Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2012 Toyota Verso-S : New Verso-S Marks Toyota’s Re-entry Into The B-MPV Market

On sale from February 2011, the new Verso-S marks Toyota’s re-entry into the B-MPV market, a segment the company itself created with the Yaris Verso in 1999.

The B-MPV segment has almost tripled in size since 2002. Driven by downsizing, this growth incorporates an increasingly diverse cross-section of customers, many of whom appreciate the interior flexibility and loadspace offered by a Multi-Purpose Vehicle.

Supporting this growth are families switching over from conventional B-segment hatchbacks and, more significantly, empty nesters and seniors downsizing from C-segment cars. For them, a B-MPV is not only a rational purchase essential to making the most of leisure time, but must also offer the levels of space, comfort, equipment and quality they have experienced in a higher segment vehicle.

The smallest vehicle in the segment, Toyota’s new B-MPV is less than 4 metres long. This makes it easy to drive in the urban environment. Conversely, meticulous attention to detail in every aspect of its practical, flexible interior design has maximised spaciousness, comfort and perceived quality throughout.

The Toyota Verso-S offers front seat headroom, rear seat roominess and luggage capacity to rival that of C-segment cars. Unique to the segment, its 60:40 split rear seats feature a one-touch, fold-flat mechanism operable from within the loadspace. The loadspace itself incorporates a lightweight, dual-level deck board floor for maximum cargo volume flexibility.

Also unique to the B-MPV segment and a Toyota first, a new, 6.1 inch, full colour, touch screen system, Toyota Touch, provides customers with a comprehensive multimedia interface. Standard as from mid grade, it will incorporate AM/FM radio, a CD/MP3 player, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, a USB port for the connection of portable music players, a trip information screen and a rear view camera.

As from May 2011, Toyota Touch & Go, a navigation system representing the best value for money on the market, will equip the Toyota Verso-S. It includes all the most popular navigation functions, such as advanced traffic coverage, customisable speed limits and speed camera warnings.

Using a compatible mobile phone, via Bluetooth, the system offers on-board connectivity to Google Local Search. Via Google Maps, destinations may be inputted remotely from home or office, and Points of Interest may be downloaded for entry as destinations.

Designed by Toyota, Touch & Go is flexible and affordable. The system can be updated with the newest functions without the need to upgrade the multimedia base unit. A Touch & Go Apps facility will make fuel price, weather and parking space information available later in 2011. Thereafter, new App options will be rolled out, accessible via a web portal.

The lightest and most fuel-efficient vehicle in the B-MPV segment, the new Toyota Verso-S offers customers a choice of a 1.33 litre dual VVT-i petrol engine or a 1.4 litre D-4D turbodiesel. Both engines offer class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

The 1.33 litre petrol engine may be equipped with an optional Multidrive, continuously variable transmission (CVT) incorporating a 7-step, sequential paddle shift mode, the first CVT in the segment.

A Space Revolution for Five

A space revolution for five, the new Toyota Verso-S has been created from the key development concept ‘Small, Spacious and Smart’. Showcasing excellent efficiency in space management, the Verso-S combines highly competitive interior roominess with the shortest overall length – just 3990mm – of any MPV in the European B-segment.

It’s practical, flexible interior offers passenger accommodation and luggage capacity to rival that of C-segment cars.

Compact, Urban-friendly Dimensions

Toyota’s new Verso-S is instantly recognisable through its compact and appealing exterior styling. In keeping with its urban-friendly dimensions, it features short front and rear overhangs. Yet it is given a sleek appearance by its powerful, sweeping coachwork lines and the surfaces created by the combination of smooth transitions between concave and convex sharp edges.

The sculpted, three-dimensional front is dominated by a wide grille framed by contoured headlamps. The design is complimented by a large lower air intake and highly sculpted fog lamp surrounds integrated within the front bumper extremities to reinforce the car’s broad stance and agile handling.

In profile, the A pillar flows seamlessly into the long roofline. A single, crisp character line runs smoothly through the full length of the vehicle. The side glazing with blacked out pillars and a large panoramic sunroof emphasise the maximisation of interior space within the compact bodyshell.

The frameless, panoramic sunroof is one of the largest on the market. Opening from almost directly behind the windscreen head, it measures 1,260mm long by 820mm wide, creating an airy, spacious cabin atmosphere. The entire opening employs UV-cut glass to reduce cabin heat build up through the penetration of ultraviolet rays, and is also equipped with a full-length, power operated roller blind.

