Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Lexus , Toyota Ah, aluminum. The lightweight, strong material has long held a following within the premium ranks, but as Ford prepares to launch an aluminum F-150 , the material is gaining acceptance among more mainstream automakers. Toyota is one such brand, with a new report indicating that the Japanese giant will add aluminum bits and bobs to some of its upcoming vehicles. These won’t be full, aluminum-intensive treatments like the F-150, however. Automotive News reports that an aluminum hood and liftgate will be coming to the 2016 Lexus RX , and following that, the Camry will get a bonnet built from Element 13 for model year 2018. As AN points out, Toyota is no stranger to aluminum, using it in Japanese-built models like the Prius and Scion FR-S . The RX and Camry, though, will mark the first time the company’s North American factories will use the material, and they’ll do so on a significantly larger scale, owing to the higher volumes that the Camry and RX represent. “Toyota has plans to use aluminum on future vehicles for hood, closures and parts for lightweighting,” Toyota’s Jana Hartline told AN. “Also, we will increase usage of mix metals and resin materials to enhance lightweighting efforts.” The aluminum for the Camry and RX would likely come from a new joint venture between Toyota Motor’s affiliate Toyota Tsusho and Kobe Steel, with an operation that could produce 100,000 tons of aluminum sheet (like what’s shown above at an Alcoa factory in Indiana) each year. Toyota Camry, Lexus RX to get aluminum parts originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , Quick Spins Toyota offers many flavors of its refreshed 2015 Camry , but those who choose to lower their operating cost-per-mile, squeeze 500-plus miles out of each tank of fuel or run a very efficient and reliable sedan in their taxi fleets will only be interested in one: the Camry Hybrid. The exterior of the 2015 Camry Hybrid is nearly indistinguishable from its gasoline-only counterparts, with the same all-new sheetmetal and bumpers. The Hybrid is offered in LE, SE and XLE trims, meaning customers are offered base, sport or luxury configurations, respectively. While Toyota expended quite a bit of effort resculpting and improving the 2015 Camry Hybrid, one area it didn’t touch was the powertrain – it is virtually identical to last year’s model (just like the gas version). Under the hood is a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine (156 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque) and an electric tractive motor (141 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque). Combined, and running through Toyota’s unique Hybrid Synergy Drive electronic continuously variable transmission, the two produce 200 horsepower (Toyota does not list a combined torque figure, and we’ve asked for clarification). A 1.6 kilowatt-hour nickel-metal-hydride battery, packaged behind the rear seats, provides energy storage. The test car featured here is the Camry Hybrid SE in Blue Crush Metallic, with the optional moonroof, wireless charging and Entune premium audio with navigation and app suite. Driving Notes Toyota offers several different driving modes for the Camry Hybrid. The standard mode is Drive, which incorporates hybrid/EV driving automatically.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , First Drives Every car has its definitive year. Whether it be the Chevrolet Corvette , the Ford Mustang , or yes, even the ubiquitous Toyota Camry , 10.2 million of which have been sold since 1983, every car has its year. For the Camry, that year was 1992. With son-of- Lexus styling, a clear sense of purpose and a parent company that had hit its stride as the purveyor of faultlessly reliable family transportation devices, the Camry got its legs in 1992. It’s a car that even your mom is likely to remember, even if she never owned one herself. The Camry you see here represents the closest Toyota has come to emulating the magic formula that made the 1992 model the stuff of legends. Compared to the 2014 model, some 2000 of the car’s 6,000 parts are new, most of them involving things you can see or touch (on the outside, for example, only the roof carries over from 2014). It’s not a full redesign, but nevertheless it’s a stunning development considering the predecessor upon which it’s based only survived two model years. That’s a testament to both the hyper-competitive nature of the family sedan segment and the lukewarm critical response that the outgoing car garnered. But that’s in the past now – after driving this 2015 model, we suspect the new car’s changes will be thorough enough to continue pulling in new customers by the hundreds of thousands each year for the foreseeable future.
Filed under: Truck , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota The Toyota Tacoma may be getting on in age, but that isn’t stopping the Japanese manufacturer from ramping up production at the pickup’s Baja California factory. The Mexican plant will soon be home to another 300 jobs as it increases total capacity by 41 percent. The increase is slated for April 2015. The move is a curious one, considering the Tacoma’s age and the fact that General Motors is preparing what, on the surface, appear to be two very competent challengers. The factory increase could be in preparation for the 2016 Taco ( spy photos shown above), which is expected to represent a significant overhaul of the long-serving truck. Toyota’s decision to increase capacity could also be due to the factory building freeze implemented by President Akio Toyoda , according to Automotive News . Toyoda put a hold on new factories until 2016, asking executives to squeeze as much production as possible out of remaining factories before bringing any additional facilities online. What do you think Toyota is up to? Is this just preparation for next-gen Tacoma production? Might a different vehicle altogether take up the additional capacity?
