Jay Leno gets behind the curtain on the design of the Toyota FT-1 concept

Jay Leno gets behind the curtain on the design of the Toyota FT-1 concept

April 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Toyota , Celebrities Hinting at the future of Toyota performance vehicles, the FT-1 concept was one of the stars of the Detroit Auto Show this year. It even nabbed fourth place in our Editors’ Choice list . While he’s a few months behind the car’s official reveal, Jay Leno managed to get the only existing concept of the sports coupe wheeled into his garage to take a closer look, and he’s pretty impressed. Leno speaks with Alex Shen and William Chergosky, the exterior and interior chief designers of the FT-1 respectively, to get a better idea of the inspirations behind the concept. Jay heaps high praise on it for mixing Italian and Japanese design and says he likes the look even more than the Lexus LFA . The coupe isn’t a product of either country, though. It was penned at Toyota’s CALTY Design Research center in Newport Beach, CA. The designers go into the entire history of the FT-1, and Shen even admits that Toyota design lacks an emotional factor at the moment. It’s a fascinating interview behind some of the little touches you might miss at first glance. Unfortunately, the model doesn’t have the green light for production yet and may never get made.

Toyota 86 gets PlayStation-based telemetry system in Japan [w/video]

Toyota 86 gets PlayStation-based telemetry system in Japan [w/video]

April 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Japan , Technology , Videos , Toyota , Toys/Games Part of the fun in taking your sports car to the racetrack is going over your telemetry and seeing how you did from one corner to the next. We’ve seen a variety of these onboard systems at work – with the Performance Data Recorder on the Corvette Stingray emerging as one of the latest and most advanced – but Toyota is taking things a step further with its new Sport Drive Logger. The system is being rolled out (at least initially) on the Japanese Domestic Market Toyota 86 , a coupe European customers might more readily recognize as the GT86 and what we would call the Scion FR-S (itself a kissing cousin to the Subaru BRZ ). Despite its name, the Sports Drive Logger doesn’t have anything to do with competitive lumberjacking, instead, it’s an integrated telemetry system that, as promised , syncs up with Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3 . Developed in partnership with Sony , the system logs all manner of data – including satellite positioning, pedal depression, steering angle, gear selection, engine revs and vehicle speed – onto a USB stick for transfer to your PlayStation. Once loaded into the video game system, the data recreates a virtual representation of your track run and displays it – along with all the raw data – as if you had lapped the circuit in the game. Drivers will even be able to compare their laps against their friends’ through the system, which initially offers support for Fuji, Tsubuka and Suzuka, “with additional circuits planned for the future.” We’re still waiting for confirmation on if and when the system will be available in the US (with support for some of our favorite Stateside circuits), but in the meantime, you can scope out the details in the press release along with the video footage below for a closer look. Continue reading Toyota 86 gets PlayStation-based telemetry system in Japan [w/video] Toyota 86 gets PlayStation-based telemetry system in Japan [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota-BMW sports car to gain all-wheel drive, supercapacitors?

Toyota-BMW sports car to gain all-wheel drive, supercapacitors?

March 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

This is why blindfold slalom racing is a bad idea

This is why blindfold slalom racing is a bad idea

March 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Toyota Blindfold slalom racing sounds like a really dumb, albeit entertaining, idea. The concept is quite simple: blindfold a driver, find a co-driver to bark orders and see who can negotiate a set course the quickest. Of course, any time you have someone behind the wheel who has no idea where the car is going, there’s the potential for crashes, and this short video delivers. This video demonstrates how blindfolded slalom is supposed to go, as well as what it looks like when things go wrong. You even get a glimpse at the aftermath. It seems like it would be a lot more fun with beater cars you didn’t care about, not what looks like a pretty clean third-generation Toyota Supra . By running this event on a drag strip with retaining walls, these guys are putting themselves and some nice cars in harm’s way. That said, the video below would also appear to be a good reminder of one of life’s key tenets: Always pick a good co-driver. Fair Warning: the video contains some mildly explicit language. Scroll down to check it out, and let us know in Comments if you’d be willing to try blindfold slalom racing.

Vice chronicles Okinawa’s illegal street racing scene

Vice chronicles Okinawa’s illegal street racing scene

March 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Performance , Videos , Lexus , Toyota , Racing We all know that street racing is dangerous, and that motorsports are best left on the track or drag strip. However, that doesn’t mean that there still isn’t some outlaw allure among enthusiasts of racing on public roads. In this video, Vice Japan profiles Eikichi Nagayoshi of Japan’s island of Okinawa. He is a used car dealer by day and an illegal racer by night. Nagayoshi has a deep love for his highly customized Toyota Aristo (better known to us as a first-generation Lexus GS ) that he claims produces over 1,000 horsepower and has hit 205 miles per hour. He races his car both on drag strips and in drifting competitions, but says that he often has to ship the car to mainland Japan to compete. In the absence of those opportunities, he sometimes gathers friends and takes the racing to the public roads. While we’re not down with street racing, this Vice video is an intriguing personality piece, as well as a look into Japan’s fabled underground racing scene. Scroll down to check out the video, but make sure you have the “CC” button clicked, because several portions are subtitled. Continue reading Vice chronicles Okinawa’s illegal street racing scene Vice chronicles Okinawa’s illegal street racing scene originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:45:00 EST.

