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Is Toyota Working on an FJ-Inspired Concept Called the FT-4X?

Is Toyota Working on an FJ-Inspired Concept Called the FT-4X?

Could Toyota bring back the iconic FJ?

The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office often reveals automakers’ plans years in advance. That’s what we’re hoping is happening with Toyota’s recent filing. On October 10, 2016, Toyota filed to trademark the name “Toyota FT-4X.” Toyota has been using the “FT,” for Future Toyota, nomenclature to name its concepts for a few years now. Combine that with the “4X” name, and we’re anticipating a 4WD SUV that could fill the retired FJ-Cruiser’s shoes.

First discovered by Autoguide, the trademark filing is a promising bit of news. Toyota has built all previous “FT” concepts, including the FT-86 that became the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, as well as the FT-1, believed to be the upcoming Toyota Supra sports car.

The idea of a FJ-Cruiser-style SUV makes sense. SUVs and crossover sales are on fire these days and other automakers are investing big money into the segments. Ford, for example, is set to revive the Bronco name. Jeep is giving the Wrangler a full make-over for the 2018 model year, and GMC has been rumored to be working on a hard-core Wrangler competitor.

Toyota knows how to build SUVs and off-roaders. The current 4Runner is a great example. Its body-on-frame design is coupled with its solid rear axle and loads of available off-road tech. The TRD Pro model turns the dial to 11, offering high-performance shock absorbers, meaty tires, increased ground clearance, underbody skid plating, and Toyota’s CRAWL Control system. The Tacoma TRD Pro also features many of the same technologies.

Currently the 4Runner is Toyota’s only off-road biased SUV and is one of the industries last-surviving traditionalists. While Toyota’s plans are completely unknown, we’re hoping the 4Runner will live on while being supplemented by this new FT-4X vehicle. We’ll keep you posted as information becomes available.

Continue reading for more information.

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Rumormill: Toyota GT86 to get Turbocharged and AWD Versions

Rumormill: Toyota GT86 to get Turbocharged and AWD Versions

Ok, grab your biggest salt shaker before you venture further into this news; you’re going to need it. The Website 4WheelNews.com is quoting an article published recently in a Japanese car magazine that is apparently called Best Car, and it seems Toyota is working on a version of the GT86 that is turbocharged and has all-wheel drive. Yes, this rumor is sprouting legs yet again.

According to the story, the turbo engine will be a 2.5-liter boxer from Subaru with 300 horsepower. Right now the only engine Subaru makes that is a turbo 2.5 is the old EJ in the WRX STI. This is where I start to take some issue. First, Subaru has stated in the past that the engine in the STI is too tall to fit under the hood of the BRZ and GT86. Secondly, Subaru has been insanely strict about weight and center of balance on this car. Using the heavier EJ25 block instead of the new 2.0-liter FA20 engine that is in the current WRX, seems like an obvious wrong choice. I also question the idea of adding AWD to the mix. Getting rid of the RWD setup will alter this car’s driving dynamic to a point that it will be unrecognizable.

Another odd piece of information in this piece is in regards to the transmission. Apparently, Toyota will offer an eight-speed auto with paddle shifters. Nothing in the Toyota or Subaru family has an eight-speed transmission, so I am suspect about this as well.

Only time will tell what is really going to happen. Rest assured, if there is a turbocharged and AWD BRZ/FR-S/GT86 coming, we will let you know as soon as we have proof.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT 86.

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TopSpeed Podcast Episode 027 LIVE

TopSpeed Podcast Episode 027 LIVE

Well that was a blast, I hope everyone enjoyed it. It was filled with lots of Miata talk so if you are a big fan of fun to drive roadsters, this may be your favorite. If you aren’t a fan of the new 4-th generation Miata, no worries. We have lots of cool stuff for you too.

We start the show with a look in our driveways for the Weekly Wheels. Mark talks about the very large Lexus GX460 and I spend some time talking about towing a horse trailer with the 2014 Toyota Tundra. Oh, you also get the chance to see a cool new Lego Mini Cooper.

For main news stories we talk about the recent sighting of the new Audi TTaround the Nurburgring, a pretty blue Dodge Viper, the all-new Land Rover Discovery Sport announcement and we finish things with the upcoming Kia Optima we just spied in camo.

If you did come for the Miata, well then we have lots for you. We cover all the information we know about the machine from overall size to wheel and tire dimensions. We discuss the design, potential drivetrains, what the weight savings really means and more. We also talk about some of the fun stuff that Keith Tanner from Flyin’ Miata was able to glean from a talk with one of the chassis engineers.

After the Miata madness and the news, we move as always to the Q/A portion of the show. We spend some time discussing winter tires, why you need them, and what you should look for when buying. We also take a few minutes to answer a question about the most recognizable cars in the world.

