Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Performance , Toyota , Misc. Auto Shows , Racing Toyota certainly caught our attention when it unveiled the FT-1 concept at the Detroit Auto Show last January. Coming from the same people who gave us the Lexus LFA , Scion FR-S and Toyota Supra , the FT-1 concept looked striking in its bright red livery. But the Japanese automaker isn’t quite done with it yet. No, we’re afraid we don’t have a production announcement to share at the moment, but Toyota has revealed two new versions of the FT-1 concept that cast it in different light. Most notable is the graphite version pictured above. Replacing the bright red paintjob and two-tone red and black interior of the original concept, this second iteration – presented in the metal at McCall’s Motorworks Revival in Monterey , California – goes for a more upscale and refined graphite exterior and a tan leather interior with exposed metal elements. Both versions of the virtually road-going FT-1 concept will be playable in GT6 , but at the same time Toyota also revealed (in digital form, at least) a virtual racing version of the concept called the FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo. Looking like the original concept was prepared for Japan’s Super GT series , the FT-1 Vision GT is retuned for racing, with wider fenders, more extreme aero, competition-spec alloys on slicks and the like. Check out the race-ready digital concept in the video below , our live shots from the graphite concept’s reveal at Pebble Beach in the gallery above and the galleries of both new versions at bottom for a closer look.
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 , 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.
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.
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.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Detroit Auto Show , Coupe , Performance , Toyota Toyota has brought its A game to the 2014 Detroit Auto Show , showing off the striking FT-1 Concept. Short for “Future Toyota,” the FT-1 is, we’re imagining, the supposed Supra Concept we reported on early in December. Penned by the Calty Design Research team, the FT-1 draws inspirations from the FT-HS and the Lexus LF-LC concepts from 2007 and 2012, respectively. We certainly see a bit of Lexus LF-A in the design, while there’s more than a hint of Formula One in the FT-1’s pointed nose. “Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota’s sports car past, especially Celica and Supra , and we sought to capture some of that history. It is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe,” said Alex Shen, Calty’s Studio Chief Designer. The FT-1’s interior is what Toyota calls a “place of business,” which would be a funny description of a Toyota, if the FT-1 didn’t look the way it did. The cabin is snug, while a colored heads-up display adds to the sense that this is more cockpit than cabin. While it may be a concept, it will be available to drive soon, as Toyota worked with Polyphony Digital to add the FT-1 to Gran Turismo 6 . According to the press release, which you can view below, the low-slung concept will be available for download tomorrow.
Filed under: Performance , BMW , Toyota It’s official – there will be a jointly developed sports car from BMW and Toyota . While the two auto giants signed a Memorandum of Understanding that pledged to pursue “joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle” back in June of 2012, in the interim, it has remained unclear how those plans had been progressing. BMW has finally officially confirmed that the German and Japanese manufacturers will be codeveloping a pair of sports cars in addition to pursuing other disciplines including fuel cell systems and lightweight technologies. “We have agreed on a joint architecture for a sports car. What is important is that there will be two different vehicles that are authentic to the two brands,” BMW Development Chief Herbert Diess told Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Reuters is reporting. This is a very, very big step for both brands, but now the speculation can officially begin as to what the products of this agreement will look like. There’s ample reason to believe that the BMW-Toyota tie up will result in a Supra successor based on comments made by the chief engineer of the GT86/FR-S program , Tatsuya Tada, back in August. Follow that with a rumor from earlier this month that Toyota could debut a Supra concept car at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show later this month, and we could be seeing the fruits of this partnership sooner rather than later. While we can make educated guesses about what the Toyota end of this partnership will develop, the fruit from BMW’s side of this joint agreement seemingly remains more of an open question. Will it be an entirely new model, or perhaps something like Z4 Coupe replacement?
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.
Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Toyota Was there a better time for Japanese performance than the 1980s and 1990s? It seems like looking back, Japan was on a roll, producing cars that were affordable, economical, reliable, fast and lightweight. And while all the attention is – thanks to a certain film series – focused on cars like Toyota Supra and Mazda RX-7 , there is a lesser-known model that’s establishing its own enduring legacy without the help of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel . The MR2 , affectionately known as the “Mister Two” to fanboys, first arrived in 1984 as a lightweight, mid-engined sports car that proceeded to eat the lunch of the Pontiac Fiero in terms of performance. That car was replaced in 1989 with the more familiar, rounded-out MR2, which is the subject of this latest video from the team at Petrolicious . The video takes a look at a group of MR2 drivers, and attempts to explain what it is about the car that is destined to make it a future classic. Scroll down to see Petrolicious examine the MR2 Connection. Continue reading Toyota MR2 shows why we still love the 1990s Toyota MR2 shows why we still love the 1990s originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , Truck , Toyota , Diesel When Bloomberg spoke to Toyota USA Sales CEO Kazua Ohara recently, we highlighted his comments on the possible return of the Toyota Supra . However, the interview started with Ohara discussing the Tundra , and how it would take time to pinpoint and hone the pickup truck’s brand image in the minds of consumers. That effort could get a boost, with a report in Edmunds saying that Toyota is “evaluating” the addition of a Cummins turbodiesel to the Tundra’s engine options. The Cummins powerplant is one of two options for the moment, the other being a hybrid powertrain. If the oil-burner got the thumbs-up, Toyota would follow the recent example of Nissan , which announced it would put a Cummins turbodiesel into its 2015 Titan . While the two Japanese companies make a closer comparison since they’re both talking about Cummins applications in light-duty trucks, if it happens, it could be seen as further diluting the once-exclusive tie-up that Ram trucks has had with Cummins even though Ram has used Cummins in its heavy-duty truck. Toyota hasn’t said when it will decide on which direction to take, but either will be a move for the better in the view of segment watchers; PickupTrucks.com said the first of its top-five fixes for the Tundra would be a better engine, perhaps a diesel-electric hybrid from Toyota’s Hino unit. Cummins told Edmunds it can supply a second manufacturer with the 5.0-liter diesel that Nissan will be using, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it end up in a Toyota or somewhere else. Toyota mulling Cummins diesel for Tundra? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Sep 2013 14:45:00 EST.