The Toyota NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept is a potential midsize concept that could enter the market by 2015

Toyota shied away from the Prius family for a bit to bring the new bold-looking NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) this week.

While those in Toyota's Prius family typically resemble an egg-like shape and look more like larger smart cars, the new NS4 concept strays far from that design and dips into a sportier look. In other words, the Prius is the book smart, nerdy individual with a pocket protector and the NS4 is captain of the football team with all the girls on its arms.

The NS4 concept was meant to step away from the Prius family and represent a Toyota vehicle of the future. It is expected to offer a next generation Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system with improved fuel economy, longer all-electric range, smaller component size/ weight and a shorter charging time.

[Source: Toyota]

Also, since the NS4 is a car of the future, it is expected to have increased connectivity through technology like the Human-Machine Interface (HMI), which offers information the driver needs quickly and efficiently. It can learn driver preferences, and control different functions like air conditioning and audio as you like without you having to direct its actions. Through alliances with companies like Microsoft and Intel, technologies to keep you connected in the NS4 will likely only become more sophisticated with time.

The NS4 will also feature advanced safety systems, such as Adaptive Driving Beam headlights that help with the glare to oncoming drivers, cameras that replace inner and outer rear view mirrors for greater accuracy, a next generation Pre-Collision System (PCS) for lane departure and pedestrian/car collision avoidance technologies, and windshield safety measures like anti-fog film, high UV absorbing inner layer and a hydrophobic coating to help disperse raindrops.

[Source: Toyota]

"In this digital age, cars are becoming another spoke in the wheel of our electronic connectivity," said Jim Lentz, Toyota USA president and CEO. "NS4 demonstrates Toyota's take on the human connection to the car with technology that considers both emotional and rational relationships, person-to-car and car-to-society."

The Toyota NS4 advanced plug-in hybrid concept is a potential midsize concept that could enter the market by 2015.

[Source: Toyota]

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