We wrap things with an Own, Drive, Burn that sees us trying to pick the lesser of three evils; it’s a trio of family-hauling crossovers.

As always, a huge thanks goes out to everyone who listens and watches, with an extra special little thanks to our live viewers. We hope you all have a great weekend and we will see everyone next week.

Don’t forget to leave us questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions for later eipsodes!

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The Next Toyota Supra and BMW Z4 will Share Platforms, May Arrive in 2017

The Next Toyota Supra and BMW Z4 will Share Platforms, May Arrive in 2017

The news about Toyota and BMW building cars together isn’t new, as the two companies finalized the partnership in January of 2013, but thanks to the Nikkei Asian Review, we’ve got some rumors as to what the two companies have been working on. Those plans revolve around the next-generation BMW Z4 and a revival of the famed Toyota Supra.

The Nikkei reports the two cars will share the same platform, manufacturing processes, and parts procurements. The two sports cars, however, won’t be sharing the same body style and will be sold under their respective brands. What’s more, these two cars could debut as early as 2017.

The report speculates whether Toyota would be able to adopt the same carbon-fiber-extensive construction style BMW has recently adopted, citing cost as the limiting factor. However, with the falling cost of carbon fiber and its exploding popularity, the material might be within Toyota’s reach. This is especially true for such a specialized sports car as the Supra.

The Nikkei report lacks further juicy details about the partnership or its planed products, but news seems rather certain. The 2017 date is still tentative, but the possibility still remains.

As far as powertrains, it’s anybody’s guess as to what will be found under hood. Perhaps BMW will provide a TwinPower, inline six-cylinder or maybe each automaker will supply its own powerplants. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, with BMW and Toyota partnered together, the future looks bright with the addition of two exciting sports cars.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Supra and the current Z4

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Possible Turbo for the BRZ, but No Love for the Scion

Possible Turbo for the BRZ, but No Love for the Scion

Ever since the Toyota-Subaru joint venture that netted three different models – Subaru BRZ, Toyota GT 86, and Scion FR-S – there have been speculations, rumors, and whispers of potential forced induction for these triplets. Recently an unnamed “source” informed our colleagues over at Car and Driver that “for the time being” the BRZ and FR-S will remain naturally aspirated and pumping out 200 horsepower.

The report went on to say that a turbocharged BRZ is a possibility in the future, but there is no way the FR-S will ever receive forced induction. The source also mentioned that the GT 86 could potentially get some added PSI into the intake. The reason being, according to this “source,” is because the Scion is considered an entry-level sports car and a turbocharger would push its $24,930 base price to near $30,000. At that price, most Scion buyers may start dreaming of a BMW 1-series or something a little more upscale. The Subaru and Toyota, on the other hand, cater to higher-end customers.

Being the car buffs that we are and lovers of a little forced air, this is a depressing thing to hear. It also slightly confuses us a little, as we don’t quite see how adding a turbocharger can pump the base price up $6,000. Even if it did approach those higher cars, like the 1-Series, a boosted FR-S would certainly pump out more power than the base 1-Series and is definitely a more fun car to drive.

So here’s to hoping that the three automakers come together and find a way to make a turbocharged version of all three models. A boosted model would likely have a massive impact on Scion’s popularity too. Heck, it may even get that nasty taste out of people’s mouths that the xB and xD models left behind.

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Next Impreza To Be Based off the Toyota Corolla

Next Impreza To Be Based off the Toyota Corolla

Akio Toyoda, President of Subaru’s parent company, Toyota, has announced that the next Subaru Impreza would be based on the venerable Toyota Corolla.

In a statement to select members of the press, Toyoda was quoted as saying, “We [at Toyota] are always looking to consolidate redundant parts of our lineup so we can pass our cost savings on to our customers. Because of this, we are pleased to announce that the next generation of the Subaru Impreza will be based on our Toyota Corolla, which is the best selling car in the world.”

While Toyoda declined to discuss a timeline for the changes, he did mention that Subaru’s signature boxer engines and symmetrical all wheel drive would not be carried over to the new Impreza because of, “[the] inefficient nature of the design.” He declined to comment further.

Toyoda did however make great note of his excitement over the Impreza’s changes, “Combining Corolla and Impreza designs makes perfect sense. They share the same area on the marketplace and while the Impreza is unique, it was never a class leader. Nevertheless, [the Impreza] will now have the same DNA inside that helped [Toyota] sell over 40 million Corollas.”

A Toyota insider later broke down the changes for us. The new Subaru Impreza will share very little with the Impreza concept that was shown at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Instead the new Impreza will receive a face lift to look more similar to its Corolla cousin. Our insider also told us that under the hood, the new Impreza would get the Corolla’s 1.8L 4-cylinder engine driving the front wheels. Lastly and most unfortunately of all, our insider told us that Toyoda will relegate the WRX and WRX STI nameplates to being no more than sporty trim packages with, “Very little, if any,” more power added.

