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Toyota's Doubling Down On The C-HR With Massive List Of Options And Accessories

Toyota’s Doubling Down On The C-HR With Massive List Of Options And Accessories

You’ll never have to worry about having identical C-HR models with other people

Toyota is probably not going to admit this off the bat, but all signs do point to the new C-HR crossover being one of the company’s most important models in recent years. Not only is the C-HR set to become available in three different trims – Icon, Excel, Dynamic – but it’s also the recipient of one of the most extensive lists of accessories and options that have ever been offered on any one of Toyota’s models. They say that a customer’s ability to personalize a car is one of the most important offerings an automaker can have these days. Judging by a number of options Toyota is dropping on the C-HR, that statement at least holds true for the new crossover.

In addition to the three trim options that are available for the C-HR, Toyota is also offering as many as 20 accessory packs and up to 200 unique add-ons for customers in the U.K. Those numbers aren’t exaggerated either because a visit to Toyota U.K.’s new online configurator reveals all these options, allowing customers the unprecedented opportunity to specifically choose which add-on or accessory they’d want to fit into the C-HR. The range of accessories covers so much ground that Toyota even has four segments – Style, Protection, Technology, and Lifestyle – that group them together depending on what category they belong in. From aero kits and foldable baby seats to storage boxes and DVD systems, Toyota spared no expense in giving potential customers of the C-HR to treat the crossover, relatively at least, as their own personal blank canvas.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Toyota To Discontinue Dealer-Installed TRD Supercharger Kit

Toyota To Discontinue Dealer-Installed TRD Supercharger Kit

It’s a sad day as we learn Toyota will no longer be offering its TRD supercharger kit for the 4.0-liter V-6 and the 5.7-liter V-8 found in the Tacoma, 4Runner, and Tundra. The news via email as Toyota’s Midwest Communications spokesman Rick Bourgoise states the automaker will end the supercharger program once its remaining stock is sold off.

The TRD Superchargers were – and for a rather limited time, still are – available as a dealer add-on. The parts and installation came with its own warranty, and regardless of application, the superchargers were designed to keep the engine emissions-legal in all 50 states.

“Increasing legacy costs associated with the recalibration of an expanding pool of past model year vehicles, along with rising development/engineering expenses and evolving emissions requirements have negatively impacted the program’s return on investment to the point where it is no longer financially viable to offer these products for sale,” the emailed statement quotes.

Toyota’s move to not include superchargers on the TRD Pro lineup of trucks now makes more sense, though some argued the boost in power was needed for the high-performance off-roaders.

The TRD Superchargers used a Roots-style design that incorporated two, four-lobe rotors that increases airflow into the engine by 30 percent. An integrated water-to-air intercooler kept things cool. Toyota also installed high-flow fuel injectors, a high-flow fuel pump, and a TRD performance air intake to round out the build.

In the Tacoma and 4Runner’s case, the supercharger would boost the 4.0-liter V-6’s horsepower from 236 up to 304 while torque moved from 266 pound-feet to 334 pound-feet. The 5.7-liter V-8’s numbers were even more impressive. Output levels increased from 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque to a very impressive 504 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque.

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Gear Up: Regional Toyota Distributer Creates Unique Trim Lines

Gear Up: Regional Toyota Distributer Creates Unique Trim Lines

The accessory business is certainly booming these days, with customers decking out their new rides with personalized touches from wheels and trailer hitches to graphics and horsepower. Even automakers are getting into the game. GM is a prime example, offering aftermarket-like wheels and other parts right from the factory. However, none of the automakers come close to Toyota’s attention to vehicle customization.

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Gear Up: Regional Toyota Distributer Creates Unique Trim Lines

Gear Up: Regional Toyota Distributer Creates Unique Trim Lines

The accessory business is certainly booming these days, with customers decking out their new rides with personalized touches from wheels and trailer hitches to graphics and horsepower. Even automakers are getting into the game. GM is a prime example, offering aftermarket-like wheels and other parts right from the factory. However, none of the automakers come close to Toyota’s attention to vehicle customization.

More specifically, it’s Southeast Toyota that leads the pack of new vehicle customization. SET is a privately owned distribution company that supplies every dealer in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina with Toyota vehicles. You see, Toyota takes an interesting and rather different approach to distribution in the U.S. Unlike other automakers, it divides the country into 12 regions. Privately owned distributors control two of those regions; SET is one and Gulf States Toyota is the other. The remainder of the U.S. is handled by Toyota itself.

