European Car of the Year finalists announced

European Car of the Year finalists announced

December 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Europe , Ford , Hyundai , Mercedes-Benz , Subaru , Toyota , Volkswagen , Volvo , Renault , Peugeot Electric cars may have won the European Car of the Year award two years in a row now ( Opel Ampera in 2012, and Nissan Leaf in 2011), we can say without reservation that the 2013 ECotY will be a petrol-burning, internal combustionizer. That’s because not a single electric vehicle made it to the contest’s final round. But eight other cars did. At the top of the alphabetical list is Ford’s Fiesta -based, B-Max MPV. Five doors, good ride and fuel-efficient, award-winning engine choices are some of the reasons it makes the list. Next is the Hyundai i30 , known as the Elantra GT Stateside , with either five or three doors, a roomy cabin and a 1.6-liter CRDi engine. The nominating committee commends the handsome hatch for improved exterior aesthetics and a multilink suspension that “shows in ride and handling.” Mercedes gets the next spot with its hot hatch: the turbocharged A-Class , followed by another hatch, the Peugeot 208 . The next finalist is from another marque we haven’t seen in the States for quite some time – the fourth-generation Renault Clio , followed by the Subaru / Toyota dynamic duo of BRZ and the GT86 . The last two contenders are the all-new Volkswagen Golf and the svelte Volvo V40 . The European Car of the Year will be announced in early March after the jury has tallied its votes.

Lexus Collaborates with the Weinstein Company to Produce Lexus Short Films Premiering in Early 2013

November 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 28, 2012 –The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today the launch of its collaboration with Lexus to produce five short films for a film series entitled “ Life is Amazing .”

Automotive News names its industry All-Stars

Automotive News names its industry All-Stars

November 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , China , Europe , Chrysler , Honda , Toyota , Volkswagen , Fiat Automotive News has announced its annual list of Industry All-Stars. This year, the theme is apparently “success in the face of economic uncertainty,” or something of that liking. The list points to executives who have led their respective brands and automakers to positive sales in spite of the European financial crisis and slowing sales in China . See the list below, and you’ll understand why: Industry Leader of the Year and CEO, Europe – Martin Winterkorn, CEO, Volkswagen Group (above): The VW boss started with the German automaker in 2007, overseeing a staggering 12 brands. Under his leadership, sales of Volkswagens have gained in both China and America. VW has also expanded production to America and grown its operations in Brazil. Winterkorn is a very hands-on executive, traveling to America six times to test and tweak the American-built current-generation Passat. Volkswagen is aiming to be the largest and most profitable automaker in the wold by 2018, and Winterkorn will stay on through that time, making him accountable for those goals. CEO, North America – Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group: How does 31 straight months of positive year-over-year sales sound? The Fiat and Chrysler chief has bestowed dealers with a wealth of new product, and the American automaker is expected to post $1.5 billion in profits this year, in spite of economic turmoil in Europe.

Toyota recalling 670k Prius models in US, 2.77 million vehicles worldwide [UPDATE]

Toyota recalling 670k Prius models in US, 2.77 million vehicles worldwide [UPDATE]

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Automotive News reports Toyota is recalling a total of 2.77 million vehicles worldwide for faulty water pumps and steering system issues. A total of 670,000 of those are 2004-2009 Prius hybrids sold in the US. Those vehicles are headed back to the dealer, where technicians will inspect the intermediate shaft in the steering column for deformed splines and replace the shaft if necessary. Around 350,000 of those same models will also be inspected for a faulty electric water pump. In some cases, the motor driving the pump could stop, causing the electric motor to overheat and stop functioning while being driven. Toyota has not received any reports of accidents as a result of either problem, and says the inspections and replacement work should be completed in around one hour. The recalls also affect 496,000 vehicles in Europe and a further 1.5 million in Japan. All told, the steering shaft recall covers 10 models worldwide, including the Corolla and Wish models manufactured in Japan between 2000 and 2009. Five models are affected by the water pump recall, though we’re still waiting for confirmation from Toyota as to which they are. You can read the full Toyota press release below , covering the US-spec Prius issues, for more information.

Watch the most epic Toyota GT 86 review to date

Watch the most epic Toyota GT 86 review to date

July 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Performance , Etc. , Europe , Videos , Toyota By now, you’ve likely absorbed every last ounce of ink, both physical and virtual, spilled on the Subaru BRZ , Scion FR-S and Toyota GT 86 triplets. You’ve watched the videos, poured over the press releases and configured your own. And while your waking moments may be filled with imaging what it would be like to cane the 2.0-liter terror across Europe, odds are you haven’t actually done the deed. Nino Karotta has, and he’s been kind enough to document the excursion for the rest of us. Unlike most of the ham-fisted video reviews of the trio we’ve seen so far, this one delves well beyond the fact sheet to give us a glimpse of what the car is actually like to operate. Karotta takes the GT 86 from the twisting mountains of France across Germany via the Autobahn and into Austria for a date with his own AE86. With a stellar soundtrack, beautiful videography and insightful commentary, the video is what all reviews should strive to be. How does the newcomer stack up against its ancestor? We won’t spoil it for you.

