Filed under: Classics , Convertible , Performance , Japan , Videos , Toyota There’s an automotive axiom that claims it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow. If that’s the case, then pushing a Toyota Sports 800 around must be one of the most exhilarating experiences behind the wheel in the world. With just 800cc of displacement from a two-cylinder boxer engine, the focus is on finesse over outright speed. Still, it’s a fantastic page in Toyota’s performance history, and Petrolicious takes a ride with a man who owns a meticulously restored 1967 example in its latest video. The Sports 800 used the classic cost-saving strategy in the auto industry of taking parts from a standard model in the lineup and modifying it into a sports car. In this case that meant borrowing the engine from the plebian Toyota Publica, beefing it up for more power and clothing the whole thing a in beautifully shaped, wind-tunnel-honed body. The look of these lithe, targa roadsters is the exact opposite of the rather dull styling sometimes associated with Toyota today. Everywhere you look there are louvers, vents or curves to draw the eye. Check out the latest Petrolicious video for a detailed look at the history of this rare model that’s largely unknown on this side of the Pacific. Continue reading Sports 800 is a progenitor of Toyota performance Sports 800 is a progenitor of Toyota performance originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:01:00 EST.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota’s decision to move its US headquarters from its longtime home in Torrance, CA, to Plano, TX, was one of the biggest stories in the automotive industry this spring. With several months since the announcement, more details about the plan have leaked out. It seems that pulling up stakes could mean an even larger shakeup in the Toyota workforce than first thought. According to Automotive News , Toyota intends to hang onto around 50 percent of its workforce in the move to the Lone Star State . However, even that figure might be optimistic. According to an unnamed insider speaking to AN, there is a fear the actual number could be closer to 30 percent. For comparison, Nissan retained about 42 percent of its workers in its move from California to Tennessee. The actual percentage making the move is a mystery because Toyota is still rewriting its job descriptions under a single set of guidelines. The changes affect benefits, bonuses and the reporting structure, according to Automotive News , and employees’ reactions could play a big role in who decides to go. According to an unnamed worker speaking to AN, the wait is hurting morale.
Filed under: LA Auto Show , Land Rover , Toyota , Ownership “Residual value is important for automakers and consumers because it’s a complete indicator of the vehicle’s future value.” – Larry Dominique Toyota and Land Rover took home the top brand honors in ALG’s 2015 Residual Value Awards, which will be presented this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show . Toyota won in the mainstream brand category, while Land Rover was honored in the luxury segment. In addition to brands, ALG recognized vehicles in individual segments, and notable winners included the Mazda3 for compact car, Subaru Legacy for midsize car and Dodge Charger for fullsize car. The Subaru WRX won in the sportscar category, while the Toyota Tundra earned top honors in the fullsize truck segment. “Residual value is important for automakers and consumers because it’s a complete indicator of the vehicle’s future value, accounting for quality, durability and brand desirability, among other factors,” said Larry Dominique, president of ALG and executive vice president of ALG-parent, TrueCar . “The award recipients demonstrate strong forecasted returns on investments for their owners.” There were eight first-time winners this year, including the Charger, WRX, Toyota Prius V and Audi TT . Toyota had the most model winners with six. ALG passed out 26 awards – two for brands and 24 for models – based on vehicles that are expected to retain the best percentage of their MSRP after three years. This was the 15th iteration of the awards, which are given out annually, and you’re welcome to read more in the press release below . Continue reading Land Rover, Toyota big winners in ALG top resale value awards Land Rover, Toyota big winners in ALG top resale value awards originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:33:00 EST.
Filed under: Toyota , Electric The Toyota Mirai is coming to California next year and it will arrive bearing a $57,500 MSRP. Toyota says that with state and federal incentives worth a total of $13,000, interested customers will be able to buy a Mirai for under $45,000. If you’re more into leasing, then you can get the Mirai for $499 a month for 36 months (with $3,649 due at signing). Both options come with free hydrogen fuel for “up to three years.” The 2016 Mirai will be available in California in the fall of 2015 in a very limited supply – less than 200 vehicles in the fourth quarter – but as availability expands to the Northeast ( read: Boston and New York ), Toyota says it expects more than 3,000 to be on the road by the end of 2017. But there might be a catch. The $8,000 federal tax credit isn’t scheduled to last much longer. In fact, it could expire well before the Mirai is released. The current regulations say that , “The purchaser may claim a credit for the certified amount for a fuel cell vehicle if it is placed in service by the taxpayer after Dec. 31, 2005, and is purchased on or before Dec. 31, 2014.” That’s just a month and a half from now, while the car is almost a year away.