Long story short, the two private businesses act competitively, striving to sell more vehicles faster. One of SET’s and GST’s more successful strategies is offering a unique set of trim packages that come compete with aftermarket-like products, but that are covered by the vehicle’s warranty and are manufactured to Toyota’s specifications.

Enter: The Toyota X Series.

The X Series is a set of trim packages offered solely by SET for Toyota’s more popular models, including Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner, Camry, Avalon, and most recently, Camry.

Southeast Toyota recently invited me to its Jacksonville, Fla. distribution hub and assembly center to learn more about the process and the products.

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2010 Revisited? Toyota recalls 7.4 million cars globally

2010 Revisited? Toyota recalls 7.4 million cars globally

The number 7.4 million can no longer be singularly attached to the hotel bill a Saudi Arabian princess tried to skip out on back in June 2012. Toyota has just announced that 7.4 million models are being recalled, just 3 million shy of the massive recall the company had to issue back in 2010. Is this history repeating itself and should we all fully lose faith in the popular Japanese brand?

Sorry, drama queens, but this recall is a lot less serious than the sticky accelerator pedals from the 2010 recall. The company is recalling these units because of a potential malfunction with the power window systems. Out of 7.4 million affected models, 2.5 million can be found in the US, 1.4 million in China, and 1.4 million in Europe. This list includes models like the Yaris, Camry, Tundra, and RAV4 produced between 2007 and 2009.

According to an official Toyota press release, the driver’s side Power Window Master Switch (PWMS) may experience a "notchy" or sticky feel during operation. If commercially available lubricants are applied to the switch in an attempt to address the "notchy" or sticky feel, melting of the switch assembly or smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances. What’s with "sticky" issues at Toyota?

This problem may have been caused by an uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier. If the grease is not applied evenly, frequent use of the switch and normal operation may cause the grease to become carbonized and may eventually result in the deterioration of its lubricating properties.

If anyone is driving one of the models listed after the jump, they should address their local dealer and their car will be repaired in about one hour.

Hit the jump for a full list of US models to be recalled.

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Aston Martin's Engine Downsizing may include Toyota Engines

Aston Martin’s Engine Downsizing may include Toyota Engines

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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BMW and Toyota team up for new sports car

BMW and Toyota team up for new sports car

Toyota must be starting to love collaborative projects. Coming out of a tight relationship with Subaru where they developed the GT 86 (pictured above) and the BRZ, the Japanese company has now established a working relationship with BMW. In fact, the two companies first announced plans to join forces back in December 2011 when they announced a partnership for sharing hybrid systems and diesel engines. Then, in March 2012, they signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells.

Today, Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG met again and talked about a new agreement that could lead to developing a new sports car. The two leaders talked about joint development of a fuel cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, collaboration on powertrain electrification, and joint research and development on lightweight technologies.

BMW will supply highly-efficient 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting in 2014 and, in return, Toyota will share their knowledge on environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. The relationship makes sense due to the fact that one of BMW’s strengths is their production of engines and Toyota was the first to push out their electric vehicle - the Toyota Prius - with much success.

Hit the jump to read the statements from the two CEO’s.

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2012 Toyota GT 86 Aero Kit

2012 Toyota GT 86 Aero Kit

For those who want to further customize their brand new GT-86, Toyota has announced a pretty impressive aero kit for the sports coupe, leaving us holding our breath in anticipation of its US counterpart, the Scion FR-S - getting an upgrade package of its own in the near future.

The new aero kit includes a new front bumper, side sills, a rear bumper skirt, and a sharp looking rear spoiler. All of these changes help to improve the car’s aerodynamics even further. The front bumper skirt has vertical fins to control air entering the front grille and dual canards at 12-degree angles to optimize handling stability. For the side skirts, Toyota is offering a rounded leading edge to assist airflow evacuation from the front wheel housing, while the rear bumper has a profile that projects horizontally, to manage air turbulence from the front fin and assist in evacuating under-body airflow. The rear spoiler center section will be painted in gloss black and also features horizontal "winglets" on the uprights, to help generate downforce and optimize handling stability.

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Toyota GT86 gets new accessories in the German market

Toyota GT86 gets new accessories in the German market

The Toyota GT 86 is fast becoming a popular sports car choice in a number of worldwide markets, so much so that a country like Germany will receive a host of new accessories for the Japanese sports coupe.

Hey, if Italy can get the 86 First Edition, the Germans sure aren’t far behind.

Remember, the GT 86 is being prepared as a no-frills sports car, so if you want to add your own personal touches to it, you can do so at your own behest. In order to address people’s needs for creativity, Toyota Germany has released a number of new accessories that can be seen on the sports car.

