Filed under: Hybrid , Performance , Truck , Technology , Aston Martin , BMW , Chevrolet , Toyota , Electric , Luxury , Emissions “We believe that for the United States, this is going to be very important.” – Julian Arguelles Let there be no doubt, BMW is serious about electric vehicles. The German automaker said this week it will make plug-in hybrid versions of all of its core models, an aggressive move that demonstrates its commitment to electric propulsion systems. BMW did not specify which vehicles will get the plug-in systems or provide a timeline for when they will arrive. But the announcement is clearly more than blustering, and the company revealed a 3 Series plug-in prototype this week at an event in France. BMW said the 3 Series uses a version of its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (240 horsepower, 300 pound feet of torque) with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission in place of the torque converter. It has an all-electric range of 22 miles. A plug-in X5 with the same powertrain was also displayed alongside the 3 Series, though the X5 has been on the auto-show circuit for more than a year, including a recent stop in Los Angeles . Continue reading Weekly Recap: BMW rolls out ambitious plug-in hybrid electric plan Weekly Recap: BMW rolls out ambitious plug-in hybrid electric plan originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 06 Dec 2014 11:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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 , Performance , Videos , BMW , Chevrolet , Lamborghini , Subaru , Toyota , Alfa Romeo , Toys/Games With over 200 vehicles to choose from, Forza Horizon 2 players are hardly starving for cars out of the box, but the developers at Turn 10 Studios are happy to give gamers even more choices with regularly released downloadable content. The latest Falken Tire Car Pack is now available with six more cars, with one of them being free for everyone. The $5 pack has quite a range of vehicles to offer, including the classic 1969 Toyota 2000GT and 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C . There’s also the 2014 BMW M4 and 2014 Chevrolet SS . There’s even some choices for those who prefer to drive something a bit more obscure, with the 1988 Lamborghini Jalpa (pictured above) and the 1990 Subaru Legacy RS , which also happens to be available to download for free separate from the package. Scroll down to read all of the details about each of the new cars and to watch a brief video showing them off in the game. Continue reading Forza Horizon 2’s latest car pack includes Lamborghini Jalpa, Toyota 2000GT [w/video] Forza Horizon 2’s latest car pack includes Lamborghini Jalpa, Toyota 2000GT [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Nov 2014 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Hybrid , Sedan , Performance , SUV , Truck , Technology , Crossover , BMW , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , GMC , Infiniti , Mercedes-Benz , Subaru , Toyota , Electric , Diesel , Luxury , Ram Greetings from (cold and rainy) Petoskey, MI, where many Autoblog editors are testing 14 different cars and trucks that make up the finalists for this year’s Technology of the Year Award . Our tech choices run the gamut from complete vehicles ( BMW i3 , i8 ) to engines, connectivity features, convenience niceties, safety systems, performance data functions and more. And it helps that many of these technologies are housed in some pretty hilariously fun vehicles. Have a look below to see the full roster of what made the cut this year, and stay tuned as we crown a winner during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show festivities in just a few weeks. Continue reading Meet the finalists for Autoblog’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award Meet the finalists for Autoblog’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Supercars , Acura , Toyota , TV/Movies It’s easy to poke a joke here and there about John Davis, the long-time host of MotorWeek . His voice is so monotonous that, from time to time, if you closed your eyes, you may think it’s generated via a computer. But you have to give him and the rest of the show a lot of credit. The program has been on the air for decades, giving people direct, straight-down-the middle automotive reviews. MotorWeek ‘s massive back catalog of reviews are slowly making their way onto YouTube , and they provide a fascinating chance to look back on how performance cars rank against their contemporaries from back in the day. Two recent additions include the show’s old looks at the 1986 Toyota Supra , the dawn of the third-generation model, and the now-iconic 1991 Acura NSX . Both reviews are interesting in their own way. These days you hear nary a negative word about the original NSX, but MotorWeek isn’t afraid to point out a few flaws. And the Supra really shows the progress of suspension tuning in the intervening decades because it has some serious body roll in the corners. Scroll down to check out both videos and get a blast from the automotive past.
Filed under: Etc. , Japan , Videos , Toyota Some Japanese automakers focus purely on cars, while others dabble in all sorts of motorized transportation. Honda , for example, makes everything from motorbikes to jet aircraft. But while Toyota may be known principally for automobiles, it also makes a line of boats . And this is the latest. The new Toyota Ponam-31 motor yacht is built around an aluminum hull with a flybridge and cockpit rear deck layout, similar to the Carver 32 on which this writer spent his childhood summers. It measures 31 feet overall and is powered by a pair of 3.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engines derived from the Land Cruiser Prado (known in these parts as the Lexus GX 460 ) but marinized for nautical application. Toyota has even equipped its new Sports Utility Cruiser with such features as Drive Assist and a Virtual Anchor System. Toyota expects to sell around 15 units of the Ponam-31 through its network of 49 dealers across Japan, with prices starting at 29,700,000 yen (about $27,500 at today’s conversion rates). Scroll down below for a video, along with a press release, meant to show potential customers what’s waiting for them.
Filed under: Convertible , Minivan/Van , Performance , Hatchback , Toyota , Ferrari 2015 Toyota Yaris: Still a car! It’s a car! Toyota hasn’t changed its formula for the subcompact Yaris all that much, still offering a blistering 106 horsepower and a four-speed automatic transmission in a small, affordable package. West Coast Editor Michael Harley took the new Yaris for a spin, and while it “breaks absolutely zero new ground in terms of innovation,” it’s still, you know, fine. Read more, here. The most powerful droptop Ferrari ever You know what’s nearly five and a half times more powerful than a Yaris? The new Ferrari 458 Speciale A convertible, which broke cover today ahead of its Paris Motor Show debut. It’s the limited-edition pinnacle of the 458 range, and we can’t wait to get a look at in-person, next week. For now, head over to today’s story to read all of the details. 2015 Toyota Sienna: Still a van! You know what’s twice as functional as a Yaris? A Sienna. And in fact, Toyota has thrown some thoughtful updates at its Swagger Wagon for 2015, including revised interior and exterior styling, and some tuning to give it a quieter ride.
Filed under: Motorsports , Performance , Dodge , Jaguar , Toyota If you’re an enthusiast, and you don’t know that Dodge spawned another Hellcat this week, you really must have been living in cave. The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is probably the biggest news for enthusiasts since the reveal of, well the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat . But, there are some things you might not know or might have missed about the new Charger and Challenger Hellcats. For starters, reports that the Hellcat production would be limited to a low volume are not true. “We have not capped the Hellcat on either the Challenger or the Charger,” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said. Continue reading Weekly Recap: Things you might not know about the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcats Weekly Recap: Things you might not know about the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcats originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 16 Aug 2014 12:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Chevrolet , Dodge , Mazda , Nissan , Porsche , Toyota Oh, the heady days of 1993, back when the Clinton Presidency was just getting underway, and it seemed like every hot new rock band was coming out of Seattle. Sports cars in the US had finally shaken off the shackles that slowed them during the ’70s and ’80s, and you could buy any number of legitimately quick vehicles again. MotorWeek recently went digging into its archives to find this six-model test from 1993 showing off some of the best semi-affordable performance coupes that money could buy at the time, and it’s priceless. Featuring the 1994 model year Toyota Supra in twin-turbo guise and MY 1993 versions of the Porsche 968, Nissan 300ZX TT , Mazda RX-7 , Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette LT-1 , MotorWeek definitely covered all of the bases. One thing that might surprise younger readers is these cars’ performance. The video only provides 0-60 acceleration times, but several of these vehicles would still be considered pretty potent today – over 20 years since going on sale. The Supra is especially impressive, hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. Even today, that’s nothing to sneeze at. Given their performance potential and still-attractive looks, it’s amazing that some of these coupes are old enough to drink now. The progress of interior design and safety equipment in the intervening years is pretty shocking, though.
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Subaru , Toyota Hallelujah friends, hallelujah. One of the highest voices in Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries , has just said that the boxer-obsessed automaker will release a second generation of the lovable BRZ . Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of FHI, has summarily shot down assertions made by Tetsuya Tada , the chief engineer for the Toyota GT86 . In a recent interview with an Australian publication, Tada claimed that Subaru had not decided whether it would be involved in the followup effort to the rear-drive coupe, and even speculated that the Toyota could team with BMW for a second-gen car, instead. “If I were to be told that, I’d pass out. It’s not going to be just one generation ,” Yoshinaga-san told Automotive News. Despite this claim, even Yoshinaga confirmed that in order for the BRZ to be viable, his company needs Toyota. Should Toyota make the move to BMW as part of its joint-venture agreement, though, it’d cast some major doubts on the likelihood of a second-gen BRZ ever seeing the light of day. Subaru BRZ to get second generation, says exec originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .