It’s called the NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept, and it’s supposed to signal a new styling direction for Toyota aimed at making an emotional connection with consumers. The Detroit debutant is nonetheless packed with a veritable array of tech, and is essentially an innovations showcase for the brand.
Design-wise, the lift back design features powered swan-wing doors and a distinctive trapezoid grille among the styling cues, but it’s all really about the whizz-bang with this one.
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.
Inside the cabin, the NS4 concept features a human-machine interface (HMI) centred around a multi-touch screen that has the look and feel of a smartphone. The simple, intuitive operation conveys information quickly with the minimum of distraction to the driver, and is even capable of “learning” driver preferences to anticipate driver responses in specific environments and situations.
As for the powertrain, the hybrid plug-in system on this one features a reduction in component size and weight, and benefits gained are an improved overall fuel economy, better acceleration and longer all-electric range, as well as a short charge time.
Among the active safety kit on the NS4 are a next generation pre-collision system (PCS) with lane departure and pedestrian collision avoidance technologies, adaptive driving beam (ADB) headlights, and blind spot monitor (BSM).
Even the glass does the tech tango – 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.
The flourine-coated glass has a high UV absorbing inner-layer and also features an anti-solar film with radio-wave transparency, the latter to reduce the internal vehicle temperature and improve electronic device functionality. The flourine provides for a rain-resistant ‘hydrophobic’ coating, offering improved visibility and rain drop elimination, and there’s also an anti-fog coating slapped on for good measure.