Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota , First Drives You Say You Want An Evolution? Here’s a game that the first people who buy the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid should play with their other Prius-driving friends: Let them slide behind the wheel and see if they can even tell that it isn’t a standard, third-generation Prius . Very few will be able to tell. That’s how subtle the changes are between the two vehicles, at least, to someone who isn’t looking too closely. After driving the corded Prius in California recently, we can confidently say that from both the outside and behind the wheel, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid looks, drives and feels pretty much like any other example of the world’s most popular hybrid. Of course, this Prius does receive some important advances – ones that hardcore fans will notice them right away – but it’s more than obvious that Toyota’s strategy with its new model is evolution, not revolution. The changes start with the plug-in’s new lithium-ion battery pack. Much smaller than the packs used in the two most popular plug-in vehicles on the market, the Prius Plug-in’s 176-pound, 4.4-kWh battery pack offers just enough juice, Toyota says, for an “electric-only driving range of up to 15 miles at a maximum speed of 62 mile-per-hour” (More on how this isn’t exactly true after the jump). Continue reading 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Toyota Company : Toyota Brand : Toyota Medium : Online Product : Toyota Yaris Campaign : It’s a car! What We Like : Placing Michael Showalter in your ads earns automatic bonus points with us. These spots are pretty funny, and Showalter is the driving force behind the humor. Also, it’s refreshing to see an automaker take a self-deprecating point of view from time to time. What We Don’t Like : We think Toyota is basically saying that the new Yaris is as simple of an automobile as you can find. The tounge-in-cheek humor is used to mask the fact that the Yaris isn’t much more than an appliance on wheels. Strategy : Toyota is really going out on a limb by using humor to highlight the fact that the new Yaris is a rather basic automobile. Still, the spots do manage to point out the fact that this vanilla machine has some solid features for its price point. Despite that fact, we’re torn on this campaign. The spots themselves, which you can view after the jump , are hilarious but ultimately come across as spoof material put together by a competing automaker. Grade : C (We’re split, and this grade reflects our feelings.
Filed under: Crossover , Toyota Before, there was just one Toyota Venza . Oh sure, you could boost the equipment and outfitting by ordering option packages, but since its launch, the Venza has not carried a suffix. For 2012, Toyota is changing its strategy and now there are Venza LE, XLE and Limited trim levels for buyers to choose between. The LE starts it off, and it gets cushier and better-equipped from there with the XLE and Limited, though even in the base model, you won’t find a Venza without a six-disc changer, Bluetooth, and USB and auxiliary input. The top-dog Limited is a leather-lined, V6-powered box of rock thanks to a JBL Synthesis surround-sound audio system. Navigation, panorama roof, automatic high-beams are some other highlights. In between, the XLE covers the middle ground with a whole bunch of optional choices. The changes add a new bit of shorthand to the Venza that makes it easy to pick out the sybarites from the skinflints. Toyota thinks the move brings the Venza in line with its other products and makes choosing more convenient for buyers. The full press release is after the jump .
Filed under: Motorsports , Videos , Toyota , Ferrari Our favorite cars from when we were younger aren’t always the exciting machines we expect them to be. Matt Farah and Dan Neil decided to explore this idea on a recent episode of The Car Show . Neil picked a Ferrari 308 GTS while Farah went with the gullwing-wearing DeLorean DMC-12 . Both are sports cars from an older era, and serve as perfect examples of misplaced idolatry. Each host provided a modern machine to use in a drag race against the older vehicles. Lining up at the strip in his 308, Neil faced down Farah who piloted a 2010 Toyota Camry SE . To combat Farah’s DeLorean, Neil called a 2010 Toyota Sienna SE into action. We won’t spoil the results, but you can probably guess which vehicles wound up victorious. Still, it makes for an amusing video, which you can watch after the jump . Continue reading The Car Show pits Ferrari 308 vs.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Coupe , Videos , Toyota Someday we’ll get to see the production version of the Toyota FT-86 in dealer showrooms. Someday. That time has yet to arrive, and Toyota is trotting yet another new version of the concept out to the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show . According to the automaker, this latest edition is a slightly reworked version of the FT-86 II concept that we’ve already seen. The sports coupe heading to Germany, however, has reportedly been lightened up, and is also faster than the previous car. The previous car being another concept, of course. Toyota has put together a teaser video of the updated car, which you can view after the jump . Dear Toyota… we’re ready for this thing to arrive, and we’re pretty sure everyone reading along is as well. Bring on the production version! Continue reading Toyota teases Frankfurt-bound FT-86 II Concept Toyota teases Frankfurt-bound FT-86 II Concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 07 Sep 2011 17:59:00 EST.
Filed under: Motorsports , Toyota , Electric , Racing Toyota ‘s TMG EV P001 – perhaps trying to outrun its boring name – smashed the existing lap record for an electric vehicle on the famed 12.93-mile N
Filed under: Coupe , Videos , Toyota , Humor 2012 Scion tC Series 7.0 – Click above to watch videos after the jump Nothing says “I wanna go fast” like a big red button with “Engine Start” printed on it. It’s a law of science: if a vehicle features a red start button, it goes like a scalded cat. With that in mind, the 2012 Scion tC Series 7.0, which Scion hopes will attract Monster Energy swillers away from souped-up Honda Civic coupes, features just such a button (but no powertrain upgrades to back it up). It’s also got a bone-obliterating stereo and body-color interior accents. Outside, you get gloss black 17-inch wheels, and a special, Series 7.0-only yellow-orange paint scheme. And how about an endorsement from the ruler of Mount Olympus himself? Hop the jump for the bolt thrower’s take on the new tC. Continue reading Scion tC Release Series 7.0 has red start button, is Zeus-approved Scion tC Release Series 7.0 has red start button, is Zeus-approved originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 26 Jun 2011 20:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Lexus , Toyota Lexus advertising goes 3D with the 2011 CT 200h – Click above to watch video after the jump Not every 3D project requires cumbersome glasses and a $20 IMAX ticket. Hot Wheels showed us an innovative way to advertise its product using a large projector and some imagination . Now, Lexus is using the same style to tout its CT 200h , and it’s using a Los Angeles landmark to play background duty. First opened in 1927, the Roosevelt Hotel is a piece of classic California situated right on Hollywood Boulevard. It’s said that Marilyn Monroe’s ghost haunts one of the hotel’s mirrors, and we can’t help but wonder what she’d think of the 2011 Lexus CT 200h running wild on the side of the Roosevelt. We also wonder what you think of Lexus’ three-dimensional advertisement, so follow the jump to watch the clip then sound off in the comments. Continue reading Lexus transforms Roosevelt Hotel into 3D billboard Lexus transforms Roosevelt Hotel into 3D billboard originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 May 2011 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , New York Auto Show , Coupe , Videos , Scion , Toyota Scion teases the FT-86 Concept – Click above to watch video after the jump The 2011 New York Auto Show is just a week away and the world’s automakers are gearing up to reveal some eagerly anticipated new models. One such automaker is Scion , and one such vehicle the world’s waiting to see is the FT-86 FT-86 II FT-S. We’re actually not yet sure what Scion will call this concept coupe, as rumors have swirled that it will wear the FT-S badge and not one reading FT-86 . The automaker has decided on one thing, however, and that’s to tease us a bit before we get to see the car in the flesh. A short clip, which you can view after the jump , tells us that Scion will have the car on hand at its stand in New York. If you want to watch the reveal live, just point your browser to Sciondimension.com on April 20 at 1:40 PM EST, and be sure to check back with us for full show coverage. [Source: Toyota] Continue reading Video: Scion teases FT-86 concept ahead of New York debut Video: Scion teases FT-86 concept ahead of New York debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Japan’s Renesas Electronics Corp. is moving up the restart date for automotive microchip production at its last inactive plant. The company says it should have operations back up and running at its Naka plant the week of June 15, a couple weeks earlier than its original estimate. Renesas is the world’s largest supplier of chips for cars, and is a major kink in the parts supply line for Japanese automakers. The Naka plant was damaged in the March earthquake , and will be Renesas’ last facility to resume production. The plant will operate on a limited schedule at first, building around 3,000 200-millimeter wafers a month, down from a pre-earthquake total of almost 34,000. To compensate, the company has shifted some production burden from Naka to its other manufacturing plants. For now, Renesas is focused on getting any production restarted, but should know by mid-May when it can resume at full capacity. Read the press release after the jump . [Source: Renesas via Automotive News | Image: Renesas Electronics Corporation] Continue reading Renesas Electronics to restart automotive microchip production early Renesas Electronics to restart automotive microchip production early originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 23 Apr 2011 14:05:00 EST.