Toyota Presents Estima Hybrid at Tokyo Motor Show

October 29, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota Motor Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) presented its new Estima Hybrid four-wheel-drive minivan and Crown Royal luxury sedan at the 35th Tokyo Motor Show. The Estima is the world's first hybrid minivan and first mass-produced hybrid four-wheel drive vehicle.

Advanced “brake by wire” technology is at the core of a vehicle dynamics management system that provides stability and agility. In addition, the Estima's hybrid powerplant can generate up to 1,500W of auxiliary 100Vac. Instead of a planetary gear, the Estima uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in a compact front transaxle to transmit main motor energy, and adds a rear transaxle, which combines a second motor and differential gear in a single unit, for a lightweight, compact structure that enables four-wheel drive without a driveshaft. The Estima can cruise 1,000km on one tank of gas.