Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Rumormill Teaser images of a purported Subaru BRZ STI were uncovered last night and sent the internet into a collective state of hysterics. That’s not hugely surprising, though, considering the reverence that the BRZ, along with its fraternal twins, the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86, have garnered from the automotive media. The sole sticking point, really, has been its mere 200 horsepower. People have been chomping at the bit over a higher output version of the sublime rear driver. Those same people may be in for a disappointment, though. See, the BRZ STI that was teased last night might not be a real STI. Instead, it’s looking like it might be a BRZ tS. According to 7Tune.com , the timing of the photos posted on Subaru’s website lined up with Subaru’s 86 Festival at Fuji Speedway , where the Subaru BRZ tS debuted. Despite wearing STI badges, the tS isn’t the full-tilt STI model we’ve been hoping for. Instead, you can think of the relationship between tS models and STI models as sort of like the difference between a BMW 3 Series M Sport and a BMW M3.
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.
Filed under: Chicago Auto Show , Spy Photos , Truck , Toyota When Toyota first announced that it would be bringing the 2014 Tundra pickup to next month’s Chicago Auto Show , we weren’t quite sure if the truck would fall into the “all-new” or “refreshed” category. After seeing this latest set of spy shots, we’re striking “all-new” from the record, but the enhancements do appear to be more than just a simple nip/tuck. While the overall shape and greenhouse haven’t really changed, heavy cladding found on the front fascia suggests that a totally redesigned nose is in store, with a fully reworked grille flanked by new headlamps. Smaller styling details are hidden by the big panels of camouflage, but we anticipate a few minor tweaks to the rest of the pickup’s design when all that black tape finally comes off. Mum’s the word on powertrain enhancements (if any), as well as any changes that have been made to the chassis. But with the updated 2013 Ram 1500 already on the street, the recent unveiling of the updated 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, and a preview of what’s to come from the likes of Ford , we certainly hope Toyota has injected enough new blood into its 2014 model year pickup to keep it competitive in this American-dominated segment. We’ll know for sure come Chicago. Redesigned 2014 Toyota Tundra spied testing in Canada originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jan 2013 17:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , Toyota , Celebrities Toyota has turned to actress Kaley Cuoco for a little help during this year’s Super Bowl . The Big Bang Theory star will play a role front and center in the automaker’s spot for the game, and Toyota fans have a chance to show up in the ad as well. Anyone can take a photo and upload it via Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #wishgranted for a chance to have their image featured in the commercial on February 3. While Toyota isn’t saying exactly what the pictures will be used for, we imagine the photos will need to be rated PG. Sorry, guys. Toyota isn’t saying much more about the ad or what its plot line will offer, at least for now. Expect to hear more details surface as we get closer to game day. In the interim, you can check out the brief press release below for more information, or check out Toyota’s “Get In The Big Game” web page at the link below. Continue reading Toyota Super Bowl ad to star Big Bang Theory bombshell Kaley Cuoco Toyota Super Bowl ad to star Big Bang Theory bombshell Kaley Cuoco originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jan 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: LA Auto Show , Crossover , Toyota Toyota is ready to unveil the 2014 RAV4 at this year’s LA Auto Show later this week, but it appears a few photos of the new crossover have already hit the web. The crew at CarStyleBlog.com has gotten its hands on a small batch of interior and exterior shots that seem to detail the new Honda CR-V fighter. The site also has a few images of a lightly camouflaged version in what looks to be a production facility, complete with interior photos as well. Judging by the teaser video we’ve already seen, this looks to be the real deal. Buyers can expect to find substantially updated aesthetics inside and out. We’ve reached out to Toyota to confirm whether or not these photos are genuine. We’ll update this post as soon as we hear back. Word has it Toyota will abandon the V6 engine option in favor of a more efficient four-cylinder for 2014. Likewise, engineers have scrapped the old four-speed automatic transmission for a six-speed unit. Otherwise, details are scarce.
Filed under: Spy Photos , Sedan , Toyota Given the level of competition in the compact segment, these recent spy photos show that Toyota is getting serious with its next-generation Corolla. As the second-best-selling nameplate in the world, the last few Toyota Corolla redesigns have been rather minor, but based on these pictures, the new car will get much more competitive styling. The boxy lines of the current Corolla seem to be replaced with a sportier look that includes a sloped hood and a shorter decklid borrowing design cues from new cars like the 2013 Toyota Avalon and 2012 Toyota Camry . From what we can see of the front end, the headlights have a rounded, scalloped shape similar to the new Avalon while the taillights match the L-shaped design of the Camry. The car pictured here appears to be a higher trim level, with what appear to be HID headlights, fog lights and possibly even LED taillights. Like the outside, the interior of this test mule is heavily cloaked with camouflage, but we can make out the new three-gauge instrument cluster that replaces the current car’s two-gauge layout, and this upscale model includes chrome trim around the edges. In terms of powertrain changes, an updated version of the 1.8-liter four will likely bring more power and better fuel economy, and big changes should come to the transmission. A six-speed automatic should replace the aging four-speed used in the current Corolla, and there’s speculation a continuously variable transmission could be offered. Since a 40-mpg EPA highway rating has become the de facto standard in the compact sedan segment, we expect vastly improved fuel economy numbers from whatever new powertrain Toyota drops in this car. Production of the 2014 Toyota Corolla is expected to begin during the second quarter of 2013, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see this car on display at the L.A.
