energy provided to drive the engine. Increasing this percentage leads to higher fuel economy.
7Compared to Toyota V6 engines at same number of revolutions, according to TMC