Toyota

Toyota cars

The venerable Highlander has been a strong seller for Toyota since its debut back in 2001, when it helped usher in the era of uni-body crossovers. Back then, the Highlander represented a solid alternative to the mundane four-door sedan with its higher ground clearance, upright view of the road and tidy dimensions. Five passengers and a decent amount of cargo could trudge though snow or down wooded paths with more confidence than in a Camry , thanks to the available all-wheel drive. The little CUV That Could embodied the premise of the whole crossover craze; combining the on-road manners of a car with SUV -like capabilities in a smart package.

The Highlander moved into its second generation in 2008, and received a mid-life refresh in 2010. Those changes helped it stay competitive, but the time has come for the next generation. Enter: the all-new 2014 Highlander.

Everything inside and out has a new look. Sharper, crisper lines make the CUV more manly and rugged, while its overall look still labels it as civilized. It rides on the same wheelbase but has grown some three inches, giving more rear passenger legroom.

An eight-passenger configuration is available on mid-level trims, and a powerful 3.5-liter V-6 can send power to all four wheels when the right option boxes are checked. Both the four-cylinder and hybrid models return for 2014, but with improved fuel economy.

I had the chance to drive the Highlander through the “snowpocalypse of 2014” along the icy streets of Charleston, South Carolina, as the town suffered its first snowfall in years.

Click past the jump for our 2014 Toyota Highlander review

Posted on by Simona  

Super Bowl XLVIII ended with tears for some fans and with joy for others, and the tears were especially salty, considering the huge difference in score, as the Sehawks gave the Broncos quite a whooping 43-8. On a good note, at least there were some cool car commercials to enjoy during this total blowout.

Just like with the game, we had some winners and some looser. Commercials like Budweiser’s "Puppy Love" Jerry Seinfeld’s Reunion/Crackle received rave reviews and millions of views online, but we’re more interested in what happened in the automotive section.

Many consider Audi hit a home run with its "Doberhuahua" commercial, while Maserati ’s "Strike" or Chevrolet’s "Romance" were total failures, but what do you think? In your opinion, which ad was the best this year?

In my humble opinion, I found Volkswagen’s "Wings" the funniest one of the year. As for the stinker of the year, I have to vote for Chevrolet’s "Romance" ad, as it seemed nearly pointless.

Click past the jump to see all of the Super Bowl XLVIII car ads.

If there is a car that is included on almost every list of “greatest enthusiasts car” it’s the Toyota Supra. The little two-door sports car was originally bolted together as a response to the Z cars coming from competitor Datsun, but it eventually grew into a special machine with a cult-like following.

Now after years of rumor, speculation and dreaming, it looks like the new Toyota Supra is all but official. Toyota’s newest concept car, the FT-1 likely previews the new shape and design of the upcoming Supra replacement.

The story of the Supra may start in 1978, but it was in 1987 with the introduction of the first turbocharged Supra, that it began to truly build its performance legacy. This third-generation Supra was fitted with more than a powerful engine, it featured adjustable suspension and brake systems that helped make it great around a racetrack as well.

It became a cult icon in the auto enthusiast world, and everyone has been clamoring for a new model since the old one was pulled form U.S. showrooms in the late ’90s.

With more info and rumors coming out every day about the 2015 Toyota Supra it’s only a matter of time before we find out what Toyota really plans to do. Read on to see our thoughts on the matter.

Updated 2/3/2014: We have just created several new renderings of the anticipated Supra. You can see one image above and the rest after the jump.

Hit the jump to see why.

Posted on by Simona  

A few days ago, Toyota previewed its "Muppets" commercial that was set for air during this year’s Super Bowl on February 2nd. Today, the company revealed the full commercial, which features the 2014 Toyota Highlander , Terry Crews and the Muppets.

The commercial, called "Joyride," shows Terry Crews — star of the FOX series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and former NFL player — driving his Highlander until his ride is invaded by the little Muppets. Just like most other Muppet capers, it also includes an original song. This time around, Crews joins in with a little dance of his own...

"Our game-day spot shows how Toyota Highlander puts the ’fun’ in function," said Jack Hollis, vice president of Toyota Division Marketing at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "Toyota vehicles are built to last and can even endure the most boisterous Muppets, a former NFL player as well as a center console full of chickens."

The 2014 Toyota Highlander is on sale at a price of $29,215.

Posted on by Simona  
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Toyota unveiled the Prius hybrid back in 1997 and since then, the model has been through three generational changes — the latest one was revealed in 2009. When Toyota released the Prius, it quickly known as the face of hybrid vehicles. With competition starting to become fiercer each year, Toyota needs to keep improving the Prius to keep it in the No. 1 slot in the hybrid market in it next generation.

Rumors suggest that the next-generation Prius will take its market dominance to a whole new level. Toyota will go for a completely revised look and will move it to New Global Architecture platform that will make it lighter and cheaper to develop.This revised look is anticipated to give the Prius a sportier look than the current model, much like the difference between the last-generation Corolla and the current generation.

According to a report from Automotive News, the next-generation Prius “will have a new type of hybrid system," with a new, ultra-efficient gasoline engine and powerful, lightweight lithium-ion batteries. This new engine will achieve thermal efficiency rates above 40 percent — up from the current 38.5% — which will help deliver around an 8-percent increase in fuel economy.