UPDATE 04/01/2011: Sorry to pull one over on you guys, but April Fool’s!!! This is all complete fallacy!

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Two new Prius models possible for 2012

Two new Prius models possible for 2012

Like it or not, the Prius is one of the most successful cars ever launched by Toyota. Looking to capitalize on this, the Japanese automaker might bring two new models to market that will carry the Prius name for 2012.

Sources at Toyota told the Wall Street Journal that the company would bring two all-new models to the United States that carry the Prius name, one smaller than the current version and one larger.

The smaller model will be around the size of the Yaris and will boast outstanding fuel economy thanks to a smaller gasoline motor. The larger variant might be a sport-utility-type vehicle, according to the sources. We aren’t sure what it will be based off of or the size of it, but we will keep you informed when we get more information.

We are expecting the new plug-in Prius to arrive in 2012. It will be able to travel 13 miles on its batteries alone, before the hybrid drivetrain fires up.

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Toyota to launch new Supra and MR2

Toyota to launch new Supra and MR2

Toyota must have realized that their cars were pretty boring, so the Japanese company is set to release a few hybrid sports cars. There will be two coming with names that should sound pretty familiar to car lovers. The first will be the MR2 and the second will be the fabulous Supra.

The MR2 should be here around 2013 and it will feature a hybrid 1.5-liter petrol engine. The car was originally going to get a V6 hybrid, but after the strong sales of the Honda CR-Z, Toyota has decided a four pot was the better option.

The Supra was thought to be dead, but the strong sales of hybrid cars have brought it back again. The new Supra will be powered by a V6 hybrid motor, similar to the FT-HS concept on which the car is based. Of course this is not exactly a new piece of news considering we caught wind of this vision back in 2008, but now it seems that the vision has progressed to a full blown project in the new Supra.

Hit the jump for the full story including what may be interesting competition for the MR2 and Supra.

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Toyota rumored to be working on a "junior" FT-86

Toyota rumored to be working on a "junior" FT-86

Toyota’s newFT-86 RWD coupe isn’t even out yet and already we’re hearing rumors that Toyota has made up its mind about releasing a smaller, cheaper, and less powerful FT-86. The source of these rumors happen to be Road & Track, which is claiming that in light of the unexpected spike in development costs of the FT-86, Toyota is scrambling on building a cheaper alternative for the new sports car.

We really don’t know whether there’s a grain or two of truth surrounding this, although it does point out a few ’supposed’ specifications for the junior FT-86, including the car’s measurements (150 inches)and a rumored 1.5-liter 3SZ-VE engine that produces up to 109 horsepower.

Toyota, for its part, hasn’t made any formal announcement on the rumored "junior" FT-86 so until then, we’re keeping this one in the rumor rill. For now, at least.

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Toyota rumored to have axed the FT-86 concept from the Tokyo Motor Show

Toyota rumored to have axed the FT-86 concept from the Tokyo Motor Show

You might remember Toyota’s FT-86 Concept that was unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Well if you thought that the car had the look of a winner, then you’re not alone. That FT-86 Concept, which was designed by a European design team Toyota commissioned, was about as good a concept vehicle as we’ve seen in a long time and we figured that Toyota wouldn’t waste time in producing a road-version of the FT-86 as soon as it cleans up the huge mess that they’re in right now.

But as has been the case with Toyota recently, the latest news surrounding the FT-86 comes with both good news and bad news. The good news is that a production version of FT-86 is indeed in the works. The bad news is that design that we saw in Tokyo won’t be the one Toyota will use. According to Holiday Autos, Toyota has dumped the car we fell in love with in Tokyo for what they believe is a better design – a design that, ironically, none of us have ever seen. For now, FT86club.com – see, the concept even has a fan site! – has a rendering of what Toyota supposedly chose over the one they brought to the Tokyo Motor Show.

Of course, none of this has been confirmed or denied by Toyota because, as we all know, they’re probably a little too busy taking care of things that are of greater importance to them. Nevertheless, we’ll keep everyone posted on this new development for a car brand that doesn’t seem to get enough of the headlines these days.

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Toyota's Celica rebirth may still be on track

Toyota’s Celica rebirth may still be on track

We’ve known Toyota has been working on a partnership with Subaru to bring back the Celica. But there has also been confirmation that plans were being delayed until at least 2012, if not indefinitely.

Now there’s a story coming out in next month’s L’Automobile Magazine that says the Celica will be here in 2010. The French publication says that this has been confirmed by Thierry Dombreval, vice president of sales and marketing of Toyota France.

We still are a little cautious about news of the traditionally frugal Toyota continuing plans for a sports sedan in unsure economic times (especially in addition to the rumored new hybrid MR2). But if Toyota is willing to take the risk on a new rear-drive car, we will be one its largest supporters.

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