Toyota cars

Toyota GT 86

Toyota must be starting to love collaborative projects. Coming out of a tight relationship with Subaru where they developed the GT 86 (pictured above) and the BRZ , the Japanese company has now established a working relationship with BMW . In fact, the two companies first announced plans to join forces back in December 2011 when they announced a partnership for sharing hybrid systems and diesel engines. Then, in March 2012, they signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells.

Today, Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW BMW AG met again and talked about a new agreement that could lead to developing a new sports car. The two leaders talked about joint development of a fuel cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, collaboration on powertrain electrification, and joint research and development on lightweight technologies.

BMW will supply highly-efficient 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting in 2014 and, in return, Toyota will share their knowledge on environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. The relationship makes sense due to the fact that one of BMW’s strengths is their production of engines and Toyota was the first to push out their electric vehicle - the Toyota Prius - with much success.

Hit the jump to read the statements from the two CEO’s.

The Toyota PPI Trophy Trucks are often referred to as one of the most significant trucks in off-road history, and rightfully so. The partnership between Toyota and Precision Preparation Inc. (PPI) resulted in 27 wins and seven championships in the now-defunct Mickey Thompson Off-Road Stadium Series, and who can forget the fact that the best of the best in off-roading, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, was a part of this team.

The example we have today, the 1994 Toyota PPI Trophy Truck 015, was the final truck built under the Toyota/PPI partnership. To make this truck even more desirable, Ivan Stewart himself piloted it at the Baja 2000.

This fine truck has just come off of a restoration and RK Motors Charlotte is giving you the opportunity to own this piece of off-road history. We are certain this freshly revamped off-roading legend is going to require a premium price.

To find out more about this truck and its asking price, click past the jump.

Lexus LS-F TMG Edition

Seemingly every car manufacturer is coming out with its own little niche performance group. You have Honda with its Si line, Infiniti with its IPL line, Mercedes with AMG, BMW with M, Ford with SVT/SHO, and so on. Toyota has used a tag like that before – Toyota Racing Department (TRD) – but the TRD lineup was typically nothing to write home about, as it included some stickers and mild suspension mods, in most cases.

Toyota once again has a racing team, Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), and it has worked closely with Lexus on the 641-horsepower LS-F , which inherited the “TMG” tag. So this leads us to wonder if Toyota and Lexus will start using the TMG name more widely to compete with the aforementioned performance sub-brands throughout the automotive world.

With Infiniti debuting its IPL lineup, it only makes sense for at least Lexus to use TMG to help pry some of the performance luxury enthusiasts away from its Japanese competitor. Toyota, on the other hand, has really dug itself a nice little niche in the automotive market, by manufacturing moderately price economy cars with a high level of standards. So us seeing a Toyota Corolla TMG in the near future, or ever, would really surprise us.

But we also have to keep in mind that Toyota shattered its own econo-box mold recently by teaming up with Subaru to build the Toyota GT 86 and Scion FR-S , so anything is really a possibility. We’ll keep a close eye on the TMG situation and let you know if more information comes up as to whether TMG is going to become more involved in Toyota’s street cars or not.

For now, we’ll just continue drooling over the one-off LF-A TMG…

For those who want to further customize their brand new GT-86 , Toyota has announced a pretty impressive aero kit for the sports coupe, leaving us holding our breath in anticipation of its US counterpart, the Scion FR-S - getting an upgrade package of its own in the near future.

The new aero kit includes a new front bumper, side sills, a rear bumper skirt, and a sharp looking rear spoiler. All of these changes help to improve the car’s aerodynamics even further. The front bumper skirt has vertical fins to control air entering the front grille and dual canards at 12-degree angles to optimize handling stability. For the side skirts, Toyota is offering a rounded leading edge to assist airflow evacuation from the front wheel housing, while the rear bumper has a profile that projects horizontally, to manage air turbulence from the front fin and assist in evacuating under-body airflow. The rear spoiler center section will be painted in gloss black and also features horizontal "winglets" on the uprights, to help generate downforce and optimize handling stability.

Toyota Racing TS030 Hybrid

It looks like Toyota , after a very huge hiccup, is set to return to the world of Lee Mans racing. Its pair of TS030 Hybrids have completed their first testing run at Cirque De La Sarthe – the name of the 24 Hours of Le Mans track. This test wasn’t just any test either. The all-new hybrid tested very well, as both cars finished the 10 laps required to qualify and the fastest lap amongst the two was 3:27.204, which was only 1.277 seconds slower than the fastest car (the Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro ).

The only issues with the run that Toyota Motorsport GmbH reported were a few bits of “minor bodywork damage,” which the team didn’t elaborate on in its press release. Other than that, the test was a complete success for the Toyota team, but it was down its main driver, Stéphane Sarrazin, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a bicycling accident. Sarrazin is expected to be ready to resume driving duties before the race starts next week, so everything is looking good for Toyota. With Sarrazin missing, Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima were behind the wheel of the No. 7 car, and the No. 8 car had Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi piloting it.

With all of the new cars, like the Toyota TS030 and the extremely intriguing Nissan DeltaWing , this 24 Hours of Le Mans is sure to be a fun one to watch. The race starts on Saturday, June 16th and the green flag drops at 3:00 p.m. Le Mans time, which is 7:00 a.m. EST.

Click past the jump to read Toyota Motorsport GmbH’s full press release on the debut.

