2019 Toyota Corolla GR Sport
The introduction of the Toyota Corolla GR Sport days before its live debut at the Geneva International Motor Show gives us a first glimpse of what the hypothetical (and probable) Corolla GRMN might be.
The Toyota Corolla GR Sport is the closest in execution to semi-sports hatches like the Ford Focus ST-Line, the Hyundai i30 N-Line, and the Renault Megane GT-Line. As such, the Toyota Corolla GR Sport features a comprehensive set of sporty style additions without any performance upgrades. The Gazoo Racing Sport pack is available for both the base engine and top-trim.
The first semi-hot Toyota hatchback in decades came only weeks after Gazoo Racing trickled out the stunning new Supra. It delivers on the promise Aikido Toyoda, Toyota CEO, gave two years ago - “no more boring cars.” Moreover, with the new Toyota RAV4 TRD, the new Toyota GR Supra, the incredible Toyota Yaris GR, and the announcement of the new Toyota GT86, we live in a time when the world’s favorite manufacturer is again in the business of awesome cars.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Proves Efficiency Can Look Good at the Paris Motor Show
The 2018 Toyota Sequoia is Thirsty
The Toyota Sequoia has undergone a mild refresh for 2018, bringing a slightly different front fascia, a slightly revised dash, and the Toyota Safety Sense-P as standard equipment. But unfortunately, the rest of this full-size SUV dates back to 2008. Yep, that’s a full decade without change. That includes the 5.7-liter V-8, six-speed automatic transmission, and the optional part-time 4WD system.
Now, the 5.7-liter isn’t a bad engine. Its dual overhead camshafts use variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust sides to offer better low-speed efficiency with high-end power. The engine generates 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. And like all good V-8s, the engine makes plenty of torque down low; Toyota says the 5.7-liter makes 90 percent of peak torque at just 2,200 rpm. That certainly helps with off-the-line power and allowing the six-speed automatic to up-shift sooner and hold gears longer.
Nevertheless, the V-8 does not have modern features like cylinder deactivation or direct fuel injection. And these days, eight- and 10-speed automatic transmissions continue to squeeze more and more from a gallon of gas.
The Sequoia, on the other hand, is EPA-estimated to only achieve 13 mpg city, 17 mpg highway, and 14 mpg combined. Over the last few days of mixed driving, I’m only averaging 13.3 mpg. Ouch.
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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.
Earlier this week, we brought forward reports that Aston Martin is considering downsizing its lineup of engines, which almost exclusively include V-8s and V-12s. This consideration is an obvious attempt to squeeze a few more mpg out of its lineup without depleting horsepower, which will allow the boutique automaker to achieve the fuel economy numbers required by the ongoing CAFE standards.
According to De Telegraf, Aston Martin may be considering Toyota as a partner in this downsizing attempt. In particular, Aston is eyeballing the V-10 engine used in the Lexus LF-A and the 8-pot used in several other Lexus models.
If you are wondering how Aston plans to milk these engines out of Toyota, keep in mind that Aston and Toyota already have a working agreement for Aston Martin to use the Toyota iQ to create its own Cygnet. So, for Aston Martin executives to get into conversation with Toyota brass about this possibility wouldn’t take too much.
The only issue that Toyota may have is the fact that this sharing of engines may result in added competition for the LFA and other Lexus models. Then again, with Aston Martin being such an exclusive brand without a long production list, Toyota may not see this as a threat, but rather a way to get its name on the tip of premium sports car buyers’ tongues. This could result in the ultimate word-of-mouth advertising for Lexus’ sports cars, which will soon include a car that may rival Aston Martins, the LF-LC.
We’ll keep you up to date on this developing situation and let you know as soon as more details become available.
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