Taking a look at the package, it appears pretty similar to the one being offered in Italy. The racing stripes on the hood and the roof are there, as are the decals on the sides. On the flip side, the German accessories for the GT 86 also include carbon fiber mirror caps, a choice of wheels - the OZ racing Ultraleggera alloys cost €529 ($657) - suspension tweaks, a new JBL sound system, and a touch-screen display with navigation.

Those last three accessories cost €189 ($234), €1,045 ($1,300), and €695 ($863), respectively.

If you needed proof that the GT 86 is becoming a hot ticket in multiple towns, you only need to look at two countries that are famous for their super cars - Italy and Germany - showing some serious love for the Japanese sports coupe to realize that the GT 86 is here to stay.

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Subaru Building an FA20 Engine with a Turbocharger; is it for the BRZ?

Subaru Building an FA20 Engine with a Turbocharger; is it for the BRZ?

A few weeks ago, we let you in on the conversation that Car and Driver had with executives from Subaru and Toyota about the possibility of a turbocharger on the BRZ, GT 86, and FR-S. It was a flat out “No” on the FR-S and an “Eh, maybe, but not now” on the BRZ and GT 86. Well, first off we think that’s a load of corporate horse manure, as Subaru and Toyota would be out of their engine control modules not to force at least 8 psi into that new jointly built 2.0-liter engine.

Apparently, Subaru is taking a nibble of the bait that us turbo junkies are tossing in the water, as it has just completed development on a turbocharged version of the FA20 engine used in the BRZ, GT 86, and FR-S family. This engine is not an identical twin to the FA20, so don’t go getting your hopes up yet, but it is its fraternal twin at least. The only real difference is that Subaru scrapped the Toyota fuel injection system in favor of its own direct-injection system.

So what kind of power are we talking about? We are hearing that it cranks out a whopping 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque! Now for the bad news… As of now, this engine is only slated to be dropped into the JDM-spec Legacy. To make things worse, Subaru is linking this awesome engine to a CVT. What a gigantic waste.

Don’t go getting all sad on us now, this is a good start that Subaru is willing to slap some boost on this puppy and get nearly 300 ponies and 300 twisting power. Now just imagine that in a BRZ…

So we will reiterate what we said before. Regardless of what smoke and mirrors Subaru and Toyota throw up there, we will see boost in at least the BRZ and GT 86, and we would be willing to bet a penny that we see the FR-S whistling down the road one day too.

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Toyota planning supercharged GT 86 to battle it out with Subaru's BRZ STI

Toyota planning supercharged GT 86 to battle it out with Subaru’s BRZ STI

We knew it was only a matter of time. Toyota has just released their GT 86 and Subaru their BRZ, and whispers in the industry are already buzzing about a supercharged version of the GT 86. In fact, Chief Engineer Tetsuo Tada has already confirmed the future model to British magazine, AutoCar, which cements the fact that Toyota is working on a car to match wits with Subaru’s planned STI model.

The new supercharged GT 86 will be developed by Toyota Racing Developments and will add a supercharger kit to the current Subaru 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. This new system will add a minimum of 50 HP to the current 200 HP, which will still make it 50 HP shy of Subaru’s promised 300 HP. Nonetheless, expect to see improved performance times from the GT 86’s 0-60 mph sprint time of 6.8 seconds and top speed of 143 mph.

The supercharged GT 86 will also be equipped with an improved suspension system and better brakes to handle the added power, but expect to also see a few exterior mods to differentiate it from a standard model.

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2012 Toyota FT-86 TRD

2012 Toyota FT-86 TRD

We still have to wait a few more weeks until we finally get to see the production version of the Toyota FT-86 sports car, but more and more details are sneakily surfacing on the internet. The newest tidbit of information comes from the FT86Club and states that Toyota Racing Development (TRD) will offer a pretty aggressive package for the upcoming sports car.

The new package by TRD will supply a new front spoiler, side skirts, a new rear diffuser, a bootlid spoiler, and a new set of 18" aluminum wheels to jazz up the highly anticipated sports model. The interior will also get a few modifications in new sports seats, a new shift knob, a push start switch, and a sports metering system.

As for the performance updates, the recently leaked 2.0-liter flat-four engine will be joined by a full-length adjustable suspension set, a monoblock caliber kit, a new sports exhaust system with two pipes on each side for a racy look, a door stabilizer, tower bar, sports air filter, sports oil filter, and upgraded brakes. These additions may or may not add a performance boost, but the standard engine produces 197 HP at 7,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque at 6,600 rpm, so expect output to be somewhere along the same numbers.

