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.
Filed under: Motorsports , Truck , Videos , Toyota , Celebrities , Off-Road , Racing , Autoblog Black Jay Leno takes a step outside of his cavernous garage for this latest video for a jaunt into the desert to get a little dirty. He meets up with off-road racing legend Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart , who has multiple Baja 500 and 1000 wins in his motorsports career, to play with a Toyota Tundra in the sand. Unfortunately, Leno doesn’t get to interview Stewart too deeply about his long history in racing, but Ironman does talk a little bit about reading the trail while speeding through the desert. In lieu of a great conversation, there is a ton of high-quality footage of the Toyota bounding through the desert. This clip feels more like a marketing effort than the usual output from Jay Leno’s Garage , but it’s still great to see Stewart behind the wheel sliding a truck, just like old times. The two of them even take the truck on a somewhat humorous journey at the end of the video. Continue reading Jay Leno goes offroading with the legendary Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart Jay Leno goes offroading with the legendary Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , Electric Looks like someone was able to read the future back in July. That’s when rumors first circulated that Toyota ‘s upcoming fuel cell vehicle will be called the Mirai. Today, Toyota president Akio Toyoda confirmed the name alongside plans to build out a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the US Northeast. In Japanese, mirai (未来) means “future,” which is a fitting name for a car that Toyota believes represents the direction the auto industry will go in the coming years. In a promotional video announcing the name, Toyoda said, “For [Toyota], this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.” To help that future come into existence, Toyota CEO Jim Lentz also disclosed the vague outline of a fuel cell infrastructure investment that Toyota and partner Air Liquide will make in a five-state Northeastern corridor that consists of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The Mirai will be available there in 2015 and Toyota is going to build 12 stations in and around New York and Boston to support the launch. More details will be available later. Toyota says the Mirai will be able to go “up to 300 miles” on a tank and refuel in less than five minutes.
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Recalls , Toyota Toyota has announced a rather small voluntary recall, affecting 5,650 Avalon and Camry sedans from model year 2014. Both gas and hybrid models are included in the action. This recall focuses on the left front lower suspension arm, which may have a bad bolt connecting it to the ball joint. If the car hits a big enough pothole – a real concern as we head into winter – or suffers a major impact, the two components could separate, at which point steering control would more or less vanish. According to Toyota, there have been no crashes, injuries or deaths due to this problem. Toyota is notifying owners, who will need to report to dealers for a free replacement lower suspension arm. Scroll down for the official press release. Continue reading Toyota recalling select 2014 Camry and Avalon models Toyota recalling select 2014 Camry and Avalon models originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 06 Nov 2014 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: SEMA Show , Sedan , Videos , Toyota , Racing , Autoblog Black Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. This is certainly one of those times, as Toyota successfully trolled the entirety of the media corps at the 2014 SEMA Show by rolling an innocent-looking Camry onto the floor… only to lift literally the entirety of its body to reveal an 850-horsepower, tube-framed dragster. Well, we have been asking for a more driver-oriented Toyota. While it’s designed to go fast in a straight line, the origin of the Camry Dragster’s parts might be surprising. The 5.7-liter V8 engine, transmission, rear axle and electronics were plucked from the T oyota Tundra pickup. Toyota Racing Development donated a supercharger, while a wet-nitrous-injection system was also tacked on for that little extra something. Those goodies will help propel this anonymous looking monster through the quarter mile in just 9.8 seconds. “This is the most extreme build we’ve ever unveiled at SEMA,” said Toyota’s motorsports chief Steve Appelbaum said in a statement. “The transformation from seemingly stock Camry to full-blown racecar just shocks the senses.
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
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.