Toyota renews Supra trademark, we renew frothing at the mouth

Toyota renews Supra trademark, we renew frothing at the mouth

February 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Performance , Toyota , Design/Style Enthusiasts have been begging for a new Supra practically since Toyota stopped selling its fourth generation in the US way back in 1998. We’ve been hearing rumors about a successor for years, but the Toyota FT-1 Concept from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show is the first tangible sign from the automaker that a new generation may be on the table. To temp us even more, the Japanese company reportedly filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office last week to renew its 2010 trademark for the name “Supra.” Granted, these kinds of trademark updates aren’t uncommon, as automakers don’t want to lose their rights to nameplates (even if they have no immediate plans to use them). However, Toyota briefly abandoned its rights to the Supra name entirely. According to The Motor Report , the original trademark was continually renewed until 2006, but the Japanese automaker let it lapse in the US until applying for it again in 2010. The FT-1 Concept in Detroit was created at Toyota’s Calty Design Research center in California and carries cues from the 2000GT , Celica and Supra in an ultra-curvy body. Officials did not disclose anything about its powertrain. Toyota is also co-developing a future sports car platform with BMW that will underpin models from both companies, but few other details are konwn, and it isn’t yet clear that the joint venture has anything to do with a future Supra. Hope springs eternal. Toyota renews Supra trademark, we renew frothing at the mouth originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:01:00 EST.

Twice as Nice: Scion FR-S Again U.S. News ‘Best Sports Car for the Money’

February 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif., (Feb. 12, 2014) –

Scion trying to build business case for FR-S convertible as Subaru bows out

Scion trying to build business case for FR-S convertible as Subaru bows out

January 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Convertible , Budget , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Hope may remain for a convertible version of the Scion FR-S , according to a report from Ward’s Auto . You’ll recall that rumors were swirling about the feasibility of a rear-drive Toyobaru convertible as early as October , and that back in November, Subaru – which makes the FR-S, Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 – essentially nixed the idea of an open-topped variant . “We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen,” brand chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told Automotive News , according to Ward’s , at the Tokyo Motor Show . “Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change.” Despite Yoshinaga-san’s arguments against a droptop variant, Toyota is apparently still considering the model. Speaking to media at the 2014 North American International Auto Show , Scion’s US vice president, Doug Murtha, hinted that the rear-drive droptop was in the works. “It’s something we’re looking at internally from both a manufacturing standpoint – where do we build something that’s relatively low-volume, if not at Subaru – and from an engineering standpoint: Where are those resources going to come from to do it?” Murtha said. For now, it appears as if Toyota is merely doing its homework on the feasibility of a production version of the FT-86 Open Concept from the 2013 Geneva and Tokyo shows (show above). “Everybody’s had to pony up their volumes and we’ll see if we can make it happen,” Murtha told Wards . Whether the volumes check out or not, the question of how Toyota will get around the engineering issues – making a convertible safe – and figuring out where to build it, mean that while our hopes for an FR-S Convertible are higher, the car still faces a rather rocky road before reaching production.

Gazoo Racing hints at Toyota GT86 concept for Tokyo Auto Salon [w/video]

January 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Aftermarket , Coupe , Performance , Japan , Videos , Scion , Toyota , Tokyo Auto Salon Gazoo Racing has teased a new take on the Toyota GT86 (our Scion FR-S ) that it is bringing to next week’s Tokyo Auto Salon . Having only posted a picture of the coupe’s rear wing and backlight on its Facebook page, we have no idea what the rest of the concept will offer. If last year’s introduction is any guide, there should be plenty more bodykit and power to go along with that wing. Speaking of last year’s concept, Gazoo has released some new track footage of its twin-charged GRMN Sports FR Platinum Concept from last year’s Salon. It will return to this year’s show alongside the new car, and you can watch it drift deliciously in the new video below . Continue reading Gazoo Racing hints at Toyota GT86 concept for Tokyo Auto Salon [w/video] Gazoo Racing hints at Toyota GT86 concept for Tokyo Auto Salon [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Jan 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota to shock with Supra concept for Detroit Auto Show?

Toyota to shock with Supra concept for Detroit Auto Show?

December 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Detroit Auto Show , Coupe , Hybrid , Performance , Toyota We’ve written about approximately 187,000 rumors about a return of the Toyota Supra to the land of living cars. There are a couple of good reasons for this: first, Toyota won’t stop dropping hints about a new halo sports car. Late this summer, Toyota sales guru Kazuo Ohara called a Supra successor “one of the options we have” – a comment followed by a hint that there would be “better news” on the subject in the future. The second reason for all the Toyota tales is, of course, that we all have missed the Supra since its departure from the US market in 1998. So, when a member of the Autoblog team is party to a nudge-and-wink-filled conversation about a new Supra concept headed to January’s Detroit Auto Show , we tend to listen up. A 400+ horsepower hybrid sports car would match up pretty well with the upcoming NSX. Recently, a few very well-placed members of the Toyota team indicated to us, in not-so-cryptic terms, that the Japanese automaker is ready to shock the world with a Supra concept car for this year’s shindig in the Motor City. Further, the indications we’ve been given are that this “concept car” will signal broadly about a production version still to follow. In 2007, the FT-HS concept (pictured) seemed like a perfectly promising Supra replacement, right before the economy fell off a cliff and everyone in the business shelved all non-essential product plans. This year, however, there’ll be about 16 million cars sold in the US and a 400+ horsepower hybrid sports car would match up pretty well with the upcoming Acura NSX from rival Honda , not to mention president Akio Toyoda’s mandate to shed his company’s staid image.

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