Audi outlasts rivals to win 13th Le Mans title

Audi outlasts rivals to win 13th Le Mans title

June 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Audi , Porsche , Toyota , Racing As is so often the case, the 2014 Le Mans was a war of attrition, and Audi managed to prevail once again after all 24 hours had been recorded in the history books, with its Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro claiming first and second places, followed by Toyota in third. Drivers Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer inherited the lead in their No. 2 Audi after the No. 7 Toyota, driven by pole-sitter Kazuki Nakajima, was forced to retire with electrical problems in the 15th hour. The No. 2 Audi led the race until it was forced to the pits to replace a turbocharger in the 17th hour, allowing the No. 1 Audi, driven by Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gene (who was a last-minute replacement for Loic Duval, who crashed hard during practice) and defending champion Tom Kristensen, led the race until the 21st hour, when it too had to pit with turbocharger issues. This gave the No. 20 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, and Mark Webber the lead until it was forced off the track with gearbox problems, eventually finishing in 38th position. In LMP2, the Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN-Nissan driven by Simon Dolan, Harry Tincknell and Oliver Turvey claimed victory, the first five LMP2 finishers all powered by Nissan .

Five automakers now being investigated by NHTSA for airbag woes

Five automakers now being investigated by NHTSA for airbag woes

June 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Chrysler , Honda , Mazda , Nissan , Toyota It appears that Toyota’s renotification to owners of recalled vehicles from last year is just the tip of the iceberg for what could potentially be a much larger industry-wide recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening a preliminary evaluation investigation into roughly 1.1 million vehicles from Chrysler , Honda , Mazda , Nissan , Toyota and parts supplier Takata regarding faulty airbag inflators in several models. NHTSA has received six reports – three directly, two from Takata and one from Toyota – of vehicles with ruptured airbag inflators from 2002-2006, which resulted in three injuries. So far, all six incidents have occurred in high humidity areas like Florida and Puerto Rico. According to Toyota’s latest recall announcement, the inflators may have an improper propellant that could cause it to rupture in a crash and the bag to deploy abnormally. This new investigation follows a previous recall from April 2013 of about 3.4 million vehicles worldwide for the airbag inflators from Takata. As Autoblog reported, Toyota jumpstarted the new situation when it found that the original list of serial numbers for the faulty part was incomplete and discovered more cars in need of replacement. Honda and Nissan told us that they were investigating whether further models would need called in again as well. Mazda told Autoblog : “Regarding the current Takata situation, we’re working closely with NHTSA and investigating the situation, but nothing else to report at this time.” Chrysler Group responded to us with the statement: “Chrysler Group engineers are conducting the appropriate analysis. The Company will cooperate fully with the National Highway Traffic Administration.” According to The Detroit News , the previous Takata inflator recall possibly stemmed from a manufacturing defect at the company’s Washington state factory.

Toyota expands airbag recall to 2.27M vehicles worldwide [UPDATE]

Toyota expands airbag recall to 2.27M vehicles worldwide [UPDATE]

June 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , SUV , Truck , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Was your Toyota inspected under the company’s recall campaign for faulty airbag inflators last year? You might have another trip ahead to have it repaired again. The automotive giant says that it found “the involved serial numbers provided by the supplier were incomplete, and did not include all of the potentially involved inflators,” according to its official announcement. That means more replacements are needed. Toyota’s April 2013 inflator recall covered the Corolla , Matrix and Tundra from the 2003 and 2004 model years, the Sequoia from 2002 to 2004 and the Lexus SC 430 from 2002 to 2004. At the time, the company said it would need to inspect about 510,000 vehicles in the US but only expected to replace around 170,000 inflators. However, the latest announcement increases that figure to about 766,300 vehicles in the US. Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight told Autoblog that the new amount is the combination of owners who need to have their vehicle looked at again and those who didn’t come in for the initial recall. The company learned about the problem when Takata, the supplier, provided it with an improved list of the faulty part’s serial numbers. According to The Detroit News , the latest recall affects about 2.27 million vehicles from them worldwide .

