Scion trying to build business case for FR-S convertible as Subaru bows out

Scion trying to build business case for FR-S convertible as Subaru bows out

January 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Convertible , Budget , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Hope may remain for a convertible version of the Scion FR-S , according to a report from Ward’s Auto . You’ll recall that rumors were swirling about the feasibility of a rear-drive Toyobaru convertible as early as October , and that back in November, Subaru – which makes the FR-S, Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 – essentially nixed the idea of an open-topped variant . “We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen,” brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told Automotive News , according to Ward’s , at the Tokyo Motor Show . “Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change.” Despite Yoshinaga-san’s arguments against a droptop variant, Toyota is apparently still considering the model. Speaking to media at the 2014 North American International Auto Show , Scion’s US vice president, Doug Murtha, hinted that the rear-drive droptop was in the works. “It’s something we’re looking at internally from both a manufacturing standpoint – where do we build something that’s relatively low-volume, if not at Subaru – and from an engineering standpoint: Where are those resources going to come from to do it?” Murtha said. For now, it appears as if Toyota is merely doing its homework on the feasibility of a production version of the FT-86 Open Concept from the 2013 Geneva and Tokyo shows (show above). “Everybody’s had to pony up their volumes and we’ll see if we can make it happen,” Murtha told Wards . Whether the volumes check out or not, the question of how Toyota will get around the engineering issues – making a convertible safe – and figuring out where to build it, mean that while our hopes for an FR-S Convertible are higher, the car still faces a rather rocky road before reaching production.

Toyota Issues Statement regarding Ongoing Collaboration with Ford and Reaffirms Its Commitment to Hybrids

July 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Toyota and Ford have completed their feasibility study for collaboration on the development of a new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs, which was first announced in August of 2011.

Toyota i-ROAD leans its way into the city [w/video]

Toyota i-ROAD leans its way into the city [w/video]

March 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Geneva Motor Show , Videos , Toyota , Motorcycle , Specialty , Electric According to Toyota , the ” i-ROAD takes the company closer to its goal of creating the ultimate range of eco cars.” As you’re surely aware, that range of eco cars includes the enormously successful Prius family, but this new machine is nothing like the hybrid hatchback. And it’s not even a car – Toyota calls the i-ROAD a Personal Mobility Vehicle. Toyota’s i-ROAD Concept, which debuts at this week’s Geneva Motor Show , is adorned with just three wheels, meaning it’s just as much a motorcycle as it is a car, and the driver and passenger sit in tandem style instead of side-by-side. This arrangement allows for a very thin 850mm width, which is about the same as a large motorcycle. Because the cockpit is enclosed, the occupants don’t need helmets, nor are they open to the elements outside. Also like a traditional two-wheeler, the i-ROAD tilts through the turns and when driving on uneven surfaces. Toyota says its computer-controlled Active Lean technology automatically balances the vehicle with no input from the driver. Despite the automaker’s expertise in hybrid drivetrains, the i-ROAD is a pure electric vehicle, and Toyota says it “believes in the feasibility of EVs to serve as a main mode of transport for short urban journeys.” There’s a two-kilowatt motor in each front wheel, meaning the i-ROAD offers up just over five horsepower, which isn’t a lot but should be enough to get moving up to city traffic speeds (no performance specs are available). An on-board lithium ion battery allows for a range of around 30 miles, after which the vehicle can be recharged in three hours using “a conventional domestic power supply.” We’re a little unsure of what Toyota means by that – using a 110-volt outlet or a 220-volt outlet, or perhaps a unique charger? – but you’re welcome to see the press release yourself below, along with a video showing the leaning three-wheeler in action.

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