Talking Tech With Toyota
The Auto Expo is always the place to be for car enthusiasts not only for the sheer exhibits of all sorts of vehicles from around the world but also for the technology that drives them. The Toyota pavilion at the Auto Expo 2023 was the truest reflection of this. The legendary Japanese car maker brought not only a generous portion of its global range, but it also brought an incredible range of its technology.
With a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle, Plug-in Hybrid Electric, BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), Self-Charging Hybrid Electric, the H2 Concept (ICE and Hydrogen) and a Flex Fuel Electric, Toyota’s presence at the Auto Expo 2023 was the perfect peek into the future of motoring. Here’s a detailed look at some of the highlights from the Toyota pavilion:
Mirai Hydrogen FCEV
What makes this low-slung, 4-door sedan truly unique - and important - is not its design, cool as it is. Within its coupe-like shell is Toyota’s Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicle technology.
In the Mirai, hydrogen from the fuel tank and air entering from the grille meet in the Fuel Cell Stack, where a chemical reaction involving ambient oxygen and hydrogen creates electricity - which is what powers the Mirai. The by-product? Water! Because hydrogen can be produced from various energy sources, an H-FCEV can be called the ultimate eco-car, delivering a long cruising range, a short refuelling time and, of course, generating zero emissions!
Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric
Toyota’s Plug-in Hybrid Electric tech is best represented in its global sensation, the ever-popular Prius. Be it in Los Angeles or London or, of course, Tokyo, the Prius is an instantly recognizable car that has gone on to become a tremendous success thanks to its hybrid tech.
Plug-in Hybrid tech allows the Prius to drive short distances in the city as an Electric Vehicle, where it consumes zero fuel. It uses a large-capacity, lithium-ion battery and features a plug-in hybrid system with efficiency improvements - with a range of 68.2km and a top speed of 135kph in EV mode. Over a long-distance drive, and even after the battery charge is depleted, the Prius still keeps going on conventional fuel, thanks to its hybrid tech! Its popularity, therefore, is entirely unsurprising.
bZ4X Battery Electric Vehicle
This one’s a properly athletic and really futuristic-looking SUV which also happens to be the first Toyota to utilise the new e-TNGA - which is the Toyota New Global Architecture platform.
What the bZ4X delivers is not only a smooth drive and very involving performance but also the off-road prowess of a proper SUV. Apart from its EV tech, it also offers a high level of safety, thanks to Toyota Safety Sense, the brand’s latest active safety package. Looking for exhilarating performance with peace of mind to match? The buck stops here!
Innova HyCross & Hyryder Self-Charging Hybrid Electric
Our very own Innova HyCross and HyRyder made their presence at the Auto Expo 2023 felt as self-charging hybrid electric cars!
Self-charging hybrid cars are yet another example of how intelligently Toyota approaches technology. A SHEV uses electricity generated from the energy produced during braking and deceleration, which is then stored in a battery. When you need more power, the stored energy is released - and then you get all the might you can ask for - and then some more!
Corolla Cross H2 Concept
You know what Akio Toyoda - the President of Toyota - is known for, apart from being the man behind some of the most brilliant cars of our times? No? For being a race car driver, that’s what! And the car you see here has its roots in a car that Mr Toyoda himself raced, just last year!
Featuring a three-cylinder turbocharged engine, the Corolla Cross H2 Concept is based on race-tested technology as seen in the GR Corolla H2. In addition to its conventional engine, it is also equipped with two compressed gas hydrogen tanks under the floor. But what Toyota is really aiming for, is to use hydrogen in its liquid form. Why’s that? Because the energy density of liquid hydrogen is even higher, and so, it can offer a significantly better cruising range.
Corolla Altis Flex Fuel Electric
From the race to the chequered flag to the race for a sustainable future, Toyota knows how to stay ahead. And so, we come to its Flex Fuel Electric technology - something that is the nearest reflection of the future.
What you’re seeing here is no ordinary Corolla Altis - this car features a flex-fuel engine and an electric powertrain. With ethanol being a favourable bio-fuel for India, given its agrarian economy, this format works brilliantly, since it not only uses more responsible fuel, it also runs for a significant time period in EV mode, wherein the engine is shut off! Flexing done right, wouldn’t you say?
Glanza Concept Car - Motorsport Tech
If you thought that was all - no, you’re a little bit wrong. Toyota’s take on technology isn’t just about making the world a better place - it’s about making the world have fun, too! This Glanza Concept Car is a sneak peek into Toyota’s technological brilliance in the world of motorsport, where it’s always had a formidable presence. Its hunkered-down stance sure makes it look racy and ready to hammer down the track. There’s simply nothing else like it at the Expo!
Hilux Extreme Off-Road Concept - Off-road Tech
Toyota’s other area of expertise - to put it mildly - is off-roaders. This is the Extreme Off-roader concept, based on the Hilux 4x4, and it is a culmination of Toyota’s decades of off-road dominance. With a towering, imposing appearance, underpinnings that are built to take on the absolute worst and a presence that’s bound to make anything else appear diminutive, the Extreme Off-Roader Concept is a one-of-a-kind machine that will make your jaw drop.
Land Cruiser 300 - Road + Off-Road Tech
Since we’re on the subject of off-road dominance, what better example can there be other than the King Of The Terrain - the all-new Land Cruiser 300. Underneath this megalithic structure is a 3.3L V6 with a 10-speed automatic, AWD Integrated Management (AIM) and a Multi-Terrain Monitor. Simply put, it’s the most versatile SUV of all time, one with a legacy and pedigree like none other.
How was that, then, for an exhaustive lowdown on the tremendous technology Toyota has showcased at the Auto Expo 2023? Have you picked a favourite yet? For us, it’s a coin toss between lounging in the back seat of the Vellfire and going dune-bashing in the Extreme Off-Roader Concept!