Toyota working on cars that hover above the roadway

Toyota working on cars that hover above the roadway

June 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Technology , Toyota Toyota is one of the largest automakers in the world, but it’s not content simply building and selling conventional cars – it’s been at the forefront of numerous advancements in ground transportation. It is widely credited with advancing the cause of hybrid propulsion, and alongside Audi and Google , is among the first automakers seriously testing self-driving cars . We could go on, but the news here is that Toyota is reportedly developing vehicles that hover above the road surface instead of rolling along it. The news comes from Hiroyoshi Yoshiki, one of Toyota’s tech gurus, who revealed at Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing summer in San Francisco that the company is working on hovering cars – ones that travel just above the road surface, but don’t actually fly in three-dimension space. According to The Verge , a spin-off of our own sister-site Engadget , Yoshiki refused to elaborate on what the project entails and how far along it is. He was speaking along acting NHTSA chief David Friedman, who lauded such advancements as a “great taste of innovations to come,” but stressed the significance of more concrete improvements to conventional automobiles – like inter-car communications to keep vehicles from colliding on the highway – as more relevant to today’s industry. Toyota working on cars that hover above the roadway originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 11 Jun 2014 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota expands airbag recall to 2.27M vehicles worldwide

Toyota expands airbag recall to 2.27M vehicles worldwide

June 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , SUV , Truck , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Was your Toyota inspected under the company’s recall campaign for faulty airbag inflators last year? You might have another trip ahead to have it repaired again. The automotive giant says that it found “the involved serial numbers provided by the supplier were incomplete, and did not include all of the potentially involved inflators,” according to its official announcement. That means more replacements are needed. Toyota’s April 2013 inflator recall covered the Corolla , Matrix and Tundra from the 2003 and 2004 model years, the Sequoia from 2002 to 2004 and the Lexus SC 430 from 2002 to 2004. At the time, the company said it would need to inspect about 510,000 vehicles in the US but only expected to replace around 170,000 inflators. However, the latest announcement increases that figure to about 766,300 vehicles in the US. Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight told Autoblog that the new amount is the combination of owners who need to have their vehicle looked at again and those who didn’t come in for the initial recall. The company learned about the problem when Takata, the supplier, provided it with an improved list of the faulty part’s serial numbers. According to The Detroit News , the latest recall affects about 2.27 million vehicles from them worldwide .

Toyota to start production of hydrogen vehicles in December

Toyota to start production of hydrogen vehicles in December

June 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will be in showrooms sooner than planned, the Japan Times reporting that production will commence in mid-December with the sedan following “by the end of this year.” No reason was given for the new timeline; Toyota has been saying all along that we’d see it in 2015. The company is said to be “considering” production volume of “dozens of… vehicles per month” at a “likely” price of eight million yen, which is $78,030 US. That is well in line with the numbers thrown around last year, when the target was somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 . Then late last year, during our first drive of the FCHV mule , we wrote that “the official quote… [is] that a price of ‘less than 10 million yen is ideal.’” That alleged $78K is a sizable sum to be one of the early adopters on the hydrogen fuel cell wagon train, but with things moving around so much – and with Toyota publicly citing hydrogen fuel cells as the future – there’s plenty of reason to be cautious about that number. Toyota to start production of hydrogen vehicles in December originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 08 Jun 2014 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Cosworth announces Power Packages for Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S with up to 380 hp [w/video] [UPDATE]

Cosworth announces Power Packages for Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S with up to 380 hp [w/video] [UPDATE]

June 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Aftermarket , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Cosworth stands on the list of the most famous engine tuners in the world with its DFV engine engine dominating Formula One for a time in the ’70s. So when it teases plans to take on the FA20 engine from Subaru and Toyota found in the BRZ , Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 abroad, our interest is indeed piqued. Cosworth is promising to take the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine from its current 200 horsepower all the way to 325 hp and even 380 hp in a future track version through a series of staged Power Packages. At the moment, only the first stage is available that takes the mill to a potent 230 hp. Cosworth says that its new strategy is to offer its upgrades in kits rather than individually so that it can be sure that everything works and fits when owners receive it. The Stage 1 Power Package emphasizes helping the FA20 breathe better and includes a nearly complete replacement for the stock exhaust system. There is a sports exhaust with four-inch, diagonally cut, polished tips and Y-shaped muffler, an overpipe front pipe with a spherical resonator and a new manifold header that is 22 percent lighter the standard unit. In addition to that, the kit comes with a software reflash, low temperature thermostat, Cosworth badge and plaque. The Stage 1 kit is available now for $2,799, but it only includes a cat-back exhaust. Stage 1.2 includes the overpipe and Stage 1.3 incorporates the ceramic-coated manifold.

