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Toyota Unveils Sai Compact Luxury Hybrid in Japan

The SAI G package. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has unveiled the Sai compact luxury hybrid sedan in Japan (earlier post); the vehicle, based on the platform also used for the Lexus HS 250h (earlier post), is planned to go on sale in Japan on 7 December. The new platform was developed for medium/compact vehicles. The monthly sales target for Japan is 3,000 units.

The Sai features a 2.4 liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine (2AZ-FXE) with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), coupled with a 105 kW motor and reduction gear. By delaying intake valve closure, the engine achieves a high expansion ratio at low pressure, thus raising heat efficiency.

The Sai offers fuel efficiency of 23.0 km/L (54 mpg US, 4.4 L/100km) under the 10-15 cycle—on par with 660 cc minivehicles. Under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s JC08 test cycle, the Sai has fuel efficiency of 19.8 km/L (46.6 mpg US, 5.1 L/100km).

The engine develops maximum output of 110 kW (148 hp) and maximum torque of 187 N·m (138 lb-ft). The motor has maximum output of 105 kW (141 hp) and maximum torque of 270 N·m (199 lb-ft). Complete system maximum output is 140 kW (188 hp). The Sai uses a NiMH battery pack.

The transaxle features a compact high-speed motor that achieves increased output and a reduction gear that increases torque. An exhaust heat recovery system uses exhaust gas to heat the engine, thus shortening engine-warming time and contributing to greatly improved fuel efficiency, especially when outside temperatures are low. LED headlights conserve electric power and consequently reduce power-generation requirements on the engine.

Ecological Plastic (made from plant-derived materials) are used for approximately 60% of the interior surface area.

In addition to Standard Driving Mode, which balances fuel efficiency and power, drivers can also select Eco-Drive Mode, which prioritizes fuel efficiency by moderating driving force relative to accelerator operation and putting the air conditioner into a low energy-consumption mode, and Electric Vehicle (EV) Drive Mode, which uses the electric motor only, resulting in extremely quite cruising and zero emissions.

A Hybrid System Indicator that shows real-time driving status and an Eco Driving Indicator that lights up to signify fuel-efficient vehicle operation provide visual support to the driver.

The ESPO system (abbreviation derived from “eco” and “passport”, which encourages and rewards environmentally considerate driving, enables drivers to gain extra enjoyment. G-BOOK mX, TMC’s advanced telematics service, assesses environmentally considerate driving and awards points to driver; mastery of eco-driving can be determined according to rate of points gained each month. Programs are available that allow drivers to make donations to charities using points received, that rank fuel efficiency of nationwide Sai ESPO users, and that offer other incentives to encourage drivers to drive in environmentally considerate ways.



This looks a lot like a deluxe Camry Hybrid, with much the same specifications.

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