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2018 Toyota Century

2018 Toyota Century

The most luxurious Toyota you can’t buy!

Introduced in 1994, the Avalon helped Toyota become a notable force in the full-size segment in the United States. At the same time, the Lexus LS achieved a similar status in the luxury market. However, the Avalon isn’t Toyota’s largest vehicle. While the Japanese-spec Crown is slightly shorter than the Avalon (by some three inches), the second-generation Century trumps even the latest Lexus LS in terms of length at a whopping 207 inches. Or at least it did until it was discontinued in October 2016. But only one year has passed, and Toyota is getting ready to launch the third-generation model at the 2017 Toyota Motor Show.

Longer and wider, the new Century has been redesigned from the ground up. But, interestingly enough, it retained the traditional boxy design of its predecessor, which makes it a classy, old-school limo that reminds of the 1990s. In a good way! Toyota also replaced the old 5.0-liter V-12 with a V-8 and added an electric motor for enhanced fuel economy. As usual, it’s equipped with Toyota’s most luxurious features and technology, but updated to modern standard compared to the 20-year-old second-gen model. Unfortunately, the Century remains a Japan-only model, so don’t get your hopes up seeing it on North American roads. Let’s have a closer look at what we’re missing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Century.

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Toyota is Killing The FJ Cruiser Three Years After It Leaves U.S.

Toyota is Killing The FJ Cruiser Three Years After It Leaves U.S.

Did you know the FJ Cruiser was still in production?

Toyota is ending production of the FJ Cruiser more than a decade after the retro-styled SUV hit U.S. shores. But, if you’re like most, you thought the FJ Cruiser was dead since 2014 when it stopped sitting in Toyota showrooms here in the U.S. However, that’s not the case as the 4Runner-based SUV has been on-sale in Toyota’s home market of Japan. Toyota isn’t giving the FJ Cruiser a loveless ending, though. The automaker is releasing a special edition of the FJ Cruiser appropriately dubbed the “Final Edition.”

The FJ Cruiser Final Edition is a Japan-only model and comes in a single color option: Beige. The spartan interior also gets the beige treatment with beige center sections on the cloth seats and beige trim on the dashboard. Other changes include 20-inch alloy wheels, black side steps, and that cool JDM mirror on the front fender. Toyota isn’t changing anything with the drivetrain – and why would it? The FJ Cruiser has soldiered on for a decade with that tired 4.0-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission. 4WD is most likely standard, but at the very least, is an option. Of course, the FJ Crusier’s most endearing quality is its ruggedness afforded by its body-on-frame construction, solid rear axle, independent front suspension, and its part-time 4WD system. An honest SUV was hidden under that retro bodywork and awkward interior. It was the FJ’s weirdness that both gained it a loyal following and ultimately brought its demise. Sales exceeding 55,000 in 2006 and 2007 quickly nosedived during the recession of 2008 and never recovered. Toyota only managed to sell 14,718 in 2014, making the bean counters’ decision to axe the SUV within the U.S. an easy one. Compare that to the 4Runner’s U.S. sales in 2014 of nearly 77,000 and its sales in 2016 of 112,000. It’s clear which body-on-frame SUV Toyota customers wanted.

Continue reading for more on the Toyota FJ Cruiser.

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Japan Gets a Cooler Version of the Camry, and it's Even Offered in TRD Form

Japan Gets a Cooler Version of the Camry, and it’s Even Offered in TRD Form

If you’re into big grilles and Camrys, Japan is the place you wanna be

When Toyota pulled the sheet off of the 2018 Camry at the Detroit Auto Show a few months back, we were quite literally stunned by what sat in front of us. The crappy econobox from the late 80s and early 80s has officially grown up. So much so, in fact, that we even took the time to compare it to the Mercedes E-Class. It actually fared pretty well. But see, here’s the thing. Over in Toyota’s home country of Japan, the Camry has a slightly different face, and even more important than that, it’s going to be offered in TRD and Modellista form too!

As far as the Japanese version of the Camry, there really aren’t too many differences to note. It does have a different fascia with a much larger grille. As such, it gets rectangular fog lights and a sporty lip at the bottom. The headlights are also more toned and feature clear side markers. Around back, it gets a different rear fascia and a different set of tail lights. Whether or not it’s more attractive is a matter of opinion, but one thing that I can say for sure is that I want to know when we’re getting the TRD and Modellista versions here in the U.S. See, the TRD gets a much larger lip, sportier side skirts and a new lip in the rear as well – basically a four-piece lip kit. There’s no word on any performance enhancements, but with the TRD badge being prominently displayed, I certainly hope there are some. As for the Modellista, it gets some healthy doses of chrome and likely offers up more luxurious materials inside.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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2017 Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited

2017 Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited

Once again, it’s exclusive to the Japanese market in limited quantities

It seems like we’ve been down this road before, doesn’t it? A special edition Toyota 86 that’s exclusive to the Japanese market is nothing new and yet, as often as our friends in Japan get these limited edition 86s, we haven’t had as much luck in that regard. In any event, a new limited-run Toyota 86 is fresh from the oven over there in Japan, and it’s promising, among other things, improved braking, sharper handling, and a special edition paint color. It’s called the Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited and yes, it’s not coming to the States.

The upgrades themselves didn’t turn the 86 Solar Orange Limited into a full-blown performance car, but in the technical sense, they helped create a better driving experience for those who are willing to spend the money for the car. In a lot of ways, it’s similar to past special edition 86s that have made their way into Japan, including the 86 Yellow Limited and the curiously designed 86 Style CB. The latter is arguably the most unique of the three examples, but the Solar Orange limited is different too in some respects. The Creamsicle paint finish, for example, is exclusive to this edition, as is Toyota’s new High Performance package, which adds a number of functionally useful components that help improve the 86’s overall driving and handling experience.

Toyota didn’t say how many examples of the 86 Solar Orange Limited it plans to build, opting only to say that pricing starts at 3,251,880 yen for the manual transmission model and 3,318,840 yen for the automatic transmission model. Based on current exchange rates, those prices convert to around $29,400 and $30,000, respectively. Interested customers have only between January 31 to March 10, 2017 to place their orders, after which Toyota will likely stop production to retain its overall exclusivity.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota 86 Solar Orange Limited.

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2015 Toyota 86 Yellow Limited

2015 Toyota 86 Yellow Limited

Toyota is offering another limited edition of its Hachi Roku successor, the GT 86, and it comes in three forms that progressively add tweaks to the car’s interior upholstery, exterior styling, and handling performance. It’s called the Yellow Limited, and it’s only available to Japanese customers.

The three iterations include the base Yellow Limited, which comes with new details on the inside and outside, the Yellow Limited aero package, which throws on a wing big enough to need navigation lights, and the Yellow Limited aero package FT, which adds new components to the suspension.

Toyota says the special edition was created to “highlight the sporty feeling” of the GT 86 (aka, Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ here in the states), and on paper, I’d say highlight is an understatement. This thing is practically dipped in neon, depending on the desired specification.

But does it work? Is it worth extra outlay? Or is it just another limited run without any real substance?

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota 86 Yellow Limited.

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2015 Toyota 86 Style Cb

2015 Toyota 86 Style Cb

The GT86, along with its two brothers, the BRZ and FR-S, hit the production line in 2012 as a joint venture between two of Japan’s best automakers: Toyota and Subaru. Since their debuts there have been cries and screams for a convertible or turbocharged model, but Subaru holds the cards on the production side of this partnership, and it’s reluctant to change anything. However, Toyota does have some freedom with the GT86, and it used that to create a special model dubbed the Style Cb based on the existing sports car.

This special-edition GT86 appears to be a Japan-only model, so don’t get your hopes up of seeing a Scion FR-S-based Cb any time soon. Look for this new model to debut in Japan in April 2015.

Does the Cb have what it takes to fill the void left by the lack of a turbo or convertible version of the GT86?

Click past the jump to read my full review to find out.

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2014 Toyota GT 86 14R60

2014 Toyota GT 86 14R60

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the Toyota GT 86. I used to be, but my joy soured over time due to what I felt was a lack of initiative from Toyota’s to make the GT 86 a more performance-oriented sports car. The closest Toyota came was with the TRD-enhanced GT 86 Griffon Concept that was unveiled at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon. Well, it may have taken some time, but finally - oh, finally! - Toyota now has a production GT 86 that can live up to its sports car name.

The model is called the GT 86 14R60 and it’s everything the GT 86 was supposed to be - and then some. It still doesn’t have any performance upgrades, but I’ve all but given up hope on seeing anything on that front. Instead, Toyota decided to build around the limitations of the GT 86’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine and build a car that was light enough to the point that its performance capabilities wouldn’t be defined by its 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque output.

Toyota injected plenty of lightweight materials into the car to not only cut down it weight, but also improve its aerodynamic performance. There are, after all, more than a handful of ways to make a car faster without any performance mods on the engine.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the car will only be available in Japan at a price of 6.3 million yen, which is close to $60,000 based on current exchange rates. That’s more than double the price of a standard GT 86. Ouch.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Toyota 86 14R60.

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2014 Toyota Land Cruiser 70

2014 Toyota Land Cruiser 70

Toyota’s commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Land Cruiser 70 by doing something it’s never done before. The Japanese automaker is reintroducing the model, except that it’s going to be limited to its local market. I don’t know if I speak for everybody here, but I’m completely jealous that Japan’s getting exclusive dibs on the re-released Toyota Land Cruiser 70. All 200 planned models, to be exact. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?

To make things interesting, Toyota’s also producing a double-cab pickup version of the Land Cruiser 70, which will also be limited to the Japanese market.

Granted, I’m not that excited about the pickup version as I am about the traditional enclosed body classic. The latter model speaks to a level of nostalgia you don’t see in today’s models anymore. I’m counting those retro-inspired ones, too.

