2016 New York International Auto Show
2017 Toyota Prius Prime Reveal
New York, N.Y.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Bill Fay, Group Vice President and General Manager – Toyota Division, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Good morning everyone, and thanks for helping us kick off the 2016 New York Auto Show. We have a lot of great product news to share with you today…so let’s get started!
About two months ago, we started to transition the Scion brand over to Toyota, bringing with it, over 13 years of knowledge on how to attract and engage young customers. As part of the brand transition, remaining Scion vehicles will join the Toyota brand lineup…and I’m happy to introduce the first to join the family…the 2017 Toyota 86.
We’re really excited to have a bona fide sports car back in the Toyota lineup. The name 86 is shared globally, and is passed down from the car that inspires it, the Corolla GT-S, known by its true fans as the AE86 or “hachi-roku,” which means 8-6 in Japanese.
The AE86 didn’t rely on brute horsepower, but instead a remarkable combination of a lightweight design, responsive power and perfect balance…much like the 86 of today.
As you can see, the name isn’t the only thing that has changed. We’re investing in the 86 to make it better than ever, with styling updates, new wheels and more premium materials throughout.
We’ve increased performance with:
- superior shock and spring tuning
- and for you manual transmission enthusiasts…a 5 horsepower bump…combined with a change in the differential ratio…results in improved acceleration
The new 86 will go on sale at all Toyota dealerships this fall.
Another exciting vehicle that will soon enter the Toyota lineup is the C-HR.
The timing couldn’t be better, as the small SUV segment has increased 20 percent in the last year to become the largest segment in the industry…and half of that growth is coming from entry level models.
If you haven’t yet seen this concept in person, I encourage you to visit the Toyota display today and have a look. We’ll have more news on a production version later this year.
So we’ve got the youth and entry level market covered…Now let’s turn our attention to the hottest part of the market….trucks and SUVs.
In 2015, light trucks dominated, accounting for 58% of the total market. With historically low gas prices and favorable interest rates, we don’t see a cool down in the near future…and we have great news to share.
Just three years ago right here at the NY auto show, we introduced an all-new third generation Highlander…and it has been a huge success. We’re selling them as fast as we can make them at our factory in Princeton, Indiana.
But in the spirt of “ever better cars”, we found ways to make it even better for our customers. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2017 Toyota Highlander.
Available for the first time on Highlander, this new SE grade features an aggressive attitude, complete with:
- new front fascia, with darker accents on its front grille, headlamp housings and roof rails
- unique 19-inch wheels
- a sporty interior with black leather seats
- and of course, a performance-tuned suspension to back it all up
Sure the new Highlander looks fantastic…but it’s the upgrades that you can’t see that are the most significant.
For 17, all V6 Highlanders will feature a new, more powerful and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter engine with D-4S direct injection and Stop and Start technology. We also paired it with an all-new Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission.
The 2017 Highlander Hybrid
will also benefit from this new V6, further enhancing its already impressive driving performance and fuel economy. The hybrid model will also be available in two additional grades, LE and XLE, making hybrid technology more accessible to a wider variety of customers.
The new Highlander also raises the bar on safety…with the class-leading Toyota Safety Sense package available on all grades.
The 2017 Highlander will begin arriving in dealerships this fall.
There’s no question that trucks and SUVs are driving today’s market. But at Toyota, we still have our eyes firmly affixed on the future.
We continue to invest significantly in what is already the most advanced hybrid technology in the world.
In January, we launched the all-new fourth generation Prius.
The hybrid that started it all, was reinvented…elevating it in ways that were once thought to be…beyond possible.
We gave it a striking new exterior design, impressive driving dynamics, and of course…we couldn’t call it a Prius if we didn’t give it the world’s most thermally efficient engine.
So what happens when you take all these great product enhancements…and you challenge the very same team of engineers to make it even better?
Well…you get…the 2017 Prius Prime.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the most technologically advanced hybrid in the world…the Prius Prime. We gave it the name Prime, because it represents the BEST:
- the best hybrid MPG
- the best driving range (600+ miles)
- and the best MPGe (120+ miles) of any plug-in in the world.
So how did we do it? It all revolves around an obsession for efficiency and balance.
With the Prius Prime’s 22 miles of electric range, over 50% of Americans could get to work and back home, without using a drop of gas. And for those drivers that can charge at work…that number jumps to almost 80%.
And for those with longer commutes…they can rely on the most fuel-efficient hybrid system in the industry.
By optimizing the size of the 8.8 kilowatt-hour lithium battery, the Prius Prime achieves critical weight savings. It can also be charged faster…simply by plugging it into a standard household outlet…no other equipment needed. It’s just the smarter approach.
Of course, we know that our customers want more than just the best MPGe…they want
- stand-out styling…
- next generation technology…
- a fun-to-drive character…
- active safety systems…
- and they want it all at a great value
This new Prius Prime checks all of those boxes.
Our designers gave the Prime unique styling that is both innovative and modern…perfect for those who strive to make a difference…and love to look good doing it.
The striking front-end adds a futuristic touch with quad LED headlights and DRLs.
Around back, the iconic rear spoiler is illuminated with a techy LED glow.
A Toyota-first carbon fiber rear hatch saves precious weight, and embraces the unique dual-wave rear glass that helps reduce drag.
On the inside, owners will appreciate its cutting edge design…and its luxurious features like standard heated front seats. But most importantly, they will love how the engineers maximized the space of this mid-size car, with fold-down seats, ample cargo room, and comfortable seating for 4 full-size adults…with plenty of leg and headroom for rear passengers.
One feature that you can’t miss, is the Prime’s available 11.6-inch HD touch screen that displays all of your important information in one place. This gorgeous screen features intuitive finger controls with the ability to swipe…just like on your phone.
- a color head up display
- Premium JBL Audio, and
- Qi wireless charging
…round out the list of impressive technology features.
The Prius Prime delivers on fun-to-drive…and it starts the moment your foot hits the pedal. The Prime utilizes the reliable and proven Prius Hybrid system, but takes it a step further, allowing for both of its electric motors to power the wheels. The second motor helps deliver ultra-smooth acceleration…and speeds up to 84 miles per hour in electric mode.
Also new for Prime, when EV mode is selected, it will be solely powered by the battery…even when you floor it. This is a feature that we added based on customer feedback from drivers that wanted a pure electric experience.
Take the fun-to-drive characteristics, the extraordinary fuel economy and adopt the same dynamic handling enhancements of the all-new Prius…and you get a car worthy of its Prime name.
The safety of our customers is our top priority…and that is why every single Prius Prime will be available with Toyota Safety Sense with pedestrian detection.
By the way, we just announced that TSS and Lexus Safety System Plus will be available on 25 out of 30 Toyota and Lexus models by the end of 2017…earlier than any other automaker…and four years ahead of NHTSA’s target.
Prius Prime will also offer great features like blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, intelligent clearance sonar and park assist.
To top it all off, we expect the Prius Prime to offer the best value in its class…making it more attractive to customers who may not have ever considered a hybrid, let alone one with a plug.
I’m also happy to announce today that Prius Prime will be available in all 50 states when it launches later this year, broadening the market even further. It’s Prime time all across the nation!
To enhance the ownership experience, we have partnered with Chargepoint, the leader in public vehicle charging. Our partnership will give owners access to over 20,000 U.S. charging stations…over 60% of which are free to users. Add to that an updated suite of Prius Prime Apps that manage vehicle charging, climate control, location services and other vehicle functions, and owners will experience a new type of connection to their vehicles.
So there you have it. The auto industry is more dynamic than ever. And with our broad portfolio of new and refreshed products, we are poised to continue taking advantage of opportunities in every part of the market.
These three new products are just the beginning. We look forward to sharing even more exciting product news throughout the rest of the year. In the meantime, we’ll get back to work striving to make ever better cars.
Before you leave today, be sure to get your Prius Prime hat and cell phone wallet…to get them, just snap a picture of the Prius Prime…and post it with the hashtag Prius.
Thank you for joining us. Please enjoy the rest of the show.