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2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid Announces It's Ready for Europe at 2018 Paris Motor Show

2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid Announces It’s Ready for Europe at 2018 Paris Motor Show

It looks identical to North American versions, but packs a bit more power

Toyota hasn’t offered the Camry sedan in Europe for well over 10 years, relying on the Avensis as its top three-box car for the Old Continent. However, at this year’s edition of the Paris motor show, Toyota brought the new eighth-generation model, which it intends on selling here again in the near future.

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Toyota Partners With Mazda to Develop EVs

Toyota Partners With Mazda to Develop EVs

Duo also set to build new stateside assembly plant for $1.6 billion

Toyota and Mazda just announced a new partnership wherein the Japanese automakers will jointly develop electric vehicles. The partnership also includes a forthcoming $1.6 billion assembly plant at an as of yet unannounced location, with production scheduled to ramp up by the year 2021. The plant will create upwards of 300,000 vehicles annually and employ roughly 4,000 U.S. workers, prompting a Tweet from President Trump, who praised the announcement as a “great investment in American manufacturing.” The plant will initially build models of the Toyota Corolla and a new Mazda SUV, with the possibility for EVs sometime in the future. The partnership includes a 5 percent stake in Mazda for Toyota and a 0.25 percent stake in Toyota for Mazda, with the possibility for expansion in the future. Toyota and Mazda will also work together in developing infotainment tech and autonomous driving tech.

The partnership is framed as a major step forward for EV development for both companies. “There will be new rivals appearing – Apple, Google – these are IT companies, we also need to compete with them, too,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda, according to Reuters. “What’s different from the past is that there are no nautical charts for us to follow. It’s without precedent,” he added with regards to EV tech and alternative vehicle power sources. Without a doubt, this new partnership marks further expansion of the EV segment as a whole and the expectation of widespread EV adoption in the near future.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Toyota Mirai Gets Fueled by Haters Calling Bullsh*t

Toyota Mirai Gets Fueled by Haters Calling Bullsh*t

The world might not know it yet, but the Mirai is Toyota’s next big thing. It’s the hydrogen-powered car that takes the next step past the Prius. Despite all the advancements in the area of fuel cell technology, some analysts – Toyota says – are calling bullsh*t.

Interestingly enough, Toyota agrees with them – not that hydrogen cars are a bad idea, but that bullsh*t is a great source for creating hydrogen fuel. To demonstrate, Toyota is producing a video series called “Fueled by Everything,” in which the automaker explains the process of creating hydrogen while showing off its latest product.

Without spoiling the video’s plot or diving into science that’s way beyond my degree in journalism, manure can be turned into hydrogen using a digester that breaks down the cow pies, releasing biogas in the process. The gas is then collected and purified before being sent to a steam-methane reformer. From that reforming process comes pure hydrogen, which can then be used for fuel.

From that point, the news is all about the Mirai and how it produces power from hydrogen. For that run-down, check out our full 2016 Mirai review. The Readers’ Digest version is this: the hydrogen combines with oxygen inside the fuel cell and produces DC electrical current. It’s that electrical energy that’s used to power the Mirai’s electric motors.

So yes, Toyota can in fact, power the Mirai on bullsh*t.

Continue reading to learn more about Toyota’s latest "Fueled by Everything" Series.

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Scion Plans No Crossover Anytime Soon

Scion Plans No Crossover Anytime Soon

The Scion brand has slipped away from the cutting edge in recent years, and Toyota’s planning a significant product push in the next 12 months to rejuvenate the lineup with fresh ideas and fresh sheet metal. Despite rumors, however, don’t look for a crossover from the youthful brand. Scion’s willing to think outside the box, but it isn’t ready to go there.

As Scion’s sales have slowed and the product line has aged, there’s been some question as to whether the brand has lost its way. Introduced in 2002 as a hipper, younger alternative to the average Toyota, Scion quickly became a major contributor to the revolution in the subcompact market. Small, efficient cars didn’t have to be cheap-looking or boring, Scion opined, and the rest of the industry followed suit. These days the average entry-level car isn’t a ride that you buy just because you can’t afford anything else, but can be an entertaining and classy extension of your personality.

Scion helped to create this climate, but then the revolution seemed to pass it by. Ford, Honda, Mini, Fiat and even Kia and Hyundai became the go-to cars for the automotive hipsters that Scion was hoping to attract. Toyota’s keen to reverse this slide, and to that end unveiled the first of several all-new models at the New York Auto Show.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2014 Toyota Prius V - Driven

2014 Toyota Prius V - Driven

The Prius has certainly made a name for itself in the nearly 15 years it’s been around. Toyota has sold tons of them all across the globe. As the market started wanting more, Toyota came out with this: the Prius V, which according to Toyota, stands for “versatility.” That truly is the case, seeing as the Prius V has a large SUV-like rear cargo area with seats that fold flat. Starting in 2012, the big-boy Prius made a solid case against the need for large, gas-guzzling SUVs – at least with respect to interior volume. The cavernous interior actually boasts 67.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the second-row seats folded down. That’s four cubic feet more than a Chevrolet Equinox.

