Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Performance , Scion , Toyota Ever since Toyota and Subaru released the sports car alternatively known as the GT86, 86, BRZ and Scion FR-S a couple of years ago, rumors have circulated that even more exciting variants could be in store. But at least as far as Scion is concerned, those rumors are apparently nothing more than wishful thinking. Speaking with WardsAuto at the LA Auto Show last week, Scion chief Doug Murtha said that the prospect of an FR-S roadster has been taken off the table entirely. Apparently Scion lobbied parent company Toyota to produce just such a model, but after failing to find other markets interested enough in the model to put it into production, corporate HQ said no. “I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, ‘We’re not going to even push it further,'” Murtha said, going on to note, “Nobody was more disappointed than we were.” Murtha further shot down the idea of a turbo version of the FR-S, dismissing it as a prospect the blogosphere (that’s us) wanted to happen but “that’s not something that’s coming.” Either variant might have helped Scion and Toyota boost sales of the model (which are predictably dropping after their first two years on the market), but the investment also might not have paid off their development, tooling and marketing costs. Of course, Murtha can only speak for Toyota, but we’d be surprised to see Subaru go it alone on either model, as costs would be that much more prohibitive without a partner. Bummer. Scion rules out roadster, turbo versions of FR-S originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , LA Auto Show , Motorsports , Performance , Chevrolet , Lincoln , Toyota , Ferrari , Design/Style “I said our cars are built to be winners.” – Jim Hall Racing legend Jim Hall never thought he’d be a video game consultant, but when Chevrolet asked for his advice to create a futuristic Chaparral for the Vision Gran Turismo series, he was eager to help. He reviewed early sketches and suggested some changes that made it onto the concept, including the addition of a camera that’s mounted onto a mast over the cabin to aid the driver. The Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept was revealed this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will be part of a downloadable update for PlayStation 3’s Gran Turismo 6 in December. Theoretically, at least, it uses a laser-beam propulsion system and an air-powered generator to produce 900 horsepower in the video game. It’s capable of sprinting to 60 miles per hour in 1.5 seconds en route to a top speed of 240 mph. Continue reading Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Safety , Videos , Chrysler , Dodge , Nissan , Toyota First introduced in 2012, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small-overlap frontal crash test has become the bane of many auto engineers’ existence. It’s a particularly steep design challenge because it forces just 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end to take the brunt of a 40-mile-per-hour impact. The newly released results of four family-minded minivans underscore just how difficult the crash test is: only one scored an Acceptable rating, and the other three did very poorly. The 2008-2015 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan , plus the 2011-2015 Nissan Quest , all received Poor ratings in the test, the IIHS’ lowest possible score. The three of them showed significant crash intrusion into the driver’s area. The dummy in the Nissan actually had to be cut out of the vehicle, with an IIHS spokesperson remarking, “the structure collapsed like a house of cards.” In the Fiat Chrysler Automobile vans, the steering wheels moved out of the way, making the airbag less effective and letting the driver’s head hit the dashboard. While it was not actually crashed, the agency is also giving the 2009-12 Volkswagen Routan a Poor score because it shares a structure with the FCA models. The newly released results of four minivans underscore just how difficult the small-offset crash test is. The refreshed 2015 Toyota Sienna (shown), conversely, earned an Acceptable rating and is also a Top Safety Pick+ because of its optional forward collision warning and automatic braking system. While the crash test dummy moved around during the impact more than the agency would have liked, sensors showed a low risk of injuries.
Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Toyota The twin-turbo fourth-generation Toyota Supra has slowly built up a reputation as one of the premiere sports coupes of the 1990s. The image was partially helped by its inclusion in the original The Fast and the Furious in 2001, but even before that it was part of the quartet of Japanese performance machines along with the Acura NSX , Mazda RX-7 and Nissan 300ZX Twin-Turbo that defined speed for a generation of enthusiasts. Thanks to Motorweek ‘s Retro Review series, now we get a chance to hear opinions on the Toyota from its original release. Two things strike the viewer in the review. First, it shows what a performance standout the Supra TT is. A run to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds and 14 seconds in the quarter mile is strong against its contemporaries and makes it hardly a slouch today. The second surprising thing is just how flabbergasted the reviewers seem at the coupe. The price is up about $8,000 from the previous year, and MotorWeek isn’t entirely impressed with the Toyota’s weight saving measures that make the fourth-generation Supra a bit more raw than the last model. The great thing about these retro takes is that there’s no nostalgia in the way to cloud the reviewers’ judgment. Check out the video to find out how the twin-turbo Supra was received before it became part of the performance pantheon.
Filed under: LA Auto Show , Budget , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota UPDATE: A previous version of this story said the Toyota Prius C returned 53 miles per gallon on the highway and 46 mpg in the city. This is incorrect. The Prius C actually returns 53 mpg in the city and 46 on the highway. The text has been edited to reflect this. Few vehicles can match the affordable fuel economy of the $19,000, 53-mile-per-gallon Toyota Prius C , and that fact isn’t likely to change for 2015, as the Japanese company has issued a moderate refresh of its sub-compact hybrid. As mid-cycle refreshes go, this is a pretty standard affair, with a larger grille and tweaked LED headlights at the front of the Prius C, and more expressive taillights at the back. Toyota made some minor changes in the cabin, updating materials throughout, but not fiddling too much with the overall level of equipment. Aside from those modest changes, this is the same fuel-efficient five-door, retaining its 1.5-liter, 73-horsepower, 82-pound-foot four-cylinder, while an electric motor tosses in an extra 26 ponies, for a total system output of 99 horsepower. Along with the 53-mpg city rating, the C will return 46 mpg on the highway. Take a look below for the full press release from Toyota, and then be sure to check out the full gallery of live images, straight from the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Filed under: Sedan , Technology , Toyota , Electric , Emissions Is there some rule that all cutting-edge, ultra-efficient or emissions-free vehicles need to look, uh, weird? No? Then would anyone care to explain the Toyota Mirai , a vehicle that for all it’s hugely, wildly promising technology, will forever be pigeonholed based on its odd styling? Looks aside, the Mirai represents a big gamble for Toyota , which isn’t only selling a hydrogen-powered car – a risky venture in itself – but teaming up with Air Liquide to build 12 hydrogen filling stations across the northeast . And once that’s done, it plans on leasing the $57,000 sedans for just $499 month , a figure that includes free hydrogen ( there is a reason for that, though ). Like we said, this is a big gamble. Of course, we still can’t get over its looks, which you can more closely analyze in our live gallery , available above. Have a glance. Continue reading Toyota Mirai offers promising tech, unfortunate looks Toyota Mirai offers promising tech, unfortunate looks originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: LA Auto Show , Hybrid , Wagon , Toyota , Design/Style , Technology The Toyota Prius V is the most utilitarian member of the Prii family with a big jump in cargo space over the rest but maintaining the great fuel economy. For the 2015 model year, the company is giving the wagon an update with a big shift in front end styling and upgraded taillights to go with the revised look. Inside, customers also get a little new technology, as well. The biggest change up front is the reshaped headlights and new bumper that look almost identical to the recent restyling of the Prius + in Europe . Though, the latest parts might be a little polarizing and almost make the wagon look like it has gills at each corner. The top level Prius V Five trim also adds integrated foglights to the design and headlights with LEDs for the high and low beams. Toyota is offering three additional colors too: Attitude Black Metallic, Absolutely Red and Toasted Walnut Pearl. Inside, drivers can get a new, eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat on some models, and there’s now a 4.2-inch TFT screen situated between the gauges on the Three trim level and higher to display information like fuel economy, navigation instructions, climate control settings and more. The upper versions also get Toyota’s latest Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch high-res touchscreen with navigation. Finally, the Advanced Technology Package on the Five trim now includes Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beams.
Filed under: LA Auto Show , Minivan/Van , Marketing/Advertising , Toyota , Design/Style Good marketing is a huge portion of making a film successful, and Toyota and Nickelodeon are going overboard to promote the upcoming SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water with this custom 2015 Sienna inspired by the cartoon character at the Los Angeles Auto Show . The exterior is decorated to look just like SpongeBob, but his maniacally smiling face on the hood and windshield might be pure, uncut nightmare fuel for a segment of the child population. The ring on the roof actually blows bubbles too, and the look gets finished off with matching blue and yellow wheels. If you get past SpongeBob’s crazed expression and take a peek inside, you find even more cartoon cues. Each of the seats is upholstered to evoke the shows stars, and all of the trim has nautical inspiration as filtered through the series’ animation style. The floor is a sandy beige, blue wood trim runs over the dashboard and sides and the roof has airbrushed clouds. Of course, it’s hard not to miss a ship’s wheel that replaces the usual steering wheel. While it’s certainly bizarre, kids might dig the bright colors, while their parents check out the Sienna. The van’s also going on a cross-country promotional tour to advertise the movie ahead of its February 6 release. Scroll down for all of the info about this cartoon car.
Filed under: LA Auto Show , Budget , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota Few vehicles can match the affordable fuel economy of the $19,000, 53-mile-per-gallon Toyota Prius C , and that fact isn’t likely to change for 2015, as the Japanese company has issued a moderate refresh of its sub-compact hybrid. As mid-cycle refreshes go, this is a pretty standard affair, with a larger grille and tweaked LED headlights at the front of the Prius C, and more expressive taillights at the back. Toyota made some minor changes in the cabin, updating materials throughout, but not fiddling too much with the overall level of equipment. Aside from those modest changes, this is the same fuel-efficient five-door, retaining its 1.5-liter, 73-horsepower, 82-pound-foot four-cylinder, while an electric motor tosses in an extra 26 ponies, for a total system output of 99 horsepower. Along with the 53-mpg highway rating, the C will return 46 mpg in the city. Take a look below for the full press release from Toyota, and then be sure to check out the full gallery of live images, straight from the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Continue reading 2015 Toyota Prius C is still colorful, still gets 53 mpg 2015 Toyota Prius C is still colorful, still gets 53 mpg originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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.