2012 Detroit Auto Show: NS4 Concept previews a new design language for Toyota

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 10, 2012

With lots of concepts and new cars from the first day of the 2012 Detroit Auto Show we completely forgot about Toyota but the Japanese manufacturer wanted to remind us that it has something new: behold the all-new Toyota NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept. As expected, the new model shows a new styling direction for Toyota and features a trapezoid grille accented by a floating lower spoiler and distinctive daytime running lights.

The taillights wrap around the sides of the vehicle and create the effect of a rear spoiler. Toyota’s new NS4 Concept also features an advanced human-machine interface (HMI) centred around a multi-touch screen with the look and feel of a smartphone.

The simple, intuitive operation conveys information quickly while minimizing distractions and maximizing driver awareness. Moreover, the HMI system is even capable of "learning" driver preferences to anticipate driver responses in specific environments and situations.

State of the art safety systems are also introduced, such as the next generation pre-collision system (PCS), adaptive driving beam (ADB) headlights, and blind spot monitor (BSM). The NS4 also features four new glass technologies integrated in the windscreen, front and rear windows.

These include: Rain-resistant 'hydrophobic' coating - Fluorine coated glass causes rain drops to form intosemispherical shapes for improved visibility and rain drop elimination; 'Anti-fog' coating - High performance resin material with anti-fogging characteristics and increased durability; High ultraviolet (UV) absorbing inner-layer - Removes 99 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays; Anti-solar film with radio-wave transparency - Reduces the internal vehicle temperature and improves electronic device functionality.

The conventional inner and outer rear view mirrors have now been replaced with cameras in order to provide the driver with a panoramic view to the rear. The rear-view camera displays images on a dashboard-mounted screen, and provides the driver with a much wider field of vision when compared to a traditional rear view mirror.

The windscreen as well as front and rear windows of the NS4 Concept incorporates four new glass technologies to further improve driver visibility and fuel efficiency, as well as its mileage on electric driving mode.

One of these technologies is the anti-solar film with radio-wave transparency, working to lower the internal vehicle temperature while improving electronic device functionality. Rain-resistant 'hydrophobic' coating causes rain drops to form into semispherical shapes to further improve visibility and eliminate rain drops on the glass. The windscreen and the front and rear windows feature high ultraviolet (UV) absorbing inner-layer that could get rid 99 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays.

In addition, these glass parts are coated with 'Anti-fog' resin material. Instead of the usual inner and outer rear view mirrors, the NS4 is fitted with a number of cameras, including a rear-view camera that displays images on a dashboard-mounted screen.

This camera delivers a wider field of vision compared to a conventional rear view mirror. Lentz remarked that the continued success of Toyota’s conventional hybrid vehicles provided a strong foundation for market reception of future advanced technologies. He added that the NS4 is a demonstration of the carmaker’s commitment to improve the safety, efficiency, and convenience of future mobility.

Press Release

Toyota NS4 Advanced Plug-in Hybrid Concept

Toyota revealed the NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept vehicle at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The NS4 exemplifies Toyota's vision for future mobility, with a focus on next generation connectivity and safety.

Jim Lentz, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Sales US (Inc.) said, "In this digital age, cars are becoming another spoke in the wheel of our electronic connectivity. NS4 demonstrates Toyota's take on the human connection to the car with technology that considers both emotional and rational relationships, person-to-car and car-to-society."

NS4's advanced power train targets a hybrid plug-in system featuring reductions in component size and weight with improved overall fuel economy, better acceleration and longer all-electric range, while maintaining a short charge time.

The Toyota NS4 concept signals a new styling direction for Toyota aimed at making an emotional connection with consumers. The distinctive trapezoid grille is accented by a floating lower spoiler and distinctive daytime running lights. Rear lamps wrap around the sides of the vehicle, and create the effect of a rear spoiler. The roof line profile, lift back design and powered swan-wing doors create greater accessibility and efficient functionality.

Advanced in-car connectivity

Traditional vehicle development cycles average four years, but this is rapidly changing with the introduction of more technological innovations. Vehicles have become another communication hub in the consumers' lifestyle, and are the third-fastest growing technological device, behind smartphones and tablets. Toyota has formed special alliances with technology leaders such as Microsoft, Intel and Salesforce to explore the creation of seamless vehicle interfaces with emerging technologies. These alliances will ensure Toyota is at the forefront of this emerging sector of the automotive market.

The Toyota NS4 concept's human-machine interface (HMI) is centred around a multi-touch screen with the look and feel of a smartphone. The simple, intuitive operation conveys information quickly while minimizing distractions and maximizing driver awareness. The multimedia and vehicle-controls enhancement will also direct air conditioning, audio, battery-charge and navigation functions. The HMI system is even capable of "learning" driver preferences to anticipate driver responses in specific environments and situations.

The next evolution of Toyota safety systems

The NS4 features Toyota's latest safety system developments, including next generation pre-collision system (PCS), adaptive driving beam (ADB) headlights, and blind spot monitor (BSM). PCS features lane departure and pedestrian collision avoidance technologies designed to predict collisions under certain circumstances and help avoid them. The system uses millimeter-wave radar and stereo cameras mounted on the front of the vehicle to detect and react to lane departure, pedestrians, and other vehicles. In the event of a potential collision, the system seeks to avoid other vehicles, road-side obstructions, and pedestrians by applying the brakes and manipulating steering.

Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) headlights help to prevent vision-impairing glare to oncoming drivers and pedestrians. Using a camera mounted behind the front grille and partial shielding inside the headlights, this feature allows drivers to maintain near-high beam illumination to improve nighttime visibility.

Using sub-millimeter wave radar, the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane and visually alerts the driver using visual indicators placed in the upper dash.

The pop-up bonnet structure automatically raises the rear of the hood to increase the space underneath, helping to reduce pedestrian head injuries caused by a collision with the front of the vehicle. This innovation is the result of testing and verification using both conventional crash-test dummies and Toyota's Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) finite element model.

Glass Technology to maximize aerodynamic efficiency and driver comfort

Four new glass technologies are integrated into the windscreen, front and rear windows to improve driver visibility, fuel economy and electric driving mode mileage efficiency:

Rain-resistant 'hydrophobic' coating - Fluorine coated glass causes rain drops to form intosemispherical shapes for improved visibility and rain drop elimination.
'Anti-fog' coating - High performance resin material with anti-fogging characteristics andincreased durability.
High ultraviolet (UV) absorbing inner-layer - Removes 99 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays
Anti-solar film with radio-wave transparency - Reduces the internal vehicle temperature andimproves electronic device functionality
Inner and outer rear view mirrors have been replaced with cameras that provide the driver with a panoramic view to the rear. The rear-view camera displays images on a dashboard-mounted screen, and provides the driver with a much wider field of vision when compared to a traditional rear view mirror.

Jim Lentz concluded the unveiling of the NS4, saying, "The continued success of our conventional hybrid vehicles laid strong groundwork for market acceptance of future advanced technologies. NS4 demonstrates Toyota's ongoing commitment to enhancing the safety, efficiency, and convenience of future mobility for people everywhere."

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

Recommended

America does love the Toyota Camry. This has been an established fact for the past several years and for 2016, the trend might still continue. It has been a big...
by - December 3, 2016
In addition to the new 2017 Forte Sedan, the Forte5 also made an appearance at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Both the Forte and Forte5 have...
by - January 18, 2016
The new and refreshed version of the bestselling Kia Forte sedan will finally be rolling out to dealerships this fall. Before that, however, journalists and enthusiasts were given a peek...
by - January 18, 2016
The Jeep brand, created in 1941, will be celebrating its diamond anniversary in 2016. This means 75 years of being the leader in the 4x4 segment, an amazing military history,...
by - January 18, 2016
Hyundai Motor Company revealed at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show the G90 -- its latest model for the Genesis brand. This luxury sedan is envisioned to be Hyundai’s flagship for...
by - January 18, 2016
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries