Filed under: Budget , Hatchback , Scion , Toyota Scion seemed like such a good idea when it was first launched. Toyota’s aim was to provide young people with stylish, affordable cars that would serve as a gateway to the automaker’s family of products. It was also supposed to be something of an incubator for new ideas that were too radical for its more conservative Toyota and Lexus brands. Over a decade since its launch, the brand has languished, and today’s showroom is populated by slow-selling and aging vehicles that have often been slow to receive upgrades. However, there may be a bright spot on the imminent horizon, as there are reportedly a slate of new models on the way over the next three years. According to a model timeline published by Automotive News , the Scion lineup is about to get a major overhaul . First, the boxy xB may finally be going to the big refrigerator box in the sky, to be replaced by a version of the more conventionally styled Auris hatchback (pictured above) from overseas markets in early 2015. Later next year, the xD will also allegedly bow out in favor of a new hatchback based on the Mazda2 (thanks to a recently signed platform-sharing deal ). For 2016, the sporty tC hatchback is also said to get a redesign, and interestingly enough, a Corolla -based compact crossover could join the ranks, too. While those changes should boost sales volume, there’s also news that’s sure to make enthusiasts happy.
Filed under: Truck , Etc. , Government/Legal , Toyota , Celebrities Rogue or no, Tea Party darling and former Alaskan governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is still subject to traffic laws. That means when Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55,” comes on the radio, she’s still expected to keep a moderate pace, and even her celebrity status isn’t enough to get her out of a speeding ticket. ” I wasn’t speeding. I was qualifying ,” Palin allegedly told the celebrity gossip hounds at TMZ. She was nabbed going 63 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone while driving her Toyota Tundra in her hometown of Wasilla, AK on July 16. Palin, according to the website, amusingly blamed her lead foot on the Hagar track. Palin was cited for driving 10 to 19 mph over the speed limit, which carries a $144 fine in addition to a $10 “police training” surcharge, according to The Detroit Free Press . Sarah Palin blames speeding ticket on Sammy Hagar originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Chevrolet , Dodge , Mazda , Nissan , Porsche , Toyota Oh, the heady days of 1993, back when the Clinton Presidency was just getting underway, and it seemed like every hot new rock band was coming out of Seattle. Sports cars in the US had finally shaken off the shackles that slowed them during the ’70s and ’80s, and you could buy any number of legitimately quick vehicles again. MotorWeek recently went digging into its archives to find this six-model test from 1993 showing off some of the best semi-affordable performance coupes that money could buy at the time, and it’s priceless. Featuring the 1994 model year Toyota Supra in twin-turbo guise and MY 1993 versions of the Porsche 968, Nissan 300ZX TT , Mazda RX-7 , Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette LT-1 , MotorWeek definitely covered all of the bases. One thing that might surprise younger readers is these cars’ performance. The video only provides 0-60 acceleration times, but several of these vehicles would still be considered pretty potent today – over 20 years since going on sale. The Supra is especially impressive, hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. Even today, that’s nothing to sneeze at. Given their performance potential and still-attractive looks, it’s amazing that some of these coupes are old enough to drink now. The progress of interior design and safety equipment in the intervening years is pretty shocking, though.
Filed under: Budget , Hatchback , Toyota , Design/Style Toyota released a new Yaris in Europe and its Vitz clone in Japan a few months ago, so we knew it would only be a matter of time before it would launch the new hatchback here in North America. And that time has come. The new, more distinctive 2015 Yaris features far more aggressive exterior styling, a look set apart by that large lower air dam and X-motif front end. It rides on a retuned suspension hooked up to an altogether more rigid chassis, and Toyota promises it will ride more quietly and comfortably than the model it replaces. Inside the new model has additional soft-touch materials in a more comfortable cabin equipped with everything from a 6.1-inch touchscreen display to nine airbags. The 2015 Yaris comes in both three- and five-door bodystyles, and three trim levels that seek to eliminate the need for options packages. In fact the only option to speak of is a dealer-installed nav system. Power comes from a modest 1.5-liter four with variable valve timing, dual overhead cams and sixteen valves, sending 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque through either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. For all the updates, Toyota has only increased pricing by two or three percent (amounting to a few hundred bucks), with the 2015′s MSRP ranging from $14,825 for a three-door, manual-transmission Yaris L to $17,620 for five-door, automatic Yaris SE (*before $825 destination charge). Scope out all the details and pricing in the press release below .