To the rear, the wide, top-hinged tailgate is framed by vertically stacked combination lamps and a flat top section rear bumper sculpted to aid cargo loading. The location of secondary lamp clusters within the rear wings emphasises the bumper width, reinforcing the car’s low centre of gravity and wide stance.

Despite the maximisation of interior roominess, the smart array of storage solutions essential to a family car has not been compromised. The Verso-S has no less than 19 separate storage compartments. These include bottle and cup holders, generous front and rear door pockets, a storage tray under the front passenger seat, and a versatile, three-level, dashboard storage compartment incorporating a USB port for the connection of portable MP3 players.

Toyota Touch Multimedia Interface – Flexible, affordable and upgradeable

Unique to the B-MPV segment and a Toyota first, a new, 6.1 inch, full colour, touch screen multimedia system, Toyota Touch, provides customers with a comprehensive multimedia interface.

Standard as from mid grade, it will incorporate AM/FM radio, a CD/MP3 player, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity with a music streaming facility, and a USB port for the connection of portable music players, with the facility to display iPod album cover art. In addition, a rear view camera image is displayed on the Toyota Touch screen when reverse gear is engaged, to aid manoeuvrability in confined spaces.

The Bluetooth hands-free system can register up to five mobile phones, log and edit up to 1,000 contacts per phone by automatic transfer, and display an in-car call history. Amongst the AM/FM radio functions is a one-click station list which will display every available radio station.

Toyota Touch also features a trip information screen incorporating comprehensive time, distance and fuel economy information, including instantaneous consumption, a fuel efficiency display and journey-by-journey fuel consumption comparison records.

Taking multimedia technology into the next decade, a broad base of further functions such as a DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) compatible digital radio will be added to the list of system options in the future, beginning with a new navigation system, Toyota Touch & Go, in May 2011.

Toyota Touch & Go Satellite Navigation – Google Local Search and App options

Upgrading the system to Touch & Go status equips the Verso-S with a navigation system which represents the best value for money on the market. It includes all the most popular navigation functions, such as advanced traffic coverage, customisable speed limits and speed camera warnings.

The new system not only offers drivers a choice of the fastest or shortest route to their destination, but also the one with the smallest environmental impact. An ‘Ecological’ route option has been designed to minimise the emissions and fuel consumption over the course of the journey.

With a compatible mobile phone, users have on-board connectivity to Google Local Search – the largest and most up-to-date search database in the world.

Via Google Maps, a destination may be sent to Touch & Go from the home or office computer. The information will be automatically transferred – with the owner’s mobile phone acting as a modem – to the multimedia system, ready to be set as destination.

When searching for Points of Interest, Toyota Touch & Go connects to Google through the user’s mobile phone. Typing in any search word will generate matching locations downloaded from the internet, which may then be entered as destinations in the Touch & Go satellite navigation system.

System connectivity with a mobile phone enables the owner’s phone book to be used as a source of addresses to set as destinations. In addition, owners can manage their SMS messages through Touch & Go; reading messages and replying with customisable templates. The system will also display any contact pictures stored on the mobile phone.

A Touch & Go Apps facility is planned for later in 2011, to further expand the capabilities of Toyota’s new navigation system. Initially, three applications – providing local fuel prices and directions to the relevant filling station, daily weather forecasts, and the availability of parking spaces in the area – will be available. Thereafter, more Apps will be rolled-out via a web portal.

Toyota Touch & Go has been designed specifically to be both flexible and affordable. The system can be readily updated with the newest functions, as they become available, without the need to upgrade the multimedia base unit.

A comprehensive range of Touch & Go options will include 3D map viewing, map updates, and software updates as they become available.

Additional Utility and Comfort Features

A choice of manual or fully automatic air-conditioning systems is available. Both may be equipped with a Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heater, enabling warm cabin air to be generated quickly, even when the engine is still cold. A fuel burning auxiliary heater is available for diesel engine models, once again boosting cabin warming performance when the engine is cold.2

In addition, a Smart Entry & Start System is available, allowing the driver to lock/unlock the doors and start the engine simply by carrying the key. An automatic anti-glare Electro-Chromic (EC) rear view mirror minimises headlamp dazzle from following traffic.

A simple, three grade strategy

A simple, three grade strategy offers customers comprehensive equipment specifications throughout the Toyota Verso-S range. Even entry grade models feature seven airbags, electric front windows, power steering, a 4 speaker radio/CD/MP3 player with USB port, VSC, ABS, EBD and BA active safety systems and the remote rear seat fold flat system, fitted as standard.

Mid grade models add the flexible loadspace floor, air-conditioning, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, and the new Toyota Touch multimedia interface. High Grade models further add automatic air-conditioning, the Smart Entry & Start System, an EC mirror, dusk & rain sensors, alloy wheels and electric rear windows.

