The Toyota Corolla hasn’t been a model to get excited about since it migrated from the econo-performance rear-wheel-drive model into the front-wheel-drive pure-economy car. Granted, the S model has always added a little flair and it performs respectably for its class, but still, it’s not the type of model that we stand up and take notice of.
However, it is still year in and year out one of the most reliable cars on the roads and one of the best-selling models in its class. Well, with five years passing since its last redesign and three years since its last refresh in 2011, it looks as if a new-generation Corolla is set to debut on June 6, 2013, thanks to the teaser image that Toyota posted on its Facebook wall with the text “Prepare to meet the NEW 2014 Corolla. Get excited for June 6, really excited…” to go along with it.
There is no auto show scheduled for June 6th, so we can only assume that the Corolla will launch with far less fanfare than the 2013 Avalon did – thankfully. The teaser image doesn’t show too much, but it does confirm that the S model will continue into the next generation and that all-new taillights are part of the redesign package. These taillights are very similar to the 2013 Corolla Furia Concept, so we expect to see a lot of the Corolla’s design coming from this design exercise.
If it carries some of the aggressiveness that the Furia did, we definitely hope the `Yota puts a little something extra under the hood, but we really doubt we will see anything more than a 130-horsepower, or so, four-cylinder engine.
Stay tuned for more.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Corolla
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.
For years, Nobuhiro ’Monster’ Tajima was considered the king of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. All that, however, changed last year when Rhys Millen broke Tajima’s world record up the hill with a time of 9:46.164 in a modified Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
But if you thought that the Japanese legend would take that defeat sitting down, you got another thing coming. And by ’another thing’, we mean the Monster Sport Super 86.
That’s the name of the Toyota GT 86-sourced race Monster Tajima will be bringing to Pikes Peak this year. Yep, say good bye to the Sport E-RUNNER because the man, the myth, and the legend will be driving a brand new bad boy in his quest to reclaim the Pikes Peak record.
Looking at the Super 86, you’d be hard-pressed to think that it’s an actual GT 86. There are styling similarities, particularly the use of the sports car’s front end, but for the most part, the similarities come few and far in between.
Plus, the Super 86 is designed to compete in the Pikes Peak Unlimited Class, which pretty much means that engineers have free reign to build a car that can throw down with the best of ’em.
There are very few specific details about the Super 86, but there are whispers that the racecar is set to be powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that carries an output of 670 horsepower to go with an all-wheel-drive system.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT 86
This year at the Shanghai Motor Show, Toyota came with two concept cars designed exclusively for the Japanese market: one is the Yundong Shuangqing II - a preview version of a vehicle set to be offered exclusively in China. The second one is the FT-HT Yuejia concept - a six-seat car aimed at younger customers.
The FT-HT Concept comes with three rows of two individual seats and was developed on a wheelbase measuring 2,900 mm (114.17 inches). The concept measures 4,770 mm (187.79 inches) in length, 1,920 mm (75.59 inches) in width and 1,840 mm (72.44) in height, making it the perfect car for a big family.
Toyota said the concept features a hybrid powertrain, and while it reveals nothing on this powertrain, we expect it to be the same one as we have seen in Toyota’s production cars: a 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle petrol engine that delivers 98 horsepower combined with an electric motor for a total output of 134 horsepower.
The new FT-HT Yuejia concept is expected to be put into production exclusively for the Chinese market.
Click past the jump to learn about other China-only concepts displayed in Shanghai.
The widely anticipated convertible version of the Toyota GT 86 has become a real conversation piece for a lot of folks in the industry. It’s not so much the expectations of following up the popularity of the coupe model as it is the prospective look of the convertible when it has all of its faculties in order.
Recently, Toyota Europe filed renderings of the GT-86 Open Top Concept for patent application and the fine folks over at Car and Driver managed to dig up black and white renderings of the car.
For one, the cloth-top roof is fully closed, revealing what the car would look like in that particular guise. We gotta say, it looks similar, but there’s a noticeable difference to the coupe, particularly on how the cloth roof looks a little more flat than the hard roof of the coupe model.
Perhaps the difference is in the eye of the beholder, something that we freely admit could be the case. But as far as we’re concerned, the convertible looks sexier than the coupe, if these filings do in fact point to the production version of the former.
In any case, separating the two is a matter of aesthetics, considering that the convertible is expected to receive the same 200-horsepower 2.0-liter in-line-four engine that the coupe model already has.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT 86 Open Top Concept
After teasing us with a few images,Toyota has finally unveiled the new-generation Highlander mid-size SUV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. The new generation combines a sleek exterior look with a refined, premium interior and a new six-speed automatic with sequential shift on V-6 models.
With its new exterior look, the new Highlander tries to combine both refinement and strength,. Helping achieve this is an interior that offers three-row seating that carries up to eight passengers. The model offers design elements we have already seen in the RAV4, like the redesigned trapezoidal grille, wraparound headlamps and the new hood.
Customers still have to choose between a four-cylinder or a V-6 powertrain, while those interested in fuel consumption can also opt for the hybrid powertrain.
The all-new Highlander will be put on sale in early 2014.
Updated 03/27/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Hit the jump to read more on the 2014 Toyota Highlander.