Filed under: Classics , Convertible , SUV , Truck , Toyota , Police/Emergency , Military , UK , Off-Road , Read This One of the longest-produced, most widely distributed vehicles in all of automotive history is also one of its most rugged: the Toyota Land Cruiser . With 60 years of continuous production, 14 different model lines and thousands of variations of the Jeep-like sports utility vehicle, the Land Cruiser became a success worldwide and developed a cult following among enthusiasts here in the US. We’ll be the first to admit that tracing the vehicle’s lineage from its humble beginnings as a prototype for Japan’s National Police Reserve in 1951 to what it is today isn’t an easy task, especially when one considers that the types of Land Cruisers produced traditionally have varied from market to market. For example, the Land Cruiser sold in the US is very different from the US-only 40 series Land Cruiser-inspired FJ Cruiser , which is itself different from the Land Cruiser Prado sold in other world markets. To cover the Land Cruiser’s sixty-plus year history from start to present, someone over at Toyota UK was thoughtful enough to devote a plus-size blog post to it. It’s worth a read if you have a spare 10 or 15 minutes – and even if you don’t, you can check out our historical gallery above. Enjoy! Toyota delves into the history of its Land Cruiser originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Sep 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Sedan , Performance , Truck , Etc. , Crossover , Hatchback , Audi , BMW , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Mazda , Porsche , Subaru , Toyota , Volkswagen , Electric , Luxury , Ram Employing complex scientific formulas and methodologies probably best described as “Whatever we felt like choosing,” Automobile has named its All-Stars for the 2013 model year. The 11 vehicles earned their trophies for being “the best and most significant” offerings to the mag’s staff and contributors, and while we were surprised to see a couple of them on the list, none of them were shocking. In no particular order, they are: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (seen above) Porsche Boxster Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S Audi A7 Ram 1500 Honda Accord Mazda CX-5 Ford Focus BMW 3 Series Volkswagen GTI Random notes: The least expensive vehicle on the list was the Ford Focus at $16,995 however, it was the $24,495 Focus ST that was actually driven; the least expensive vehicle as-tested, when such indication was given, was the $28,265 BRZ; the most expensive vehicle as-tested was the $75,615 Porsche Boxster S, hurdling the price of the A7 by nearly $4,000; the greatest disparity between base and as-tested price was the Ram , from the $24,395 skin-and-bones truck to the $54,335 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab; the GTI was viewed through the history of its birthplace, Wolfsburg. There you have it. Head on over to Automobile for the full story and the adventures they created to test each winner. Automobile Magazine names its 2013 All-Stars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 May 2013 11:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Lexus Ranks Highest in 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study for the 2nd Consecutive Year
TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 13, 2013 – Lexus ranked highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for a second consecutive year in the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).
Filed under: BMW , Hyundai , Toyota , Volkswagen A new survey of top global automotive executives indicates both Volkswagen and BMW are the most likely to grow their market share over the next five years. Tax advisory firm KPMG LLP has released its 14th annual Global Automotive Executive Survey, which includes responses from over 200 executives. A total of 81 percent of respondents said they expect to see Volkswagen make gains, compared to 70 percent last year. BMW, meanwhile, saw 70 percent of those surveyed say they believe the company will increase its market share. That’s a jump of 7 percentage points over last year. This is the first time in the history of the survey that BMW has claimed the second-place spot. Meanwhile, Hyundai has seen its perceived market share potential slacken for the third year in a row. Around 61 percent of those surveyed predicted gains for Hyundai, down from 63 in 2012. Toyota also has a surprising year, but for just the opposite reason. While the manufacturer had slipped in ranking since 2011, it enjoyed the largest increase of any company in the 2013 survey, jumping to 68 percent from 44 percent last year.
Filed under: Motorsports , Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Toyota Toyota is dead serious about its new Le Mans effort. To that end, the Japanese auto giant is developing an all-new hybrid LMP1 racer , it has retained the considerable services of Team Oreca to help with trackside logistics , and it has now announced its driver lineup. And make no mistake about it, these are no rookies. Headlining the roster is Alex Wurz, who holds the title as the youngest winner in the history of Le Mans. The Austrian driver won again for Peugeot two years ago, and he has also taken the checkered flag at the Petit Le Mans, the Spa 1,000km and the Sebring 12 Hours, to name just a few. And as if that weren’t enough, he’s also an accomplished former Formula One driver, having driven for and scored podium finishes for a variety of teams including Benetton, McLaren and Williams (though not Toyota). Joining Wurz will be Nicolas Lapierre, a French driver with a distinguished record in both lower formula racing (like F3 and A1GP) and endurance racing, including a win at Sebring this year. Finally, Toyota has added Kazuki Nakajima (one of Japan’s best F1 drivers of the modern era) to the team that will be developing and fielding the new LMP1 at La Sarthe and other FIA World Endurance Championship races next season. The car is expected to make its debut “early in the new year” at a yet-to-be-determined European venue. Continue reading Toyota recruits top drivers for new Le Mans program Toyota recruits top drivers for new Le Mans program originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Nov 2011 18:20:00 EST.
Filed under: Hybrid , Truck , Ford , Toyota Is the Prius V not big enough for you? Then you’ll probably be interested to learn that Ford and Toyota announced a partnership today to develop a new hybrid system for SUVs and light trucks. The “equal partners” deal should result in a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that will be ready “later this decade” – in other words, in time for the higher CAFE standards that the U.S. government just announced. The exact models that will use the new powertrain are, unsurprisingly, not being revealed. Instead, all we know is that Toyota and Ford will develop a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system that will improve the efficiency of trucks and SUVs while still allowing them to be driven in the way customers expect them to. The powertrain’s architecture will most likely not be the same as what is used in the dominant Hybrid Synergy Drive that Toyota has refined over the past 14 years in the Prius . The reason no one knows for sure? All that Ford and Toyota have as this moment is a Memorandum of Understanding. The next step will be a feasibility study to figure out what the exact implementation path will be, with the general outline being that the companies will work together on a powerplant that will be used independently in models that are specific to each company (i.e., this is not about sharing a platform or models, just a RWD hybrid powerplant).