Filed under: Car Buying , Truck , Chevrolet , Ford , GMC , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Ram Even as fuel prices creep back up, trucks are still a hot item among new-vehicle shoppers. To see how popular pickup trucks still are, you don’t have to look any further than how much effort automakers put into the continual one-upmanship of their trucks. Backing this fact up, USA Today is reporting that the segment could top two million sales this year – a total not matched since 2007, though still far from the pre-recession, three-million-unit levels. Through August, the Ford F-Series continues to be the segment leader with almost 500,000 units sold, but the Chevy Silverado (328,269), Ram 1500 (234,642), GMC Sierra (122,232) and Toyota Tacoma (110,293) are all seeing at least 20-percent sales increases, helping to account for around 1.44 million truck sales so far this year – not including possible outliers like the Suzuki Equator and Chevy Avalanche . This year alone, General Motors has completely redesigned its fullsize trucks, Ram and Toyota have significantly updated their offerings, the next-gen Ford F-150 will be out next year and Nissan is promising an all-new Titan around the same time with an eventual Cummins diesel under the hood . It would seem, then, that truck sales are poised to continue their upward trend. Pickup sales may hit 2M units for first time since 2007 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 21 Sep 2013 17:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , Motorsports , Coupe , Performance , Toyota , UK In the midst of the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed , there’s a particularly special Toyota running up the hill. This special entry is a GT86 (the cousin to our Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ ) that’s been poked, prodded, and tweaked by the minds at Toyota Racing Development . The result of TRD’s fettling is a nearly race-ready car. Starting with the body, the hood, doors, trunk lid, and wings are all made of carbon fiber. The lightweight treatment doesn’t end there, though. The bumpers, fenders, and diffuser all feature carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, while the windows are now made of polycarbonate plastic. Under the hood sits the same 2.0-liter boxer engine found in the standard GT86, but its six-speed manual gearbox features a shorter final drive ratio for improved acceleration. The coilover suspension has been firmed up, and a TRD mechanical limited-slip differential replaces the Torsen unit. The TRD Griffon rides on TWS 18-inch wheels and Yokohama Advan tires. To bring proceedings to a stop, TRD has fitted its own mono-block caliper kit, complete with more robust racing pads.
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 1, 2012) – With a unique color and a supercharger under the hood, custom-car builder Chris Basselgia of Lebanon, Pa., won Scion’s FR-S Tuner Challenge, announced yesterday at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.
Filed under: Aftermarket , Motorsports , SUV , Toyota , Police/Emergency , Specialty , Racing Oh, SEMA . There’s no other show on the face of the planet that would be so bold as to serve up a creation like the one seen above. This is the questionably named DragQuoia, and it’s a slammed Toyota Sequoia with a 650-horsepower TRD supercharged V8 engine shoved under the hood, complete with nitrous. Toyota says the machine can bolt down the quarter mile in somewhere between nine and 10 seconds, thanks in part to the fact it has been stripped of 1,600 pounds of “non-essential” weight – presumably dirty diapers and sippy cups. The DragQuoia was built by NHRA Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown as part of the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. A set of 21.5-inch wide rear tires help shuttle the power to the pavement, and indoors, the DragQuoia features four race seats with harnesses for fun with the family as well as a full roll cage and an appropriately sized parachute. The DragQuoia faces off against a Kyle Busch-designed Camry , a Prius whipped up by Clint Bowyer and a Tundra penned by Alexis DeJoria. Fans can vote for their favorite, with the winner taking home a $50,000 check from Toyota from their charity of choice. Check out the full press release below . Continue reading Toyota readies “DragQuoia” Sequoia Family Dragster for SEMA Toyota readies “DragQuoia” Sequoia Family Dragster for SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Oct 2012 14:01:00 EST.
