Toyota’s new Urban Cruiser is designed to meet a growing demand for vehicles that are cut out for life on urban roads, yet are equally at home off the beaten track. It is compact for easy town driving and parking and, thanks to new Toyota technology, has a small carbon footprint – key requirements for today’s urban motorists.
The timing is perfect for the world premiere of the Urban Cruiser 1.4 D-4D with all-wheel drive at the Salon de l’Automobile in Paris, following on from the design preview revealed in Geneva earlier this year.
Urban Cruiser Chief Engineer Kosuke Shibahara explains: “With class-leading low emissions, Urban Cruiser provides an ideal solution to the growing customer demand for flexible, yet socially responsible vehicles. It represents a new form of recreation vehicle, with a distinctive personality and responsible all-wheel drive performance. With many countries starting to introduce CO2-based taxation on vehicles, there has never been a better time to launch an urban car that’s enjoyable to drive, both in and out of the city, with exceptionally low CO2 emissions.”
Urban Cruiser will go on sale in the UK in May 2009 in two versions: a 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i petrol model with two-wheel drive and a 1.4 D-4D diesel with all-wheel drive. The sales mix in the UK is expected to be 70 per cent petrol, 30 per cent diesel.
The Paris motor show reveals Urban Cruiser’s interior design for the first time, a concept created by ED2, Toyota’s design studio in the South of France.
A key element is a unique radar screen-style instrument design. Centred directly in front of the driver, a concentric dial features both the speedometer and tachometer needles within the same circle. Combining the meters in this way allows more room on either side of the console for easy-to-read indicators, such as the drive monitor and shift indicator lamp.
A further innovation is the silver centre cluster, with a series of curves that make it appear to float above the centre console.
The cockpit has a silver-accented sporty design that is carried through to the design of the seats. Attention to detail is evident throughout the cabin, particularly in the surface quality of the trim materials.
Although Urban Cruiser is compact at 3,930mm long and 1,725mm wide, clever packaging ensures generous interior space. There is plenty of room inside for five passengers, with ample luggage space. Side-by-side shoulder room is generous and the front-to-rear seat spacing means there is comfortable leg room for those sitting in the back. A long, 2,460mm wheelbase and short overhangs allow interior space to be maximised. Cargo capacity is a class-leading 314 litres, extending to 749 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Urban Cruiser has a rugged, muscular appearance, but is compact and has all the practicality of a modern five-door car. Overall height is low at 1,540mm, but a high hip-point gives a commanding driving position. The rear seats can be split-folded 60:40. Those on the 2WD version have an Easy Flat seating system, with easy slide, recline and fold mechanism, similar to that on the Toyota RAV4, while the AWD model has reclining rear seats with a double fold-down feature.
The front-end styling features a large upper grille and black underguard to create a tough, sporty look, while headlamp units that reach out and around the wings emphasise dynamic, individual styling. The short body and wide track (1,485mm front, 1,490mm rear) give a robust stance, accentuated by large, 16-inch wheels. Strength and security are further expressed in strong character lines along the side and powerful wheelarch styling.
From the rear, the low profile body is wide and stable and features a wide-visibility window that wraps around to the sides of the vehicle. The large rear light clusters also extend around the tail, while an aerodynamic rear spoiler rounds off the design.
The new ‘Toyota Optimal Drive’ philosophy has been introduced to the Urban Cruiser with a clear focus on minimising impact on the environment while maximising driving pleasure through the increase of power and torque.
The Toyota Urban Cruiser benefits from the latest application of the Toyota Optimal Drive philosophy and will be launched with a choice of two clean and fuel efficient engines: a re-engineered 1.4-litre D-4D diesel and a new 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine with a Stop & Start system. Both use a new six-speed manual transmission design to give both driving pleasure and class-leading fuel efficiency.
The 1.4 D-4D is fitted as standard with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and all-wheel drive. The engine produces a maximum 89bhp (90 DIN hp) with maximum torque of 205Nm available between 1,800 and 2,800rpm. Carbon dioxide emissions (provisional and subject to final homologation) are 133g/km – a new world low for this type of car.
An all-new and ultra-efficient 1.3 Dual VVT-i petrol unit is also available, exclusively with 2WD. Dual VVT-i helps achieve an optimum balance of power and torque with excellent fuel efficiency. The engine has a small bore/long stroke design with a narrow block, helping reduce weight and space. The piston has a reduced contact area for lower friction and the engine has the highest compression ratio of any vehicle running on 95 RON fuel. Maximum output is 99bhp (100 DIN hp) and maximum torque of 132Nm is produced at 3,800rpm.
Urban Cruiser marks the introduction of Toyota’s new Stop & Start system, provided as standard on the 1.33 Dual VVT-i engine. This improves fuel efficiency and emissions performance by switching off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, in neutral and the driver takes his or her foot off the clutch pedal. Applying the clutch to select a gear again automatically restarts the engine. This is done momentarily with no delay in power transmission and very quietly making it almost unnoticeable to the driver or passengers. Carbon dioxide emissions (provisional and subject to final homologation) are 130g/km.
A new six-speed manual transmission has been developed, supporting a strong balance of environmental performance and power output while also giving improved shift feel for smooth, satisfying gear changes.
Urban Cruiser uses the same Active Torque Control AWD system as RAV4. This optimises traction as well as fuel efficiency by managing torque distribution to the rear wheels. In normal road conditions, drive is through the front wheels, but on loose or slippery surfaces the system instantly directs power to the rear wheels to improve stability.
The front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension give dynamic handling performance with a high degree of ride comfort. The suspension has been specifically tuned to suit European conditions, with extensive trials in cities and on mountain roads and motorways.
Top class linear driving performance and handling stability are achieved through a combination of the compact body, large diameter wheels and high performance electric power steering.
Urban Cruiser is provided with comprehensive active and passive safety technology that is unmatched in the Mini-SUV segment.
The body structure has excellent impact energy absorption and distribution from the front, sides and rear thanks to Toyota’s Minimal Intrusion Cabin System. The bonnet and bumper construction have an energy-absorbing structure that helps improve pedestrian protection, making impact force as low as possible. Class leading seven airbags, including curtain shields and a driver’s knee airbag, are fitted as standard and active head restraints reduce the risk of whiplash injury.
Active safety features include ABS with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRC) is also standard.
Full details of UK model specifications will be revealed nearer Urban Cruiser’s on sale date, but the list of features will cater for contemporary preferences with climate control air conditioning, High gloss 16-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, smart entry and push button start, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, electric retractable door mirrors and a six-speaker sound system with steering wheel controls.
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