Filed under: Detroit Auto Show , Performance , Truck , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury Toyota’s confirmation comes on the heels of General Motors’ successful launch of its own midsize pickups. The next generation of the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck will be revealed in January at the Detroit Auto Show , a top executive confirmed Thursday. Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota , offered no other details, but the new version of the pickup is expected to have significant upgrades compared with the aging model on sale now. Our spy shooters caught a prototype testing this summer, and rumors of the new generation have been swirling for months. We’ve also previously reported that Toyota is planning to ramp up production next April at a factory in Mexico that builds the Tacoma. Toyota’s confirmation comes on the heels of General Motors ‘ successful launch of its own midsize pickups, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon , which have garnered awards, positive reviews and solid sales since they arrived in showrooms this fall. It’s unclear how large the new Tacoma will be, especially considering that the Canyon and Colorado flirt with fullsize territory. The Tacoma was last updated in 2012, and the segment has changed dramatically since then with the addition of the GM trucks. Another Tacoma competitor, Honda’s aging Ridgeline , is also expected to re-launch in 2015 , which would leave the Nissan Frontier as the oldest truck in the field. Tacoma sales have slipped 4.1 percent to 140,757 units this year, though they posted a 3.3-percent gain in November.
Filed under: Coupe , Sedan , Truck , Chevrolet , Hyundai , Toyota Quick Spin: 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Toyota might not be able to keep up with American pickup manufacturers in terms of sales, but that doesn’t mean its fullsize Tundra isn’t a wholly baked, tough truck. In an effort to attract new buyers, Toyota has released this off-road-ready TRD Pro variant for 2015. Senior Editor Steven Ewing takes one for a quick spin to see what’s what. Is Hyundai’s new Sonata in a sales slump? The 2011 Sonata was a massive step forward for Hyundai, and the car was really quite successful. But some insiders suggest that, since the redesigned Sonata launched this year, Hyundai’s midsize sedan might be losing some steam. Of course, officials at Hyundai are quick to point out that this isn’t necessarily the case. Read both sides of the story, here. Chevy spied testing… ’80s Camaros?
Filed under: Truck , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota The Toyota Tacoma may be getting on in age, but that isn’t stopping the Japanese manufacturer from ramping up production at the pickup’s Baja California factory. The Mexican plant will soon be home to another 300 jobs as it increases total capacity by 41 percent. The increase is slated for April 2015. The move is a curious one, considering the Tacoma’s age and the fact that General Motors is preparing what, on the surface, appear to be two very competent challengers. The factory increase could be in preparation for the 2016 Taco ( spy photos shown above), which is expected to represent a significant overhaul of the long-serving truck. Toyota’s decision to increase capacity could also be due to the factory building freeze implemented by President Akio Toyoda , according to Automotive News . Toyoda put a hold on new factories until 2016, asking executives to squeeze as much production as possible out of remaining factories before bringing any additional facilities online. What do you think Toyota is up to? Is this just preparation for next-gen Tacoma production? Might a different vehicle altogether take up the additional capacity?
Filed under: Spy Photos , Budget , Truck , Toyota With the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon set to arrive in dealers in the near future, it’s high time Toyota got to work on a replacement for the Tacoma , a vehicle whose present generation debuted in the middle of the Bush Administration. Now, we have images of that new pickup undergoing testing. Our spy photographers picked up this heavily modified mule undergoing tow tests in the desert. It rides on a modified version of the current Taco’s frame, as evidenced by shots of its undercarriage, although our spies cite the lack of riveted sections as indications that the current truck’s footprint should remain unchanged. Aside from underbody changes, this particular Tacoma featured a six-speed manual transmission, which we’re expecting to be joined by a six-speed automatic. The current four- and five-speed autos found on the current truck will almost certainly be killed off. Marching to the grave with those slushboxes will be the two-door Regular Cab body style. Our spies are expecting Toyota to focus its efforts on the larger, more accessible Double Cab. Take a look up top for the heavily detailed gallery of images of the new Tacoma in action. Expect the next-gen Tacoma to arrive later in 2015, likely as a 2016 model.
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Toyota , Rumormill The Toyota Prius is undeniably the king of the hybrid market in the United States, with a 39.4 percent market share in 2013. With the next-generation Prius likely to go on sale in 2015, Toyota is trying to build an even more efficient hybrid to keep its control of the market. Keeping cost down will be one of the major concerns of the new Prius. The next generation will ride on the new, modular Toyota New Global Architecture platform. The lighter underpinnings will improve efficiency and will reduce production costs by allowing for more shared components among vehicles. Toyota will not reveal how many vehicles will use the new platform. But even with the cheaper platform, price will remain a concern. Toyota is still deciding whether all versions of the next Prius will use lithium-ion batteries or whether some models will stick with the heavier nickel-metal hydride batteries to keep cost down. Of course, the reason most people buy the Prius is because of its great fuel efficiency. Toyota will aim for at least an 8 percent improvement in fuel economy in the next Prius, which would increase it to 58 miles per gallon city and 52 mpg highway.