TOYOTA VEHICLES ON SHOW AT JIMS ANDREW KIRBY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & MARKETING
Thank you Johan for providing us with an insight into Toyota’s vision for sustainable mobility – we are indeed facing interesting times and Toyota is proud to be at the forefront of the development of hybrid and alternative fuel technology and vehicles.
One such example is the Toyota FT-HS or “Future Toyota Hybrid Sports” which we are proud to have on show here at the Johannesburg International Motor Show. With this advanced technology concept vehicle Toyota has proven that it is possible to achieve a superb balance between an exhilarating motoring experience and minimal emissions. Little more than a decade ago this would have presented itself as an unattainable dream.
When we talk of an exhilarating driving experience we mean an experience bordering on a super-car experience. By way of example one of the targets set for the FT-HS is a 0-100 km/h acceleration time in the four-second range. To achieve this FT-HS has a power output of 300 kW as its design target. This level of power clearly demonstrates the potential of hybrid technology that is enabling Toyota to move ahead to new frontiers in vehicle design – combining adequate power delivery with exceptional fuel efficiency.
The FT-HS Concept is a four-seat sports coupe with a unique retractable roof, made of carbon fibre Kevlar. At the push of a button, the roof panel and back window pivot fluidly in a downward motion to stow within the rear seat space. In this top-down configuration the FT-HS becomes a two-seater. The conversion from top-up to top-down takes just ten seconds.
With a potential mid-market price position, the Toyota FT-HS would be expected to find favour with eco-conscious customers who still want to experience the appeal of sports car driving while minimising their environmental footprint. For now, though, the FT-HS remains a development concept to illustrate the potential of hybrid drive technology in the future. In this role it completely dispels the notion that by nature Hybrid vehicles are dull and boring.
Moving back from the future to the reality of today, I am pleased to introduce to you our new flagship in the popular Yaris range – the new Yaris TS Hatch.
Powered by a latest generation all aluminium 1,8 litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission the Yaris TS is designed to offer enjoyable driving pleasure together with low fuel consumption and sophisticated refinement.
The TS engine produces 98 kW @ 6000 r/min with maximum torque of 173 Nm @ 4400 r/min. Significantly 90% of the torque output is available from 2000 r/min through to 6000 r/min providing excellent mid-range pulling power for a thoroughly enjoyable driving experience in town or on the open road.
Not only does the Dual VVT-i system provide a wide torque range, it also boosts top-end power to give the TS good acceleration and a lively feel. Top speed is close to 200 km/h whilst acceleration from rest to 100 km/h is a shade over nine seconds. This level of performance is combined with excellent fuel economy – a combined figure of just 7,1 l/100 km with a CO2 output of 164 gm/km.
The TS adds a new level of sophistication to the Yaris range and exudes a premium feel worthy of a top-of-the-range hatch model. More subtle than aggressive in its approach to sports styling, we expect the Yaris TS to find favour amongst both male and female buyers.
Let’s look at the most prominent styling changes: The TS is immediately distinguished by a more defined aero treatment for the front bumper, headlight, and grille elements. This is carried through along the sides of the car with styled side skirts, while the rear end treatment includes a roof spoiler and aero-efficient bumper – giving the car a wide and low appearance.
Moving on to the interior styling the most prominent features are the high-grade sports style seats that subtly underline the sporty nature of this new addition to the Yaris family. As with its T1 and T3 siblings, the Yaris TS provides an excellent value proposition with its high level of specification.
The front suspension follows the proven L-arm MacPherson strut layout featured across the Yaris range but is fine tuned in keeping with the sportier nature of the Yaris TS. Remaining true to the proven Yaris concept the rear suspension consists of a lightweight and compact torsion beam system, again fine tuned to match the sporty character of the TS.
The electric power steering system or EPS is enhanced for its application in the TS. It uses a higher steering ratio to provide more precise control and its power assistance characteristics are adapted to this ratio and the 17-inch wheels. Large diameter disc brakes – Ventilated at the front and solid at the rear – are fitted all round.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the TS to the popular Yaris range that regularly features amongst South Africa’s top three selling vehicles….
Speaking of top sellers, let’s have a look at the latest addition to the Hilux range – our new three litre Diesel Raider 4X4 with automatic transmission.
Before we go into detail here though, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Hilux is South Africa’s overall top selling vehicle for the year to date with 22 598 sales to its credit. In the one-ton pick-up segment the Hilux accounts for over 37% of sales.
The Hilux has entrenched itself in the light commercial market as a superb value proposition with its reputation for value for money, reliability, features, and unparalleled performance in terms of whole life cost of operation.
We continually monitor the market for evolving customer requirements. With the rapid advancement of diesel engine technology, and the increasing popularity of diesel vehicles in South Africa, we identified a high level of customer interest in a top-of-the-range diesel powered double-cab Hilux with an automatic transmission with a requirement for both 4X2 and 4X4 drivetrains. We also identified the need for a top specification 4X2 V6 petrol model with automatic transmission and have now added these derivatives to the range.
These new models, the two diesels powered by Toyota’s latest generation 1KD-FTV diesel engine, and the Petrol 4X2 model by the 4.0 litre V6, all boast a comprehensive level of luxury specification.
The latest styling package as shown on the new Hilux 3.0 D-4D 4X4 Raider AT includes a revised front bumper, a new design for the radiator grille, revised headlamps, a lockable tailgate, and a short ‘bee-sting’ type radio antenna. On Double Cab Raider models the wheel size is increased to 16 inch diameter.
Now let us move on to the car that truly underlines Toyota’s philosophy of Harmonious drive – the Prius. The Prius has a unique place in motoring history as a shining example of Toyota Motor Corporation’s translation of advanced design concepts, like the FT-HS, into practical, high volume, motoring solutions.
With over a million sales to its credit, the Prius is not only the global leader in hybrid sales, but also the technology leader. It is truly a working example of Toyota’s drive towards sustainable mobility.
When we first launched the Prius in South Africa back in 2005 it had more novel appeal that practical appeal. In the early months it was pretty a motoring curiosity. Now, with a far greater awareness of global warming, and with the skyrocketing costs of oil, the Prius has come into its own in South Africa.
Globally there is a supply constraint on the Prius and that applies equally in South Africa. The free supply situation that existed at the time of launch has changed into one where demand outstrips supply by a factor of almost three to one with a three month back order position on the Prius at this time.
We invite you to take a closer look at both the Prius and the Hybrid Synergy Drive simulator to gain an insight into the advanced technology that has established Toyota as the global leader in hybrid vehicle sales and product development.
Thank you for joining us for this presentation and we now cordially invite you to enjoy lunch with us.