Besides the ability to haul five adults and their junk around, the Prius V does it while getting some respectable mpg numbers. The EPA rates the wagon at 44/40/42 mpg on its city, highway, and combined test loop. Add to that its 1.8-liter four-cylinder runs on regular gasoline, and you’ve got a money-saving, junk-hauling, passenger-pleasing green machine.

But how well does it execute its mission? I spent a week with a 2014 model to find out. My driving was mixed between city and highway roads, along with both gentle and aggressive driving styles. I did everything from hauling my two-year-old in a car seat to hauling a large bookcase for friends. Keep reading for the outcome.

Click past the jump for the full review

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2015 Toyota Yaris - Driven

2015 Toyota Yaris - Driven

The Yaris has been rolling down U.S. streets since 2007. Coming as both a three-door hatchback and four-door sedan, Toyota’s smallest car proved to be a popular choice for in-city commuting and those on a budget. Then in 2012, the second-generation Yaris debuted, bringing more refinement and better looks. The sedan version was dropped in favor of a new five-door hatchback version. The three-door and five-door versions soldiered on for three years with minimal changes. For 2015, the Yaris gets an extensive mid-cycle refresh, complete with edgy styling, more sound deadening for decreased NVH, nine airbags, standard Entune infotainment system with available navigation, and more soft-touch materials as part of a redesigned interior.

I recently spent two days driving and getting to know the Yaris with the help of Toyota designers and engineers. The drive routes consisted mostly of smooth pavement along the salty Atlantic shore in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. A few broken sections of road told even more about the Yaris’ build quality.

What’s more, the Yaris’ handsome new styling and 16-inch allow wheels made the compact hatch feel more at home along the golf course and rows of mansions. Sure, no one will mistake the Yaris for a PGA winner’s ride, but it certainly doesn’t stick out like a mullet at a black tie event.

Click past the jump for the full review of the new 2015 Toyota Yaris

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2014 Toyota Corolla Ranks 'Marginal' In IIHS Crash Test

2014 Toyota Corolla Ranks ’Marginal’ In IIHS Crash Test

Toyota has invested a lot into the redesigned 2014 Corolla sedan, heralding its new designs both inside and out as fresh and exciting, but despite the new looks, the Corolla falls short in the safety department. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranks the new Corolla as “marginal” in the small-overlap crash test.

The new-for-2013 small overlap crash test has caught many automakers off-guard with its stringent new standards, but Toyota is feeling the ill effects with many of its vehicles. The Camry, Prius V, and RAV4 all received a “poor” rating in the new test. As a result, those vehicles will not qualify for the IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ honors.

During the test, the Corolla suffered damage to the driver’s foot well, raising the chances of lower-leg injuries. The dummy’s head also rolled to the left of the airbag and could potentially strike the A-pillar or dashboard. Luckily, the side curtain airbag deployed properly and prevented any injuries to the dummy’s head.

Toyota was obviously not happy with the results. Spokesman John Hanson even questioned the new standard’s relevancy by saying, “When all-new crash tests are introduced by the [IIHS], we need to be confident that the changes needed to accommodate the tests will enhance overall safety in real-world crashes.”

The IIHS says the new standards are in response to research suggesting that 25 percent of all highway deaths are caused by small overlap head-on collisions.

The news isn’t all bad for Toyota, however. The redesigned Scion tC earned the second-highest safety rating of “acceptable” in the small-overlap frontal crash test back in August.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Toyota Corolla

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Toyota Lets You Try Before You Buy With its Rental Program

Toyota Lets You Try Before You Buy With its Rental Program

We have seen nearly every gimmick under the sun with various automakers, from Saturn and its "No Haggle" pricing — see where that got it — to Volkswagen with its "Sign Then Drive Event." One gimmick that we’ve been waiting for is for when dealerships start renting out their cars for extended test drives or just a weekend trip.

Well, the wait is now over, as Toyota has done just that. From the looks of things, about 85 percent of Toyota and Scion dealers across the U.S. participate in this program and Toyota claims that its rental rates are competitive with local car-rental companies. According to the Toyota Rent a Car website, you can rent cars, trucks, SUVs, Hybrids and even the 2013 RAV4 EV for a day, week or even months. Unfortunately, the 2013 Scion FR-S isn’t on the list of available models, but the almost-as-cool Scion tC is on the list.

