Toyota

Toyota cars

Toyota introduced the Avalon to the U.S. market way back in 1995 as its more upscale, full-size sedan slotted between the Camry and more luxurious Lexus brand. It originally rode on a stretched version of the Camry’s platform and even shared its 3.0-liter, V-6 engine. Generational changes in 2000, 2005, and again in 2013 have kept the Avalon fresh with revised looks, interior appointments, and updated drivetrains.

I recently spent a week getting to know a 2014 Avalon in its most well-appointed form. My Limited tester came coated in a really beautiful dark-blue color Toyota calls Parisian Night Pearl. Its interior came awashed in soft-touch, tan leather seats with contrasting Parisian Night Pearl stitching and accent pieces. Equipped with the Technology Package, my Avalon came fitted with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, and the Pre Collision System. Also present was Toyota’s innovative Qi Wireless Charging system (pronounced "Chee") that works with like-enabled electronic devices.

Though those were the only two main extra-cost options, the Limited trim package took care of checking the other option boxes in one fell swoop, netting nearly every conceivable amenity desired on modern sedans. Heated and cooled leather seats with 10-way adjustments, moonroof, navigation, HID headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a laundry list of standard safety equipment.

Speaking of safety, the Avalon comes rated with five stars across the board from the NHTSA, except for the driver-side frontal crash, which earned a still-respectable four stars. Its other government ratings aren’t bad either. The EPA rates the Avalon at 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined.

The Avalon might not be the most exciting product Toyota builds these days, but it fulfills its intended purpose of passenger comfort very well. Out of all the cars I’ve piloted lately, the Avalon would be my pick for a long-haul roadtrip with the family.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Toyota Avalon

The Toyota FT-1 Concept brought the house down at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. Toyota executives heard the overwhelmingly positive reception the concept received and is now doing something about it. In a recent issue of MotorTrend, the magazine has indicated that Toyota is planning on bringing the FT-1 Concept to life as a production sports car .

That’s big news, but not overly surprising news. We have suspected for some time that it would be the basis of the soon-to-be-revived Supra .

The attention the FT-1 Concept has received recently is justified and Toyota is already doing something about it. According to MotorTrend, the Japanese automaker has already begun work on a new, full-scale model of the concept, as well as a wide-body, racing version.

Toyota hasn’t specifically announced that a production model of the FT-1 Concept is arriving, but those decisions to build more prototypes is as good an indication as any that the automaker is seriously considering production .

This isn’t even the first time Toyota has taken this route. Remember the Lexus LF-LC Concept ? That model came with two different iterations (the LF-CC was the other one) and while the concept itself wasn’t mass produced, we all did see a lot of its design cues on the Lexus RC and RC F models.

So is it possible that the Toyota FT-1 Concept will evolve into the returning Toyota Supra ? That’s a question that should get a lot of people talking.

We know that there’s already been buzz of that possibility, and finding out that Toyota has some serious intentions about the FT-1 Concept only adds fuel to that fire.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept.

Source: FT1 Club

There’s a storm brewing over at Cosworth , the kind that can redefine the way we look at the Subaru BRZ , Scion FR-S , and Toyota GT86 . The aftermarket company known for its engine forays in the world of Formula One prepared a new power package treatment for the FA-20 engine that powers all three.

After some teasing in early 2014, Cosworth has finally bared the details on this new power package and it has come at a perfect time for the trio of sports cars . It’s a performance upgrade that has turned the normally tame 200-horsepower sports cars into a fire-breathing bullets that are poised to dominate the automotive scene.

Finally, we can alleviate some of our issues with the BRZ/FR-S/GT86 trio with a healthy injection of power, courtesy of Cosworth. Now, if only we can get the automakers to finally add some of this power straight from the factory, instead of slapping on silly body kits and flashy wheels.

Cosworth’s program comes in three stages, with the details on Stage 1 being the only ones that are available as of June 2, 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Toyota GT86 by Cosworth.

Source: Cosworth

The relative success of the first-generation Supra left Toyota with a huge task on its hands. It wasn’t enough to just build on the popularity of the sports car ; the company had to exceed it with the new version. So in a lot of ways, the second-generation Supra was created to make sure that it wasn’t a flash-in-the-pan model.

The model ran from 1982 to 1986 and in that time, the Supra evolved and underwent a handful of changes, resulting in the model that cemented the Supra’s place in history as one of Toyota’s finest sports cars .

In the North American market, the second generation Supra, which was still known as the Celica XX in Japan, came in two different versions: Performance Type (P-Type) and Luxury Type (L-Type). Both versions were roughly identical to each other, except for some noticeable changes to the aesthetics and the available technology contained in the models.

The success of the second-generation Toyota Supra turned a lot of people into fans of the sports car, elevating its stature in the eyes of many as one of the best sports cars of its time. It even caught the attention of Motor Trend and Car and Driver, two magazines that awarded the Supra with their own honors, including MT’s "Import Car of the Year" and Car and Driver’s "Top Ten Best List" in 1983 and 1984.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1982 - 1986 Toyota Supra.

Back in the the 1970’s, the Celica was fighting the good sports car fight for Toyota as rival models, particularly the Nissan 240Z , burst into the scene. But it wasn’t until the latter part of that decade when Toyota decided to ramp up its efforts in the sports car market. That’s when the Toyota Supra was born. Based on the Celica until its third incarnation, the Supra became the sports car Toyota put up against some of the best its rivals had to offer. It’s popularity grew to such great lengths that the Japanese automaker even created a new logo just for the Supra.

The Toyota Supra may no longer exist and even with reports of its revival bubbling in the surface for years now, we can always look fondly at the first-generation Supra and say "that’s where it all began."

Click past the jump to read more about the 1979 - 1981 Toyota Supra.

Toyota has been over the fence and back regarding its plans to build turbocharged, sedan and convertible versions of the GT 86 . Last we heard, poor sales of the sports car scuttled those plans, but now it looks like they’re back on the table.

Motoring Australia is reporting that Toyota is once again hot on the idea of expanding its GT 86 lineup. While no specific plans for the car have been disclosed, there seems to be a growing sentiment within the company that poor sales notwithstanding, Toyota is finally ready to push all of its GT 86 chips in the middle of the table.

It’s a smart move to offer some diversity to the GT 86, which hasn’t earned the same level of sales respect and admiration as its twins, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S. A convertible version of the GT 86 was even previewed last year with the Open Top Concept so at the very least, we should now what to expect with a future top-down sports coupe.

As for the sedan version, Toyota has big plans for the four-door GT 86, including giving it a duo of engine options. The bid news is that there will be a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which will likely be the Subaru’s 2.5-liter Direct Injection Turbo engine that’s good for more than 295 horsepower. The other engine for the sedan will likely be a hybrid Suby engine, but not the 160-horsepower one found in the XV Crosstrek — you may exhale now... Sources inside Subaru claim that the company is working on a hybrid unit that works with its direct-injected boxer engine.

Another objective for the GT 86 sedan is to have enough room to differentiate it from the coupe. Talks are already in place to make the GT 86 sedan 510 mm (20 inches) longer and 100 mm (3.9 inches) taller than the coupe model. Those are both pretty drastic expansions, so it’ll be interesting to see how the extra size affects the styling.

What’s more, the bad-add 2.5-liter DIT engine that the sedan will receive will also trickle down to the coupe model, according to the report.

The soft-top convertible GT 86, which will retain the current drivetrain, is set to arrive earlier than the sedan, possibly as soon as October 2014. The turbocharged sedan and coupe versions could arrive as early as 2016, and the hybrid model is rumored to arrive a few months later.

Click past the jump to read more about the GT 86.

Have you noticed how most Toyotas are boring by design, while the company’s concept cars are usually groundbreaking and spectacular? Here, have a look at the 2014 Toyota FCV concept and then take a peek at the Camry sedan . See what I mean?

Well, this enormous concept-to-production gap might be narrowed in the near future, as the Japanese manufacturer is one step away from reviving the iconic Supra nameplate with the FT-1 concept as its base (have another look at our recent renderings for a refresh).

Of course, we’re not expecting Toyota to make the production car as mean looking and aggressive as the aforementioned design study, but the final result is bound to have a big impact on the industry. It might as well be the next Lexus LFA , but with a Toyota badge on its nose and with a greater "wow" factor attached to it. And the LFA is hard to beat!

Now I know all of you sports car enthusiasts are just dying to see this new product alive and kicking, but you’ll have to keep your shirts on for a little while longer, as Toyota has yet to reveal its plans with the next Supra.

Meanwhile, the stunning FT-1 concept took a trip across town from the Calty Design Research workshop to Jay Leno’s Garage , where California’s biggest car collector sat down and had a chat with two of the main men behind the project.

Leno is obviously impressed with the FT-1’s design, claiming the new concept car could spawn something truly impressive. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get to drive it, as he does with most of the vehicles that drop by his garage, for obvious reasons, but the video reveals some interesting facts about the car.

Now go ahead and enjoy the video and make sure you stay tuned to TopSpeed for more info on the upcoming Toyota Supra.

Owning a sports car can be a lot of fun if you live near a race track or if you have the time and means to travel long distances for some fast laps. Things can get even better if this is done on a regular basis, as the next day can provide even more fun by going over the telemetry data.

Track addicts are always looking to improve their runs, so it’s safe to assume that they always connect their car to a telemetry recording device. Corvette Stingray owners, for instance, will be able to order their sports car with a Performance Data Recorder beginning with the 2015 model year.

Naturally, there are all sorts of similar devices to be had as we speak, with most of them being suitable for just any vehicle. However, Toyota will be launching one of their own — it’s called Sports Drive Logger and was created for the affordable GT 86 sports car.

How does it work? Well, Toyota says the device, which was co-developed with Sony, is programmed to collect data passing through the GT 86’s controller area network, which means it will log information such as GPS positioning, accelerator and brake pedal use, gear shifting, engine behavior and vehicle speed.The collected data is optimized so it can be transferred to an USB device for future analysis and use.

Now there’s more good news for those are also into Gran Turismo 6 . The data can be loaded into the video game, where it recreates the said track run. Furthermore, it will allow the user to race against their own or against data uploaded by their friends.

The bad news is that the Sports Drive Logger won’t be available in the U.S. for now, with the device to go on sale only in Japan this June (priced at around $833 at current exchange rates). This is probably why the system only offers support for three local tracks - Fuji, Suzuka and Tsubuka. There’s no word on if and when the Sports Drive Logger will be launched Stateside, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the tech makes it into the Scion FR-S .

Video about the Sports Drive Logger after the jump.

When Toyota launched its FT-1 concept , the entire industry stood up and took notice of this new sports car . After further investigation, nearly all of us media folk drew a direct line between the new concept and the eventual return of the legendary Supra . We took the initiative to create a rendering of an FT-1-based Supra back in February, and what good is a new supra without the removable targa top that the model was known for having? So we are now adding a rendering of the convertible Supra to our repertoire today.

Once we created the coupe version of the our Supra rendering, the convertible version was pretty simple. All we needed to do was eliminate the center section of the roof, flatten out the rear section of the roof and add a frame just above the windshield. We also had to take some time to add in some seats to give it a more realistic look.

Just like with the coupe version of the Supra, converting the convertible model required revising the nose to lose that wild, F1 -like nose, add more traditional headlights, smoothen out some of the air intakes and add on a more Supra-like rear spoiler.

I suspect that the convertible version will arrive about a year after the Supra coupe.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Toyota Supra Convertible.

Toyota ’s history with the 24 Hours of Le Mans goes way back to 1985, but, to the automaker’s dismay, the Japanese have yet to clinch an overall win. It was close though, scoring second-place finishes on four occasions.

Toyota’s earlier efforts ceased after the 1999 race, right before Audi rose to power to become the fierce "oppressor" that won 13 out of the last 14 events. Yes, we’ve included Bentley ’s success from 2003 as well, because the Speed 8 was nothing but an Audi R8 underneath.

With the Germans sweeping just about anything in their way, Toyota returned to Circuit de la Sarthe in 2012. Itsweapon of choice, the TS030 Hybrid , failed to finish, sending team engineers back to the drawing board. The 2013 evolution of the race car was more competitive, but Toyota Racing had to settle with second place once again.

Fortunately, Toyota’s not willing to give up just yet, and the Audi - Toyota prototype class war will see another battle this year. In fact, it’s going to be a three-way, because Porsche will be returning to France, after 16 years, with their latest hybrid machine - the 919.

Anyway, Toyota won’t be fielding an updated TS030, but a brand-new vehicle. Dubbed TS040 Hybrid (no surprises here), the new TMG-developed LMP1 car will be quite different. And we’re not talking about the fact that it’ll be narrower, as required by new FIA regulations, it will also benefit from all-wheel drive.

It appears the Japanese are keeping the gasoline-electric drivertrain, with the naturally-aspirated V-8 motivating the rear wheels. For 2014, however, an Aisin electric motor will be spinning the front axle, while a DENSO inverter will be in charge of sending energy to a super-capacitor during braking. Nothing too fancy to today’s standards, but competitive enough for endurance racing .

Toyota will field two TS040 Hybrids in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship. The driver lineup will remain unchanged, with Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin sharing duties.

The new race cars will make their first public appearances at FIA’s official test session at the Paul Ricard Circuit on March 28, so make sure you stick around for additional details.

Updated 03/27/2014: The new Toyota TS040 Hybrid made its world debut today at Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France. Check out the new specs and images revealed at the event!

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Racing TS040 Hybrid.


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