An extensive options list includes a number of Option Packs tailored to enhance on-board comfort and convenience, the Toyota Touch & Go navigation system, full leather seats with driver and front passenger seat heating, and the panoramic sunroof with integral power operated blind.

The Toyota Verso-S will be available with a choice of 15″ wheel caps or 16″ alloys, and 9 exterior colours, including a new Satin Blue metallic finish. Interior trim is available in a choice of black or beige3 colour schemes with fabric upholstery and high quality black leather on High grade models.

Driving Performance

The new Verso-S is available with either a 1.33 litre dual VVT-i petrol engine or a 1.4 litre D-4D turbodiesel. Both engines are mated, as standard, to 6-speed manual transmissions. The 1.33 litre petrol engine may be equipped with an optional Multidrive, continuously variable transmission which features a 7-step, sequential paddle shift mode. An optional, 6-speed MultiMode transmission is available for the 1.4 litre turbodiesel.

Both Euro 5-compliant powertrains benefit fully from the low friction components, super-lightweight compact design and enhanced combustion efficiency inherent in Toyota Optimal Drive. Comprehensive weight saving measures make the Toyota Verso-S the lightest car in its class. This, combined with highly aerodynamic styling which gives the Verso-S a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.297, awards the new Toyota class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions.4

Minimising weight to reduce fuel consumption

With a kerb weight of just 1,070 kg, the Toyota Verso-S is the lightest car in its segment. Every aspect of its construction has been designed to further reduce fuel consumption by minimising weight. The extensive use of lighter, high tensile steel accounts for 45% of the car’s bodyshell construction.

The wiring loom is fabricated in aluminium, offering a weight reduction of 30% over a traditional copper harness. Both front and rear seats have been made some 11% lighter than those of comparable Toyota cars, and the loadspace deck board is fabricated from lightweight, environmentally-friendly kenaf.

The frameless panoramic sunroof is resin bonded to the bodyshell to further save weight. A Verso-S equipped with the panoramic sunroof weighs only 10 kg more than a conventionally roofed model.

1.33-litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine

The 1.33 litre petrol engine is equipped with dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent), Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and a remarkably high compression ratio of 11.5:1. It generates 73kW/ 99 DIN hp at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 125Nm at 4,000 rpm, combining strong dynamic performance with class-leading fuel economy of just 5.5l/100km and CO2 emissions of only 127g/km.

The engine unit is lightweight and compact, with a small bore and long stroke, resulting in a very high power-to-weight ratio. It features a resin-type cylinder head cover and intake manifold, and the intake channel has been streamlined to optimise airflow for improved combustion efficiency.

The adoption of camshaft roller rocker arms, a highly compact oil pump and a reduction in the number of ribs on the auxiliary belt helps minimise engine friction losses, hence improving fuel economy. And control of the Dual VVT-i and EGR systems has been integrated to further enhance combustion efficiency.

Dual VVT-i helps boost response levels across the entire rev range by varying the air-fuel intake and exhaust valve timing to suit the conditions at any given time. In addition to improving torque at low and medium engine speeds, the system also reduces emissions, and improves fuel efficiency by 2.7% in comparison to VVT-i.

EGR reintroduces precise amounts of cooled exhaust gas into the intake system. This not only reduces engine pumping loses through a reduction in intake vacuum pressure, but also lowers engine operating temperatures by 40?C to minimise the situations where fuel enrichment is necessary to protect the catalytic converter from overheating damage. Fuel economy is thereby further improved by 2.4%.

Multidrive S Transmission

The 1.33 litre petrol engine’s optional Multidrive S transmission showcases Toyota’s latest Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) technology. Featuring a manual override, sequential, 7-step mode operable by either the gearshift lever or steering wheel-mounted paddles, Multidrive S is the first Continuously Variable Transmission in the segment.

This compact, lightweight CVT system is one of the most fuel efficient automatic transmissions on the market. Returning 5.2l/100km and generating CO2 emissions of just 120g/km, it is delivering lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions then the conventional manual transmission.

Multidrive S consists of a pair of pulleys with variable width grooves, connected by a metal belt. By continuously varying the groove width – and hence the diameter – of both pulleys, an infinite number of gear ratios may be created.

Multidrive S operates within a wider band of gear ratios than a conventional transmission, allowing for both better acceleration from a standstill and improved fuel efficiency at cruising speeds.

The CVT transmission is connected to the engine by a fluid torque converter with electronically controlled, variable oil pressure.