So, we can now check brand-new rent-a-buckets off of our wish list, now we are just waiting for all of the dealers to morph into rental showrooms and Internet-based car buying — now that is "no haggle pricing!" Those two will likely never happen, but at the rate that Tesla is changing the car-buying experience, you just never know what will happen.

Your move, Elon Musk...

Click past the jump to read about some of the coolest models that Toyota is renting out under this program

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2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in 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.

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2013 Toyota Auris Hatchback

2013 Toyota Auris Hatchback

In 2007, Toyota released an all-new hatchback model that was based on the Toyota Corolla and dubbed it the Auris, in most markets. In fact, in the Australian and New Zealand markets, the Auris is called the Corolla Hatchback.

Since its debut in 2007, the Auris has remained relatively unchanged, but also vastly popular. We have heard rumors that a newly redesigned Auris would hit showrooms soon, but no one knew exactly how far Toyota would take its design. All of that is in the past now, as Toyota has chosen to release a plethora of information on this revamped hatchback.

Not all of the details are available yet, but there is enough information and plenty of pictures to help us come to an initial determination if this model will continue its success or simply fizzle away.

UPDATE 08/29/12: We’re not quite sure what Toyota’s rationale was when they released the new commercial ad for the Auris. At the very least, though, it’s something that catches your attention from the get-go. Titled "DAS × AURIS BUTTOCKS DRIVE!!”, the commercial features Avu-chan, a 19-year old lead singer of a Japanese glamrock band that also happens to be a transgender woman. Check out the video and see the commercial for yourself!

To find out exactly what we think of the 2013 Toyota Auris/Corolla, click past the jump.

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2012 Toyota iQ Supercharger by GRMN

2012 Toyota iQ Supercharger by GRMN

The Toyota iQ, which us in the States know as a Scion iQ, is never mistaken for a speedster or a sports car. However, weighing in at only 990 kg (2,182 lbs) means that it doesn’t take too much power to make it quick. The folks at GAZOO Racing decided to see what happens when they toss a supercharger on a Toyota iQ with the optional 1.33-liter engine.

The end result is a super-lightweight car that pumps out an impressive 122 PS (120 horsepower) at 5,200 rpm and 174 Nm (128 pound-feet) of torque at 4,800 rpm in a compact package. This means that the supercharger added a full 28 PS (27 horsepower) and 56 Nm (41 pound-feet) of torque. GAZOO Racing is building a very limited number of these iQs – 100 to be exact – and they have dubbed this machine the Toyota iQ GRMN Supercharger.

In addition to a supercharger, GAZOO Racing included an updated suspension and transmission. Also added in were 4-wheel disc brakes, allowing its driver to bring this micro-machine to a halt quickly.

The Toyota iQ GRM Supercharger retails at 3,550,000 Japanese Yen, which is $45,367 at the current exchange rates. That’s a full $27,332 more than the base-level Scion iQ, which is quite a price hike.

The 100 units are already sold out, so if you are looking to snag one of these iQ GRMN Superchargers, you’re going to have to check out the used car market and hope you’re lucky enough to find one.

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Toyota Teases a New Hybrid Concept Prior to its Beijing Reveal

Toyota Teases a New Hybrid Concept Prior to its Beijing Reveal

For a long time we have been screaming from the hilltops that Toyota has been wasting its No. 1 slot in the hybrid market by releasing boring hybrids, like the Prius. Well, Toyota is about to release yet another hybrid concept and we can only hope that it is not more of the same stuff we have seen for the past decade.

The details are a little sketchy on this new hybrid concept, but Toyota did release a pair of teaser images, which look pretty neat from what we can see. The front headlights appear to be normal old headlights on the outside, then as they work toward the center of the car, the lights turn a shade of light blue. Not only is the ambient lighting sweet, but from the silhouette this thing looks nothing like the Prius.

In a way, it has styling similar to the NS4 concept that Toyota revealed at Geneva, which Toyota made clear was not coming into production. Rather, the NS4 was being used to test different features that would make their way into showrooms. This may be one of the cars featuring those NS4-like cues that are heading to showroom floors.

There are rumors circulating that the reason this car is only being revealed in Beijing is because the car will be available in China only. We don’t quite see a point of releasing a hybrid in the Chinese market yet, as it is still a developing market. The likely reason for a Beijing release and not a New York release is so it didn’t steal the new Avalon’s thunder.

The Beijing auto show opens up to the press today and we are sure that Toyota won’t wait long after that to unveil this new gas-electric machine. We will keep you updated as much as we can on this soon-to-be-unveiled hybrid, as we obtain more information.

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