The new Toyota FT-86 TRD is undoubtedly a response to the recently announced b>BRZ STI Concept; which model would you prefer?

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Have cars become multi-racial?

Have cars become multi-racial?

Sure, you have American car companies, German car companies, Japanese car companies, and so on and so forth. These determinations are based pretty much on where auto manufacturers are headquartered, but when you get right down to it, are the labels really accurate?

One would assume that when he/she buys an American car, that car was more or less manufactured in America, with American parts. And the same would go for German, Japanese, etc nameplates. This is simply not so in a lot of cases.

For example, according to the Internet Auto Guide, Toyota, a Japanese nameplate, uses mostly American-built parts in its models. In fact, they use more American parts than any of the American manufacturers -Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet included. Some of those Toyota models are also assembled in the United States.

The AIG site recently published a list of the seven cars with the most American parts under the hood. Granted, the top two were models from American manufacturers - the Dodge Avenger and the Chrysler 200 - but, according to the report, Toyota uses more American parts, across the board, than any of the so-called American manufacturers. Their models ranked third (Camry) and fourth (Avalon) on the list. These two vehicles not only used American parts, but are also built in the U.S. at a facility in Georgetown, KY. In a sense, aren’t these really American cars then?

Full story after the jump.

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Toyota rear window curtain airbags

Toyota rear window curtain airbags

Toyota has unveiled a new airbag system, specifically for small cars, designed to protect rear passengers. The airbag protects passengers in a rear end collision. According to Toyota the new airbag deploys from the roof lining above the rear window in the form of a curtain-like barrier and, together with the headrests, minimizes impact to the head from a colliding vehicle or parts of the hit vehicle. The technology is due to be featured in the new iQ ultra-compact four-seater.

“Toyota has continued to actively develop and make available its collision safety technologies,” the company said in a statement to the press. “Resulting in such achievements as the swift market introduction of SRS curtain shield and knee airbags to enable its vehicles to better respond to a greater range of accidents.”

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Toyota Eye-Monitoring Pre-crash Safety System

Toyota Eye-Monitoring Pre-crash Safety System

Toyota announced that it has given its Pre-crash Safety System the ability to determine—as a world’s first1—whether a driver’s eyes are properly open. TMC expects this driver-monitoring breakthrough, along with the system’s current ability to determine the direction of the driver’s face, to play an important role in reducing collision-related damage.

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TopSpeed Headline News

TopSpeed Headline News

Japanese maker Mitsuka launched series version of Orochi sports car. AutoExpress
Mitsubishi’s i car has a long road in front of it. AutoWeek
Environmentalists creating pressure for European makers. DetNews
October 15-21 – National School Bus Safety Week. PR
False reports lead four of Toyota’s second hand sales employees under arrest. DetNews
UAW struggling to keep the jobs bank – program that requires to automakers to pay laid-off workers. Internal (...)

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Toyota develops rear-collision detector

Toyota develops rear-collision detector

Toyota had developed the world’s first system for detecting rear-end collisions before they happen. This is one of the step they had to do in order to "develop vehicles that will have zero traffic accidents" as they are planing too.
The system consists of a radar device that is installed in the rear bumper of the car, radar that will detect the vehicle approaching from behind. In the front headrests the sensors detect the position of the driver and front passenger’s heads, and shift the (...)

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Self-parking cars coming to U.S.A

Self-parking cars coming to U.S.A

Vehicles that are able to parallel park themselves while drivers sit and relax behind the wheel are coming to the United States, according to a Local 6 News report.
With the self-parking assistant, the driver is only responsible for controlling the speed of the car, via the brake pedal.
The car’s computer senses when it’s time to turn the car’s wheel and announces when the ride is over. The computer can be heard saying, "The assist is over."
So far, the new technology is only (...)

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Nice Ad by Toyota

Toyota installed a billboard that is a running counter of gas gallons saved by using the Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD). HSD is used in hybrids like the Prius.
Obviously there is some funky math at work here. They figure out the number of Priuses on the road and the number of miles they drive and the pollution that the non hybriders are causing by driving the same number of miles. Seems like they will get sued just like Netgear got sued for some funny mathematics misleading numbers about their (...)

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Hacking your Prius

A company called Hybrid Interfaces is selling a $225 system that apparently will tap into your Toyota Prius’s network and show its data on a LCD screen. Installation time 1 hour.
For $325 you will get the ultimate kit that includes optional back-up camera and external video capability, touch screen data port, a serial text-video option and the ability to add Pioneers’s latest voice guidance NAV system, interfaced directly with the Prius Mult-Function Display. It will take you 1.5 hrs to (...)

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