A lock-up function physically links the two parts of the torque converter, the pump and turbine, effectively changing the converter into a purely mechanical coupling with no slippage and virtually no power loss.

However, torque converter lock-up at low vehicle speeds tends to generate excessive powertrain booming noise due to the loss of the vibration damping inherent in such fluid-based systems.

Multidrive S addresses this issue by incorporating Toyota’s first CVT Flex Lock-up Control. Continuously adjusting the degree of lock-up within the torque converter, this control function optimises the transmission’s balance of torque delivery and fuel economy. It allows the engine to maximise fuel efficiency, whilst minimising vibration at even low vehicle speeds.

Multidrive S’ advanced control systems incorporate several other new features to improve fuel efficiency and enhance the driving experience:

When pulling away from a standstill, a new Flex Start Control lowers the vehicle speed at which torque converter lock-up is possible from 15 to just 10 kilometres per hour. This minimizes torque waste, producing optimum acceleration from lower engine revs for improved fuel economy.

When coasting and under deceleration, Lock-up Slip Control enhances freewheeling efficiency through an expansion of fuel shut off duration. When the vehicle is stationary in D-mode, a neutral control will temporally disengage the transmission from the engine to minimise idling fuel consumption.

The CVT’s Speed Ratio Control incorporates a number of systems to not only improve fuel efficiency but also enhance the driving experience. Uphill/downhill shift control uses information from various vehicle sensors to determine whether the Toyota Verso-S is travelling up- or downhill. When travelling uphill, speed ratio changes are restricted to achieve smooth operation. If brake pedal use is detected when travelling downhill, the speed ratio is automatically changed to provide appropriate engine braking force.

Engaging the Multidrive S Sport mode brings a closer alignment of engine and vehicle speeds, giving a more linear feel to acceleration in the manner of a conventional manual transmission. The Sport mode enhances acceleration performance and awards the driver a more dynamic driving experience.

Stop & Start System

Verso-S models fitted with the 1.33 litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine may be equipped with a Stop & Start system. The system may be used in conjunction with the optional Multidrive S transmission, delivering best-in-class fuel consumption of 5.0l/100km and CO2 emissions of only 117g/km. This marks the first joint application of Stop & Start and CVT technology.

Featuring an immediate restart with virtually no engine sound or vibration, the system delivers significant reductions in CO2 emissions during urban driving, and can lower fuel consumption by up to 10%5, depending on driving conditions.

Stop & Start automatically stops the engine when the car is stationary, and the clutch pedal – or brake pedal in the case of Multidrive S – is pressed. The engine will automatically restart, within less than half a second, when the same pedal is released.

The system’s rapid restart is made possible through the use of the world’s first permanently engaged gear mechanism in which the starter motor and flywheel are linked, via a ring gear, by a one way clutch. This high power, maintenance-free system reduces engine start noise levels within the cabin, and seat vibration levels.

A back-up boost converter is incorporated to protect the audio system, meters and ECUs (Electronic Control Units) from a voltage drop caused by the electrical load of the starter motor. The converter boosts the voltage supplied to accessories in compensation for the power consumed by the starter motor.

Now able to function in temperatures as low as -15°C, Toyota’s Stop & Start technology also allows for the continued operation of the air-conditioning system.

With the air-conditioning in use, the engine will not stop if the desired cabin temperature has not been reached. When that temperature has been reached, the air-conditioner will switch to ‘ECO-run’, allowing the engine to stop.

The Verso-S’s improved Stop & Start system has been optimised to allow the engine to remain off for up to half a minute longer than that of its predecessor, even with the air conditioning running.

The engine will automatically restart in the event of low battery charge, or if the vehicle begins to move, in the interests of safety.

Class-leading economy and emissions, with DPF fitted as standard

The 1.4-litre D-4D common rail, intercooled turbodiesel employs the latest piezo-electric technology and is equipped, as standard, with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). It generates 66kW/90 DIN hp at 3800rpm and maximum torque of 205Nm at 1800-2800rpm.

Benefiting from high injection pressure of 160MPa, the piezo-electric injectors can supply larger, more precise volumes of diesel at twice the speed of conventional fuel injectors. Because of their high operating speed, they can deliver multiple injections per combustion cycle, optimising the combustion process for responsive performance, class-leading fuel economy of 4.3l/100km and CO2 emissions of just 113g/km.

Numerous measures have been adopted to reduce friction losses and improve the diesel unit’s fuel efficiency. The oil pump employs two-stage oil pressure control, Teflon coating has been applied to the front crankshaft oil seal, automatic belt tensioning has been reduced and a modified engine coolant path improves engine warm-up time.

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