The first Toyota Ahphard launched in 2002. Toyota Alphard is a luxury MPV designed and manufactured by Toyota. It is offered both as seven and eight-seater MPV. It has total of three models including Alphard G, Alphard V and Alphard Hybrid which are either powered with 2.4-L or 3.0-L gasoline engines. Although, it is mainly designed and produced for Japanese market, it is however sold in Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Bahrain, Oman and Malaysia as well. The Toyota Alphard is basically named after the brightest star in the constellation Hydra.
In Alphard, the company introduces its ‘E-Four Electric 4WD’ system that controls the rear-mounted, rear-wheel-propelling electric motor and brings the electric power distribution into line with all four wheels. To provide an effective wheel by wheel brake control, the company introduces an Electrically Controlled Brake System (ECB).
By achieving 75% lover level emissions, the full-size Alphard Hybrid MPV has qualified as an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) fulfilling the requirements for Japanese government’s 2000 standard. In Toyota’s hybrid systems, 2.4-L engine has been used that offers a high-expansion ratio cycle, hence achieving maximum efficiency as well as reduced friction.
A luxurious, four-seat version Alphard called the Royal Lounge Alphard launched in 2006. This vehicle competes with the Nissan’s Elgrand. Also, a sportier version called Vellfire is also produced by Toyota to target the young generation.
The great thing about Toyota Alphard is that it features a ‘by-wire’ technology that not only supervises the brake pedal pressure but also speed of the vehicle so as to measure the optimum hydraulic pressure. By-fire technology together with the E-Four makes the most of the kinetic energy collected from braking to convert it to electric power.
The Alphard Hybrid Minivan capable of generating 1500 watts and also features a standard 100-volt AC power outlets through which several different electrical appliances can be used like laptops, emergency lights etc or these outlets can be used to recharge items like power-assisted bicycles, electric carts etc.
Unlike many other hybrid cars, the Alphard Hybrid offers a range of advanced security features and the most noteworthy is the G-Book compatible DVD voice navigation system which is offered as standard on G-Edition and optional on standard grades.
- It features a Blind Corner Monitor to indicate the vehicles or pedestrians approaching from left or right.
- It features a Black Guide Monitor with a color CCD camera as well as voice guidance function to convey signals through steering sensors to measure the possible reverse path while reversing and display the images on screen.
- It also features a Lane-monitoring system that utilizes the images from the Black Guide Monitor to calculate the lateral distance to white or yellow lines on highways and activate the alarm when the distance falls below the pre-set level range.
- There is also a Radar Cruise Control wherein laser radar sensors and steering sensors are present to monitor the car’s lane and also helps maintaining a suitable distance from the preceding car to ensure safety.