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Concepts take centre stage for Toyota at Paris

Two concepts provide the centrepiece for Toyota’s stand at the Paris Motor Show from September 23. The Toyota D-4D 180 Clean Power concept car will be revealed for the first time, in preparation for a full production version of the engine next year, and a GT sports version of the ultra-clean and fuel efficient Prius will be making its motor show debut.

Also on view for the first time will be the 2005 model year Toyota Land Cruiser with new transmissions and revised 3.0-litre D-4D engine.

Toyota D-4D 180 Clean Power concept

The Toyota D-4D 180 Clean Power concept car showcases Toyota’s further advances in diesel engine technology, achieving improvements in performance and exhaust emissions. The engine will be developed from the concept stage into a production unit which will be launched in 2005, within the 1.9 to 2.2-litre category.

The D-4D 180 power plant is set to create a new benchmark in its class in terms of power and torque. Fitted to the Clean Power concept car, it delivers the world’s lowest combined level of nitrogen oxides and particulates emissions for a diesel engine, respectively 50 and 80% below Euro IV standards.

This is achieved through the use of the Toyota D-CAT system (Diesel Clean Advanced Technology), which has already been used in the 2.0-litre D-CAT engine for the Toyota Avensis.

Toyota Prius GT

The Toyota Prius GT made its UK debut among some of history’s finest racing and sports cars at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Now the prototype model is to be put on show at the Paris show, demonstrating how hybrid power technology does not prohibit high performance.

The Prius GT is based on the production Prius model, developed to demonstrate the versatility of hybrid technology. It retains the combination of 1.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor in the Hybrid Synergy Drive system, tuned to deliver 147bhp. The GT uses the same engine, electric motor, generator and battery as the standard Prius.

The power output is higher than for any other 1.5-litre diesel or petrol engine on the market, while specific power output rises to almost 100bhp per litre. In regular production specification, the Toyota Prius delivers 110bhp.

To match the increase in power output, the car’s complete suspension system – shock absorbers, springs and anti-roll bars – has been upgraded for sharper handling and improved grip. The Prius GT also adopts the same tyres as the Toyota Celica sports coupe for greater grip and the hybrid battery has been moved further back in the vehicle to achieve a near perfect front-to-rear weight balance.

More power and less weight mean significant gains in performance: nought to 62mph acceleration can be achieved in 8.7 seconds. In spite of the higher output, fuel economy and emissions levels are virtually unchanged when the GT is driven at normal speeds, due to the extra engine power being counterbalanced by the efficiency gains in the electric circuit and reduction in weight.

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