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2013 Toyota TR 86

2013 Toyota TR 86

A few weeks ago, word came out of the Goodwood Festival of Speed that Toyota was considering setting up a one-make race car series for the GT 86.

What it probably didn’t know was that the car already has one, or at least, is set to have one.

Over in New Zealand, the Toyota TR 86, a racecar built using the online-only 86 RC model as its basis, was first introduced to the public at last weekend’s CRC Speedshow in Auckland.

More than just being a show car, the TR 86 is actually a turn-key competition race car that was designed and developed for use in a variety of racing competitions, including its on one-make racing series in New Zealand as granted by MotorSport New Zealand, the country’s FIA-appointed national sanctioning body.

As for the TR 86 itself, the car was built with the idea of using it as a tried-and-true race car. That entailed stripping it of all its amenities and fitting the full breadth of racing equipment, including: Sparco competition seats and race harnesses; an FIA-approved roll cage installed by Neil Allport Motorsports; racing brake rotors and calipers; and a set of 18-inch Speedline alloy wheels.

It’ll also use Motec’s new C125 color data screen and logger, a data system that provides access to a wide range of information about the car’s performance in any given practice, qualifying or race session.

Similarly, work was also done on the car’s engine using the standard Toyota management system with its proprietary software package. The racecar’s sump was also strengthened to ensure that no oil spills occur and it doesn’t surge under high cornering forces. No specific performance numbers were given but using the 86 Griffon Concept as a peg, we expect the TR 86 to have close to 300 horsepower under its hood, a number that is more than enough, considering that the TR 86, even with a full fuel load, only weighs 1,195 kg (2,634 pounds).

Click past the jump to read about the TR 86’s one-make racing series in New Zealand

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2012 Toyota EV P002

2012 Toyota EV P002

When Toyota Motorsport GmbH developed the TMG EV P001 specifically to set the electric vehicle lap record at the Nürburgring, we knew Toyota was onto something special. Then it released a follow up to the P001 specifically to run in the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and set a new EV record of 10:15.380 up the hill, and we were simply blown away.

Toyota then decided it was time to put the P002 to the test and see if it could beat the P001’s record-setting time around the `Ring. The P002 did not disappoint, as it smashed the P001’s record by 25 seconds, placing it in the top-15 times ever on the Nürburgring (at the time).

With the TMG EV P002 firmly situated in the history books, we felt it was the right time to take a closer look at this purpose-built race car and see what it’s like under the microscope.

Click past the jump to read our full review on the TMG EV P002.

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2013 Toyota Sequoia

2013 Toyota Sequoia

When Toyota released the full-sized Sequoia, buyers stood up and took notice as this known-for-compact-cars company decided it was breaking its own mold by taking on the bug American SUVs head on. Here we are 12 years into the Sequoia’s run and it has consistently received rave reviews from owners and experts alike.

The current rendition has been around since 2008 and it is starting to get a little long in the tooth. Unfortunately, we don’t have any evidence that Toyota is planning to completely overhaul its full-size SUV any time soon. We do, however, have some new details regarding the 2013 model year, which may be a sign that a revamping of the body is coming in the next few years.

The vast majority of the upgrades to the 2013 Sequoia involved technology and comfort, but there are some minor mechanical upgrades that call for a little bit of attention. So, can the aging Sequoia keep itself near the top of the heap in the full-size SUV realm?

Click past the jump to read all about the 2013 Sequoia and find out if it can stay afloat.

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2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

Two years ago, we were announcing that Toyota and Tesla Motors had entered an agreement that would net Tesla $60 million to design and manufacture an all-electric powertrain for the RAV4 SUV. Finally, after all of this time we have a debut date set. Unfortunately, it isn’t a showroom debut, but rather a showing of the final product.
Toyota has just has unveiled this new Tesla and Toyota collaboration to the U.S. at the International Electric Vehicle Symposium in LA on the May 7th at noon. The new RAV4 EV is powered by a 154 HP electric powertrain and has a driving range rating of approximately 100 miles and charging time of approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. It comes with two driving modes: Sport and Normal. In Sport version the car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds and will go up to 100 mph, while in Normal mode it will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 85 mph.

Compared to the standard RAV4, the new EV version will get a re-styled the front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and under body design to maximize air flow around the vehicle. The model will be offered in three exterior colors: Blizzard White Pearl, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Classic Silver Metallic combined with a unique "Neutron" fabric for the interior.

UPDATE 05/08/2012: The new Toyota RAV4 EV will go on sale in late Summer 2012 through select dealers at a starting price of $49,800.

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