If Toyota's new Hybrid X concept is any indication, the next generation Prius — and any other next generation hybrids from Japan's super awesome number one best automaker — should look even more like a bubble than the current gas-sipper. But the next one will be a bubble designed under two "consistent themes" — what ToMoCo's calling "J-Factor" and "Vibrant Clarity." ToMoCo's press release describes "Vibrant Clarity" easily enough as just the expression of "J-Factor" in the design of the vehicle. But the nearest we can tell, the elusive "J-Factor" is — and I kid you not here — "the local and global acceptance of Japanese-inspired design and cultural form." So, does that mean the new design theme for the next Prius will be "all your designs are belong to Toyota?" Full press release below the jump.
World premiere of Hybrid X concept
New design language for future hybrid models
Four door, four seat open-space concept
Interactive interior design
A step closer to zero emissions
Toyota presents a world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show with the reveal of Hybrid X - a concept car that proposes a new design language for hybrid models, while also acting as an innovative technology showcase for future generation hybrid cars.
Hybrid X is a vision for future environmentally friendly motoring. It fits clearly within Toyota's environmental strategy of offering sustainable mobility for modern families. Hybrid X further extends the use of Hybrid Synergy Drive which is becoming an enabler for vehicle concept innovation and allowing Toyota to push forward to new frontiers.
Hybrid X is designed as a four door, four seat open-space concept. It has the dimensions of a conventional family car with an overall length of 4,500mm and wheelbase of 2,800mm. The width is 1,850mm and height 1,440mm.
Hybrid X has been created and developed by Toyota's European styling centre, ED , in the south of France. It proposes unconventional creative solutions that will themselves potentially become the signature points of a specific hybrid identity.
Hybrid X follows the core values of the Toyota brand design philosophy under two consistent themes: J-Factor and Vibrant Clarity. J-Factor refers to the local and global acceptance of Japanese-inspired design and cultural form, while Vibrant Clarity is the design language used to express the J-factor. Through Vibrant Clarity, designers will infuse future vehicles with a completely original identity and emotional intensity that will be uniquely identifiable as coming from Toyota.
In this context, designers created an unconventional fusion of strength, lightness and emotion through the futuristic body shape. There is fusion of thought also - a symbiosis between the exterior and the interior so that, as you look at the exterior, you can imagine the interior with clarity and vision.
Interior designer, Laurent Bouzige, says: "Hybrid X is conceived as a multi-sensory experience. There is a formal style in the shape of the vehicle and the material used but every other reaction is linked to the passengers' senses of sound, smell, sight and touch through interactive ambience."
The strongest form element of the exterior shape is the two 'U' shapes created by the massive upper glass frame area and the unconventional A and C pillars. When viewed from above this gives the impression of a vast X - hence the name of the concept, Hybrid X.
The U-shaped pillars allow the general shape of Hybrid X to achieve a superior aerodynamic form which is further enhanced by smooth surface lines and the integrated rear spoiler.
At the same time the glass area greatly enhances visibility to create an 'open-space' concept which "frames the vision" in all directions, including up.
Access and innovation are features of the rear-hinged passenger doors which open electronically at the touch of a button. Dynamic hints of driving performance are provided by the customised 20-inch alloy wheels with ultra-low profile 225/40 R20 tyres.
The smooth, aerodynamic lines of the front are unbroken by headlamps which are integrated into the dashboard and are now part of the interior of the car. These LED lamps are 'intelligent' and display graphic forms through animation, adopting the interactive concept of Hybrid X to communicate safety information to pedestrians or other drivers, such as safety distances, acceleration and braking.
Across the rear the energy-efficient LED lights form another U shape, reflecting the design signature of vehicle as a whole.
Fusion between exterior and interior styling is clear from the swooping curves of the interior surfaces. Here there are classic ergonomic solutions and the multi-sensory experience is most keenly developed as the car responds to human interaction. The human element is further emphasised by an artistic drawing printed on the inside door panel.
The driver can set the ambience within the car via an interface in order to control the four senses of sight, sound, touch and smell. LED lighting systems within the car provide a variety of illumination and are changing in harmony with different musical backgrounds. A perfume diffuser fills the air with gentle, relaxing aroma while the use of many different materials and textures on the interior surfaces provides variety to touch.
The drive-by-wire steering pad features a screen in its centre to relay vital energy information to the driver about the energy flow path, fuel consumption, gear position. Interactive navigation and Bluetooth connectivity is provided by a second screen in front of the driver.
A third touch screen, in the console, controls the ambience settings, such as the entertainment and audio systems, lightning operation and air conditioning. A sensitive touch on the steering pad allows the driver to switch information on the screens.
Space saving seats are formed using injected foam techniques which create comfort while reducing weight. In order to further promote human interaction, the two independent rear seats can swivel by 12 degrees to allow passengers to enjoy the scenery or a more intimate 't te- -t te'.
For now, it is clear Hybrid X is an innovative vehicle that conceives how Hybrid Synergy Drive technology can deliver economical, cleaner and more comfortable motoring. It is a step closer to Toyota's vision of the ultimate environmental driving technology and its design will influence the entire Toyota brand and its hybrid models in the future. Hybrid X: a new landmark for Toyota hybrids
Toyota Unveiling New Hybrid Concept in Geneva [internal]