Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Japan , Videos , Mazda , Scion , Toyota A Japanese motoring show, complete with titles in comic fonts, put three racing pilots behind the wheels of the Mazda MX-5 Miata , Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S (Toyota 86, in this case) for three laps of the 2.1-mile East Road Course at Twin Ring Motegi. Of course the segment producers know that putting the 167-horsepower roadster against the 200-hp coupes isn’t exactly fair, so they gave the Mazda a small head start of about three grid positions. Ex-sports car racer Takayuki Kinoshita handles the Mazda, former open-wheel pilot Naoki Hattori drives the BRZ, and former Le Mans-class winner Keiichi Tsuchiya gets fast and loose in the FR-S. The drivers offer copious on-track commentary, but it’s in Japanese. That said, watching the MX-5 try to stay in front and watching Tsuchiya start drifting are universal gearhead languages. You’ll find the action after the jump . Continue reading Japanese TV show pits MX-5 against BRZ and FR-S at Twin Ring Motegi Japanese TV show pits MX-5 against BRZ and FR-S at Twin Ring Motegi originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 Apr 2012 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Sedan , Marketing/Advertising , Hyundai , Nissan , Toyota , Design/Style When Hyundai rolled out their outrageously styled Sonata three years ago, car buyers took notice. It’s eye-catching exterior styling, well-appointed interior and affordable price was just what a lot of family sedan buyers wanted. Few will admit it, but carmakers sat up and paid attention, too. However, Andy Palmer, Nissan executive vice president for global planning, doesn’t mind telling the world that his company certainly saw the significance of the midsize Korean sedan. So much so that they briefly halted design work on the 2013 Altima . “We even delayed development by a short amount just to check that the (new Altima’s) proportions were right, the (package) was right (and that) the product overall was right,” Palmer tells Ward’s Auto. “I’d say they (Hyundai) are our major point of reference.” But with the Altima as the second-best selling car in its segment, Nissan is focusing not on the Sonata, but on Toyota and the No. 1 best seller: Camry . “If you keep coming with better cars and better communications, telling better stories, over a period of time,” Palmer says. “I guarantee you’ll be talking about Toyota and Nissan.” Hyundai Sonata caused Nissan to reassess 2013 Altima development originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Apr 2012 14:44:00 EST.
TORRANCE, CALIF. (April 25, 2012) –
Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Hatchback , Toyota Have you ever bought a brand new cars only to forget where you put it? How about 300 of them? Probably not – unless you’re Miami-Dade County, which was recently reunited with 298 vehicles it bought brand new between 2006 and 2007. The county “discovered” this fleet of no-mileage vehicles after reading about them in a Spanish-language newspaper there (see the source for more images). Most of the misplaced motorcade is made up of Toyota Prius hybrids whose warranties either expired with very few miles on the odo or will very soon. Looking to save some face, the county has rushed at least 123 of the hybrids into service. The Toyota warranty covered the hybrid bits for eight years or 100,000 miles, but we’re not sure if that covers cars parked for five of those eight. We’re also not sure what that much time in Miami heat and humidity does to an unused hybrid powertrain, but it can’t be good. The county, as you probably guessed, is looking into how it lost so many cars. The leading theory is that they might be part of Carlos Alvarez’s time as mayor.
Filed under: Car Buying , Truck , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota’s Tacoma may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but it’s received a mild refresh for 2012, and a new “limited edition” package courtesy of in-house tuning arm, Toyota Racing Development . Toyota showed a preproduction TRD T/X Baja at last fall’s Texas State Fair and then again at SEMA , with the real deal now poised to go on sale in May. The Baja Series will start at $32,990, plus a delivery fee of $810. That’s for a Tacoma Access Cab model with a manual transmission – the price scales up for automatic-equipped trucks and Double Cab models. The Baja Series package carries an MSRP of $5,015, but you get to subtract $650 in a “factory credit” if you order it, since the Baja’s Off-Road Package is cheaper than the standard Tacoma Off-Road Package. Or to make things simpler, figure the Baja Series Tacoma is going to cost you $4,365 more than the same truck without it. Besides the kit already included in the TRD Off-Road Package, which is required to get the Baja Series upgrades, the special Tacomas will feature BF Goodrich T/A KO tires (LT265/70R16) with bead-locking wheels, Bilstein shocks (front and rear), a TRD exhaust system, a two-inch front lift, and those snazzy Baja Series graphics. Toyota has all the details in it’s press release, which you can see if you scroll down . Continue reading Toyota prices 2013 Tacoma TRD T/X Baja from $32,990* Toyota prices 2013 Tacoma TRD T/X Baja from $32,990* originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Toyota has been named one of DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity
Filed under: Concept Cars , Hybrid , Sedan , China , Toyota , Beijing Motor Show , Design/Style It’s not the most pronounceable model name, but that’s not our problem, is it? Toyota debuted its sharply styled Yundong Shuangqing hybrid concept at the Beijing Motor Show today, announcing that a production version will be sold in China at some point in the future. The Yundong Shuangqing was joined on stage by the Dear Qin compact and the GT 86 rear-wheel-drive sports car . Toyota developed the Yundong Shuangqing’s hybrid powertrain mainly at the automaker’s research and development plant in Changshu, China. “We would like to put smiles on the faces of our Chinese customers with hybrid technology,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in prepared remarks at the show. “I want the people of China to be able to experience the beauty of hybrid technology through a hybrid car born in China.” In 2005, China became the first place outside of Japan where the Prius hybrid was built when Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor Co. Ltd. started making the third-generation model. And two years ago, GAC Toyota Motor Co., which is in China’s Guangdong Province, started making the Camry Hybrid. Earlier this month, Honda said it would launch at least four hybrids specifically for the Chinese market under either its moniker or the Acura brand in order to capitalize on what’s likely to be surging car sales in that country.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Budget , Sedan , Hatchback , Toyota , Beijing Motor Show , Design/Style Details on the pair of Dear Qin concepts that Toyota unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show this week are sparse, but they do hint at something interesting coming to every market where the Japanese automaker sells cars. Calling them “global-strategic concepts,” Toyota says the sedan and hatchback versions of the Dear Qin models have “a design aiming to attract more people to the user base.” With that curious statement in mind, the first promotional video for the Dear Qin models (which you can watch by scrolling below ) is both language- and information-free, emphasizing the design of the cars for a global audience. With explosions and lightning, of course. Reports have said that Toyota is working on a new global, front-wheel drive model that is supposed to be launched in 2013. We can imagine these concepts foreshadowing those cars, and hope we get a pair of highly efficient compacts out of the design process. We’ll skip the explosions and lightning, though. Continue reading Toyota Dear Qin hatch, sedan foreshadow new global FWD models [w/video] Toyota Dear Qin hatch, sedan foreshadow new global FWD models [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink