Filed under: Spy Photos , Crossover , Toyota The Toyota RAV4 is due for a major update, having last been redesigned for the 2006 model year. Yes, it’s gotten some tweaks since that time, but the compact crossover market is an ever-evolving place filled with tough competition from around the globe, and Toyota needs the RAV4 to maintain its hard-fought market share. According to our spy photographers, the RAV4′s next redesign is right around the corner. Judging from these photos, it would appear that Toyota is keeping its little ‘ute to the confines of pavement – a wise decision, as vehicles of this ilk never venture very far off the beaten path. That said, the sharply angular lines of this new model’s head and taillamps bring its styling more in line with the latest Camry and Avalon sedans while still putting its occupants over the heads of shorter machinery. Rumors suggest that the 2013 RAV4 will enter production in the fall of ’12, powered by a range of four-cylinder engines and possibly a hybrid. We’d be a bit surprised if the automaker’s 3.5-liter V6 weren’t available, as well. See the spy shots for yourself in our high-res image gallery above. Are you the next Toyota RAV4? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Apr 2012 19:29:00 EST.
Filed under: Aftermarket , Motorsports , Coupe , Performance , Etc. , Hatchback , Lexus , Toyota , Racing Cash-strapped enthusiasts may not have had much to get all sticky over from Camp Toyota in recent years, but the automaker’s new GT 86 / Scion FR-S coupe promises to mine a rich paystreak of driving enjoyment. And while we’re big (okay, huge) fans of the car’s low-speed dynamic thrills, not every enthusiast is so forgiving of its rather middling power and acceleration figures. We knew it wouldn’t take long for the aftermarket to remedy this perceived power deficit with things like forced induction and ECU reflashes, but we foolishly expected a full engine swap to take a bit longer than it apparently has. What you’re looking at here is Manabu “Max” Orido’s Toyota GT 86 prepped for drifting in D1 Grand Prix events. In this case, that means the two-door has been gutted and stuffed with the 5.0-liter V8 from the Lexus IS F , one of Toyota’s more emotive offerings thanks to its honkin’ great eight. Orido’s GT 86 is shown here undergoing shakedown testing, and from the looks of things, the transplant appears to be going rather swimmingly. At first glance, we even dig the more aggressive widebody look, lack of paint and all. Check it out for yourself below , and be sure to have your speakers on. Continue reading Well That Didn’t Take Long: V8-powered Toyota GT 86 drift car undergoes testing Well That Didn’t Take Long: V8-powered Toyota GT 86 drift car undergoes testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Mar 2012 19:56:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota is pretty sure that its expanded Prius family will drive up sales of the world’s best-selling hybrid, and the early sales returns indicate that the company is right, right, right. After the Prius V sold about 8,400 units in the U.S. in the first ten weeks , the smaller, cheaper and more efficient 2012 Toyota Prius C is also getting a lot of attention. Toyota announced today that the C sold 1,201 units in just the first three days it was on sale. That’s enough to make it “one of Toyota’s fastest-selling vehicles,” according to the automaker, which also pointed out that those three days of sales is more than either the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt sold all last month. If anything, those 1,201 sales are not as impressive as the C managed in Japan (where it is badged ‘Aqua’) – Toyota obtained 120,000 orders in the first five days it was on sale , though it isn’t immediately clear how many units have actually been sold. So far, the newly expanded Prius family has sold almost 10,000 units in the U.S. through the first half of March. This certainly points to the Prius franchise doing well in 2012. Last year in the U.S., Toyota sold 136,463 examples of its Prius Liftback (it sold 140,928 in 2010) and expects to sell 220,000 Prius models of all types here this year.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Toyota Toyota is struggling with the rising yen, so much so that the automaker has been shifting vehicle production outside of Japan . That’s bad news for laborers in Japan, but it works out in favor of the American workforce in Princeton, Indiana. That’s because Toyota has announced that it will hire 400 more workers and spend $400 million to ramp up production of the popular Highlander . Toyota plans to ship off the extra production to buyers in countries like Russia and Australia. The plant expansion and additional jobs will enable the Princeton plant to crank out 50,000 additional Highlander models each year. Toyota plans to complete the upgrades to the Princeton facility by late 2013. Hit the jump to read over the Toyota press release. Continue reading Toyota to export Highlander from U.S. to Australia, Russia Toyota to export Highlander from U.S. to Australia, Russia originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 12 Feb 2012 12:03:00 EST.
