Filed under: Minivan/Van , Europe , BMW , Toyota , Diesel BMW makes some sweet-revving engines, but its own vehicles aren’t the only ones running BMW engines. So do the latest from Rolls-Royce and Mini , of course, as well as a handful of Peugeots and Citro
Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Toyota Was there a better time for Japanese performance than the 1980s and 1990s? It seems like looking back, Japan was on a roll, producing cars that were affordable, economical, reliable, fast and lightweight. And while all the attention is – thanks to a certain film series – focused on cars like Toyota Supra and Mazda RX-7 , there is a lesser-known model that’s establishing its own enduring legacy without the help of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel . The MR2 , affectionately known as the “Mister Two” to fanboys, first arrived in 1984 as a lightweight, mid-engined sports car that proceeded to eat the lunch of the Pontiac Fiero in terms of performance. That car was replaced in 1989 with the more familiar, rounded-out MR2, which is the subject of this latest video from the team at Petrolicious . The video takes a look at a group of MR2 drivers, and attempts to explain what it is about the car that is destined to make it a future classic. Scroll down to see Petrolicious examine the MR2 Connection. Continue reading Toyota MR2 shows why we still love the 1990s Toyota MR2 shows why we still love the 1990s originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota With competition from Ford , Chevrolet , Honda , Hyundai , Kia , Mazda and Nissan mounting, Toyota is getting set to unveil a refreshed version of its Camry sedan a mere two years after it was fully redesigned. According to a report from Bloomberg , Toyota’s move to freshen the still young Camry comes as it seeks to retain its US sales crown in the midsize segment . That desperation has lead to increased incentives and fleet sales in a bid to keep its title, all while trying to keep pace with a slew of very competent competitors . “It’s safe to say we’ll be doing something with it,” Bill Fay, group vice president of the Toyota brand in the US, told Bloomberg during last week’s LA Auto Show . “We’ll be paying significant attention to Camry next year.” Fay wasn’t willing to offer hints about what that “attention” would yield, but with a new Hyundai Sonata debuting in New York and increased production of the strong-selling Fusion both on the horizon, it’s possible the Camry could be in a bad way if tweaks aren’t made to keep it competitive. We can think of some things that’d help the Camry – more luxury features and technology along with a more fashionable exterior, to name a few – but what do you want to see Toyota do different? What would Toyota need to do to the Camry to make you think about buying one? Let us know in Comments. Toyota Camry to get ‘significant’ attention in 2014? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 24 Nov 2013 15:45:00 EST.
Filed under: Sedan , Japan , Videos , Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota , Electric When Toyota first conceptualized a gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle for mainstream Americans to drive, the initial response was pretty skeptical. Still, through relentless engineering and solid product after solid product, Toyota has built the Prius brand into the dominant force in the hybrid car market. Something like that plan of attack is what the Japanese company is preparing for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, as well, and that attack is seeing a critical salvo fired today with the debut of this FCV Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show . Though there’s nothing substantive to be said about rumors of a 300-mile range or a sticker price around $50,000 , the FCV concept does offer a few technical details. The sharp-beaked concept makes use of two high-pressure hydrogen tanks and boasts a power output density of three kilowatts per liter. Right now, the expectation is that Toyota will have a real-world version of this technology sometime in 2015. Continue reading Toyota FCV Concept comes one step closer to reality [w/video] Toyota FCV Concept comes one step closer to reality [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 08:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , Japan , Tokyo Motor Show , Hatchback , Toyota , Specialty , Design/Style As far as beasts of burden go, New York City’s new – and much maligned – Nissan NV200 ” Taxi of Tomorrow ” isn’t a bad one. It’s space efficient, reasonably economical, and its simple construction should mean it’s pretty robust over the long haul, too. But it lacks panache and a sense of occasion – let alone a sense of humor – three things this this Toyota JPN Taxi Concept we found at the Tokyo Motor Show has in spades. Unfortunately, that’s about all the information we have on this cheeky London-taxi-inspired showcar. Toyota hasn’t provided much in the way of details, other than to proclaim that the five-seat JPN was “created with Japanese hospitality in mind” and it “aims to enliven city streets.” Japan’s livery landscape has long been occupied by traditional three-box sedans – models like the Toyota Crown and Nissan Cedric. The JPN Taxi at just over 171 inches would appear to offer both a tighter footprint and added whimsy, both of which are in the automaker’s favor; we hear it hopes this concept will one day become the country’s own version of America’s yellow Crown Vic cab. Toyota isn’t providing powertrain specifications, but we like the airy feeling of the interior (Japanese cabs typically don’t have cumbersome partitions between cabbie and passengers), the minimalist driver area with three screens, and the widescreen overhead video system for passengers that bookends the panoramic moonroof. Check it out in our gallery of live shots and let us know what you think in Comments. Continue reading Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is a Japanese riff on an English classic Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is a Japanese riff on an English classic originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota , Design/Style Of all the vehicles Toyota brought to the Tokyo Motor Show , the FV2 might be the most creative. The minimalist single-seat concept is a glimpse at Toyota’s idea of a “fun to drive” vehicle in the future. The FV2 is essentially a pod