If I knew that Toyota was considering re-releasing the model due to widespread requests in Japan, I’d be screaming for the model to go Stateside. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Toyota will do that, leaving me with no other choice than to just drool over these photos. Such a shame.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Land Cruiser

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Rare Toyota 2000GT Destroyed by a Tree in Japan

Rare Toyota 2000GT Destroyed by a Tree in Japan

Some images are just really hard to digest, and these are a few of them. An impeccably maintained, 1967 Toyota 2000GT met a sudden and untimely death after an 98-foot-tall tree fell on it, crushing the supercar into a flattened mess in the Toyoma Prefecture’s Gokoyama area.

NHK is reporting that a 28-year-old driver was inside the car when the tree, which was already rotten inside, fell on it. Fortunately, the man only suffered cuts to his arms and legs, incredibly escaping more serious injuries, given the state of the 2000GT.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that this 2000GT, considered as Japan’s original supercar, appears to be beyond repair. It becomes even more sickening when you consider it was one of just 351 2000GT models Toyota ever built.

What’s more, a 2000GT actually sold for $1.15 million in 2013, making it the most expensive Toyota ever sold and the most expensive Asian car in history, according to Hagerty’s Price Guide.

Now all that’s left of this particular 2000GT are scrap parts. What a sad sight.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota 2000GT.

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2013 Toyota Camatte57s Concept

2013 Toyota Camatte57s Concept

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.

Click past the jump to read the press release

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2013 Toyota Mark X G Sports Carbon Roof Concept

2013 Toyota Mark X G Sports Carbon Roof Concept

TheToyota Mark X G Sports Carbon Roof Concept is a car that we probably won’t ever get to see on these shores. Having said that, it’s a pretty popular ride in Japan and Toyota is doing its part to drum up even more interest on the sedan in its homeland.

At the Tokyo Auto Salon, the Mark X G Sports Carbon Roof Concept was displayed. For this model, though, the Japanese automaker decided to introduce a carbon-fiber roof that not only looks pretty cool, but also shaves off 6 kg (13.2 pounds) of fat from the sedan. With the new roof, Toyota was also able to lower the car’s center of gravity by 3.5 mm (0.137 inches), which is always a good thing when trying to improve handling. The carbon-fiber weave pattern on the roof is an unmistakable reminder of the material’s high-quality characteristics.

Add that to a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 318 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque and mates to a six-speed automatic transmission, and you have a car that’s poised to be a hot ticket in Japan. Wish we had this baby stateside because it would get considerable interest here too.

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2013 Toyota GT 86 Griffon by TRD

2013 Toyota GT 86 Griffon by TRD

Details are still very sketchy and all we have to show you is the blurry teaser image that TRD has unveiled, but there is a new GT 86 concept from TRD heading to the Tokyo Auto Salon. Sure, we already talked about the new Sports FR Concept Platinum and how awesome it is, but its partner in Tokyo – the GT 86 Griffon Concept – just may blow it out of the water.

Like we said, the details are sketchy, but we do know that TRD went to task lowering the GT 86’s overall weight, then tweaked at least the suspension and exhaust. TRD then took the GT 86 Griffon out to the Tsukuba circuit and laid rubber to tarmac, netting a best lap time of 1:01.872.

That may seem like nothing on paper, but when you start adding in the fact that time beats out times of the Ferrari 458 Italia, Ferrari 360 CS, Nissan GT-R Spec-V, Corvette ZR1, Lambo Gallardo, Porsche 911 GT2, and so on, you realize that this must be one beastly `Yota GT 86.

We will find out more on the 11th of January when TRD officially releases the specifications, but were are 100-percent certain that there is a lot more tweaking going on than just some suspension stiffening and exhaust work.

We’ll update this review once we get the official info.

UPDATE 07/13/13: New photos of the Toyota GT 86 TRD Griffon have been released. Check them out in the gallery below!

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2013 Toyota Mark X

2013 Toyota Mark X

One of the many advantages of being in Toyota’s home country of Japan are the number of models the automaker builds exclusively to their homeland. The Toyota Mark X, which we first saw in concept guise a few years ago, is one of them.

Unlike any model Toyota produces for the international market, the Mark X is exclusive to the Japanese market. More importantly, the 2013 model of the car gets a facelift, making it even more distinguishable than its past incarnations.

For one, the front grille of the car is probably the only one amongst Toyota’s many models to have a huge "X" adorning it. In addition, the car also gets LED infused headlights, bulging fenders, a trunk-mounted rear spoiler, and wraparound taillights that resemble the Toyota Camry. Inside, the Mark X also gets plenty of new equipment and features, particularly the higher trim Premium and 350 G’s models that both have leather upholstery, heated front seats, stainless steel door sill plates, and a comprehensive infotainment system that includes GPS navigation, a TV tuner, and 12 speakers.

As far as performance goes, the Mark X comes with two powertrain options with the first being a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 179 lb/ft of torque. Meanwhile, a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine is also being offered with 314 horsepower and 280 lb/ft of torque.

In case you’re interested - and you live in Japan - the 2013 Mark X retails for 2.4 million yen, which is around $30,500 based on current exchange rates.

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