Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Lexus , Toyota Ah, aluminum. The lightweight, strong material has long held a following within the premium ranks, but as Ford prepares to launch an aluminum F-150 , the material is gaining acceptance among more mainstream automakers. Toyota is one such brand, with a new report indicating that the Japanese giant will add aluminum bits and bobs to some of its upcoming vehicles. These won’t be full, aluminum-intensive treatments like the F-150, however. Automotive News reports that an aluminum hood and liftgate will be coming to the 2016 Lexus RX , and following that, the Camry will get a bonnet built from Element 13 for model year 2018. As AN points out, Toyota is no stranger to aluminum, using it in Japanese-built models like the Prius and Scion FR-S . The RX and Camry, though, will mark the first time the company’s North American factories will use the material, and they’ll do so on a significantly larger scale, owing to the higher volumes that the Camry and RX represent. “Toyota has plans to use aluminum on future vehicles for hood, closures and parts for lightweighting,” Toyota’s Jana Hartline told AN. “Also, we will increase usage of mix metals and resin materials to enhance lightweighting efforts.” The aluminum for the Camry and RX would likely come from a new joint venture between Toyota Motor’s affiliate Toyota Tsusho and Kobe Steel, with an operation that could produce 100,000 tons of aluminum sheet (like what’s shown above at an Alcoa factory in Indiana) each year. Toyota Camry, Lexus RX to get aluminum parts originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Coupe , Hybrid , Performance , BMW , Toyota , Rumormill Sales of salt are skyrocketing following the latest rumor of the planned joint-venture sports car from Toyota and BMW . The whisperings indicate that project will spawn both a replacement for the BMW Z4 and a long-awaited Toyota Supra successor based on the FT-1 Concept shown above. Word is that the new cars will feature front-engine, all-wheel-drive layouts with plug-in hybrid technology. This news would appear to run somewhat counter to earlier reports that BMW and Toyota are teaming for a six-figure hybrid supercar . According to Autocar , the project will benefit from the experience Toyota gained with the TS030 , its hybridized Le Mans prototype. The evidence for this is, of all things, a Toyota Yaris – in particular, the Yaris Hybrid R that was shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show last September. That car used a 300-horsepower, 1.6-liter gas engine, while a pair of 60-horsepower electric motors provided all-wheel-drive push (an additional motor also sent additional juice to the front axle). The 414-system-horsepower drivetrain used supercapacitors in place of the traditional lithium-ion batteries of traditional hybrids. For the production sports cars , Autocar claims that the Yaris Hybrid R’s setup will serve as the basis for the new powertrain, although it won’t be a direct carryover. Instead, a 2.0-liter BMW engine will be paired with Toyota-designed, BMW-built motors.
GENEVA – March 4, 2014 – When the Lexus LF-NX concept was introduced last year at the Frankfurt and Tokyo Motor Shows last year, customer feedback was positive. Customers who liked the LF-NX will be happy to know the production version, NX, derived from the concept will be revealed at the 2014 Beijing International Auto Show next month.
ERLANGER, Ky. (Jan. 6, 2014)
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Toyota Toyota will launch the 2014 Corolla later this year, and thanks to the ever-leaky internet, a couple of key details about the new sedan have been revealed. Car and Driver was able to uncover these bits of information thanks to someone at a Toyota dealer in Kansas who has seen the car, as well as its order guide, though the dealer’s site has since removed its original posting . We got our first glimpse at the next-generation Corolla’s design at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show , where Toyota unveiled the Furia concept , pictured above. Yes, it looks all sporty and aggressive, but fear not, appliance shoppers, C/D says that the production car should have a couple of Furia bits mixed in with a huge helping of Camry -inspired styling. The 2014 Corolla will reportedly continue to use a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, though the mill has been massaged a bit, adding Toyota’s Valvematic continuously variable valve timing. A four-speed automatic (yep!) will be offered in the base model, though the manual transmission now has six gears, and higher trim levels can be had with a CVT. Both engine output and fuel economy numbers should improve slightly over the 2013 model. Currently, the Corolla produces 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque, and achieves 27/34 miles per gallon (city/highway) with the five-speed manual ‘box. Trim levels will now be called base, LE, S and Eco, and a couple of improvements have been made to the materials and equipment offered inside the cabin. Softex leather will be available for 2014, as will a push-button start and a navigation system.
