Toyota NS4 Plug-in Hybrid Concept Could be the Next Prius

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Toyota has unveiled what could be the Prius of the future with the NS4 Plug-in Hybrid Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. According to Toyota, the “NS4 signifies Toyota’s vision for future mobility with a focus on connectivity and the human interface.”

Toyota’s engineers were tasked with designing a new mid-sized concept that could potentially be introduced by 2015. The NS4’s powertrain targets a next-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system featuring reductions in component size and weight with improved overall fuel economy, better acceleration and longer all-electric range, while maintaining a short charge time.

In addition to its next-generation hybrid system, the NS4 introduces a next generation Pre-Collision System (PCS) with lane departure, rear-end and pedestrian collision avoidance technologies. The PCS uses millimeter-wave radar and stereo cameras mounted on the front of the vehicle to detect and react to lane departure, pedestrians and other vehicles. Adaptive headlights and new glass technologies integrated into the windows also help improve driver visibility and gas mileage.

The NS4 concept also gets a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) that provides a user interface built around a multi-touch screen with the look and feel of a smartphone. It provides quick information to the driver and controls the climate control, audio system and navigation functions to minimize distractions.

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