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The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Toyota's remarkable 1.5l/100km 1/X

2008-03-06 09:01
The Toyota 1/X concept vehicle has made its North American debut at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show.

Light, frugal

Developed by Toyota, the 1/X compact hybrid offers a glimpse into the next era of automotive technological design. Pronounced 1/Xth, the name is derived from its vehicle mass, fuel consumption and emissions output, each totalling a fraction of that of other vehicles in its class.

The 1/X features an aerodynamic ultra-lightweight design that maintains the interior space of the Toyota Prius hybrid and is approximately one-third the weight of the Prius. Its low 420kg curb weight is thanks to carbon fibber reinforced plastic (CFRP) throughout the body frame.

Bio-plastic made from environmentally-responsible material derived from kenaf and ramie plants comprises the roof construction, which in itself improves heat insulation, emits less carbon dioxide, increases the amount of light entering the cabin, and reduces noise.

On the inside, the 1/X employs four ultra-lightweight seats made of polyester fibber that is knitted three-dimensionally for added comfort. The material functions like a spring or damper that helps create a cushion-like feel for all occupants.

The ultra-lightweight stature of the 1/X also helps contribute to a fuel efficiency target double that of the Prius and allow the 1/X to operate with an ultra-small hybrid powertrain located under the rear seat. The system combines a home rechargeable plug-in hybrid unit with a 0.5-liter flexible-fuel engine.

Its hybrid plug-in concept is designed to accommodate a lithium-ion battery that would be rechargeable at home. The result is a vehicle with the possibility of travelling over 965km on a 15-litre tank of fuel.

Considerate styling

LED lighting system that sweeps under and across its large front windshield dominates the front styling arrangement of the 1/X. This LED system helps eliminate glare emanating from the headlights. At sunset, the entire surface of the LED system softly illuminates the entire front surface.

With the headlights on, the LED system surrounds the headlights with a soft light, helping to prevent glare from striking oncoming cars and nearby pedestrians.

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