Toyota Aqua for men who love to travel a lot and don’t want to go broke on gasoline

The Toyota Prius, one of the most popular in the world of hybrids, there was a compact fellow. Count up bro, this car uses only 2.5 liters of gasoline per hundred, which is strange.

This was announced back in 2010 at the American international auto show NAIAS in Detroit. A new concept has been introduced called the FT-CH belonged to the segment B. It was much more compact than the mid-size Toyota Prius.

By the way, the FT-CH stands for «Future Toyota-Compact Hybrid». In 2011, the show NAIAS world premiere of the «Prius C Concept», is about to release a new model also it was officially announced at the Tokyo motor show.

In Japan, the model will be published under the name of Aqua (which means water). The meaning of the name, the developers explain that «hybrid cars like freely flowing water, not have a strict form and purpose». In America, the new Toyota will be sold under the has gained the wide popularity of the Prius brand. In Europe the car will not sell so as not to compete with other compact hybrid Yaris (Vitz) Hybrid.

We live in the era of downsizing. Are relevant to the present day words like «ecology», «carbon dioxide», «global warming» etc. were heard especially often after the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. In the same year debuted the Prius first generation. Before the global crisis was still 10 years old, and at that time a major Western automakers, in spite of rapidly changing trends, believed that the future was of large dimensions and great power. Japanese companies, strongly dependent on exports, were also forced to follow the concept of capacity and volume.

Born at a pivotal moment, the concept FT-CH, and his incarnation of the Toyota Aqua has caused no less a sensation than at the time the Prius. Given the relatively inexpensive cost of the compact hybrid Toyota is committed to sell at least 12 thousand cars every month. It’s time to say a few words about what, in fact, represents the new model.

At first glance, nothing unusual

One look at the «face» of the Deluxe version was enough for me to see in it the features of a Prius. Toyota Aqua lights are located at the base of the a-pillar, as in the FT-CH or the Prius C Concept, but the compact length of the car and a triangular roof line still let me know what family he belongs to.

It is no secret that the environmental Prius has become a well-established brand. Of course, developers compact Aqua had to work hard with the design of the body, Avot wheelbase is the same as in the Prius the first generation — I Wonder 2550 mm, installed in the new model the main components of the system of THS-II, which was used on the previous-generation Prius?

If you think about it, at first glance, the Toyota Aqua is nothing sverhvydayuschegosya. In any case, to the level of the hybrid new generation visually it does not hold.

Not left me feeling this way and after I got behind the wheel. The only good point is directly above the center console, transmission type «Gate Type» as in models with conventional internal combustion engines.

Toyota Aqua uses a new hybrid system of the Toyota THS-II, with two electric motors. In addition, the vehicle has not quite typical CVT, it is complemented by the three-way coupler, also known as PSD. All this, as well as elements of the driver interface: digital speedometer, multi-display and steering wheel original form — the style reminds me of the Toyota Prius. But, sitting for the first time in the driver’s seat and looking around, I realized that I have a regular compact car.

Aqua kept the tapered silhouette of the Prius. In order to provide rear seat passengers more space, the rear part of the roof extended. The drag coefficient is 0.28. The front triangular window front door narrowed to improve visibility (in the photo it’s hidden behind the side mirror). Minimum turning radius is 4.8 m, and in the photos of the version with 16-inch wheels — 5.7 m

Based on years of experience

And then it was time to be surprised. First impressions of the drive are the same as from most of these compact segment B. But, as it turned out, when the battery is fully charged the maximum mileage on electricity, this car can compare with the electric vehicle, optimized and hybrid synergy drive.

Most impressed by the very essence of the car — here is everything you need. Given the prisoners in its compact package of battery, motor, inverter and other auxiliary machinery, the machine weighs slightly more than a ton.

The main components of the system of THS-II is the same as in the Prius NHW20 previous generation. However, about 70% of the elements of the 1.5 l engine 1NZ-FXE, which equipped the model was re-designed. The model is equipped with Nickel-metal hydride battery pack, powertrain components of type «transaxle», which includes the motor and the «Power Split», has decreased in size and became easier.

«For 17 years we have been developing hybrid cars Toyota and all we have accumulated over this time experience, we have created the technological innovation embodied in the Toyota Aqua» — said the chief engineer Satoshi Ogiso. As a rule, he deals with General issues associated with the production of environmentally friendly vehicles next generation, but now he was appointed responsible for the design, and his voice was full of sincere enthusiasm.

