Toyota’s incoming chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada announced in a recent interview that he will like that the new sports car developed in partnership with BMW to be a mid-sized vehicle, similar to the discontinued Supra. Not only would a Supra-like vehicle sell like mad, but he also wants to avoid building a car that overlaps the new GT 86, which was built in cooperation with Subaru.
Uchiyamada considers that making something similar to the GT86 can be “futile,” but the final decision is left to the engineers responsible for developing the future sports car. If Toyota decides to revive the “Supra” nameplate, one that lasted from 1979 through 2002, then it would be to massive fanfare from Supra enthusiasts, which would give it an instant leg-up on the competition.
What we do know so far is that the new sports car will be built on a heavily modified version of the GT86 platform and will likely be powered by an in-line four-cylinder engine from BMW. The engine will be offered by both companies in naturally aspirated, supercharged and turbocharged versions.
Toyota is attempting to build excitement around one of the company’s longest-running and most conservative nameplates: the Corolla. It’s an uphill climb that started months ago with the 2013 Toyota Corolla Furia concept making the rounds at the major 2013 American auto shows and culminated with the official launch of the new `Rolla in Santa Monica. The redesign aims to bring some life back into the model after years of languishing while the entire Toyota lineup was redesigned around it.
The Corolla is a serious cash cow for Toyota, with 2012 sales reaching nearly 300,000 units, despite the lack of substantive changes since 2003. What’s the rush to replace a model whose tooling and engineering costs have long since been paid off? After eleven years, the 2014 model finally promises to bring the Corolla into the fold with modern electronics and styling, refined engines and more spacious dimensions all around.
Those expecting revolution will be mildly disappointed, but the changes are far deeper than a facelift in hopes of re-energizing what has become a laughing stock in the wider automotive enthusiast community. Desperate to ditch its beige image, the new Corolla promises to win back the boy-racer crowd that’s long-since abandoned the Corolla in favor of the mechanically similar Scion tC coupe or the rear-drive Scion FR-S.
With two solid sports models in the Scion corner of Toyota showrooms, does the new Corolla’s style risk alienating loyalists? Or do the new updates simply massage in a quieter ride, better infotainment tech and a bit more room in the back?
Ahead of the 2014’s arrival in early September, we’ve prepared a full review, image gallery and styling analysis of the new Corolla.
Admittedly, when we first saw this, our first thought was this was something MINI would do. But when we found out it came from Toyota, we weren’t surprised either.
Toyota knows when it’s time to think out of the box and it recently did so by presenting a colorful sports concept called the Camatte57s. The out-of-the-box part comes into focus because the Japanese automaker isn’t brining the car to an auto show.
It’s bringing it to a toy show, specifically the 2013 Tokyo Toy Show.
Essentially, the Camatte57s takes its name from the Japanese word for "care" with the “57” symbolizing the number of body panels it comes with. If you’re getting the hints by now, this concept is actually a kit car that’s simple enough to be assembled from the ground up.
The uniqueness doesn’t stop there, either. The car’s configuration is such that it has an open-top body with a 1+2 seating configuration. The seats, as well as the pedals, have all been configured in such a way that even kids can drive it. And as far as powertrain is concerned, Toyota says that it runs on electricity.
The whole point of the concept, according to Toyota, is to present the notion that people should feel more in touch with each other and with their vehicles.
Certainly, building a kit car like this - it measures 3,000 mm (118.1 inches) long, 1,440 mm (56.7 inches) wide, 1000 mm (39.4 inches) high and has a 1,800 mm (70.9-inch) wheelbase - will go a long way in fostering that driver-car relationship from an early age.
The 2013 Camry Hybrid takes the core Camry attributes to another level of sophistication and brilliance. Put simply, there are a thousand reasons why buying a new Camry has become a reflexive behavior for millions of Americans. Then again, there are more than a few nasty traits about the new Camry Hybrid, but none of them are deal-breakers for typical car shoppers.
So how has this Kentucky-bred Toyota dominated the sales charts for so long? It can’t simply be the bulletproof reliability, but that certainly helps. There are legendary mechanic’s anecdotes about running Camry engines that have never had an oil change in ten years, but keep humming along. For every whine about the Buick-style ride and handling, there are a million drivers who appreciate its anodyne driving style.
For 2013, the Camry Hybrid receives some interior enhancements, like softer plastics just a year after going on sale. With sales numbers above 350,000 units a year - every year - more than 50 new Camry’s will roll off the assembly line in just the next hour.
Please hit the jump for the full review of the 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid.
Toyota still leads the pack when it comes to electrified models and is asserting that lead with a new contest, the Prius Plug-in MPG Challenge, which pits 30 New York metro region drivers against each other to log the highest MPG over a one-month loaner period. The program kicks off its first wave of contestants today at a key hand-off in New Jersey.
The MPG Challenge underscores Toyota’s confidence in their Hybrid Synergy Drive’s ability to deliver amazing real-world returns, something that marks their models apart from pure EV’s like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S as well as conventional economy hatchbacks like the Hyundai Elantra GT and Ford Fiesta. Toyota’s point of view in the efficiency debate is valuable. They’re betting that their Prius Plug-in can entice normal drivers to "hyper-mile," a term meaning to maximize potential range through creative (and very slow) driving.
Can the Prius Plug-in Hybrid resolve the range anxiety of EV drivers and the disillusion felt by buyers of small gasoline-powered cars that can barely get near their official EPA stats – no matter how slowly they drive. The idea is to use the MPG Challenge as both a sales promotion and consumer education platform, while also highlighting the latest tech advancements in the 2013 Prius Plug-in Hybrid in the hands of real-life potential buyers.
How is Toyota positioned to weather the current state of evolving eco-car priorities? As the hard-core greens adopt full EV models, will Priuses start coming factory-direct in Taxi-cab yellow with barf-proof vinyl upholstery?
Click past the jump for the full review of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, including detailed info on ordering dedicated chargers from Toyota’s new home-electricity partner Leviton.
Earlier this year, BMW and Toyota signed an agreement that will bring a new sports car to each companies’ lineup. It looks like even though the partnership was signed in January 2013, the two companies have been working on the new sports car for quite some time now.
It looks like the new sports car has received the green light from the same person that developed the Toyota GT86: chief engineer Tetsuya Tada. According to him, the two companies are hoping for a "product that none of us could have imagined; something more than anyone expects."
The new sports car will be built on a heavily modified version of the GT86 platform and will likely be powered by an in-line four-cylinder engine from BMW. The two companies are considering naturally aspirated, supercharged and turbocharged versions of this engine, but these are unlikely to come to fruition, as these technologies will not mesh well with the two electric motors that the companies are planning to use with the gasoline engine.
It is rumored that the first concept version will be unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, with a production version to arrive in the next two years.
Click past the jump to read more about Toyota’s last jointly developed sports car, the Toyota GT86.
The Toyota Supra was one of the most iconic Japanese sports cars ever built for the U.S. In its final generation, the famed Toyota bordered on supercar numbers and appearance, leaving a lasting impression on car nuts everywhere. While the final generation of the Supra is well studied and understood by most novice tuners, only true car nuts and Supra enthusiasts really know about the earlier generations.
You see, the Supra actually dates all the way back to 1979 when Toyota decided it needed something that could give the popular Z-cars a run for their money. With this decision, Toyota took its resident sports coupe, the Celica, stretched it out a little, added in a slightly more powerful engine and called it the Celica Supra.
As time went on, the Supra gained more popularity and Toyota wanted to convert the Celica to a front-wheel-drive vehicle. This brought about the deletion of the “Celica” prefix, leaving just the Supra. This name change was the springboard to success, as the Supra steadily became faster car up until its elimination from the U.S. market in the late-1990s.
Now with rumors circulating about a possible MK V Supra, we figured it is time to present you a full historical review of the U.S.-spec Supra model.
The 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was quite a successful one for Toyota, as the company set a new EV record of 10:15.380 up the hill in the Electric class. For this year’s hill climb, the company prepared an improved version of its electric car in an attempt to break its previous run.
The improved version of the P002 is powered by an electric motor that takes its power from a 42 kWh lithium-ion battery. This electric drivetrain delivers a total of 536 horsepower (up from the previous 469 horsepower) and a peak torque of 885 pound-feet. The new P002 can hit a top speed of 142 mph.
The model is being developed on a Radical chassis and features an aerodynamic package to help keep the car glued to the ground at high speeds.
The new TMG EV P002 will be driven by Rod Millen at Pikes Peak on June 30th and one week later it will arrive at Le Mans 24 Hours.
Click past the jump to read more about the TMG EV P002 technical specifications.
The Toyota GT 86 sure is getting a ton of mileage ever since it was introduced last year. The sports coupe’s popularity in the market has even given Toyota the justification to build a special edition GT 86 that celebrates the automaker’s participation at the VLN Endurance Championship this year.
What it didn’t tell us was that the GT 86 Cup Edition would also serve the role as the VLN Endurance Championship’s official pace car, as shown in the pair of photos that were released of the heavily dressed GT 86 Cup Edition.
Officially, it’s called the GT 86 Cup Edition Pace Car and it comes with some features that are unique to it. Thanks to TRD, the GT 86 Cup Edition Pace Car received a new rear diffuser, front and rear aprons, new side skirts, a bigger trunk-lid spoiler, quad exhaust pipes, a stabilizer set, a carbon-fiber strut bar, and last but not least, exterior foil wrapping that separates it and distinguishes itself as the series’ official pace car.
As far as power goes, the GT 86 Cup Edition Pace Car will carry the same 2.0-liter inline four engine that produces 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque with a 0-to-60 mph time of 7 seconds and a top speed of slightly over 143 mph.
Click past the jump to read about the Toyota GT 86 Cup Edition
The fifth-generation Toyota 4Runner was unveiled in 2009 and now the company is preparing to release a revised version for this generation. After teasing it for a few weeks, the revised 2014 4Runner made its debut this weekend at the 2013 Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, Calif., near Palm Springs.
The 4Runner has been a staple in Toyota’s lineup for about three decades now and since its launch, it has been one of the few fully capable SUVs available in its segment. The SUV is available in a variety of configurations and in three models: a well-equipped SR5, top-of-the-line Limited, plus a Trail grade for amazing off-road capability.
Updates for the 2014 model year will include updates to both the exterior and the interior, and updates to the SUV’s comfort and convenience without sacrificing its hallmark performance capability and excellent value.
Updated 04/29/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Click past the jump to read more about the revised Toyota 4Runner.