Filed under: Concept Cars , 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show , Motorsports , Hybrid , Performance , Europe , Hatchback , Toyota Did you know that the Yaris is Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in Europe? That may help explain to us Americans why the car that’s lowest on the company’s totem poll here in the US got turned into an all-wheel-drive hybrid track monster for the 2013 Frankfurt Monster Show . Called the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R , this three-door pocket rocket isn’t just a hybrid making a lot of horsepower – it incorporates technology from Toyota’s TS030 Hybrid racecar that competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship series, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans . The Yaris Hybrid-R packs a 300-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood, which should be enough for most speed freaks, but Toyota pairs it with two 60-hp electric motors at each rear wheel (the same ones used in the production Yaris Hybrid that’s sold in Europe). That makes total system output an insane-for-this-size 420 hybrid horsies. But that’s not all, as the Yaris Hybrid-R forgoes the traditional battery pack below the rear seats in favor of a supercapacitor, which can both hold more energy and has a much faster power charge/discharge speed than traditional batteries. Paired with the supercapacitor is a third 60-hp electric motor/generator positioned between the engine and six-speed sequential transmission. Its job is to feed the super capacitor energy during deceleration and direct its power to the rear electric motors when more grip and oomph is needed. Indeed, the powertrain for this through-the-road hybrid is decidedly more high-tech and competition-spec oriented than the somewhat boy race appearance package suggests, though we dig the 18-inch TRD wheels wrapped in proper Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and Recaro seats. And it’s not just a track warrior, as Toyota engineers have given it both Track and Road driving modes, though a track is the only place you would ever see the Yaris Hybrid-R’s potential fully realized.
Filed under: Sedan , Performance , Europe , Lexus , Toyota If you’re going to make a super sedan, you’d better do it in Germany. That’s where Audi , BMW and Mercedes-Benz do it, along with third parties like Alpina , Brabus and G-Power , among others. Deutschland is the epicenter of the movement, regularly churning out the most powerful four-door rockets in the world. It’s also where one of the racing divisions for Toyota has been hard at work on the TMG Sports 650 . Toyota Motorsport GmbH started with a Lexus LS and turned it into a 641-horsepower, twin-turbocharged super sedan it revealed late last year at the Essen Motor Show. But though we haven’t heard much about it since then, the team behind Toyota’s F1 and Le Mans efforts are apparently still hard at work on the project. Speaking with Lexus’ own UK blog, TMG chief Alastair Moffitt revealed that the project started way back in 2010, shortly after Toyota shut down its F1 program and left the racing team with nothing to do. The 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 was initially producing as much as 800 horsepower, but has since been refined to 650 so that it could theoretically be put into production and onto the road. That’s something TMG hasn’t done before, but is keen to start, positioning itself alongside Toyota Racing Development in the US and Gazoo Racing in Japan as an in-house tuning division which Toyota and Lexus could rely on for this kind of project. To that end, TMG has been testing its prototype at the N
Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Hybrid , Performance , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has undeniably carved out a niche for itself as the industry’s leader in hybrid propulsion. What started out with the original Prius in 1997 has, over the past sixteen years, ballooned to what Toyota reports as a global hybrid portfolio of 23 models. But few (if any of them) are particularly exciting. That’s where the Yaris Hybrid-R concept comes in. Set to be showcased along with the rest of Toyota’s hybrid and fuel-cell lineup at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show next month, the concept starts with one of the Japanese auto giant’s least exciting models and upgrades it to more enticing territory. Toyota Motorsport GmbH – the same Cologne, Germany-based division that operated the company’s F1 team, currently runs its Le Mans program and gave us that bonkers 650-horsepower Lexus LS – has slotted in a version of Toyota’s new 1.6-liter Global Race Engine and paired it with a couple of electric motors for hybrid propulsion and through-the-road all-wheel drive. Like the TS030 Hybrid LMP1 , the Yaris Hybrid-R concept uses a super capacitor (instead of a conventional battery) to store the regenerated brake energy and give it upwards of 400 horsepower. That’s about all Toyota is revealing at this point, but this is the first time it has confirmed the project is based on a Yaris, of all things, and the confirmation comes with the solitary teaser rendering you see above. Check out the press release after the jump and watch this space for more as Frankfurt fast approaches. Continue reading Toyota gives up more information on Frankfurt-bound Yaris Hybrid-R concept Toyota gives up more information on Frankfurt-bound Yaris Hybrid-R concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 19 Aug 2013 17:58:00 EST.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Performance , Hatchback , Toyota , Racing Toyota has released a second teaser of its Hybrid-R Concept , along with an estimation of the show car’s power output. Using technology that’s “similar to that used by Toyota Racing’s TS030 Hybrid race car,” the concept is expected to deliver over 400 horsepower. The press release also mentions that the new concept is based on a current production model. While it’s difficult to tell from the sole teaser image of the car’s body, rumors are flying that it’s related to the Yaris . If that’s the case, though, it’s difficult to know what to make of this concept. The teaser image is quite dark, but we played around with the exposure and came up with an image that reveals more details about the new concept. Take a look at the related gallery , below, to see the high-exposure image. We’ll find out for certain what the Hybrid-R is in a few weeks at the Frankfurt Motor Show . Let us know what you think Toyota’s newest concept is in the comments. Continue reading 400-hp Toyota Hybrid-R Concept gets second teaser 400-hp Toyota Hybrid-R Concept gets second teaser originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 13 Aug 2013 13:01:00 EST.
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: Aftermarket , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Toyota If you’ve ever looked at a car with nearly 1,000 horsepower and wondered why anyone needs that amount of thrust, you may want to take a look at the video below. In it, one gentleman details his descent into Toyota Supra madness, starting with a pristine factory example and stumbling down the rabbit hole of modification. What makes this particular clip interesting is just how honest the owner is as he explains the evolution of his car. He doesn’t just prattle off a list of parts like he’s reading the menu at an IHOP. Instead, he painstakingly pulls us through the car’s growth, detailing each iteration and what pushed him to the next stage of the build every time. From this point of view, it looks less like someone walked into a shop and lit a massive stack of $100 bills on fire and more like a quasi-logical progression of events. Or at least it does to me. You can check out the build in the video below , complete with plenty of Fast and the Furious references and racing. Win, win, win. Continue reading Watch this video diary of a 900-hp Toyota Supra build Watch this video diary of a 900-hp Toyota Supra build originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Jun 2013 19:01:00 EST.
Filed under: Performance , BMW , Toyota Earlier this year, BMW and Toyota confirmed a four-part joint venture mostly focusing on increasing improving vehicle efficiency using fuel cells, lightweight materials and better battery technology. Also tucked into the announcement was a “feasibility study” for a shared platform to underpin a future midsize “sports vehicle.” In terms of the latter, it seems that things have stepped up from the feasibility stage to the conceptual stage, as Motor Trend reports we could see a pair of new sports car concepts debut later this year in at the Tokyo Motor Show . There isn’t much information about the new program, but the article suggests the sports cars could be all-wheel drive hybrids, with electric motors powering the front wheels and a gas engine powering the rear wheels. While a partnership between Toyota and BMW might not lend itself to a catchy portmanteau like ” Toyobaru ,” here’s hoping it will bear fruit that is as exciting as the ones produced by the Toyota/ Subaru tie up. BMW-Toyota sports car heading towards Tokyo debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 18:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Performance , Europe , Hatchback , Mercedes-Benz , Porsche , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Luxury Judges for the World Car of the Year Award have narrowed down the finalists to just four vehicles. Out of a total of 42 entries, only the Mercedes-Benz A-Class , Porsche Boxster / Cayman , Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT-86 and Volkswagen Golf remain standing. For Volkswagen , this marks the second consecutive year the company has had an entry among the finalists, and the fourth time since 2009. In order to qualify, a vehicle must be on sale on two continents during the span of time between January 1, 2013 and May 30, 2013. A panel of 66 journalists from 23 countries then vote on the finalists. Three vehicles have made the cut for the last round of voting on the 2013 World Performance Car as well, with the Cayman/Boxster and FR-S/BRZ/GT-86 running against the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta . Meanwhile, the Renault Zoe , Tesla Model S and Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid are duking it out for the World Green Car Award. Finally, the World Car Design of the Year Award is up for grabs between the Aston Martin Vanquish , Jaguar F-Type , and the Mazda6 . Check out the full press release below. Overall winners will be presented at the 2013 New York Auto Show .
Filed under: Coupe , Hybrid , Performance , Toyota , Rumormill From what Autocar has to say, Toyota has even more plans for the GT86 beyond the convertible concept we just saw at the Geneva Motor Show . Along with a planned midcycle facelift, Toyota is reportedly looking at how to pack some extra ponies under the coupe’s hood, and while there has already been a lot of talk about superchargers and turbochargers, it sounds like a performance-boosting hybrid system could also be in the works. Talking to Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, Autocar has learned that the automaker is considering an electrical motor assist for the sporty coupe to improve performance without harming fuel economy. In attempting to keep weight – and, presumably, costs – down, the article mentions the use of a system closer to what Honda uses for its Integrated Motor Assist rather than a full Hybrid Synergy Drive system used in current Toyota hybrids. Tada says the added weight of the system could be offset by weight reduction, while aerodynamic changes and a lower center of gravity could improve the car’s handling. No word yet on whether a mild hybrid system would find its way to North America’s Scion FR-S – let alone its Subaru BRZ twin – but the thought is certainly an intriguing one. Toyota pondering high-performance GT86 hybrid? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Mar 2013 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , Convertible , Performance , Geneva Motor Show , Videos , Toyota There’s nothing wrong with going topless. And Toyota is proving that its FT-86 (read: Scion FR-S / Toyota GT86 / Subaru BRZ ) coupe is just as excellent with its roof removed. It may only be a concept, but this FT-86 Open previews a new droptop from the Japanese automaker to round out the Toyobaru sports car family. We’re finally getting the chance to see the open-air FT-86 in person here at the Geneva Motor Show , and we’re already yearning to take it canyon-carving. Interestingly, the FT-86 retains the Toyota coupe’s two-plus-two seating arrangement (we’d prefer a proper roadster setup here), but things still look good for this droptop two-door. We’ll be curious to see how the car looks with its folding soft top in place (operated by fancy-shmancy electronics, by the way). As for production intent, rumors have been flying about a production Scion FR-S convertible, but until we hear it directly from Toyota. Consider our hopes in check but our fingers crossed. UPDATE: Wondering what the FT-86 Open Concept looks like with its hat on? Wonder no more – we’ve updated our gallery with shots of the concept with its roof up .