Toyota Highlander Hybrid
From Toyota press: The Toyota Highlander crossover sport utility vehicle continues to showcase Toyota value for 2010 by adding new options to Base grade models. The base four-cylinder model, which was added to the lineup for 2009, now offers a power tilt/slide moonroof, and the Base V6 model now offers a backup camera with a monitor in the multi-information display.
The second-generation Highlander is significantly larger, roomier and more powerful than the vehicle it replaces, yet still has excellent fuel efficiency. The new-generation Highlander is noticeably quieter and more spacious with enhanced versatility and ride comfort. It is among the leaders in providing standard active and passive safety equipment in a segment where safety is at the top of purchase considerations.
The 2010 Highlander is available in Base, Sport and Limited grades in both two-wheel (2WD) and full-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) models. The four-cylinder engine is standard on the Base grade with 2WD. All Highlander Hybrid models are equipped with four-wheel-drive with intelligence and available in Base and Limited grades.
The Highlander Hybrid continues with Hybrid Synergy Drive, which was extensively upgraded and refined for the second generation for both power and fuel economy. The system pairs a 3.3-liter V6 engine with its high-torque electric drive motor-generator and uses a second rear-mounted motor to provide automatic on-demand four-wheel drive with intelligence traction. The output of the Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain is 270 net horsepower, while delivering impressive fuel economy ratings. The 2010 Highlander Hybrid receives EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 27 MPG city/25 MPG highway/26 MPG combined. The combined figure is about 30 percent higher than the conventional V6 Highlander models.
The 4WD Highlander Hybrid uniquely generates rear-wheel power with a separate 45-kW electric motor (MGR) that provides up to 96 lb.-ft. of additional drive torque on demand. Thus, the Highlander Hybrid 4WD-i does not require power-transfer gearing or a driveshaft from the front. The system electronically varies front and rear torque distribution depending on traction conditions.
Activating an EV mode switch located on the front center console allows the driver to operate strictly in electric-mode under certain conditions for a limited distance at low speeds, or in some stop-and-go driving conditions. The resulting benefit is reduced fuel consumption, emissions and noise. A new ECON drive mode switch activates a throttle control program that smoothes out the throttle response during acceleration, enhancing fuel economy.
A third new fuel saving feature is a Hybrid System Indicator located on the left side of the Optitron combination meter. This feature provides the driver with a guideline to help reduce fuel consumption. When the driver increases acceleration, the Hybrid System Indicator automatically switches to "acceleration mode" and encourages the driver to keep the power meter needle within white dash marks to help achieve maximum fuel economy.