Filed under: SUV , Lexus , Toyota , Rumormill , Design/Style , Luxury Add another one to the endangered list. The number of traditional body-on-frame SUVs has been dwindling as manufacturers replace them with crossovers, which is the direction the Lexus GX 460 is heading. According to Ward’s Auto , the GX will likely be supplanted by a unibody, three-row crossover at the end of its current lifecycle. Toyota introduced the current Lexus GX in 2010 , at the same time it also redesigned the 4Runner , on which the Lexus model is based. If the GX is shifted to a unibody platform, that could mean that Toyota would do similarly with the 4Runner, or the two vehicles could diverge and the GX could assume the underpinnings of another model. This is mere speculation, but Toyota could shift the GX to the Highlander platform that is currently shared with the Lexus RX . Since the RX is not available in a three-row model, the move would allow the GX to retain its third row as a differentiator without upsetting the successful formula of the RX, Lexus’ best-seller. Regardless of what Toyota decides to do with the GX and 4Runner, Ward’s says the company is also investigating the use of turbocharged four-cylinder engines in Lexus products. Since Toyota already has one of the best engines in the world in its direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 that sits under the hood of most Lexus models, we wouldn’t expect the brand to introduce a turbo four any time soon, at least not in its volume products. Lexus GX to go unibody, gain turbo power?
Filed under: New York Auto Show , Crossover , Toyota , Design/Style While it doesn’t even appear as a bad pixel on most enthusiasts’ radar, the Toyota Venza serves legions of mainstream consumers perfectly well. To keep the unassuming family hauler from lagging behind its advancing competition, the automaker has introduced a refreshed and tweaked 2013 Toyota Venza at the New York Auto Show . Look carefully on the exterior and you may notice the freshened fog lamps or redesigned grille on the front fascia. Out back, there are restyled taillamps. Three new colors join the pallete (Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica). Under the hood, the engines are carried over from last year (2.7-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6, depending on trim level, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission). With the exception of the new interior color (black leather or black cloth upholstery) and new buttons on the steering wheel, the cabin appears virtually identical. However, there are more standard features on the LE trim (blind spot mirror, eight-way power-operated driver’s seat, puddle lamps, tilt/telescope steering wheel, and more) and the range-topping Limited receives LED running lights and a premium navigation system with Entune connectivity. Most of the new features are offered across the model range, but at an additional cost. The updated 2013 Toyota Venza goes on sale in late May.
Filed under: Car Buying , Coupe , Budget , Performance , Etc. , Japan , Toyota It’s getting harder and harder to purchase a genuine stripped down vehicle these days. Manufacturers have discovered that it’s both cheaper and easier to offer every model with a surprisingly high level of content rather than build multiple variations on the same theme. That’s why tricks like power locks and windows are all but ubiquitous, even on bargain-basement models. Not so in Japan. Toyota is offering buyers a stripper version of the company’s new GT86 sports coupe. The vehicle comes as a blank canvas just waiting for your personal touch. Outside, the stock 17-inch alloy wheels are replaced with 16-inch steelies, and the bumpers, side mirrors and door handles all arrive unpainted. Don’t expect to find any fog lights, either. Indoors, niceties like a stereo, air conditioning and even trim work around the steering wheel and shifter are nowhere to be found.
Filed under: Chicago Auto Show , SUV , Toyota Look very, very closely. This is the 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser , which, though not immediately apparent, is different than the 2012 model. How, exactly? The updated SUV has new features like LED running lamps up front, a revised taillamp design and some new wheel options. Inside, there’s a brand new hard drive-based navigation system complete with Toyota’s fancy new Entune infotainment system. Aside from that, there isn’t much else in the way of newness for Toyota’s stalwart off-roader. Under the hood is the automaker’s 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, and a standard Multi-Terrain Select system keeps things in check for when the pavement turns to dirt… or sand… or mud. Check out the full scope of Land Cruiser goodness in the press release after the jump , and click through our gallery of images live from the Chicago Auto Show to see all of those ever-so-slight design tweaks.