Geneva motor show: Auris HSD unveiled

What better way to begin my journey to Geneva to see the launch of Toyota’s new hybrid than in Toyota’s award-winning hybrid star, the Prius? A sprightly driver picked me up in one of the Green Tomato Cars at 4am, and off we set for Gatwick.

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After a straightforward flight, we make our way to Hall 4 and the Toyota stand. We are greeted at once by the gleaming FT-86. It’s early, but already the new Toyota sports car is garnering significant attention. It’s not hard to see why:

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Tearing our eyes away from the stunning FT-86 and making our way across the huge Toyota stand, we see plenty of familiar faces – Prius, Yaris, iQ – all in sparkling white. However, the star of the show – as well as the now crowd-makingly popular FT-86 – is the new, production-ready Auris HSD, with revolving models adorning each end of the stand.

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Auris HSD isn’t the only showcase for Toyota’s hybrid developments. In fact, the stand features a dedicated hybrid section – the Hybrid Synergy Drive Gallery – which is tucked away behind the main façade and bathed in blue light. The Gallery features an FT-EV II (making its European debut), cross-sections of Prius and a fuel cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV), and a fascinating ‘Evolution of Prius’ display. This presented the four generations of Prius hybrid battery (the fourth being the lithium ion battery used in Prius PHV), side-by-side. The visible differences in size and shape of these remarkable pieces of technology alone show just how far Hybrid Synergy Drive technology has developed, and how quickly. I’m in awe.

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We get time for one more lingering look at the FT-86 up close, and then it’s time for the press conference. Senior Vice President of Toyota Motor Europe, Andrea Formica, delivers a positive and upbeat speech, first touching on the recent recalls before introducing the FT-86, 2010 Auris and Auris HSD, and 2010 RAV4. There is a real feeling of forward-looking optimism.

Our plane awaited, and so on that positive note, we departed the Geneva motor show. The strong hybrid presence at the show tells us that the technology is already big on the agenda. Launching Auris HSD may only be Toyota’s first step towards incorporating Hybrid Synergy Drive across the full range, but we can be sure that there are big strides ahead.

Update 5/3/10: All our photos from the show can now be found on Flickr.

Comments (5)

  1. TOYOTA STILL HOLDS ITS REPUTATION AND ITS MEAN AND AGGRESSIVE FEEL AND LOOKS AND THE PERFORMANCE AND DRIVE I STILL REMEMBER WHEN TOYOTA FIRST CAME OUT WITH ITS FIRST 4 WHEEL DRIVE OFF ROADER THOSE OFF ROADERS WERE VERY STRONG AND TOUGH IT ALMOST LOOKED LIKE A LARGE BUS TOYOTA SHOULD NOW CONCERNTRATE ON MAKING A 100CC 10 GEAR AND A 5 DOOR HATCH BACK/SALOON/STATION WAGEN WITH ALL ITS HIFI SYSTEM CONTROLS ON THE STEERING WHEEL AND SATTALITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM ON THE STEERING WHEEL AND MINI COCKTAIL BAR BUILT IN TELEPHONE /VOICE CONTROL KEY LOCK AND STEERING WHEEL 17INCH ALLOYS PLUS I LIKE THE TOYOTA WEB SITE ITS VERY IMFORMATIVE AND GIVES YOU LATEST NEWS ON ALL THE TOYOTA MODELS AND F1 CARS I ALSO HAVE ANOTHER REQUEST TOYOTA SHOULD BRING BACK THE TOYOTA CENTURY AND THE TOYOTA CROWN AND SUPER SALOON/SERA/PAESEO/STARLET /CORONA/COROLLA/SOARER/ORIGINAL CARINA/ORIGINAL SUPRA PLEASE PASS MY COMMENTS HQ IN JAPAN I HAVE FULL FAITH IN TOYOTA.
    FROM
    MR.MILAN KOTHARI

  2. I STILL want to carry a couple of bikes on my Prius
    I am definitley too old to be lifting them on to the car roof
    I am not a bike mechanic and don’t want to strip them down to fit in the boot (and also want to carry regular luggage)
    Their MUST be a hitch type mount somewhere that Toyota have checked out

  3. The roll out of hybrid needs to address a real problem. My Prius during the very cold weather fell close on twenty miles to the gallon. This pointed specifically that the batteries were not delivering the power, and reliance on the engine was very high. Research on hybrid and indeed battery powered vehicles should be directed to what happens to the capacity of these batteries in the winter months and how to avoid it. Another thing happened as well. The systems would not start up correctly and it took four or five on off’s to activate the electrics. Since the weather has warmed up the car has reverted back to correct operation.

    1. I thought that the fuel consumption thing was just me/bad driving/tyre change needed/whatever – so thanks for clearing my mind on this point. We dropped 10mpg for no apparent reason and it has now gone back up.
      I can’t credit that Toyota haven’t done their ultra-cold testing, having seen how other manufactureres’ do this (I have been in a test cell at Jaguar design centre). IF they haven’t, another apology-bow would seem due!

      Now, can anyone help me with a bike carrier hitch please?

  4. yes the FT-86 is getting popular and i will have one when it makes it to production. i visit this online magazine every day for news – http://www.tune86.com
    i hope toyota spends next 2 years doing the best they can to do the best sports car release in their history 🙂

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