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Utility Squared

Published on February 22 2016

The U2 offers a wide variety of features that embody the concept of utility

For this year’s edition of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Toyota has introduced a new concept idea as well as few new 2016 models. This was the occasion to showcase the new generation of the Prius as well as the new RAV4 Hybrid. This year, the theme of Toyota's booth revolved around utility and green technologies.


Space-Saving Innovation

The new concept, introduced at the CIAS on media day, is called U2 (pronounced U-Squared), a name inspired by the combination of the words Urban and Utility. These two words get to the root of the niche Toyota is looking to address: the square silhouette of the vehicle is reminiscent of certain models already on the market, including British cabs, and is meant to provide active city dwellers and entrepreneurs on the road with a solution to help them efficiently carry equipment without compromising on urban mobility. As explained by Toyota Canada's VP of sales Cyril Dimitris, “This creative class blurs the lines between work and play, and we’re delighted to give Canadians the first look at this compelling vision of urban mobility.”


The U2 offers a wide variety of features that embody the concept of utility, including an easy and accessible trunk with a tailgate that opens up and bends down, turning into a ramp that can easily be used to load equipment or even a bicycle. The panels of the roof are retractable, allowing for someone to stand up at the back, and the side windows can be flipped up and opened to give increased access to the sides of the vehicles. The rear and front passenger seats can fold down flat, and the front seat can even be removed entirely.


Reinventing the Prius

If the U2 was the star of the main stage at CIAS, two other models were also discreetly introduced, starting with the all-new fourth generation Toyota Prius. As one of the most popular hybrids on the market, the 2016 Prius received a new design with statement-making arrowhead headlights and an upgraded silhouette. Despite this new and more aggressive-looking design, the Prius remains one of the most fuel-efficient models offered in Canada. Its 1.8L engine combined with a newly available lithium-ion battery will offer a fuel economy rated at 4.5L/100km. The new and smaller battery pack, now located under the rear seats rather than in the trunk, has also made it possible to increase the cargo volume.


For the first time, Toyota’s hybrid technology has been adapted to their second best-selling model, resulting in the new 2016 RAV4 hybrid. Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and a 2.5L Atkinson cycle engine, the RAV4 hybrid will offer new levels of utility and fuel economy. Toyota’s new 2016 Prius and RAV4 Hybrid will soon be available at Kingston Toyota and Scion. Discover one of the best hybrid technologies on the market!

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