Toyota made a lot of great cars over the years which managed to impress a lot of people but some of these cars didn’t actually make it to the front page which is pity considering many of them were really great engineering projects. The Toyota CS&S Sporty 4WD Hybrid Concept is exactly one of those cars. It was one of the first Toyota cars which made use of a hybrid powertrain which included a fully electric operational mode. However, it didn’t made it to production simply because it was way too advanced for that era.
However, there are now a few rumors about it getting a successor which would mean that Toyota will finally have a competitor for cars such as the BMW i8 which is currently unbeatable.
The original concept Toyota CS&S Sporty 4WD hybrid was released back in 2003 and it was the first car to use holographic projections for interior controls. This meant that the driver and its passengers would use holographic spheres which would allow the control of the audio system or the air conditioning system by simply touching them. Unfortunately though, this proved to be very hard to achieve so there wasn’t any production car which used this system but it was the start of integrating all the controls in a central control system which is just the case with the Tesla Model S or other luxury cars. This is not only cheaper but also a lot more customizable, allowing the driver to customize his driving experience.
The price for the car was going to be around $60,000 which is not that much when you think about it. However, the actual concept car is said to cost more than one million dollars and it is currently owned by Toyota.
Engine and Performance
As far as the engine goes, the concept car used a very different drivetrain that what most super-cars of the era were using. In exchange, it was supposed to use a mid-mounted 1.5 liter aspirated inline 4 which would have been making around 120 to 150 horsepower. This engine was going to be tuned strictly for fuel economy and it would power the rear wheels via a CVT or 6 speed automatic gearbox. The grunt of the car would have came from the dual electric motors in the front which would give it enough torque for a 0 to 60 MPH time of less than 6 seconds and a top speed of around 120 miles per hour which even though it doesn’t sounds like much it would have been faster than any other hybrid on the market.
Thanks to this drivetrain, the Toyota CS&S Sporty 4WD Hybrid Concept could go up to 40 miles with a single gallon of fuel which at the time was actually better than most economy cars on the market.
As far as the design goes, the Toyota CS&S Sporty 4WD hybrid was unique to say the least. When it was launched back in 2003, it was very different than most other concept because it made use of both angular and curvy lines which gave it a really distinctive look. The general look was very similar to that of a 1950s era LeMans car while the interior was unique. Just as we said before, most of the controls were holographic which meant there weren’t any dials or buttons, so the entire interior was very minimalistic. There were four seats, two of which were only suitable for small children of luggage. The front seats were separated by two big arches which also gave it the front seats a cockpit feel thanks to that fact that the car wrapped itself around the driver and its passenger.
The Toyota CS&S Sporty 4WD hybrid two rear seats could be covered by covered in order to increase the aerodynamic efficiency. Also because of this, there was no windscreen but rather two bulges on the hood which would deflect wind.