For a long time all we were aware of the developed model is that she will be the face of the Prius C Concept, borrowed from the FT-CH hybrid drivetrain. All other information was kept in strictest confidence. It was suggested that the new kit with the aim of saving will be used consistent system on the principle of Honda’s IMA technology.

«Yes, indeed, during development, operated a strict decree to disclose, and the blossoming of languages we threatened to snap his head (laughs). However, due to the fact that the cost of production of batteries and electric motors since the beginning of the development fell, we realized that it would be cheaper to bring to mind the existing developments and to make, call it so, «electroporator» (CVT+PSD) than to create from scratch a new type of variable speed transmission. Besides, we managed to reduce fuel consumption.

We managed to configure the power plant, in the mode of an electric power machine in General is not inferior to the capabilities of modern electric cars. «Aqua» came to 300 pounds lighter than the Toyota Prius, so the need to install under the hood strong 1.8-liter engine disappeared by itself, and we were able to achieve from the Toyota Aqua a sporty habits.

At the beginning of the project, we all wondered: «what happens,» and in the end was delighted: «it turned out great!»

Great ride quality

At normal start and moderate acceleration the car can surprisingly long drive through electric motor. The steering wheel’s shape is the same as in the Prius. The design of the dashboard, which partly feels premium-grade, as well as «normal» shift lever immediately make it clear that you are in the cabin of the hybrid THS-II. People who have dealt with similar cars will be very happy with a quiet and quality ride. Those same who first got behind the wheel of a hybrid experience of a trip will cause a genuine delight.

The utmost attention was paid to ease the car — and none of the developers will not deny that. The output power of the Aqua system THS-II is 73 kW (100 HP). The compression ratio of the engine 1NZ-FXE is 13.4 when the ratio of cylinder diameter to piston stroke is equal to 75*84 mm. of Course, to the loud Mostovskoy SKYACTIV technology» is not up, but in the Prius the first generation on regular unleaded gasoline this value is not exceeded by 13.0. The Atkinson engine and the recirculation of cooled exhaust gas in order to increase efficiency. Thanks to the common «weight loss» and a sufficiently low drag coefficient (0,28) new model boasts the lowest fuel consumption among all cars nowadays.

The test drive took place in the vicinity of the international center Makuhari, and included a trip on the motorway at top speed. During the ride it becomes clear that the main advantages of Aqua — compact and lightweight — justifies itself on all hundred. Felt great value for high quality performance and good driving characteristics. Also struck the right combination of low centre of gravity and comfort. The new model is very profitable from an economic point of view and is a great example of the ideas of downsizing, gaining more and more popularity.

But the bus was a little disappointing. Following the goal to facilitate the car, the developers have equipped it with 15-inch wheels with pressure of 230 kPa (front) and 220 kPa (rear) and 16-inch wheels with a pressure of 220 kPa (front) and 200 kPa (rear). However, the tires Bridgestone Ecopia EP2 size 175/65 R15 still has problems with noise and vibrations. In hard tyres 195/50 R16 Yokohama dB which version is equipped with the Touring Package, I had no problems at all noticed. But in order to say for sure, need some more test driving.


Estimates from the browser Carview, Acura Fuciki.

Fuel consumption: At 50 minutes allotted for the test drive I drove the 38.2 km (40 percent of maximum speed). The flow rate was 23.2 km/l in my opinion, an excellent result.

(10 points)

The feeling behind the wheel: I Wonder what’s the secret to light? Experience of a trip just indescribable. This hybrid is almost no dead zone.

(9 points)

Salon: the new shape of the roof improved aerodynamics (the coefficient is 0.28) and increased distance from the head to the ceiling in the rear seats.

(8 points)

Quality: overall, not bad, but the soul wants something more. What could compete with the Vanden Plas.

(7 points)

Economic efficiency: fuel Consumption is simply amazing. Aqua just turns upside down all our traditional notions about ecological cars.

(10 points)

Overall rating: vehicle Length does not exceed 4 metres — but well here is demanding of the space system THS-II. Beautiful accessories combined with low weight put the Toyota Aqua is a step above the founder of the Prius. I am sure that this upscale compact car will be wildly popular around the world.

(10 points)

Best version: If you take the top version, painted in exclusive color and trim natural leather interior — the car will be able to compete even with the original Vanden Plas. It is this impression, this low-cost but significant car. Personally, I would choose a version of G Touring Package without additional options. I want to own this handsome, friend? Will have to wait because the demand for this car was extremely high and it is difficult to buy outside Japan.