Filed under: Motorsports , Truck , Videos , Toyota , Celebrities , Off-Road , Racing , Autoblog Black Jay Leno takes a step outside of his cavernous garage for this latest video for a jaunt into the desert to get a little dirty. He meets up with off-road racing legend Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart , who has multiple Baja 500 and 1000 wins in his motorsports career, to play with a Toyota Tundra in the sand. Unfortunately, Leno doesn’t get to interview Stewart too deeply about his long history in racing, but Ironman does talk a little bit about reading the trail while speeding through the desert. In lieu of a great conversation, there is a ton of high-quality footage of the Toyota bounding through the desert. This clip feels more like a marketing effort than the usual output from Jay Leno’s Garage , but it’s still great to see Stewart behind the wheel sliding a truck, just like old times. The two of them even take the truck on a somewhat humorous journey at the end of the video. Continue reading Jay Leno goes offroading with the legendary Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart Jay Leno goes offroading with the legendary Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , Electric Looks like someone was able to read the future back in July. That’s when rumors first circulated that Toyota ‘s upcoming fuel cell vehicle will be called the Mirai. Today, Toyota president Akio Toyoda confirmed the name alongside plans to build out a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the US Northeast. In Japanese, mirai (未来) means “future,” which is a fitting name for a car that Toyota believes represents the direction the auto industry will go in the coming years. In a promotional video announcing the name, Toyoda said, “For [Toyota], this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.” To help that future come into existence, Toyota CEO Jim Lentz also disclosed the vague outline of a fuel cell infrastructure investment that Toyota and partner Air Liquide will make in a five-state Northeastern corridor that consists of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The Mirai will be available there in 2015 and Toyota is going to build 12 stations in and around New York and Boston to support the launch. More details will be available later. Toyota says the Mirai will be able to go “up to 300 miles” on a tank and refuel in less than five minutes.
Filed under: Budget , Japan , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota Japan has given the world so much to enthuse over. We’re not sure the Toyota Aygo is necessarily one of them as much as, say, the Scion FR-S or Lexus LFA (especially since it’s actually made in Europe), but for many Nipponophiles, the centuries-old artistic discipline of Manga certainly is. And now the two have come together in this two-and-a-half-minute animated short. In Toyota’s own take on the classic narrative, an Aygo animated by celebrated artist Sonia Leong takes on Godzilla. As in, a giant lizard rampaging through a Japanese city, not the Nissan GT-R , against which the little Toyota would certainly stand even less of a chance by any metric other than affordability, fuel economy or ability to park in tight spots. In any case, watch this Manga-fied video above, and feel free to read through the related press release below. Continue reading Manga stylized Toyota Aygo takes on Godzilla Manga stylized Toyota Aygo takes on Godzilla originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Recalls , Toyota Toyota has announced a rather small voluntary recall, affecting 5,650 Avalon and Camry sedans from model year 2014. Both gas and hybrid models are included in the action. This recall focuses on the left front lower suspension arm, which may have a bad bolt connecting it to the ball joint. If the car hits a big enough pothole – a real concern as we head into winter – or suffers a major impact, the two components could separate, at which point steering control would more or less vanish. According to Toyota, there have been no crashes, injuries or deaths due to this problem. Toyota is notifying owners, who will need to report to dealers for a free replacement lower suspension arm. Scroll down for the official press release. Continue reading Toyota recalling select 2014 Camry and Avalon models Toyota recalling select 2014 Camry and Avalon models originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 06 Nov 2014 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: SEMA Show , Sedan , Videos , Toyota , Racing , Autoblog Black Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. This is certainly one of those times, as Toyota successfully trolled the entirety of the media corps at the 2014 SEMA Show by rolling an innocent-looking Camry onto the floor… only to lift literally the entirety of its body to reveal an 850-horsepower, tube-framed dragster. Well, we have been asking for a more driver-oriented Toyota. While it’s designed to go fast in a straight line, the origin of the Camry Dragster’s parts might be surprising. The 5.7-liter V8 engine, transmission, rear axle and electronics were plucked from the T oyota Tundra pickup. Toyota Racing Development donated a supercharger, while a wet-nitrous-injection system was also tacked on for that little extra something. Those goodies will help propel this anonymous looking monster through the quarter mile in just 9.8 seconds. “This is the most extreme build we’ve ever unveiled at SEMA,” said Toyota’s motorsports chief Steve Appelbaum said in a statement. “The transformation from seemingly stock Camry to full-blown racecar just shocks the senses.
Filed under: Aftermarket , SEMA Show , Truck , Crossover , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota marks the 35th anniversary of its Toyota Racing Development performance arm this year, and the division is celebrating at this year’s SEMA Show with a quartet of tuned off-roaders based on on the 4Runner , Tacoma and Tundra that look more than ready to go just about anywhere. All four of them will take part in this year’s Baja 1000 race, but only the Tundra (far left in the above photo) is actually competing. The other three will be there to act as support vehicles. Inspired by the production TRD Pro Series trucks , the 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra are prepared by off-road fabricator N-Fab with a mix of TRD and the company’s own parts to be able to take whatever the grueling, 1,000-mile can throw at them. The trio is fettled with extra communications equipment, GPS, additional lights and all sorts of body and suspension modifications to help them survive the ordeal. Scroll down to read more about these tuned trucks, and check out the gallery for a closer look at them. Continue reading Toyota TRD Pro Chase Trucks are ready to hit the desert at SEMA Toyota TRD Pro Chase Trucks are ready to hit the desert at SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 19:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink