Filed under: Motorsports , Sedan , Japan , Toyota , Electric , Racing It’s been two decades since Toyota dominated the World Rally Championship with its Celica Turbo 4WD. But this past weekend, Toyota hit the rally stage in a very different vehicle. That, as you can see, is the Japanese automaker’s Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) , which is still in its prototype phase. We’re still at least half a year away from seeing the FCV in production trim, but the model has already been pressed into duty as the “zero car” at the Shinshiro Rally, the last round of the Japanese Rally Championship. The zero car, for those unfamiliar, is to rally what a pace or safety car is to circuit racing, driving the rally stage to check for signs of trouble before the competitors put their feet to the floor, so it’s not as if the FCV needed extensive modifications. From the looks of things, it just needed some jazzy stripes, mud flaps, probably different rolling stock and an interior with racing buckets and harnesses, roll cage, radio equipment and maybe a bit more ground clearance. Still, seeing a hydrogen-powered car running a rally stage must have been an unusual sight for the spectators in Aichi Prefecture. They’ll have to wait until next April to see a production car on the road, while those of us in the US and Europe are expected to get them next summer. Continue reading Toyota FCV rallies to the hydrogen cause as zero car Toyota FCV rallies to the hydrogen cause as zero car originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Coupe , Sedan , Performance , Videos , BMW , Chevrolet , Lamborghini , Subaru , Toyota , Alfa Romeo , Toys/Games With over 200 vehicles to choose from, Forza Horizon 2 players are hardly starving for cars out of the box, but the developers at Turn 10 Studios are happy to give gamers even more choices with regularly released downloadable content. The latest Falken Tire Car Pack is now available with six more cars, with one of them being free for everyone. The $5 pack has quite a range of vehicles to offer, including the classic 1969 Toyota 2000GT and 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C . There’s also the 2014 BMW M4 and 2014 Chevrolet SS . There’s even some choices for those who prefer to drive something a bit more obscure, with the 1988 Lamborghini Jalpa (pictured above) and the 1990 Subaru Legacy RS , which also happens to be available to download for free separate from the package. Scroll down to read all of the details about each of the new cars and to watch a brief video showing them off in the game. Continue reading Forza Horizon 2’s latest car pack includes Lamborghini Jalpa, Toyota 2000GT [w/video] Forza Horizon 2’s latest car pack includes Lamborghini Jalpa, Toyota 2000GT [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Nov 2014 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
TORRANCE, Calif. Nov. 4, 2014 —
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Japan , Videos , Toyota , Luxury A few months back we reported on a dealership owner in Japan who was petitioning Toyota to make a luxury van. The problem, he reasoned, was that he couldn’t take as many friends, colleagues and clients around with him in his Lexus LS , and his Toyota Alphard van wasn’t luxurious enough. Well, it seems like he wasn’t alone, and Toyota has listened. The Japanese auto giant has just revealed the Esquire, a new luxury van designed with just such customers in mind. It’s significantly smaller than the Sienna we get in America, smaller than the aforementioned Alphard and about the same size as (this writer’s favorite) the JDM Noah van (on which we gather it’s based). But what sets the Esquire apart is its upscale appearance. The boxy van is distinguished by its dominant T-shaped chrome grille with a unique emblem that encompasses a shield, sword, “the collar of a gentleman’s suit” and the letters Esq. The flank is characterized by a strong beltline with chrome lower window frame and an expansive greenhouse with tinted rear glass. Inside the flexible cabin you’ll find accommodation for seven or eight passengers (depending on specification), synthetic leather upholstery and wood and metallic trim. There are even wheelchair-enabled models on offer as well.
Filed under: Aftermarket , SEMA Show , Minivan/Van , SUV , Truck , Hatchback , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota has released the first images of its brigade of concepts for the 2014 SEMA Show , introducing a trio of TRD-fettled off-roaders, a pair of DUB-inspired models, a race-ready pickup and a Sienna minivan with 48 inches worth of subwoofers. Four of the vehicles being shown by Toyota will take part in the grueling Baja 1000 off-road race. The star of that effort will be a race-prepared Tundra , which will actually be competing from November 12 to 16 in the 47th running of the desert race. It’ll be supported by a trio of vehicles, which mimics Toyota’s TRD Pro Series production vehicles, with the 4Runner , Tacoma and Tundra all acting as support vehicles. Each of these vehicles has been fabricated by the off-road specialists at N-Fab and comes loaded down with communications and guidance equipment, additional lights and off-road body modifications. For softer trails, Toyota will introduce modified examples of its refreshed Sienna minivan and Yaris subcompact. Styled by DUB, the Yaris’ headlines include 20-inch Dropstars wheels on a custom, lowered suspension. A big-brake kit from TRD complete with StopTech rotors rounds out the chassis changes. Aesthetic tweaks include Sparco racing seats, carbon-fiber interior bits matte white pearl paint and a custom widebody kit. A similar treatment has been applied to the Sienna, which is home to an eye-catching quartet of 22-inch wheels.
Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Hybrid , Sedan , Performance , SUV , Truck , Technology , Crossover , BMW , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , GMC , Infiniti , Mercedes-Benz , Subaru , Toyota , Electric , Diesel , Luxury , Ram Greetings from (cold and rainy) Petoskey, MI, where many Autoblog editors are testing 14 different cars and trucks that make up the finalists for this year’s Technology of the Year Award . Our tech choices run the gamut from complete vehicles ( BMW i3 , i8 ) to engines, connectivity features, convenience niceties, safety systems, performance data functions and more. And it helps that many of these technologies are housed in some pretty hilariously fun vehicles. Have a look below to see the full roster of what made the cut this year, and stay tuned as we crown a winner during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show festivities in just a few weeks. Continue reading Meet the finalists for Autoblog’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award Meet the finalists for Autoblog’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , Wagon , Hatchback , Scion , Toyota When the doors open at the LA Auto Show in a few weeks, Scion will be on hand to showcase its new iM Concept . But considering what little Toyota’s youthful brand has revealed about the concept so far, it’s led to rampant speculation. And the prevailing wisdom seems to point towards a production iM arriving as a Scion-badged version of the Toyota Auris . For those unfamiliar, the Auris is to European (and other) markets essentially what the Matrix is ( was? ) to ours: a hatchback version of the Corolla . The model line was first introduced in 2006, looking in its first iteration like an overgrown version of the contemporary second-gen Yaris , and was replaced with the current model in 2012. It’s available as a five-door hatch or wagon, with a range of gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrains available. If the rumors – spurred by the similarity of the iM concept’s nose depicted in the teasers – prove accurate, and public reception to the idea ends up spurring Toyota to put it into action, it wouldn’t be the first overseas Toyota brought over as a Scion. The Scion iQ was sold as the Toyota iQ overseas years before it arrived here. Toyota and Scion are not, of course, the only automakers using such an arrangement to bring overseas models to the North American market in parallel to its US ones.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota The Toyota Avalon may not have the sportiest image on the market. Heck, it doesn’t even have the sportiest image in the Toyota lineup. But the Japanese automaker is out to fix that perception, at least a little bit, with the launch of the new Touring Sport Edition. Announced together with some minor updates to the entire Avalon line – consisting primarily of enhanced safety and infotainment systems – the Avalon XLE Touring Sport Edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of Toyota’s large sedan line. Setting this special edition apart are a black paintjob, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, 18-inch alloys (similar in design to those on the Scion FR-S ) and an interior decked out with perforated leather with dark blue trim… plus, of course, the requisite special badges inside and out. Only 2,500 units will be offered with a $37,170 sticker price that puts it near (if not quite at) the top of the Avalon range that’s capped by the $41,700 Avalon Hybrid Limited. Pricing has increased on most models by around two percent, and you can scope out all the details of the updates to the full range in the press releases below . Continue reading Toyota Avalon celebrates 20 years with Touring Sport Edition Toyota Avalon celebrates 20 years with Touring Sport Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , Audi , Buick , Honda , Kia , Lincoln , Mazda , Porsche , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Ownership The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Survey (right) is out, and the top two spots look much the same as last year’s list with Lexus and Toyota in first and second place, respectively. However, there are some major shakeups for 2014, with Acura plunging eight spots from third in 2013 to 11th this year, and Mazda replaces it on the lowest step of the podium. Honda and Audi round out the top five. This year’s list includes six Japanese brands in the top 10, two Europeans, one America and one Korean. Acura isn’t the only one taking a tumble, though. Infiniti is the biggest loser this year by dropping 14 spots to 20th place. Other big losses come from Mercedes-Benz with an 11-place fall to 24th, and GMC , which declines 10 positions to 19th. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s not traditional mechanical bugs hauling down these automaker’s reliability scores. Instead, pesky problems with infotainment systems are taking a series toll on the rankings. According to Consumer Reports , complaints about “in-car electronics” were the most grumbled about element in new cars.
Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Toyota , Electric “As Prius represents by far the biggest chunk of the hybrid marketplace, where Prius goes, the segment goes,” – Ed Kim, Autopacific Fuel prices in the US have been tumbling for the last several weeks, with the average price of a gallon of gas at $3.120 as of October 20, according to the US Energy Information Administration. That price reflects a serious recent drop from $3.299 on October 6. Reports have even suggested that those low numbers might not change for a little while , perhaps as long as years. While drivers certainly love paying less at the pump, the change may be hurting the market for more fuel-efficient models, including the Toyota Prius . According to a report from National Public Radio, sales of hybrids, plug-ins and EVs are down around 5 percent for the year , but trucks and SUVs have seen a 17 and 20 percent improvement, respectively. Autoblog Green’s By the Numbers reports indicate similar figures of around a 5.4 percent drop so far in 2014. In fact, as of September, green-car sales have endured their fourth straight month of declines . That segment of the market fell 11 percent year-over-year in August and 9.6 percent in September. “As Prius represents by far the biggest chunk of the hybrid marketplace, where Prius goes, the segment goes,” Ed Kim, Vice President of Industry Analysis at AutoPacific tells Autoblog . That paints a bleak picture for hybrids, because at the moment, the Prius is doing pretty poorly.