DETROIT -- Toyota introduced a plug-in hybrid concept vehicle Tuesday in Detroit at the 2012 North American Auto Show called the NS4, separating it from the Prius family of vehicles and showcasing a new design the company plans to carry into the near future.

At a press conference early Tuesday morning, Toyota president and CEO Jim Lentz said that Toyota challenged its engineers to develop the early stages of a new, mid-szied concept car for potential market introduction by 2015.

What resulted was the NS4, a hybrid with a greater electric range and better acceleration.

In this digital age, cars are becoming another spoke in the wheel of our electronic connectivity, Lentz said in his remarks. 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.

Lentz emphasized futuristic styling, increased safety and increased connectivity as the major themes of the NS4 concept.

Click ahead for a look at the NS4.