Toyota is introducing a sat nav that will not only give you the fastest or most scenic route to your destination, it can also find the greenest one.
The company's Touch & Go navigation system can work out an 'ecological' route designed to minimise emissions and fuel consumption over the course of a journey.
The system will be introduced from May 2011 as a £500 option on the new Toyota Verso-S small MPV which goes on sale at the beginning of March.
Using a compatible mobile phone, drivers and passengers will also be able to connect to the Google Local Search database and by using Google Maps a destination can be entered into the system from home with the mobile serving as a modem to transfer information automatically.
Connectivity to the cell phone also enables the owner to manage SMS messages through the system, reading messages and sending replies - although not while you're driving.
Later in the year Toyota plans to introduce an app facility to provide information on local fuel prices, weather forecasts and available parking with more apps being rolled out in future via web portal.
The system will be incorporated into the Toyota Touch multi media platform fitted as standard on the Toyota Verso-S. This includes a dash-mounted 6.1-inch touch screen which can be bluetoothed to cell phones and compatible with MP3 players and iPods as well as housing the screen for the rear view reversing camera.
Customers buying the Toyota Verso-S before May, can have the sat-nav system retro fitted.
All of which assumes that owners want to be ‘connected'.
Unlike most carmakers when they launch a new model, Toyota GB boss Jon Williams is not chasing bright young thrusters, but going for the older generation empty-nesters.
"We are looking at customers who have a little more time on their hands, needing a car with good flexibility in terms of carrying passengers or cargo and who perhaps don't do that many miles."
The Toyota Verso-S will be available in two trims, TR, and T-Spirit and powered by a 1.3-litre petrol engine with either a 6-speed manual or 7-step continuously variable transmission.
At 120g/km for CVT, that means no road tax in the first year. The entry-level TR grade starts at £14,645, although Toyota is offering a special launch price of £13,999 for six months.
Williams said he expects the biggest seller to be the T-Spirit grade, with its spectacular panoramic sunroof, at £15,745, again with a special launch price of £14,995.
CVT versions add a further £1,000 to the showroom price.Published 18 February 2011