Filed under: Chicago Auto Show , SUV , Toyota Look very, very closely. This is the 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser , which, though not immediately apparent, is different than the 2012 model. How, exactly? The updated SUV has new features like LED running lamps up front, a revised taillamp design and some new wheel options. Inside, there’s a brand new hard drive-based navigation system complete with Toyota’s fancy new Entune infotainment system. Aside from that, there isn’t much else in the way of newness for Toyota’s stalwart off-roader. Under the hood is the automaker’s 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, and a standard Multi-Terrain Select system keeps things in check for when the pavement turns to dirt… or sand… or mud. Check out the full scope of Land Cruiser goodness in the press release after the jump , and click through our gallery of images live from the Chicago Auto Show to see all of those ever-so-slight design tweaks.
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Ford , GM , Toyota Toyota launched a total of 13 recall campaigns in 2011 covering over 3.5 million vehicles. Those figures put the Japanese automaker at the top of the most-recalled list for the third year in a row, according to Ward’s Auto . Between 2009 and 2010, Toyota recalled nearly 11.5 million vehicles in North America for a variety of reasons, including troublesome floor mats and sticky accelerators tied to the company’s unintended acceleration woes. The company says that around 85 percent of vehicles involved in the pedal recall have been fixed, with lower volume models continuing to trickle into dealers. But Toyota wasn’t the only automaker with recall woes in 2011. Ford found itself in second place for the number of vehicles recalled this year with 10 campaigns covering 3.2 million vehicles. For its part, General Motors issued a total of 21 recalls, but the fixes involved far fewer vehicles: 455,901. All told, Ward’s says automakers issued 130 recalls in 2011, down from 136 campaigns in the U.S. last year. *Update: The expanded Honda airbag recall pushed the automaker past Toyota for the greatest number of recalled vehicles in 2011.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota Toyota was once the unquestioned lead sled dog when it comes to the Consumer Reports “Recommended” list, but the automaker and the consumer advocacy group have had a bit of a falling out over the past couple years. In 2010, the publication removed the Recommended ratings of many models as a result of Toyota’s unintended acceleration controversy. In January Ford nearly overtook Toyota in overall Recommended ratings. We’re on the verge of a new year, and it appears that the Toyota is getting back on CR’s good side. Bloomberg reports that the February issue of CR reveals that the 2012 Camry has scored the coveted tag. The non-profit lauded the Camry for its improved interior and fuel economy, along with an upgraded ride. The four-cylinder Camry averaged 27 miles per gallon during CR testing, tying the Hyundai Sonata for most efficient in the mid-size segment. We’re quite certain that the 2012 Camry would have sold like gangbusters whether or not it was Recommended by Consumer Reports . But at the same time, CR subscribers seem to really like their Toyota models, so it certainly helps to have a thumbs-up from the powerful publication. 2012 Toyota Camry gets Consumer Reports “Recommended” rating originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Dec 2011 10:15:00 EST.
December 15, 2010 — The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) today announced that 15 Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles earned Top Safety Pick awards for the 2012 model year, more than any other automaker.
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota 2011 has been a trying year for Toyota , as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the flooding in Thailand have conspired to slow vehicle production and cut into profits. Toyota lowered its profit forecast after the Japan disaster, and now Automotive News reports that the automaker is once again cutting expected profits by a significant margin. Toyota has cut its forecast by 54 percent to reflect manufacturing issues resulting from the Thailand floods. The company is now expecting to make $2.3 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31. In a down economy, a profit is a profit, but this is a far cry from the $10 billion or more Toyota had been earning annually for years. The revised profit forecast is reportedly less than half of what analysts have expected. The flooding alone will reportedly account for more than $1.5 billion in lost profits. Toyota has also cut vehicle production numbers from 7.6 million vehicles to 7.38 million. While this is all bad news for Toyota, it’s safe to say that the automaker remains in pretty good shape overall. After all, the Japanese automaker has suffered through two major natural disasters in a matter of six months, and it’s still expecting a profit.