Cosworth announces Power Packages for Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S with up to 380 hp [w/video]

Cosworth announces Power Packages for Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S with up to 380 hp [w/video]

May 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Aftermarket , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Cosworth stands on the list of the most famous engine tuners in the world with its DFV engine engine dominating Formula One for a time in the ’70s. So when it teases plans to take on the FA20 engine from Subaru and Toyota found in the BRZ , Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 abroad, our interest is indeed piqued. Cosworth is promising to take the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine from its current 200 horsepower all the way to 325 hp and even 380 hp in a future track version through a series of staged Power Packages. At the moment, only the first stage is available that takes the mill to a potent 230 hp. Cosworth says that its new strategy is to offer its upgrades in kits rather than individually so that it can be sure that everything works and fits when owners receive it. The Stage 1 Power Package emphasizes helping the FA20 breathe better and includes a nearly complete replacement for the stock exhaust system. There is a sports exhaust with four-inch, diagonally cut, polished tips and Y-shaped muffler, an overpipe front pipe with a spherical resonator and a new manifold header that is 22 percent lighter the standard unit. In addition to that, the kit comes with a software reflash, low temperature thermostat, Cosworth badge and plaque. The stage one kit is available now, and stages two and three go on sale later this summer, according to its website . Autoblog contacted Cosworth for pricing information for the kits.

Toyota mints 10-millionth vehicle in Kentucky

Toyota mints 10-millionth vehicle in Kentucky

May 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota In 26 years, from 1988 up to now, the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky plant in Georgetown has built ten million vehicles – nearly enough for every citizen of Seoul, Korea or the nation of Hungary. The first car to roll off the line back when the claymation California Raisins were singing old Marvin Gaye hits and everybody wanted to know Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was a white Camry . The ten-millionth car to roll off the line among the Avalons and Venzas also produced there: a white Camry Hybrid . Toyota has put $5.9 billion into the site since its inception, employment is up to 7,000 associates and will grow when Lexus ES350 assembly begins next year. Whereas car number one is a showpiece for the ages, one of the automaker’s current associates will get to win the ten-millionth car in a blind drawing to be held this summer. There’s a press release below with more information on the impressive milestone. Continue reading Toyota mints 10-millionth vehicle in Kentucky Toyota mints 10-millionth vehicle in Kentucky originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 May 2014 08:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota, Honda, Nissan and more collaborating to increase fuel efficiency

Toyota, Honda, Nissan and more collaborating to increase fuel efficiency

May 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Technology , Honda , Mazda , Mitsubishi , Nissan , Subaru , Suzuki , Toyota Toyota , Honda , Mazda , Nissan , Subaru , Mitsubishi , Suzuki and Daihatsu have announced an alliance that will see a push to improve fuel economy from both gas-powered and diesel-powered engines by as much as 30 percent before the end of the decade. The newly assembled Research Association of Automotive Internal Combustion Engines put the roughly $20-million project together, with the Japanese government committing to half the cost while the eight manufacturers will chip in the rest. According to Automotive News , the automakers will team up and share basic research on internal-combustion engines in a bid to cut costs. Eventually, the results of the research will find its way into a production vehicle, although it’s unclear just when we’ll see the fruits of this partnership on the road. While the manufacturers have aimed to make improvements by 2020, that goal is part of a larger, 10-year road map, which aims to improve the thermal efficiency of internal combustion engines to 50 percent. Currently, thermal efficiency in gas engines is at 39 percent while diesel is at 42. The actual targets of improvements will be quite different based on the type of engine. Diesel mills, traditionally a weak point for Japanese manufacturers, will see a focus on reducing NOX emissions and particulate matter, while gas engines will aim for more complete combustion cycles while reducing knock. Toyota, Honda, Nissan and more collaborating to increase fuel efficiency originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 25 May 2014 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

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