Filed under: Acura , BMW , Cadillac , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Infiniti , Lamborghini , Lexus , Mazda , Mercedes-Benz , Nissan , Scion , Toyota , Volkswagen , Volvo Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception. Japan’s automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet . Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD , and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC . From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives. German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler -made Routan . Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Hurac
Filed under: Technology , Toyota An increasing number of people are starting to consider the potential downsides of a transition to autonomous cars. The FBI is already looking at them for the potential ill effects on law enforcement , and a scientist for Toyota is raising the possibility that driverless vehicles could actually be detrimental to the environment over the long term. Ken Laberteaux, who studies future transportation for Toyota , thinks that autonomous cars could lead to more pollution, not less, says Bloomberg . However, Laberteaux’s theory isn’t so much based purely on science as it is considering behavioral and historical trends. “US history shows that anytime you make driving easier, there seems to be this inexhaustible desire to live further from things,” said Laberteaux during a presentation at the Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco, CA, cited by Bloomberg . Laberteaux’s belief is that if commuters can make their drives easier, then they will be more willing to live farther away from the cities where they work. The end result would be more urban sprawl and increased pollution from the longer travel times. The hypothesis is completely the opposite of how we generally think about autonomous vehicles, with some experiments showing fuel economy improvements by as much as 20 percent . However, Laberteaux is looking beyond one-off observations and extrapolating further. With the law still figuring out how to get driverless cars on the road , we’re probably still decades from finding out what effects they will actually have on the world.
Filed under: Car Buying , Japan , Toyota Don’t you just hate when your neighbors’ mess becomes your problem? Toyota certainly has good reason to be upset, after an dirty mishap at a steel mill delayed thousands of vehicle exports from its nearby port in Nagoya, Japan, (pictured above) by as much as a month. The messy situation occurred on June 22 when the mill near the port lost power and had to burn off an excess buildup of coke oven gas – which isn’t exactly a situation friendly to living beings or the environment . According to Automotive News , it caused a massive amount of smoke to emit from the plant that fell as soot and tar on about 23,000 vehicles that were waiting to be shipped out. Getting the models properly cleaned off has been quite a task. A team of 5,000 workers were at the port until this week getting them gleaming again. Potential Toyota buyers in North America have no need to fret about getting a sullied car, though. A Toyota spokesperson told Automotive News that none of the vehicles were bound for this continent. The automaker is reportedly considering asking the mill’s owners for reimbursement for the cost of the weeks of cleanup. Paying for the mistake is, after all, the neighborly thing to do.
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Toyota Toyota found huge success with its “Swagger Wagon” rap video for the 2011 Sienna SE . It showed that a minivan could actually sort of maybe be fun and didn’t have to be a lame vehicle for people who long ago lost their sense of humor. Now that there is a slight refresh for the 2015 model, the company is trying to capture that effervescent image again with a bunch of videos aimed at families. For the latest launch, Toyota is partnering with some family-friendly online video stars and having them show off the Sienna’s features. It’s releasing YouTube videos from the creators of Action Movie Kid and Convos with My 2-Year-Old and a Vine from Eh Bee Family, and they all hope to show that it’s cool to be a family with a minivan. In terms of actual changes, though, the update is pretty light aesthetically, but the new tech inside seems aimed directly at mom and dad. However, unless you’ve got a sharp eye, spotting the exterior refresh might be tough. Toyota is tweaking the front end slightly by adding a dark mesh grille and trim. The headlights are also slightly reshaped to incorporate a new strip of available LED running lights. As they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and there are two, new features that parents with precocious kids are really going to love.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , UAW/Unions , Canada Union tactics apparently translate across borders, as Canada’s Unifor may take inspiration from the United Auto Workers’ recent move at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, TN , and establish a local for the Toyota factories in Cambridge and Woodstock. Unifor last attempted to organize the workers at the two factories , which are responsible for production of the Toyota Corolla (above), RAV4 and Lexus RX back in April, but that vote was eventually delayed . According to that report, 3,000 of the two plants’ 7,500 employees signed union cards, but that apparently wasn’t enough for Unifor to force a vote. Because of this, the union is looking at the local approach, like what the UAW is attempting with VW. “We have union halls in Woodstock and Kitchener-Waterloo; they could elect an executive and run monthly membership meetings,” union president Jerry Dias told The Windsor Star. Dias added that the union ” continues to sign up new members on a regular basis .” So what would the benefit to employees be if they sign up with the local? According to The Star, while Unifor couldn’t act as a bargaining agent for the workers, employees would still be able to take part in other union activities. It’s not entirely clear what these include, though, and as the primary mission of a union is to act as a bargaining agent for employees, the idea of a local would appear to leave something on the table. As for when this plan could come to fruition, Dias says a final decision isn’t expected until fall. Unifor may establish local union for Toyota’s Canadian plants originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:59:00 EST.
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