Expect the fourth-generation Toyota Prius to be put on sale sometime in 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius.

Note: Current model pictured here.

Posted on by Simona  
Toyota GT-86 Convertible

In October 2013, Toyota announced that the convertible version for the GT86 and the Scion FR-S was put on indefinite hold, because apparently such a car has no place in Toyota’s plans in the near future. This decision was pretty surprising to us, considering that Toyota unveiled the FT86 Open Top Concept at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, which made us believe that a convertible GT86/FR-S was just around the corner.

Now, we have new rumors suggesting that Toyota wants the GT86 and FR-S Convertible, but Subaru still has no interest in producing it. As a result, Toyota is now investigating the possibility of developing this car on its own, despite Subaru saying before that Toyota could not do so without its help.

Talking about this issue at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Doug Murtha, vice president for Scion in the U.S., said: "It’s something we’re looking at internally from both a manufacturing standpoint — where do we build something that’s relatively low-volume, if not at Subaru — and from an engineering standpoint: Where are those resources going to come from to do it?"

With this in mind Toyota asked all of its dealers and Scion dealers around the world to submit volume targets for such a model. If interest has increased, Toyota could start looking into the possibility of manufacturing open-top GT86 and FR-S models. However, it will be very difficult to do so, considering that currently the GT86, FR-S and the BRZ bodies are all developed at Subaru’s plant in Ohta, Japan, and retrofitting a convertible top onto a coupe in any bulk may prove too time-consuming to be profitable for Toyota.

Click past the jump to read more about the possible Toyota GT86 Convertible.

Source: WardsAuto
Posted on by Simona  

This year’s Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will kick off on February 2nd, 2014, and part of the spectacle will be all of the car commercials during the breaks. Until we’ get to see the real commercials, automakers are teasing us with previews of the commercial that will air during the game.

Recently, Volkswagen teased its Algorithm commercials, and now Toyota has revealed a teaser video for the commercials it will air during Super Bowl XLVIII.

The stars of Toyota’s commercial this year will be the 2014 Highlander and "Everybody Hates Chris" star Terry Crews, and according to the company, the idea behind the commercial was: "one boring man, in a world full of boring choices, makes a stop that will change his life forever. In the all-new Toyota Highlander, the Big Game will be anything but boring."

Check out this teaser video to see what Toyota will bring this year at the Super Bowl XLVIII.

Posted on by Simona  
Toyota FT-1 Concept

Back in 2013, BMW and Toyota signed an agreement that was supposed to bring only good things for both parties: a new supercar, improved hybrid-technologies and better cars. Well, the bad news is that this agreement will not affect the next-generation Supra , as it will remain an in-house-developed sports car .

What Toyota will do however will be to help BMW develop the next-generation Z4 . The consensus believes that BMW will design and build the body of the next Z4. using lots of carbon-fiber and aluminum, while Toyota will offer its next-generation plug-in hybrid technology to the sports car.

Of course, this will not be the same as the current hybrid technology used in Toyota models, as that won’t fit in the tiny Z4. Instead, both the future Z4 and its Toyota cousin will likely share a sub-2.0-liter engine with a new, more compact hybrid system from Toyota.

Despite heavy changes, it is believed that the next BMW Z4 will be priced similar to the current generation.

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

Source: Motoring

You know a car is making waves when on the same day it makes its worldwide debut, its virtual counterpart is doing the same.

That’s what happened a few days ago when the incredible Toyota FT-1 Concept officially showed its face at the North American International Auto Show, which was shortly followed by the virtual FT-1 Concept becoming available as a downloadable content for Gran Turismo 6.

Yup, that quick. The quick turnaround is impressive enough in its own right, but considering that the actual show car lacked an engine in Detroit , yet it’s running in full force in the game, it would be really cool to see exactly how the concept sports car runs.

More importantly, the release of the FT-1 Concept on Gran Turismo represents a new kind of partnership between the game’s developer with automotive brands. We’ve already waxed poetic about the Vision Gran Turismo Concepts , but having an actual concept make a debut in a major auto show coincide with the same concept appearing in a video game is something both parties are likely to take advantage of in the near future.

Don’t be surprised if a company decides to debut a concept in the game first before showing it live in person in the future.

That could be in play now.

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

Source: Playstation
Posted on by Simona  

While the new FT-1 Concept car was specially designed for the new Gran Turismo 6 racing game, we have a strange feeling that it previews the new-generation Supra . In fact, Toyota announced that the concept car previews the company’s future design language, meaning that a new sports car may be right around the corner.

The new concept car is named the FT-1 and the name was explained as follows: FT stands for "Future Toyota," and the number "1" represents the ultimate. According to Toyota, the design team started to work on this new concept car about two years ago, and it’s pretty clear that it is a continuation of the FT-HS launched in 2007, with some design elements taken from the 2012 Lexus LF-LC .

The concept was designed by the Calty design team and comes just in time to celebrate the team’s 40th anniversary. It was officially unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show .

Updated 08/14/2014: Toyota unveiled a second version of the FT-1 Concept, this time featuring a graphite exterior paint and a new interior with natural leather on the seat combined with brown edges.

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


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