Filed under: Concept Cars , Hybrid , Paris Motor Show , Crossover , Toyota Last week, Toyota previewed an upcoming concept called the C-HR and promised it would debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show . It didn’t say much more or give us anything beyond a silhouette and the shape of the lights, but here we have the first images of the finalized form. The C-HR envisions a hybrid crossover coupe with angular styling that looks ready to take on the Nissan Juke . It’s far sportier than a RAV4 , and looks closer to how we’d imagine the next-generation Scion FR-S would look like if it were riding on a jacked-up suspension – with some show car elements thrown in for good measure, like a gloating roof, radical lighting and the usual absence of door handles and usable wing mirrors. Of course, this being a Toyota concept, it packs a hybrid powertrain, although specifications did not leak out along with the images. Overall the form looks pretty striking, if decidedly unsubtle. We’ll look forward to bringing you more as the Paris show rapidly approaches. Toyota C-HR hybrid crossover coupe concept leak ahead of Paris originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Sedan , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Toyota Toyota has announced a recall of roughly 20,000 vehicles covering the 2014 Avalon , Camry , Highlander (pictured) and Sienna , as well as the 2015 Lexus RX luxury crossover. The affected vehicles are all powered the 2GR-FE engine, which in layman’s terms, is Toyota’s well-regarded 3.5-liter V6. According to Toyota’s statement, a parts supplier might not have welded “the end cap on the right-hand fuel delivery pipe in the engine compartment” correctly, meaning fuel could leak. Leaking fuel, of course, increases the chance of an engine fire. That said, no fires, crashes or injuries have been reported due to the issue. Owners will be notified to report to dealers, where techs will check the fuel delivery pipe and fit a replacement part as necessary. Scroll down for the full statement from Toyota. Continue reading Toyota recalling 20k 2014 and 2015 cars and CUVs with 3.5L engines Toyota recalling 20k 2014 and 2015 cars and CUVs with 3.5L engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , Hybrid , Paris Motor Show , Crossover , Toyota We’re now just a few weeks away from the start of the Paris Motor Show , and when the doors open at the Porte de Versailles, Toyota will be among the many automakers with new wares to show – including the new concept car pictured in this latest teaser image. Called the C-HR, the concept is designed to represent an “innovative vision for a compact crossover model”, incorporating “a new design language with an engaging driving experience and a hybrid powertrain.” The Japanese industrial giant isn’t saying much else, but the C-HR is set to debut alongside the finalized exterior design for its upcoming new fuel cell sedan. Toyota, of course, became a pioneer in the compact crossover segment when it introduced the first-generation RAV4 way back in 1994. If the silhouette is anything to go by, however, the C-HR concept appears to adopt a far more streamlined form. Watch this space for more. Continue reading Toyota previews new C-HR crossover concept bound for Paris Toyota previews new C-HR crossover concept bound for Paris originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Spy Photos , Truck , Europe , Toyota The midsize truck segment is suddenly seemingly exploding with new vehicles worldwide, even here in North America. Not only will the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon be available very soon, Toyota is already testing a replacement for its aging Tacoma and Honda has promised a Ridgeline replacement within the next 18 months . Also, the recently shown Nissan Navara is said to portend the future of our Frontier . Here’s some more fresh evidence from Europe of this pickup boom with the next generation of its venerable Hilux in testing. Thanks to Top Gear and sometimes the evening news , the Hilux has built a reputation of being able to go just about anywhere. According to out spy shooter, this particular pickup was spotted during hot weather testing in southern Europe. Interestingly, a Volkswagen Amarok was along for the ride as a benchmark. Because the VW tends to offer a bit more comfort than the generally utilitarian Hilux, this could indicate Toyota is considering taking the new truck in a slightly comfier, more refined direction. Compared to the current model, this camouflaged tester sports a narrower front grille and headlights. The hood scoop is also absent here.
Filed under: Concept Cars , SUV , Government/Legal , Crossover , GM , Lincoln , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , Luxury Review: 2015 Lincoln Navigator We take the heavily refreshed 2015 Lincoln Navigator for a spin and find that there’s plenty to like about the brand’s truckish ‘ute. Still, while it boasts a ton of room inside and stunning power from its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, it’s far from perfect. Read our full review for all the details. At least 19 deaths confirmed for GM compensation Kenneth Feinberg, the man who has been put in charge of the fund General Motors is drawing from to offer compensation to victims of its faulty ignition switches, has said at least 19 deaths have so far been confirmed resulting from the heavily publicized failure and recalls, and there are many more claims still left to process. Toyota teases C-HR crossover concept Toyota has a big reveal slated for the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show in the form of the C-HR crossover concept that you can see in silhouette to the right. We don’t know much more, other than the fact that it will boast a hybrid powertrain and that it looks to be much more stylish than the brand’s current crop of crossovers. Stay tuned. Top Stories World’s quickest street-legal vehicle is… 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup 2015 Mazda3 finally pairs 6-speed manual with larger engine Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid spied, Porsche powertrain possible What you missed on 9.15.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Truck , Recalls , Safety , Toyota Toyota is announcing a recall for about 130,000 examples of the 2014 Tundra Tundra pickup in Crew-Max Cab and Double Cab configurations. According to the company, the “garnish on the center pillars” inside the trucks might not have been installed correctly. If the vehicle were in an accident, the side curtain airbags could deploy in the wrong shape. Toyota says that it’s not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this potential problem. To fix the issue, the pickups will have their interior center pillars inspected, and if faulty, the pieces will be replaced. Obviously, this will be done at no cost to owners. Scroll down to read the full announcement. Continue reading 130,000 Toyota Tundra pickups recalled over airbag issue 130,000 Toyota Tundra pickups recalled over airbag issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink