By September 18, 2011 Read More →

Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2012

The Highlander Hybrid model’s Hybrid Synergy Drive gained a new, more powerful 3.5-liter V6 in the previous model year, replacing a 3.3-liter V6. The system pairs the gasoline V6 engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator for total system output of 280 net horsepower. A second rear-mounted motor provides automatic on-demand four-wheel drive traction. The 4WD Highlander Hybrid uniquely generates rear-wheel power with a separate electric motor that provides additional drive torque on demand. Thus, the Highlander Hybrid 4WD-i system does not require power-transfer gearing or a driveshaft from the front. The system electronically varies front and rear torque distribution depending on traction conditions.

Activating an EV mode switch located on the front center console allows the driver to operate strictly in electric-mode under certain conditions for a limited distance at low speeds, or in some stop-and-go driving conditions. A new ECON drive mode switch activates a throttle control program that adjusts the throttle response during acceleration, enhancing fuel economy. The Hybrid System Indicator in the instrument gauge panel provides the driver with a guideline to help optimize fuel consumption.

The Highlander Hybrid employs the advanced Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. VDIM is designed to enhance handling, traction and braking systems that normally react to vehicle driving conditions by anticipating tire slippage before a skid, slide, or wheel spin occurs and helps to make corrections in a smooth, progressive way. In addition to integrating all of the Highlander’s dynamic control systems (VSC, TRAC, BA, EPS, EBD and ABS), the VDIM system also employs powerful proprietary software to integrate the Electronic Throttle Control with intelligence (ETC-i) and Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB).

The Highlander Hybrid Base grade gains standard easy-clean fabric seating, along with an eight-way power driver’s seat, the Tech Audio, the third-row seat and manual rear climate control. The Highlander Hybrid base grade offers a Leather Package that includes leather-trimmed seats with front seat heaters, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, power moonroof, HomeLink, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, plus an engine immobilizer with security alarm. The Highlander Hybrid Limited features standard automatic climate control for the rear and offers perforated leather seating surfaces.

The 2012 Highlander Hybrid is distinguished from the gasoline model by its own unique grille and bumper design, color-keyed rockers with chrome accents, plus vertically stacked fog lamps. The projector beam headlights and taillights feature blue lens covers.

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