Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Toyota , Electric Hybrids have come quite a long way from their roots as dull, slow, boring ecomobiles. Today, Porsche sells three hybrid models, one of which is the amazing 918 Spyder . BMW will soon sell four, including a low-slung, two-seat sports car . Even Ferrari and McLaren , full-fledged hypercar manufacturers, are embracing the tech. And all of these cars are sold alongside the same sort of boring cars that popularized hybrids in the first place. According to Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada , though, we should see an even bigger increase in the number of hybrid vehicles in the coming years. “I foresee hybrid models pretty soon reaching 20 percent of global sales from about 13 percent to 14 percent now,” Uchiyamada-san told Automotive News . Uchiyamada is the man behind the original Prius , which gives him some degree of authority on making predictions about hybrid adoption. What’s remarkable, though, is that the 20-percent figure doesn’t include plug-in hybrids, just gas- and diesel-electric models. “Suppliers need higher volumes to slash costs of components specific to plug-in models, including batteries that should be bigger and more capable than the ones used in traditional hybrids,” Uchiyamada told AN.
Filed under: Motorsports , Classics , Hyundai , Mini , Mitsubishi , Porsche , Toyota , Peugeot , Electric , Racing The fourth and final practice day of the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is complete. Tomorrow everyone will make any last-minute adjustments and get their cars, their bits and bobs lined up in the pits for Sunday morning’s this-time-it-counts run. The Unlimited runners took on the top section of the course today, S
Filed under: Sedan , Truck , Ford , Honda , Toyota Put on your flag shorts and Liberty Bell hat. Cars.com has released its American-Made Index , proclaiming that four out of the top five American-made vehicles are Japanese brands. The Toyota Camry , built in Kentucky, was ranked the most American vehicle sold today, with the Michigan-built Ford F-150 coming in as the second-most American vehicle. The Honda Accord , Toyota Sienna and Honda Pilot round out the top five. And yes, all of these models are available in red, white or blue. Cars.com’s criteria for selecting the most American vehicle includes sales volume, percentage of American sourced parts and where the vehicle is assembled. Vehicles must have at least 75 percent domestic parts to even qualify for the list, which kept the F-150 off last year. However, the accounting system devised by Cars.com was called “flawed” by the American Automotive Policy Council , which represents Detroit’s car makers in Washington D.C. “The truth is: Three of the 16 major automakers doing business in the U.S. – Chrysler, Ford and GM – produce more than half the cars assembled here, use twice as many U.S.
Filed under: Motorsports , Sedan , Toyota , Racing NASCAR may have once been a form of motorsport in which only domestic automakers competed. And that’s largely still the case, with one notable exception: Toyota . The Japanese automaker faced some difficulty breaking into the Good Ol’ Boys racing series, but though some purists may still malign it, Toyota is in NASCAR to stay. And this is its latest car. “Based”, in design anyway, on the latest Camry , the new stock car from Toyota Racing Development is set to compete in the Sprint Cup next season, alongside the new Ford Fusion (among other competitors from Dodge and Chevy ). The result of “an aggressive redesign”, the new racer was developed with input from the company’s Calty Design studio to look more like the road-going Camry than ever before. Yes, it does bear a resemblance to its road-going cousin, especially in the fascia. That said, it’s still a composite body over a tube frame powered by a V8 engine driving the rear wheels. In other words, this is a Camry in name only. Of course it doesn’t hurt Toyota’s case that the Camry is built in America with more American components than most “domestic” vehicles, and now the stock car looks more stock, too.