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Toyota, Lexus Field Fleet of Six Vehicles, Three Technologies for 2003 Challenge Bibendum(TM)

Automaker showcases hybrids, fuel cell and mix of internal combustion vehicles for Michelin event

TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 28 -- Toyota is taking a real-world approach to the 2003 Challenge Bibendum by showcasing the technology it has available today in hybrid, fuel cell and internal combustion vehicles. Participating in the testing and media drives will be the all-new 2004 Prius, the current generation Prius, a PZEV Camry, Toyota Sienna minivan, Lexus RX 330 luxury utility vehicle and Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle.

"Challenge Bibendum is a great opportunity for us to show the wide range of environmental technology in the vehicles we have on the road today," said Dave Hermance, Toyota executive engineer of environmental technology, "We're looking forward to being a part of this unique glimpse into automotive technical advances."

  The Toyota Team for the 2003 Challenge Bibendum includes:

  * 2004 Toyota Prius:       the all-new model and next generation hybrid
                             from Toyota is larger, cleaner, more powerful
                             and gets twice the fuel mileage of the best
                             2003 mid-sized sedan in the U.S.  It will be
                             available to consumers in October.
  * 2004 Lexus RX 330:       production SUV with a gasoline powered,
                             internal combustion engine with LEV II Ultra
                             Low Emissions (ULEV) making it 71 percent
                             cleaner with respect to smog-forming emissions
                             than the previous generation RX. Next year,
                             this model also will be available with a hybrid
  * 2003 Toyota FCHV SUV:    production hybrid fuel cell vehicles leased by
                             University of California at Davis and
                             University of California at Irvine.
  * 2003 Toyota Camry PZEV:  production mid-size car with a gasoline
                             powered, internal combustion engine that has
                             achieved Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV)
  * 2003 Toyota Prius:       first mass-produced hybrid vehicle featuring a
                             gasoline/electric hybrid engine.
  * 2004 Toyota Sienna:      production minivan with a gasoline-powered,
                             internal-combustion engine. The Sienna also
                             meets LEV II ULEV emissions standards and is 82
                             percent cleaner with respect to smog-forming
                             emissions than the previous generation Sienna.

"Toyota is one of the leaders in hybrid and advanced technology vehicles and we're thrilled to have some of their newest and best vehicles showcased at Challenge Bibendum," said Ron Musgnug, Michelin's project manager for the 2003 Challenge Bibendum. "Toyota has put environmentally friendly cars in the hands of the driving public and we're glad they are giving Challenge Bibendum a sneak peek at some of their latest developments."

About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. (TMS) is the sales, marketing, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion in the United States, marketing products and services through a network of nearly 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers in 49 states. Toyota is the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the world and the fourth-largest automaker in the United States. The company is committed to developing vehicles with efficient fuel consumption and clean emissions that can be easily recycled and have a minimal impact on the environment. For more information please visit

Challenge Bibendum(TM), considered one of the premier global events for advanced technology vehicles, was established by the Michelin Group as an objective way to bring together and test the best available technologies for environmentally positive vehicles. The annual event features vehicles from major manufacturers on three continents and brings together all partners in the automotive world: vehicle manufacturers, designers, energy suppliers, technical leaders, policy makers, universities and government organizations.

The 2003 Challenge Bibendum will be held in Sonoma and San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 23-25. More than 100 passenger and commercial vehicles are expected to participate.

A true competition, Challenge Bibendum is one of the few events to compare different advanced technologies head-to-head. The event is open to all energy sources from electric cars to hybrid fuel cells to hydrogen-powered buses. Advanced technology vehicles are rated on emissions, acceleration, braking, handling, noise and energy efficiency during the annual competition.

In addition to Toyota, other participating automakers include: Audi, American Honda, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Isuzu Truck, Nissan, Volvo and Volvo Truck. Complete information is available at

Michelin manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America ( employs 24,640 and operates 22 plants in 18 locations.