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Toyota furnished to Italdesign-Giugiaro a derivative of its ultimate hybrid system, the one adopted on the Lexus RX 400. On the Volta, the 3.3 liter V6 petrol engine is fitted behind the rear axle and not connected directly to the wheels. Indeed, motion is ensured by two electrically powered engines, one per axle thereby securing all-wheel drive and enhanced safety. As such, this epoch-making mechanical layout paves the way to eliminating the traditional transmission and gearbox longitudinal encumbrance.

Indeed, operating electronics enable the power transmitted by the electric motors to the wheels to be modulated, thereby rendering superfluous the gear/clutch unit. Housed under the lightweight, carbon-fiber chassis, designed and engineered by the Italdesign Giugiaro technical department, are the batteries, weighing 70 kg. Result: significantly leaner weight, balanced and encompassed between the axles, 408 HP output, top speed limited at 250 km/h with acceleration from 0 to 100 km coming in 4.03 seconds.

The Volta sets the innovative content of the hybrid drivetrain in classic supercar livery: compact volumes, downward flattened trim, tapered bonnet, minimum rear overhang and truncated tail. The dragon-fly winged doors are upward hinged in the front riser. Ample aeration in the grill design, slanting lamps fitted in the fender motive on an upper plane to the 'aquiline' route followed by the bonnet’s center point. In the body side, a sturdy belt band yet again stretches upward to the rear wheel shaft enabling two 'claw-marks' to be grazed as air intakes, whilst fitted in the Grecian motive traced on the horizontal-base traverse allowing glimpses of the carbon fiber chassis, are two thermal engine exhaust pipes.

The body side and the upper tail merge and flow upward towards where the roof and rear window meet: from there is triggered a rather singular truncated tail profile, surmounted by the spoiler’s embossed motive protecting the optic unit. The tail’s lower band allocates the engine’s cooling air outlets.

As a result of adopting the By Wire technology, the pedal board and steering wheel can slide along strips, whether to the right, center or left. This did not translate into having to adopt a bench seat, but paved the way towards creating extremely ergonomic and sophisticated sliding seats, thereby ensuring personalized driving comfort. A sturdily built driver, for example, can move the seat away from the door or a three-seating arrangement can be obtained for two adults with one child sitting in the middle. Even with three passengers, the interior offers more sitting and legroom than in normal sports coupe models.

In order to obtain maximum driving seat adaptability, Fabrizio Giugiaro also turned a keen eye to dashboard design. Dashboard information has been stripped down to the essential: speedometer, speed indicators and fuel level confirmed; temperature indicators eliminated; navigator and stereo Toyota interfaces installed.

Also for the Volta, Italdesign-Giugiaro went beyond the shell, utilizing its testing and engineering department to design the carbon fiber chassis, the push-rods and the mechanisms regulating pedal/steering column block traslability, whilst its prototyping construction workshops to crystallize the styling model and operational prototype.

Other than the petrol propulsor, also drawn from the collaboration with Toyota are the electric engines, the batteries and all operational management electronics plus the expertise gained in an avant-garde specialty.
 

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General specifications
Country of origin Japan
Produced in 2004
Introduced at 2004 Geneva Motorshow
Numbers built N/A
Body design Italdesign
Weight 1250 kg / 2755.8 lbs

Drivetrain
Engine Electric motors and V6
Engine location Mid, transversely mounted
Displacement 3.300 liter / 201.4 cu in
Valvetrain 4 valves/cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Fuel injection
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Gearbox N/A
Drive All wheel drive

Performance figures
Power 408 bhp / 304.4 kW
BHP/Liter 123.6
Torque N/A
Power to weight ratio 0.33 bhp/kg
Top Speed 155.3 mph / 250.0 km/h
0-60 mph Acceleration 4.00 s
 

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Hell yeah! I fully expect to be owning a drive-train like the one described sometime in my lifetime. Assuming they can keep the weight down, it just makes sense.

Right now the hybrids are all bent on fuel economy.. I'm just waiting for that to get played out and the focus back on performance.

Last I heard, steering-by-wire will need some major legislative adjustments first. I remember seeing a (Mercedes?) prototype that had a center-console joystick grip for control -- no wheel or pedals at all. Either seat can drive.

As for looks, I dunno, the Volta works for me!
 

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That's certainly an engineering feat. I like the tires. To me, the car kind of looks like a lamborghini where someone read the specs wrong and put too large of window on it. I think it's really cool. I'd get one (if it cost as much as the Elise). Seems like more of a daily driver, and you'll be fine in the snow. :)
 

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I like nearly all of its exterior. I really like the photot of it on the tow truck. I just can't stand the look of those side vents.
 

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http://www.glossynews.com/artman/publish/toyota-volta-priapus-845.shtml


"Tuesday, Toyota Motors shocked industry analysts with the announcement that their critically acclaimed concept car, previously named the Volta, after the man who discovered electricity, redubbed "the Priapus" by both Car & Driver and Road & Track, will be available to consumers in Germany by Christmas 2004, and the U.S. three months later."

Can't wait for the Lotus with Series Hybrid power. The engine need only run at one RPM and so can be optimized for that RPM. They could use a turbine!
 

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Paul said:
http://www.glossynews.com/artman/publish/toyota-volta-priapus-845.shtml


"Tuesday, Toyota Motors shocked industry analysts with the announcement that their critically acclaimed concept car, previously named the Volta, after the man who discovered electricity, redubbed "the Priapus" by both Car & Driver and Road & Track, will be available to consumers in Germany by Christmas 2004, and the U.S. three months later."

Can't wait for the Lotus with Series Hybrid power. The engine need only run at one RPM and so can be optimized for that RPM. They could use a turbine!
Sounds all good, but I looked through this "glossynews.com" and want to ask, "how reliable is this source?"
 

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You realize, of course, that "Priapus" is the Greek god of fertility. While Poseidon proudly displays his mighty Trident, Priapus is most often portrayed with his, uh.. member. Huge member.

Unabashedly displayed.



Later renditions did away with the man altogether and just sculpted his Main Feature. Romans used it rather like a scarecrow over gardens and fields.

Come to think of it, I might have to resurrect this religious conviction and see how it goes over with the HOA.
 

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"You realize, of course, that "Priapus" is the Greek god of fertility"

Interesting.

The medical term "priapism" refers to an erection that won't go down. :eek:
 
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