Toyota to build Yaris in France for North America

Toyota to build Yaris in France for North America

June 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Europe , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has already made it abundantly clear the company intends to scale back production in Japan in an attempt to combat the ever-strengthening Yen, and now it looks as if we know one of the ways the automaker plans to do so. Toyota has announced it will manufacture U.S. and Canadian-spec Yaris models in its Onnaing-Valenciennes facility in France . The plant has been producing the Yaris hatchback for European buyers since 2001, though this marks the first time in Toyota history that the automaker has built a vehicle in Europe and imported the model to the States. North American-spec Yaris models differ slightly from their European counterparts. In addition to using different fascia designs front and rear, the NA model comes available with an automatic transmission and a market-specific 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. There is some differentiation in safety equipment between the two models as well. Japanese automakers have recently revealed that building cars in Japan and exporting them around the globe is quickly becoming a money-losing proposition. Honda has made it clear the company is seeking alternatives to producing models like the Fit and CR-Z in Japan due to the high costs associated with exporting the vehicles. Toyota to build Yaris in France for North America originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Jun 2012 17:45:00 EST.

Toyota releases financial results, predicts profits will double in 2012

Toyota releases financial results, predicts profits will double in 2012

May 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Toyota , Earnings/Financials Things are good again at Toyota , which reported a $1.5 billion profit for the quarter, wrapping up a fiscal year in which it made just $3.5 billion, according to Business Week . While Toyota saw sales growth in Europe, Africa, and its home market, North America was a weak point. Sales revenue for the fiscal year totaled $232 billion, down two percent, according to the report. Though the company still beat its forecast of $2.5 billion, the real excitement surrounds its projections for the next 12 months. As predicted by analysts , Toyota says it expects to make $9.5 billion in the year that extends through March of next year, showing that the automaker has fully recovered from the effects of last year’s tsunami , according to the report. Toyota releases financial results, predicts profits will double in 2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 May 2012 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota GT 86 lets new boxer engine rev in latest vid

Toyota GT 86 lets new boxer engine rev in latest vid

December 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Coupe , Videos , Toyota Toyota is an auto sales juggernaut, but when it comes to sports cars, the Japanese automaker tends to come up exceptionally short. That should change with the introduction of the Toyota GT 86 in Europe and Scion FR-S in North America, both of which promise rear-drive fun and a reasonable price tag. So far we’ve seen the 86 in person and we’ve snapped plenty of pics , but we haven’t had the chance to hear the 2.0-liter boxer engine rev. That changes all changes thanks to a three-minute video that is big on CGI and funky techno music. Hit the jump to watch the animated 86 in action. You’ll see the boxer four assembled out of mid air, wrapped in 86 sheet metal and driven to the virtual limit. The video is very Forza meets Gran Turismo and the music a bit overpowering, but the sound of the new boxer engine makes it a must-watch. Continue reading Toyota GT 86 lets new boxer engine rev in latest vid Toyota GT 86 lets new boxer engine rev in latest vid originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Dec 2011 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota, BMW may build green cars together

Toyota, BMW may build green cars together

November 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , BMW , Toyota , Diesel Toyota and BMW have reportedly begun discussions on swapping their signature green technologies. The Japanese automaker would open up its hybrid tech to BMW, while the Germans would provide diesel engines for Toyotas. This is a little different than the recent memorandum of understanding signed between Ford and Toyota , since that partnership – if it comes to fruition – would see both companies jointly developing a hybrid system for trucks. The BMW and Toyota talks are about swapping tech to save money on “core technologies.” BMW’s gain would be in the U.S., where hybrids are still much more in vogue than in Europe, while Toyota’s interest is in shoring up its diesel position in Europe, where hybrids aren’t yet the thing and the company posted a loss through the first half of the year. For instance, of the eight family cars that Toyota sells in the UK, only three can be had with a diesel. Only talks have begun, so there’s no official deal in place while Toyota works to see if BMW diesels will fit in its cars. One also has to wonder how managers at Lexus would feel about seeing their hybrid tech behind a roundel badge. Toyota, BMW may build green cars together originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Nov 2011 10:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

2012 Toyota Avensis is a Japanese people’s car for the European masses [w/video]

2012 Toyota Avensis is a Japanese people’s car for the European masses [w/video]

September 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show , Sedan , Toyota Toyota has pulled back the sheets on its 2012 Avensis here in Frankfurt, and we’re a bit impressed with the shape of this sedan. The Avensis is essentially Europe’s Camry , but under the skin, it’s very different, as it actually rides on a platform it shares with the Scion tC . In this case, the new Avensis can be had in either sedan or wagon bodystyles. Up front, the Avensis gets a revised face that includes a reworked grille and stretched-out headlamps. Under the puffed-up fenders, buyers can opt for either 16-inch steel wheels with covers or 17-inch alloy rollers. Toyota will also offer additional 17 and 18-inch styles featuring a darker finish. Inside, the cabin of the new Avensis has been updated with the automaker’s optional Touch and Go Plus infotainment system. This unit incorporates an 11-speaker audio system, 3D landmarks and city models for the nav system, email, calendar support and advanced voice recognition and audio search capabilities. The 2012 Toyota Avensis will be offered with a choice between three four-cylinder engines:A 2.0-liter turbodiesel, 2.2-liter diesel or a 1.8-liter gasoline powerplant. All three come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but the 2.2-liter diesel has the option of a six-speed automatic while the other two can be equipped with a CVT.

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