Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Toyota , Celebrities Hinting at the future of Toyota performance vehicles, the FT-1 concept was one of the stars of the Detroit Auto Show this year. It even nabbed fourth place in our Editors’ Choice list . While he’s a few months behind the car’s official reveal, Jay Leno managed to get the only existing concept of the sports coupe wheeled into his garage to take a closer look, and he’s pretty impressed. Leno speaks with Alex Shen and William Chergosky, the exterior and interior chief designers of the FT-1 respectively, to get a better idea of the inspirations behind the concept. Jay heaps high praise on it for mixing Italian and Japanese design and says he likes the look even more than the Lexus LFA . The coupe isn’t a product of either country, though. It was penned at Toyota’s CALTY Design Research center in Newport Beach, CA. The designers go into the entire history of the FT-1, and Shen even admits that Toyota design lacks an emotional factor at the moment. It’s a fascinating interview behind some of the little touches you might miss at first glance. Unfortunately, the model doesn’t have the green light for production yet and may never get made.
Filed under: Toyota , UAW/Unions , Canada Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker with high-profile unionization efforts afoot at one of its North American factories. Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, is attempting to organize Toyota’s factories in Ontario, reports Reuters . A vote was originally set for next week, but Unifor has apparently found more workers eligible to vote, delaying the proceedings. It hasn’t rescheduled the ballot yet, but claims there are 7,500 employees with the right to vote, with over 3,000 having already signed union cards. Toyota is pushing against organizing, saying that workers already have a payment and benefits near the top of the industry, and noting that it has never laid off a permanent employee in Canada. Unifor has reportedly countered by saying that about a quarter of the workforce is operating under a temporary contract, which receives lower benefits. The automaker has three factories in Ontario – two in Cambridge and one in Woodstock. To form a union, a majority of eligible employees must vote to join Unifor. If successful, they would be the first wholly owned Toyota plants in North America to be organized. Previous attempts to unionize the Japanese automaker’s Canadian factories in 2001 and 2008 failed due to lack of support.
Filed under: Hybrid , Auctions , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota , Motorcycle , Racing Sometimes we pluck cars from the listings of eBay Motors because they’re old and interesting, some for being simply lovely, some for rarity and some for pure fun. And sometimes we pick eBay Finds of the Day, because they’re hacked apart Toyota Prius ‘ with Harley Davidson V-twin-power; concocted by the same mind that brought you innumerable Jalopnik articles and is partially responsible for the joy that is the 24 Hours of LeMons . This time it’s that last one. A fairly subtle tweet from long-time Jalop contributor and well-regarded grease monkey, Murilee Martin , hipped us to this crazy Frankenstein Prius. Built from the bones of a 2008 Toyota and the heart of a 1986 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883, the motive portmanteau is, well… it’s a thing. Toyota’s advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive has been unceremoniously wrenched and snipped out of the engine bay, making room (via an artful hole in the hood) for the towering, bored out V-twin. Or, as the maestro himself puts it: “2 Cylinder air-cooled engine with rock-and-stick technology that replaces the overly-complicated crap that Toyota spent bazillions of dollars and dozens of years designing and I spent a couple hours with a 10mm wrench and some wire cutters undoing.” Did we mention it’s not currently running? Suffice it to say – whether you think this “ToyHog” is an achievement or an abomination – you’re going to want to treat yourself to the full eBay listing . We’ve got a gallery full of hellacious pictures in the meantime, and a video of the beast running, below .
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Japan , Technology , Videos , Toyota , Toys/Games Part of the fun in taking your sports car to the racetrack is going over your telemetry and seeing how you did from one corner to the next. We’ve seen a variety of these onboard systems at work – with the Performance Data Recorder on the Corvette Stingray emerging as one of the latest and most advanced – but Toyota is taking things a step further with its new Sport Drive Logger. The system is being rolled out (at least initially) on the Japanese Domestic Market Toyota 86 , a coupe European customers might more readily recognize as the GT86 and what we would call the Scion FR-S (itself a kissing cousin to the Subaru BRZ ). Despite its name, the Sports Drive Logger doesn’t have anything to do with competitive lumberjacking, instead, it’s an integrated telemetry system that, as promised , syncs up with Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3 . Developed in partnership with Sony , the system logs all manner of data – including satellite positioning, pedal depression, steering angle, gear selection, engine revs and vehicle speed – onto a USB stick for transfer to your PlayStation. Once loaded into the video game system, the data recreates a virtual representation of your track run and displays it – along with all the raw data – as if you had lapped the circuit in the game. Drivers will even be able to compare their laps against their friends’ through the system, which initially offers support for Fuji, Tsubuka and Suzuka, “with additional circuits planned for the future.” We’re still waiting for confirmation on if and when the system will be available in the US (with support for some of our favorite Stateside circuits), but in the meantime, you can scope out the details in the press release along with the video footage below for a closer look. Continue reading Toyota 86 gets PlayStation-based telemetry system in Japan [w/video] Toyota 86 gets PlayStation-based telemetry system in Japan [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Hybrid , Videos , Toyota , Racing There’s a new season of motor racing upon us, and while that doesn’t always mean a new crop of cars in every series, in the case of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship , that’s exactly what it means. Porsche recently revealed its new 919 Hybrid and Audi its revised R18 E-Tron Quattro . Now it’s Toyota’s turn. Revealed today at the Paul Ricard test track in the South of France, the new TS040 Hybrid is based on the TS030 Hybrid it replaces, redesigned to meet the latest regulations established by the FIA and ACO for the World Endurance Championship and its flagship race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans . In accordance with said regulations, the TS040 is two inches narrower than the TS030 and also incorporates a new hybrid powertrain. The previous 3.4-liter V8 has been replaced by a 3.7-liter V8 developing 513 horsepower, and the new engine is coupled to an Aisin AW electric motor at the front, a Denso electric motor at the rear and a Nisshinbo super-capacitor that combine to kick out an extra 473 hp, giving the system a combined output of nearly 1,000 horsepower while consuming 25 percent less fuel than last year’s car. It also gives the TS040 all-wheel drive to help channel all that power to the road. Toyota will field two TS040s in the WEC this season, with Alex Wurz, St
Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , GM , Toyota General Motors might be mired in several recalls , as well as the ongoing investigations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Congress into the automaker’s response to those recalls. However, the company can celebrate taking the title of the US’ second-largest advertiser in 2013. According to Ad Week examining a recently released study, total advertising spending in the US posted its fourth consecutive year of rising expenditures with 0.9-percent growth to $140.2 billion. Of that, the auto industry spent $15.2 billion to promote its goods in 2013, up 3.8 percent. The country’s biggest advertiser was Procter and Gamble, which dropped $3.17 billion in 2013, an increase of 11.8 percent. GM became the nation’s second largest promoter with $1.794 billion in spending, up 10 percent. The biggest proportion of that money went to sell Cadillac and GMC . AT&T barely lost out with $1.793 billion in advertising, 15.2 percent growth. The 10 businesses with the highest ad investments spent a cumulative $15.9 billion during the year, 6.6 percent higher than 2012. Toyota came in eighth place making it the only other automaker to rank in the top 10.
Filed under: Budget , Hatchback , Mazda , Toyota As basic transportation goes, there’s not a lot to complain about with the Toyota Yaris . The five-door hatch (not to mention its JDM cousin, the Vitz) are due for upgrades, though, having toddled along in its current form since the 2011 model year. Now, we have what looks to be leaked images of the new Yaris, straight from a Japanese brochure. The next-gen Yaris was previewed in Frankfurt by the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept . Surprisingly, both the standard version and the RS (shown above) share a strong resemblance with the Frankfurt concept. That gaping lower intake remains, while a pointy, sharp front end shares a resemblance with the new Aygo city car (though the Yaris won’t have a giant X on its face like its smaller cousin). The lower intake is flanked by a pair of what we’re guessing are non-functional grilles, which house the fog lights. There are only a few small images of the rear of the car, which looks more like an evolution of the current five-door hatch. The interior looks rather racy, with a small, thick-rimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel and black cloth seats with red contrast stitching. There’s a bright red button to the right of the steering wheel on this right-hand-drive JDM model, which could indicate the arrival of pushbutton start.
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Toyota Looks like the new, ” more emotional ” Toyota Camry designer Kevin Hunter talked about back in January is going to arrive very soon, with news that Toyota’s bread-and-butter sedan will be getting an update in just a few weeks time at the 2014 New York Auto Show . “On April 16 at the New York International Auto Show, we will make an important announcement about America’s best-selling car, the Toyota Camry,” said Curt McAllister, Toyota product news manager, in an emailed statement. Considering the high-profile nature of the NYAS – not to mention the competition that will be shown there – it makes sense that Toyota would choose to unveil something as significant as a major refresh at the Javits Center. We wish we had more to tell you than this, but unfortunately, that’s about all we’ve got to go on at this time. Of course, we’ll have much more for you during the lead up to NYAS, including any leaks of the refreshed Camry. Stay tuned. Heavily updated 2015 Toyota Camry to bow in New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Sedan , Recalls , Toyota Toyota has issued a voluntary safety recall for 119,000 2003-2004 Avalon models because in some cases the airbags could inadvertently deploy. The automaker says that circuits within the airbag control module could be damaged by electrical noise, which could cause the front airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners to activate. Dealers are going to repair cars by adding an electrical noise filter to the module. Owners will be notified by first class mail. Toyota Public Affairs Manager Cindy Knight told Autoblog that there was one reported injury caused by the sudden deployment, but there have been no accidents or crashes. The company is currently preparing the parts for dealers now, and the component takes 90 minutes to two hours to install. “We don’t believe there are any other affected models,” said Knight. Toyota previously recalled 373,000 2000-2004 Avalons in 2010 due to a fault with the steering lock . The company installed a new steering column bracket on the models. Continue reading 119K Toyota Avalon sedans recalled over airbag woes 119K Toyota Avalon sedans recalled over airbag woes originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Mar 2014 18:30:00 EST.