Toyota Announces Hybrid Synergy Technology

January 06, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota Motor Corp. (Japan) unveiled plans to offer a new hybrid power train in future vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The hybrid system will be offered in the Lexus RX 330 and will arrive in dealer showrooms in about two years. The electric/gasoline hybrid technology, called Hybrid Synergy Drive, offers low emissions and high fuel economy.

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, according to the company. 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. 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, and the Hybrid Synergy Drive can be easily adapted to a broad range of vehicles.