Filed under: Motorsports , Etc. , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Toyota , Racing The start of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is just six weeks away, and the contenders are beginning to get dressed up for the battle. Joe Gibbs Racing TV shows how that’s done with a time-lapse video of Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota Camry getting its bright, tailored suit of logos headed by sponsor M&Ms. Of note, the base racecar is already wrapped to look like a Camry in matte black, and we raised at least one eyebrow watching how the puzzle pieces of the top wrap get put together over the bodywork. See for yourself in the video below . Continue reading Watching Kyle Busch’s NASCAR racer get its game face on is a wrapper’s delight Watching Kyle Busch’s NASCAR racer get its game face on is a wrapper’s delight originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Sedan , Safety , Videos , Toyota , Volkswagen Crash tests continue to get ever tougher, and the new “small overlap” test from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety is giving engineers fits. The new procedure, launched in August , subjects just 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end to an impact at 40 miles per hour, and it’s proven to be a lot tougher to ace than the institute’s old 40-percent overlap test, which is also still in use. The test is designed to simulate impact with a pole, tree or an offset other vehicle – all common crash scenarios. In its initial round of tests, the IIHS found just three of 11 midsize luxury and near-premium cars up to the job of earning acceptable or good ratings. In this latest go around, the IIHS subjected 18 midsize family sedans to the test, with two earning good ratings, 11 earning acceptable scores, three netting marginal and two suffering poor marks. Of those tested, the Honda Accord and Suzuki Kizashi earned top marks. Interestingly enough, the IIHS has gone out of its way to highlight the poor performances by the Toyota automobiles it tested. The Camry and Prius V were both called out for poor performances in the small overlap, deeming them “the worst performers of the midsize group.” This, despite the fact that both models were new for 2012. Interestingly, both vehicles previously earned Top Safety Pick status, showing just how tough the new small overlap test really is. IIHS also called out the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta for a poor performance, noting that its driver airbag module actually detached from the steering column during the crash test.
Filed under: Technology , Toyota Aside from its hybrid technology, Toyota has fallen behind the competition in terms of vehicle powertrains which could leave popular cars like the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4 lagging behind the competition. While most of its rivals have started using gasoline direct injection , turbochargers and some have moved to Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) to balance performance and fuel economy, many Toyota models are still using underpowered engines and outdated transmission technology. According to a report in Autoweek , Toyota is finally going to start dabbling in all of these technologies over the next couple years. In the States, Toyota only currently uses direct injection on the Scion FR-S , Lexus GS and Lexus LS , but AW says it will be introducing two new GDI engines over the next two years: a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine for its hybrids next year and a sportier 2.0-liter turbocharged mill a year later. It sounds like Toyota is also looking to convert its AR family engines to direct injection as early as next year for use in cars like the Venza and Lexus RX , but it won’t be used on the Prius due to higher cost that would likely only return an “incremental benefit.” The 2.0-liter turbo engine would be a derivative of the 2.5-liter AR engine, but there is no word as to what models this would go into. Based on the success of the Ford EcoBoost engines, we’d have to guess at least the Camry, RAV4 and Highlander . Toyota’s transmission lineup will also get some much-needed updating with wider-spread use of CVTs and six- and eight-speed transmissions for its bigger cars. Toyota is one of the few remaining automakers still using a four-speed automatic on its small cars, and this is rumored to be ending with the next-generation Corolla receiving a new CVT. Toyota planning 2.0T, more CVTs among other powertrain developments originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Oct 2012 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
TORRANCE, Calif., (Sept. 13, 2012) — Kyle Busch—whose 104 career wins across all three of its top series make him one of NASCAR’s top drivers in terms of diversity—is now hoping to head to the winner’s circle in a different kind of race: the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge ( www.ToyotaRacingDreamBuild.com ). Busch—one of four racing stand-outs pitted against each other in the vehicle-modification build competition—is diving into a 2012 Toyota Camry SE and remaking it into the “Rowdy Edition” Camry, named for Busch’s nickname on the racing circuit, “Rowdy.”
Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Sedan , Technology , Ford , Toyota , Design/Style As 2013 Ford Fusions begin rolling into dealerships, Ford can say that it has finally created the mythical Toyota Camry fighter. It’s something we’ve heard again and again from Detroit’s carmakers, always poised but never able to deliver a midsize sedan that will outsell the venerable Camry. This time, however, Ford may have a case. Offering five powertrains, including a 47 mpg gas-electric hybrid, a powerful 2-liter model, all wrapped in a sexy exterior, the Fusion makes a strong case that it deserves a spot at the top of America’s most cutthroat segment. But numbers don’t lie. Last year, Ford sold 248,000 Fusions. This year, sales are up 7.7 percent through August at 181,000 cars, making the Fusion Detroit’s top selling midsize car in America. But it’s not even close to the top selling midsize car in the U.S., it’s not even the third best selling midsize sedan. The Camry is on a big rebound. It has sold 280,000 cars this year alone, and sales are up 37 percent.
Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , Toyota There’s more movement in the world of marketing: while Lincoln gets on with its ” Reimagined ” campaign, Toyota has announced a new ad slogan, “Let’s Go Places.” Time will tell where it slots into the brand’s history of taglines, from the rather anonymous end where “Moving Forward” (the phrase it replaces) and “See how much car your money can buy” lives, to the more memorable “I love what you do for me!” and classic “Oh, what a feeling!” slogans. Toyota engaged in “extensive research and collaboration” with five advertising partners and a research firm to come up with it, so don’t mistake the tagline’s brevity for back-of-a-napkin hunch. For a peek into its deeper meanings, including the obligatory nods to “optimism” and “exciting innovation” and “enriching lives” and being “aspirational,” there’s a press release with all the answers below. Continue reading Toyota debuts ‘Let’s Go Places’ tagline Toyota debuts ‘Let’s Go Places’ tagline originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 13 Sep 2012 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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: Technology , Toyota “Intellitouch” is the name Toyota will apparently use to refer to a new electronic control scheme it is developing. That’s according to Car and Driver , which has spotted the name in a new Toyota trademark application. According to the submission, the name refers to “electronic touch sensitive controllers, sold as an integral part of motor vehicles.” C/D speculates that for Toyota to bother developing a brand name, there must be more to the new gadgets than just touchscreen navigation. In fact, the magazine thinks Toyota is gearing up for Intellitouch to compete with Cadillac’s Cue and Ford’s MyFordTouch and their capacitive touch switchgear. The control setup could also be similar to the gesture-based touchpad systems already offered by Audi and shortly, by BMW . Another Toyota trademark filing is for “EBIN,” a wireless charging system for personal electronics. While inductive chargers have been around for a while, several automakers are rushing to include them in upcoming models. General Motors recently trademarked the name, “Dockspot” for its version. Toyota readying Intellitouch touchpad controllers? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Jul 2012 15:30:00 EST.