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Toyota We’ve sort of been wondering when Toyota would finally debut the next-generation Corolla sedan, especially since the current car is getting very, very long in the tooth. We got a glimpse of the new compact’s design at this year’s Detroit Auto Show in the form of the Furia concept seen above, but we figured we’d see the production car by now. According to Edmunds , Toyota will be unveiling the new Corolla sometime soon, and it won’t wait until the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Officials from the Japanese automaker did not state a specific location or date for the new car’s unveiling, but said that the 2014 Corolla is expected to be on sale before the LA expo later this year and that it will be revealed “somewhere in the US.” Toyota did not divulge any details about the new Corolla, and we’re willing to bet that the aggressive lines of the Furia concept will be dulled down quite a bit for the production model. Still, news that the new car is coming sooner rather than later is indeed a good thing. 2014 Toyota Corolla to bow before LA originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 12:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Nissan , Toyota No surprise here. Both Nissan and Toyota have moved to cut production in Japan , according to Reuters . Nissan has made it clear that it will will drop capacity from the 1.35 million units produced in 2011 to 1.15 million in 2013. In 2012, Nissan expects to produce 1.22 million vehicles in its home country, though production is expected to increase in countries like China , Brazil and Russia to help offset the drop. The report says Nissan has already stopped production on two lines at its Oppama plant, and the manufacturer has plans to stop production of the Tiida in Japan altogether. The story is much the same with Toyota. The manufacturer has announced that by 2014, it will cut production in Japan by around 10 percent to 3.1 million vehicles. Before the financial crisis, Toyota produced 3.9 million units domestically. But that was when it still made financial sense to build machines in Japan and export them around the world. Japan has seen its currency strengthen against the dollar, making exports less and less financially viable.
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Plants/Manufacturing , Recalls , Scion , Subaru , Toyota The Scion FR-S / Toyota GT86 / Subaru BRZ triplets are being recalled due to an issue not with the car, but with the owner’s manual: pages detailing the operation of the smart airbags contain a misprint. Although it’s classified as a recall, owners don’t need to take their cars to their dealers; Scion and Subaru will be sending the nearly 2,800 owners corrected pages that can be inserted in the manual. If you’d rather have your dealer do the Elmer’s Glue work, they will have corrected pages that they can insesrt in the owner’s manual for you. Two separate issues seem to be affecting the FR-S only, even though it is built on the same line with the BRZ. Toyota issued “tech tips” to dealers to let them know that owners have reported that condensation has been forming inside the taillamp housings. According to an exchange on the FT86Club forum , the coupe’s chief engineer declared that problem fixed after remedying a detail in the production process. Another tech tip regarding body panel issues read, “Some 2013 Scion FR-S vehicles may exhibit a condition where body panel fitting may not meet customer expectations.” It refers to complaints that panels were as much as a quarter-inch out of flush. It isn’t clear how many cars are affected, nor how many owners have formally complainted, but according to a post on TundraHeadquarters.com, Toyota is “looking into it.” Scion FR-S faces teething problems, owner’s manual recall originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Jun 2012 09:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Toyota Sales of the RAV4 are down five percent so far in 2012, but that won’t stop Toyota from increasing North American production. Automotive News reports that Toyota will spend $80 million to retool its Woodstock, Ontario plant to increase production from 150,000 crossovers per year to 200,000. The increased production will also lead to the hiring of an additional 400 workers at the plant. Some speculate that Toyota is ramping up North American production to combat the high Japanese yen. Only 13 percent of the RAV4s sold in North America in 2012 have been Japanese imports. Toyota has steadily decreased its reliance on Japanese plants in general; it’s only building 35 percent of its vehicles in Japan this year, compared to 53 percent in 2006. Toyota spokeswoman Carly Schaffner tells AN that there are currently no plans to build the RAV4 exclusively in North America. Schaffner says that the reason for the production increase is that Toyota is finally able to get enough supplies to the plants after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan a year ago. That said, Toyota has already moved all Highlander production to North America and could do likewise for the RAV4 if localized demand for it warrants a similar move. It’s also important to remember that the RAV4, basically unchanged for several years, is due for a makeover, so the plant upgrade might coincide with a model refresh.
Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Hatchback , Toyota When we last asked Toyota representatives about the production capacity of the 2012 Prius C , we were told the company’s Iwate, Japan plant could make up to 30,000 units each month. That sounds like a lot, but Toyota is currently sending just 20 percent – 6,000 a month – to the United States. Back in December, when the car went on sale in Japan, the company received 120,000 orders in the first five days it was on sale . As we noted last week , Toyota also sold 1,200 Prius C units in the first three days it was on sale in the States. The baby Prius may not be as popular here as it is at home, but 6,000 a month sure doesn’t seem like it’s enough. The C is made at just one plant, run by Toyota’s Kanto Auto Works Ltd. affiliate in northern Japan. A strong yen and all those Japanese orders means that the C models that do get made are mostly delivered to the home country instead of be placed on a boat to be exported. Toyota originally planned to produce just 20,000 C models a month, and is now looking at how to go over even the 30,000-unit level. By increasing efficiencies at the plant and moving production of non-Prius C models (specifically, the not-available-in-the-U.S.