with a diamond-shaped wheel array (what powers said wheels has not been disclosed), and Toyota says that the technology of the vehicle allows it to gauge the driver’s mood and suggest possible destinations. The interaction between driver and vehicle is also displayed in an augmented reality screen on the windshield, and the car can also act as a mood ring of sorts with exterior colors and patterns that can change based on the driver’s mood. We can just see it now: “Don’t mess with Jim today, his car is red.” Scroll down for a brief press release on the FV2. Continue reading Toyota FV2 Concept is a single-seat mood ring for the road Toyota FV2 Concept is a single-seat mood ring for the road originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , Convertible , Performance , Japan , Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota When last we checked in on our topless would-be hero, the Toyota FT-86 convertible had been reportedly placed on “indefinite hold .” That was back in early October, not long after Toyota had trotted out the rear-wheel-drive canvasback to Scion dealers as a possible future product carrot if they decided not to turn in their franchises. And yet, we’re here at the Tokyo Motor Show , where Toyota has taken the time to at least repaint the FT-86 Open Concept in “Flash Red,” if not build a whole other car (the original Geneva showcar was white ). It’s enough to make our heads spin like a teenager on the verge of a breakup. Will they? Won’t they? At this point, we still don’t know any more than you do – the last word we heard out of Toyota was not encouraging, although the story was that the program could still be fast-tracked if management had a change of heart. As the car has never been seen before in Japan, perhaps Toyota is merely extending its domestic audience a courtesy view before it lines this showcar in mothballs, or maybe they’re still trying to make a decision on its fate and gauging public reaction on the homefront. Interestingly, in a new story published today, Automotive News quotes Subaru brand boss Yasuyuki Yoshinaga downplaying the likelihood of a production model, saying flatly “We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen.” The executive went on to note, “Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change.” Given that such a car would probably trade in rather small volumes, that sounds like a significant hurtle. Either way, this FT-86 Open Concept wears red paint rather fetchingly – and we think a Scion FR-S or a Subaru BRZ would look every inch as compelling, too.
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Subaru , Toyota Subaru may be set to end production of the Toyota Camry at its Lafayette, IN facility by 2017, according to a report from the Louisville Journal-Courier and a CBS affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina . Speaking to the plant’s Executive Vice President Tom Easterday, the whole affair sounds like a done deal. “Based on changes in Toyota’s production plans, they have decided that the award-winning Camry production contract will not be renewed,” Easterday said. Easterday was quick to emphasize that just because Camry production would end, doesn’t mean jobs will be lost. “There will be no loss of jobs at SIA as a result of this,” he said, before adding that the loss of Camry production will have no impact Subaru’s $400 million investment to ready the plant for Impreza production in 2016 . That said, adding a promised 900 jobs may take longer than originally planned, as Camry production staff are set to be retrained on Subaru production. SIA currently has the capacity to produce 100,000 Camrys per year, and began production of the family sedan in 2007 alongside production of the Subaru Outback , Legacy and eventually, the soon-to-be-discontinued Tribeca . We spoke via email with Toyota spokesperson Curt McAllister, who said, “We are not in position to discuss production plans at this time.” Subaru has not responded as of this writing, but we’ll update this post as soon we hear something. Subaru Indiana plant to stop building Toyota Camry originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Nov 2013 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Japan , Tokyo Motor Show , Crossover , Toyota The Lexus RX shares much with the Toyota Highlander , but its more direct counterpart is the Toyota Harrrier. Never heard of it? That’s because Toyota only sells it at home in Japan, and now it’s revealed a new one. So if the Harrier is essentially a Toyota-badged version of the RX, then what’s the big deal, you ask? The big deal is that the new Harrier which leaked in July, set to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next week and which you see here isn’t quite the same as the Lexus , and those differences could (and in most cases likely will) make their way over to the RX as well. For starters, the styling is different. Granted that the Lexus version will almost certainly get a spindle-shaped grille, but even so, the Harrier’s nose seems to protrude further than the RX’s and the headlamps are a notably different shape. The greenhouse is also a different shape, coming to a sharper point at the back, and the mirrors are fixed to the A-pillar not to the door panel. The taillamps are revised, the tailgate has a new profile and there’s a pseudo-diffuser at the bottom of the rear bumper. Subtle changes, to be sure, but then Toyota and Lexus are known for their evolutionary approach to styling.
Filed under: Coupe , Toyota , Racing Toyota Motorsport GmbH has developed cars for all manner of racing, up to and including Formula One and Le Mans . But it got its start back in 1979 in rally competition, winning four drivers’ and three manufacturers’ titles in the World Rally Championship . And now it’s announced a new rally car. Based on the Toyota GT86 (better known to us as the Scion FR-S ), the CS-R3 rally car isn’t built to contest the top tier of the WRC, but is being developed to conform to the lower R3 class. That means a six-speed sequential gearbox, limited slip differential and upgraded engine, brakes, aero… the works. It’ll retain the road-going model’s rear-drive setup, joining the front-drive Yaris R1A in TMG’s portfolio of customer rally cars. Further details are set to be revealed “in the coming months”, but the GT86 CS-R3 will benefit from the experience TMG accrued in developing the GT86 CS-V3 (pictured above) for the N