As you may know already, Toyota released today the official details, specs and price of the 2011 Highlander. Well, that wasn’t the only surprise, as the Japanese manufacturer also brought the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The new car features a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 for the 2011 model year, which replaces the previous 3.3-liter V6 found on the current model.
The engine, together with the high-torque electric drive motor-generator, delivers a total output of 280 hp. A second rear-mounted motor provides automatic on-demand four-wheel drive traction.
The 2011 Highlander Hybrid has an EPA-estimated fuel consumption of 28 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The 4WD Highlander Hybrid uniquely generates rear-wheel power with a separate electric motor (MGR) that provides additional drive torque on demand. Furthermore, the car’s 4WD-i system does not require power-transfer gearing or a driveshaft from the front.
In the EV mode, the car can act like an all-electric car for a limited distance and at low speeds, or even in some stop-and-go driving conditions. The ECON drive mode can activate the throttle control program that reduces the throttle response during acceleration, enhancing fuel economy.
The Hybrid System Indicator can provide the driver a guideline, in order the maximize fuel consumption. Regarding its design, the 2011 Highlander Hybrid easily distinguished from the gasoline model by its own unique grille and bumper design.
Still, it shares the new fenders and hood with the gas model, but it features color-keyed rockers with chrome accents, plus vertically stacked fog lamps. The projector beam headlights and redesigned taillights feature blue lens covers.
Daytime running lamps are now standard on all Highlander models. The MSRP for 2011 Highlander Hybrid will range from $37,290 for the base model to $42,945 for the Limited model.