One of the most exciting races in the auto calendar is the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. You see some of the most unique race cars and you get treated to the kind of timed laps no other auto event in the calendar will give you.

This year, we’ve already seen some of the race cars that will be competing in the event, and now Toyota is jumping into the fold with their Pikes Peak offering, the Toyota Motorsports EV P002 prototype race car.

The EV P002 is based on the Radical sports car chassis and has been fitted with a 42-kWh lithium ceramic battery pack that’s charged by an off-board DC system, netting an output of 470 horsepower and 664 lb/ft of torque with a top speed of 149 mph. Pretty intense for an electric race car, right?

The competition at Pikes Peak is pretty intense, that much we know. But these boys clearly are no pushovers, having already made a name for themselves by with the EV P002’s predecessor, the EV P001 , which incidentally set the fastest EV lap at the Nurburgring last year.

If the EV P001 was capable of that, it’s pretty exciting to think what it’s successor can do at Pikes Peak.

Recently, we held a court session where we determined that the accusations that Arrinera used a kit car to produce its Venocar prototype were false. At the same time, we did find Arrinera 100 percent guilty of completely ripping off Ferrari’s design scheme, but Arrinera was allowed to walk free based on the copycat precedent set by every major automobile manufacturer in the world.

Now we have a new case to present. The Plaintiff is Icon, a small business that specializes in taking SUVs and making them bad-ass off road buggies. The Defendant is Mattel, a multi-billion dollar toy company and manufacturer of Hot Wheels die cast cars.

There are two details to be hammered out in this edition of Vehicular Court.

Case No. 1: Did Mattel directly rip off Icon’s FJ40 image and just very lightly Photoshop it to create its press release photo for the Die Cast Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40?

Case No 2: Is the final production Hot Wheels FJ40 a direct replica of the Icon FJ40?

Click past the jump to see the complete hearing and verdict.

The Toyota GT 86 is fast becoming a popular sports car choice in a number of worldwide markets, so much so that a country like Germany will receive a host of new accessories for the Japanese sports coupe.

Hey, if Italy can get the 86 First Edition , the Germans sure aren’t far behind.

Remember, the GT 86 is being prepared as a no-frills sports car, so if you want to add your own personal touches to it, you can do so at your own behest. In order to address people’s needs for creativity, Toyota Germany has released a number of new accessories that can be seen on the sports car.

Taking a look at the package, it appears pretty similar to the one being offered in Italy. The racing stripes on the hood and the roof are there, as are the decals on the sides. On the flip side, the German accessories for the GT 86 also include carbon fiber mirror caps, a choice of wheels - the OZ racing Ultraleggera alloys cost €529 ($657) - suspension tweaks, a new JBL sound system, and a touch-screen display with navigation.

Those last three accessories cost €189 ($234), €1,045 ($1,300), and €695 ($863), respectively.

If you needed proof that the GT 86 is becoming a hot ticket in multiple towns, you only need to look at two countries that are famous for their super cars - Italy and Germany - showing some serious love for the Japanese sports coupe to realize that the GT 86 is here to stay.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 3

Just days after McLaren released a video to celebrate the launch of the MP4-12C in Abu Dhabi; Toyota has gone down a similar route with its brand new Toyota GT 86 , also known as the Scion FR-S in the states.

Although the video may not capture the essence of the largely-covered desert country like the McLaren one does, it does focus on the driving capabilities of the GT 86 immensely with the burnt orange car in question featuring a massive rear wing which could be utilized in future TRD models of the 86, or even in future WRX and STI versions of the very similar Subaru BRZ .

Despite the United Arab Emirates being famous for its oil and incredible wealth, which has led to some of the biggest technological advancements in skyscraper construction ever, the GT 86 may be a hit for the younger side of the population and those whose parents aren’t worth millions, even billions of dollars, as the GT 86 takes the cheap sports car mantra to an entirely new level.

Before you check out the video, keep in mind that the Toyota GT 86 features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Subaru sourced engine kicking out 200HP mated to either a boring automatic transmission, or the much more exciting six-speed manual.

Toyota GT 86

Our friends over at Autocar are reporting a nice tidbit of tech news on the new Toyota GT 86. According to GT 86 project engineer, Tetsuya Tada, Toyota is working on a black-box system for the GT 86 that will monitor all of the car’s main functions (i.e. braking, accelerating, stability, acceleration, speed, etc.).

In short, the black-box system is nothing new, but what Toyota plans to do with it is. Engineers are working on installing software on the black box that is compatible with the PlayStation 3. At the same time, Toyota is hard at work mapping out all of the major tracks and raceways around the world and uploading them into the black box. All the driver has to do is take the GT 86 to a mapped track on the black box and drive the hell out of his car.

Once the driver has finished his track day, just hook up the black box to a PlayStation 3 and upload the data. After all of the data is uploaded, the driver can compare his data from the track with other GT 86 drivers that have run on the same track, making for some friendly racing, without the risks of swapping paint. This system will also provide pointers for performing better at the track and maximizing the GT 86’s potential.

Seems like a pretty cool idea on paper, but the issue becomes the fact that some street racers may find a way to upload public streets, then you have GT 86 drivers driving like maniacs on busy roads trying to beat their buddy’s time around the block. We hope that the engineers find a way to block this possibility prior to releasing it, if it ever becomes a reality.

For those that snag up GT 86s before this system debuts can easily retro-fit it onto older GT 86 models.

There is no word on whether this system will be offered for the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ .

Source: Autocar

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