Toyota Crown Royal Saloon Hybrid [w/video]

Toyota Crown Royal Saloon Hybrid [w/video]

November 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Toyota , Quick Spins We don’t often come into contact with the Toyota Crown Hybrid , especially in colors other than pink . But when Toyota offered us the keys and a half-hour window to test out the Japanese version of the Lexus GS on US soil not long ago, we had to accept. Driving Notes: We’ll start with the start. The Crown Hybrid makes the friendliest, Japanese-iest sound when you turn it on. It’s like a high-fructose THX movie is starting. Considering this is a premium car, we were surprised the first time we turned it on, but then had to do it again and again. Purely for journalistic video-capturing reasons, of course, so you can watch and hear it below . We wish we had better-than-cellphone microphones to capture it. Compared to the Lexus GS 300h , which we drove immediately afterword along with the exact same route, it is clear the Crown is an executive’s car. The seats and suspension somehow made us feel privileged, not a feeling we’re used to in most hybrid cars.

2014 Toyota Prius Continues to Dominate the Hybrid Category

October 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif., October 16, 2013 – The Toyota Prius, the brand’s first production gas-electric hybrid model, remains the world’s best-selling hybrid with more than three million sold worldwide since its introduction. The Prius also continues to dominate the hybrid category in the United States, where more than 1.5 million Prius vehicles have been sold since 2000.

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

October 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , New Car Reviews People, us included, make a big stink about the importance of family sedans. There’s no doubt they’re critical – they represent a huge slice of the market’s annual sales and profits. However, despite accounting for far fewer transactions than the midsize sedan segment, the fullsize sedan is getting attention from manufacturers now that our market’s entire lineup of those (slightly) smaller four-doors has turned over in the last two years or so. As most of the fullsize segment’s mainstays derive a fair bit of their platform and powertrain technologies from their midsize cousins, these larger four-doors offer the potential for fatter profit margins, too. And with the newly stylish duds found on many of the industry’s most successful midsize sedans, it’s only right that automakers no longer think about fullsizers as big, squishy, vanilla family haulers with flat seats, vague steering and a thin layer of ‘luxury’ in the form of faux wood trim. As manufacturers have again started diving into large sedans feet-first, the cars themselves have become sharper. The interiors are now of a higher quality and loaded with tech, while the exteriors have become further extensions of each manufacturer’s design language. There’s perhaps no greater example of this than the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus , two models that evolved from subpar offerings into market leaders. This segment-wide transformation happened quite quickly, whether because of coincidental timing or because manufacturers are trying to get more out of their big cars, recognizing they account for a small portion of overall sales (just 3.5 percent of the new-car market in the first half of 2013). The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is one such vehicle.

2014 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Luxury Sedan Receives 40 mpg EPA Estimated Combined Fuel Economy

September 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The first luxury brand to introduce a hybrid vehicle nearly 10 years ago, Lexus continues its hybrid leadership by offering five models powered by the innovative Hybrid Synergy Drive. The latest addition, the ES 300h, debuted for 2013 as the first-ever ES hybrid.

400-hp Toyota Hybrid-R Concept gets second teaser

400-hp Toyota Hybrid-R Concept gets second teaser

August 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Performance , Hatchback , Toyota , Racing Toyota has released a second teaser of its Hybrid-R Concept , along with an estimation of the show car’s power output. Using technology that’s “similar to that used by Toyota Racing’s TS030 Hybrid race car,” the concept is expected to deliver over 400 horsepower. The press release also mentions that the new concept is based on a current production model. While it’s difficult to tell from the sole teaser image of the car’s body, rumors are flying that it’s related to the Yaris . If that’s the case, though, it’s difficult to know what to make of this concept. The teaser image is quite dark, but we played around with the exposure and came up with an image that reveals more details about the new concept. Take a look at the related gallery , below, to see the high-exposure image. We’ll find out for certain what the Hybrid-R is in a few weeks at the Frankfurt Motor Show . Let us know what you think Toyota’s newest concept is in the comments. Continue reading 400-hp Toyota Hybrid-R Concept gets second teaser 400-hp Toyota Hybrid-R Concept gets second teaser originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 13 Aug 2013 13:01:00 EST.

Toyota sells six of every 10 hybrids in California [UPDATE]

Toyota sells six of every 10 hybrids in California [UPDATE]

August 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Ford , Toyota In an apparent shot back at Ford’s increasing market share of electrified vehicles and claim that it accepts more Prius trade-ins for its own hybrids than any other car, Toyota has flexed a muscle and played the numbers game to put the Blue Oval in its place. Leaning on its hybrid market dominance in California, the Japanese automaker stated that six out of 10 hybrids sold in the Golden State are Toyota models. And it keeps coming: Year-to-date through May 2013, Toyota sold five times more hybrids than Ford . One of every two hybrids in California is a Prius model. In addition, Toyota notes that it has sold 1.5 million Prius vehicles in the US, 90-percent of which are still on the road today. Want more? We’ll let Bill Fay, Toyota’s group vice president and general manager of sales lay the smack down: “The hybrid industry has become competitive, but our wide range of hybrid vehicles continue to deliver high value and strong attributes to both new and loyal customers. With sales of 5.3 million hybrids globally and over two million in the US, we are the undisputed leader in hybrid vehicle technology and remain committed to building on our momentum and growing the acceptance of hybrid technology throughout the US.” And to think Toyota and Ford just ended their collaboration to make hybrid trucks together. On one hand, those are indeed very impressive statistics, but there’s a flip side, as well. Hybrids still aren’t a factor for most American new car buyers , and, as of 2012, only about 3.3 percent of new cars sold in the US were hybrids , of which California sales would clearly represent an inordinately large percentage.

Toyota sells six of 10 of hybrids in California

Toyota sells six of 10 of hybrids in California

July 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Ford , Toyota In an apparent shot back at Ford’s increasing market share of electrified vehicles and claim that it accepts more Prius trade-ins for its own hybrids than any other car, Toyota has flexed a muscle and played the numbers game to put the Blue Oval in its place. Leaning on its hybrid market dominance in California, the Japanese automaker stated that six out of 10 hybrids sold in the Golden State are Toyota models. And it keeps coming: Year-to-date through May 2013, Toyota sold five times more hybrids than Ford . One of every two hybrids in California is a Prius model. In addition, Toyota notes that it has sold 1.5 million Prius vehicles in the US, 90-percent of which are still on the road today. Want more? We’ll let Bill Fay, Toyota’s group vice president and general manager of sales lay the smack down: “The hybrid industry has become competitive, but our wide range of hybrid vehicles continue to deliver high value and strong attributes to both new and loyal customers. With sales of 5.3 million hybrids globally and over two million in the US, we are the undisputed leader in hybrid vehicle technology and remain committed to building on our momentum and growing the acceptance of hybrid technology throughout the US.” And to think Toyota and Ford just ended their collaboration to make hybrid trucks together. On one hand, those are indeed very impressive statistics, but there’s a flip side, as well. If 6 out of 10 Toyota hybrid sales come from California, that’s more ammunition that hybrids still aren’t a factor for most American new car buyers .

Toyota Leads the Charge in Hybrid Technology with Steady Popularity in California

July 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif. (July 29, 2013) – Californians prefer Toyota hybrids over those of any other automaker as the brand continues to outsell its competition.

Next Lexus RX previewed with JDM Toyota Harrier?

Next Lexus RX previewed with JDM Toyota Harrier?

July 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Japan , Crossover , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury Japanese site CarWatch has revealed images of the next-generation Toyota Harrier , known to US and European buyers as the Lexus RX . The new model features a considerably more aggressive fascia in keeping with some of the latest Lexus design trends, while the back features a pair of wide, wraparound taillights. The profile features a revised greenhouse, with a rather complex rear window treatment, while a subtle character line connects the front and rear taillights. According to the badging, the model shown features a hybrid powertrain, although there’s little information on which engine is being used. We’d wager it’s an evolution of the same 3.5-liter V6 hybrid found in the current RX450h . This early look doesn’t have a great deal of other info, and there are no images of the interior. We’re not yet clear on how closely the North American RX will adhere to the Harrier seen here, but historically the two models have been quite close. That said, we’d expect a more prominent ‘spindle’ grille on the Lexus version than the baleen strainer on the vehicle shown here. A page on Toyota’s Japanese website says the new Harrier/RX will receive a winter 2013 debut. That makes for a difficult determination of what auto show the new CUV will arrive at.

Next-gen Toyota Prius spied inside and out

Next-gen Toyota Prius spied inside and out

May 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Spy Photos , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has built itself into the industry’s standard-bearer when it comes to hybrids, and it isn’t going to let the poster child for gas-electric vehicles get stale on the market. These spy shots captured in California are our first good look at the next-generation Prius , which could come to market wearing a 2015 model year designation. Even though it looks like Toyota may have blown its annual camouflage budget on this mule, we can clearly see that it will have the same iconic half-moon design that has been with the car since 2003. If so, this goes against reports from last year that suggested the car would be getting a different look inspired by the 2013 NS4 Concept . Although, this could also indicate that the Prius family will continue to grow – adding a new sedan – to the existing Prius C , Prius V and Prius Plug-In lineup. These spy shots also give us an indication as to what the interior will look like, with a more stylish three-spoke steering wheel and an instrument panel design that sort of reminds us of a BMW . On the other hand, all the tape, cobbled together pieces and lack of space for a center stack display screen has us thinking this isn’t what the final product will resemble. As for what will be powering the 2015 Prius, we hear that updated versions of the current electric system and engine will be employed, but it will carry over the nickel metal hydride batteries found in today’s model. Still no word on the rumored possibility of all-wheel-drive system, either. In addition to a new design and updated powertrain, it sounds like production of the next-generation Prius could be making a move to the US, joining the line at Toyota’s Tupelo, MS plant.

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