Filed under: Spy Photos , Crossover , Toyota , Middle East This wrapped-up crossover appears to be the next Toyota RAV4 . It was first found on a Toyota fan forum in Saudi Arabia, and was later picked up by the automotive gumshoes at CarScoop. All indications point to this being the next RAV4, but obviously nothing has been confirmed. From what we can tell by these photos, it has a front fascia similar to that of the Toyota Camry , and has more streamlined proportions than the outgoing model. It’s hard to determine if the roof has a significant slope to it, or it is just the angle of the camera. If it is the former, than the silhouette seems to ape the Hyundai Tucson , one the RAV4′s competitors. Most of the exterior is covered with white wrapping, save the windows, which allowed for a clean shot of the interior. We can see a smart looking dash, something that once again has a similar look and feel of the Camry. The screen in the center stack is likely home to the latest version of Toyota’s Entune, and we can also see clever cubby spaces above the glovebox and in the center console. CarScoop has asserted that because the wrapping is the same type used to cover a new car on its way to a dealer that this is the real thing, and an actual production RAV4.
Filed under: Spy Photos , Crossover , Toyota Aside from its shiny new EV counterpart, there hasn’t been much happening in the world of the Toyota RAV4 . That’s set to change, though, as these spy shots indicate that a refreshed model isn’t too far down the pipeline. Just how refreshed will it be? Well, considering the fact that the RAV4′s last major redesign took place six years ago, we hope that there are some significant changes under all of that camouflage. We can already see some new design elements, including a front fascia that reminds us of what we see on the new Camry . Arguably, the current RAV4 is a pretty handsome little thing, but with more and more crossovers adding curvy lines, we wouldn’t be shocked if this new model gained a dose of rakishness. Well, as much as Toyota can muster, anyway. Other details remain slim, but expect the interior to get a much-needed update, likely incorporating features like Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Under the hood, four-cylinder engines are likely going to be the driving force, including a rumored hybrid variant, but we won’t rule out the inclusion of the automaker’s 3.5-liter V6, as well. The new RAV4 will likely debut later this year in time for the 2013 model year.
Filed under: New York Auto Show , Spy Photos , Sedan , Toyota We got our first glimpse at what the 2014 Toyota Avalon may look like thanks to a an artists rendering that appears to take some creative license. The teaser really only shows us that Toyota wasn’t kidding when it said it was taking the Avalon upscale, with a dramatic, sloping roof line that conjures thoughts of the Audi A7 . The Avalon is only days from its world premiere on the big stage at the 2012 New York Auto Show , but we have some spy shots that tell us even more. The photos show us what we already knew; that the artist rendering isn’t exactly representative of reality. But the pics also show that the sleek roof line and vastly reworked proportions are very real. The Avalon prototype has enough protective cladding to give the Storm Chasers tank a run for its money, but we do see what looks like a very different front fascia, LED taillights and a pair of impressive chrome-tipped exhaust outlets. From the rear, we get a better sense of how the sedan will look, and it appears there may be some tape covering up the lines that would tell us if these prototypes are in fact hatchbacks. Spy photos were also taken of the reworked interior, but the insides were also covered up beyond recognition. We are able to see an attractive leather steering wheel and completely reworked redundant controls. We can also see expensive-looking french stitching above the gauge cluster, as well as upscale gauges themselves.
Filed under: Motorsports , Spy Photos , Coupe , Hybrid , Europe , Toyota , Racing The sudden departure of Peugeot from the Le Mans racing scene came as quite a shock, we know. But don’t count the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship – or the famed 24-hour race at its center – out for the count before it’s even started, because another powerhouse is already gearing up to take Peugeot’s place. And that powerhouse is Toyota . The Japanese auto giant announced its plans to build and campaign a new LMP1 racer at Le Mans and the WEC back in October. Toyota Motorsport GmbH (which ran the company’s F1 team until its withdrawal in 2009) then set about designing the car, partnering with Team Oreca to help with the logistics of entering the pinnacle of endurance racing, and hired three top pilots to, you know, actually drive the thing. With all those pieces in place, the Toyota team began testing their new prototype racer last week at the Paul Ricard test track in France. Toyota itself didn’t release much in the way of details, but Alex Wurz was said to have led the shake-down, with his team-mates Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima on hand to share in the driving duties as well. And while no “official” photos were “officially” released, Toyota PR rep Scott Brownlee tweeted a couple of snapshots to whet our appetites. The result looks, predictably enough, much like the latest LMP1 racers fielded by Audi and the departed Peugeot, but as with most things, it’s what’s underneath the surface that will count the most. In Toyota’s sake, that would be a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain of some sort, but we’ll have to wait a little while longer – as the next round of testing and the car’s anticipated debut at Spa come May approach – to find out more.