Filed under: Motorsports , Hybrid , Japan , Toyota Drivers in Japan have once again taken to the track in an effort to wring maximum mileage from their Toyota hybrids. According to AutoWeek , the Prius Cup resumed this year after a two-year hiatus. Toyota officials said they have no plans to bring the hybrid competition to the U.S., but played up their promises to compete and win at Le Mans next June with a hybrid . Dealerships fielded teams at Fuji Speedway in Oyama, Japan, for a national championship race held on December 7. Puttering around the Formula 1 track at Fuji, at least one team managed an astounding 80 miles per gallon in their hypermiling efforts, according to the report. But is it really racing when the drivers are attempting to maintain an average speed of 37 miles per hour and coasting up hills? We will give them credit though – at least they do turn both left and right. Is Japan’s Prius Cup the world’s most boring form of motorsports? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Dec 2011 17:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Motorsports , Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , Racing We heard the rumors in Tokyo , but wouldn’t believe it until we saw it. And here it is. Toyota will be replacing its Axio racer with a Prius for next year’s SuperGT season. The touring car Prius will reportedly run in the GT300 class against the recently released Subaru BRZ and Honda CR-Z , the latter of which – like the Prius – will use some kind of hybrid drivetrain in the championship. We don’t have any hard details on the powertrain just yet, but expect more to be revealed sometime in January. Toyota Prius GT300 coming to SuperGT originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Dec 2011 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Aftermarket , Motorsports , SEMA Show , SUV , Toyota , Specialty , Off-Road , Racing Lexus looks to be giving the Baja 1000 its due. The luxury automaker showed off an LX 570 built by JT Grey Racing to take to the desert sands. With dual King Racing shocks, large 37-inch BF Goodrich tires and a host of safety equipment, the high-riding SUV looks ready to do battle with the best of them. Inside, Sparco was kind enough to supply a set of racing seats as well as an EVO steering wheel. A Lowrance HD7 / LMF 400 navigation ensures that the driver knows where the course is headed, and a Kenwood 110 radio and intercom system means that driver and navigator can stay in contact. Does this mean that Lexus is heading to Baja? We doubt it, though Toyota has already made it clear that the company intends to take to the legendary endurance course with its Long Beach Racers Tacoma. We think there would be plenty of room in the ranks for this LX 570, too, but that’s just us. UPDATE: While Lexus may not have a Baja pedigree, JT Grey Racing does. The team is planning to campaign this vehicle in next year’s race in an attempt to knock out a second Stock-Full Championship.
Filed under: Aftermarket , Motorsports , Performance , Truck , Toyota , Off-Road , Racing Toyota is headed to the Baja 1000 next year with a special Tacoma built specifically to take the worst that the Mexican desert can throw at it. The pickup has been specially-prepared by Long Beach Racers, a group of Toyota enthusiasts who have made a habit of building some of the toughest trucks to take to the off-road race. Created as a tribute to the production Tacoma TRD TX, the Long Beach Racers Tacoma boasts custom Bilstein 60mm racing shocks and 16-inch TRD wheels clad in 35-inch BF Goodrich tires. A SCORE-approved roll cage should keep everyone inside safe in the event of a shiny-side-down event. In order to keep weight as low as possible, the team opted for carbon-fiber skid plates underneath. That’s a good thing, considering that a 50-gallon fuel cell has replaced the stock tank. A TRD big brake kit is on hand to help bring all of that liquid weight down from speed, and an array of Hella HID lights means that drivers and can see the course ahead once the sun sets. Toyota Long Beach Racers Tacoma is ready to tackle the Baja 1000 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 01 Nov 2011 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Etc. , Videos , Toyota Nothing incinerates a perfectly good set of tires better than a drift car. And no drift car makes as much smoke as Kenneth Moen’s turbocharged Toyota Supra . Yes, Ken Block turns out some great videos with high production values and plenty of tail-wagging craziness… but wait ’til you get a load of this. Moen pointed his battle-scarred Supra in the general direction of ‘up’ at the Lysg
Filed under: Concept Cars , Motorsports , Toyota Developed by a subsidiary of Toyota Motors called Toyota Industries Corp., the arrow you see above is the three-wheeled Ku:Rin. Powered by compressed air, the Ku:Rin showcases Toyota’s expertise in developing compressors for automotive air conditioning systems. Recently, the Ku:Rin prototype hit the track at Japan Automobile Research Institute’s test facility in search of a speed record for compressed air vehicles. The Ku:Rin’s posted top speed of 80.3 miles per hour should be enough to rocket it into the record books, and Toyota says it will submit the results to Guinness World Records. Power for the Ku:Rin comes from a reversed A/C compressor that generates energy from the expansion of compressed air, while the vehicle’s on-board compressed air tanks serve as “fuel.” Though 80 mph seems reasonable, the Ku:Rin’s two-mile total range is laughable. This thing may be fast, but talk about range anxiety. Toyota Ku:Rin snags compressed air top speed record with 80.3 mph run originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Sep 2011 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Motorsports , Sedan , Toyota , Specialty , Racing While Toyota competes with Ford , Chevy and Dodge on this country’s NASCAR tracks, the pace cars leading them around have remained defiantly American – at least at Daytona, anyway. In the 50 years they’ve been running the Daytona 500 , only once has the pace car been an import: the Porsche 914 that paced the race in 1971. Apart from that one exception, it’s been all Detroit – Pontiacs mostly, but also Buicks , Chevrolets, Dodges, Plymouths and Fords. But just as Toyota has rubbed and bumped its way up the field over the past decade plus of competition, it’s now got one of its own up at the front as the official pace car for next year’s race. That’s right. When the 2012 Daytona 500 kicks off the Sprint Cup season come February, it’ll be the new 2012 Toyota Camry setting the pace. And while some may bemoan the use of an “import” for the task, Toyota would argue that nothing could be more American. After all, the Camry has been built in America (first in Georgetown, Kentucky, and now in Lafayette, Indiana) for 25 years now. And for 13 of the past 14 years, it’s been the top selling car in America. So maybe, just maybe, the Toyota Camry has earned the honor.
Filed under: Motorsports , Toyota 1998 Toyota GT-One – Click above for high-res image gallery This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans packed plenty of action, but there weren’t as many automakers fielding their own entries in the top-tier LMP1 category as you might think. There was Audi , of course, which has dominated the category for years, arch-rival Peugeot , with its diesel-powered challenger, and Aston Martin , which stepped up to the big leagues after dominating just about every GT category for years. Honda Performance Development had a couple of cars in the second-tier LMP2 category, and there were plenty of factory-supported GT cars. The rest of the LMP1 field was filled by privateers running mostly Lola, Zytek, Oreca or Judd chassis, powered by a variety of engines. But the coming years could see an influx of new automakers aiming to take on Audi for the top honors. According to the latest rumors, race organizers ACO are in discussions with a number of car manufacturers interested in entering the LMP1 category. Chief among them is reportedly Toyota , which is said to have been working on its own prototype since last year. The Toyota LMP1 is reportedly being developed with Dome – a Japanese chassis constructor that’s built such racing machinery as the competition-spec Honda NSX , an aborted F1 program and several Le Mans prototypes, as well as a handful of Toyota racers in the 1980s – and incorporates a hybrid powertrain. The last time Toyota competed at Le Mans was with the GT-One (pictured above), which raced there in 1998 and 1999 but held the lap record at La Sarthe until 2006. The new entry, according to reports, could be ready for an assault on next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.