Filed under: Minivan/Van , Japan , Videos , Toyota , Luxury A few months back we reported on a dealership owner in Japan who was petitioning Toyota to make a luxury van. The problem, he reasoned, was that he couldn’t take as many friends, colleagues and clients around with him in his Lexus LS , and his Toyota Alphard van wasn’t luxurious enough. Well, it seems like he wasn’t alone, and Toyota has listened. The Japanese auto giant has just revealed the Esquire, a new luxury van designed with just such customers in mind. It’s significantly smaller than the Sienna we get in America, smaller than the aforementioned Alphard and about the same size as (this writer’s favorite) the JDM Noah van (on which we gather it’s based). But what sets the Esquire apart is its upscale appearance. The boxy van is distinguished by its dominant T-shaped chrome grille with a unique emblem that encompasses a shield, sword, “the collar of a gentleman’s suit” and the letters Esq. The flank is characterized by a strong beltline with chrome lower window frame and an expansive greenhouse with tinted rear glass. Inside the flexible cabin you’ll find accommodation for seven or eight passengers (depending on specification), synthetic leather upholstery and wood and metallic trim. There are even wheelchair-enabled models on offer as well.
Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Supercars , Acura , Toyota , TV/Movies It’s easy to poke a joke here and there about John Davis, the long-time host of MotorWeek . His voice is so monotonous that, from time to time, if you closed your eyes, you may think it’s generated via a computer. But you have to give him and the rest of the show a lot of credit. The program has been on the air for decades, giving people direct, straight-down-the middle automotive reviews. MotorWeek ‘s massive back catalog of reviews are slowly making their way onto YouTube , and they provide a fascinating chance to look back on how performance cars rank against their contemporaries from back in the day. Two recent additions include the show’s old looks at the 1986 Toyota Supra , the dawn of the third-generation model, and the now-iconic 1991 Acura NSX . Both reviews are interesting in their own way. These days you hear nary a negative word about the original NSX, but MotorWeek isn’t afraid to point out a few flaws. And the Supra really shows the progress of suspension tuning in the intervening decades because it has some serious body roll in the corners. Scroll down to check out both videos and get a blast from the automotive past.
Filed under: Etc. , Japan , Videos , Toyota UPDATE: A previous version of this post included an incorrectly converted price figure. The text below has been updated with the correct information. Some Japanese automakers focus purely on cars, while others dabble in all sorts of motorized transportation. Honda , for example, makes everything from motorbikes to jet aircraft. But while Toyota may be known principally for automobiles, it also makes a line of boats . And this is the latest. The new Toyota Ponam-31 motor yacht is built around an aluminum hull with a flybridge and cockpit rear deck layout, similar to the Carver 32 on which this writer spent his childhood summers. It measures 31 feet overall and is powered by a pair of 3.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engines derived from the Land Cruiser Prado (known in these parts as the Lexus GX 460 ) but marinized for nautical application. Toyota has even equipped its new Sports Utility Cruiser with such features as Drive Assist and a Virtual Anchor System.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Hybrid , Videos , Paris Motor Show , Crossover , Toyota Despite having the tendency to offer decidedly bland production cars, Toyota occasionally surprises us with interesting concept cars. Such is the case with the C-HR concept making its debut at the Paris Motor Show this week. It’s a concept showing forward-thinking design that hints at “a type of crossover vehicle Toyota would like to bring to market,” according to the automaker’s release, and it rides on an all-new platform and uses a hybrid powertrain. About that powertrain: Toyota isn’t revealing anything, just saying that it will – brace yourselves – “deliver significantly improved fuel efficiency” (over what, exactly?) The car also uses a brand-new architecture, though it hasn’t really revealed any major details about that aspect, either. It’s a high-riding, muscular thing, with a rakish hatchback shape. Should it reach production, Toyota says it would take the shape of a C-segment crossover. It’d be cool to see something like this hit the road someday, but for now, we won’t hold our breath. See the C-HR for yourself in the galleries above and below, and scroll down for the full press release and a couple of videos including a designer walkaround from the folks at Autoline . Continue reading Toyota C-HR Concept is a high-riding hybrid hatch [w/videos] Toyota C-HR Concept is a high-riding hybrid hatch [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Concept Cars , Videos , Toyota , Toys/Games Gran Turismo 6 has been the preferred marketing springboard for quite a few brands and concept cars since its debut last winter. Specifically the GT Vision concept idea – allowing manufacturers a built-in place to offer up new, original, drivable content – has enticed the likes of Mercedes , Nissan , Volkswagen , Toyota and more to dream big on the digital stage before pulling the sheets back on real concept cars. In fact, Toyota teamed its live reveal of the FT-1 Concept at the Detroit Auto Show with an in-game launch of the car, just this past January. Looking for a second bite at the GT6 apple, Toyota has just released a teaser video for a new, FT-1 Vision GT version of the same concept. The company isn’t giving us much to go on save for the 30-second video, saying only that the concept was penned by Toyota’s Calty Design Research team in California, and that it will “soon be available for download.” By the looks of it, the new FT-1 seems to be more of a racecar than the original, without obvious changes to the basic form. No word on whether or not there’s a physical concept car in the offing at a yet-to-be-named auto show. Stay tuned. Continue reading New version of Toyota FT-1 Concept gets racy for Gran Turismo 6 New version of Toyota FT-1 Concept gets racy for Gran Turismo 6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Etc. , Japan , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Toyota A new Japanese Toyota ad featuring crisply suited businessmen driving into the jungle only to segue into a Psy-style music-video dance-off with a gorilla and natives is the latest car commercial to go viral. Jungle Wakudoki is the newest installment in a grand tradition of bizarre ads from the island nation that are by turns hilarious, head-scratching and occasionally even frightening. Let’s face it: My people are weird. I’m half-Japanese and take suitable pride in my Asian roots, but even I can’t figure out what’s been slipped into the water coolers of the country’s ad agencies much of the time – or the nation at large, for that matter. From Japan’s ubiquitous obsession with all things adorable ( kawaii ) to its offbeat sense of humor and its bizarrely perverse and violent tentacle porn, it’s clear there’s a lot going on in the culture, and only some of it bubbles up to the surface in its marketing efforts. Much of the strangest and most amazing ads are for non-transportation products (e.g. laundry soap , snacks, energy drinks), but the automotive space has its fair share. This latest Toyota ad had me trawling YouTube for a common theme, trying to make sense of why these spots are the way they are. Scroll down to watch the Toyota ad in question as well as a bunch of other examples of Japan’s most bizarre car-related ads and see if you can’t find the thread that runs between them.
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Toyota Toyota found huge success with its “Swagger Wagon” rap video for the 2011 Sienna SE . It showed that a minivan could actually sort of maybe be fun and didn’t have to be a lame vehicle for people who long ago lost their sense of humor. Now that there is a slight refresh for the 2015 model, the company is trying to capture that effervescent image again with a bunch of videos aimed at families. For the latest launch, Toyota is partnering with some family-friendly online video stars and having them show off the Sienna’s features. It’s releasing YouTube videos from the creators of Action Movie Kid and Convos with My 2-Year-Old and a Vine from Eh Bee Family, and they all hope to show that it’s cool to be a family with a minivan. In terms of actual changes, though, the update is pretty light aesthetically, but the new tech inside seems aimed directly at mom and dad. However, unless you’ve got a sharp eye, spotting the exterior refresh might be tough. Toyota is tweaking the front end slightly by adding a dark mesh grille and trim. The headlights are also slightly reshaped to incorporate a new strip of available LED running lights. As they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and there are two, new features that parents with precocious kids are really going to love.
Filed under: Budget , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota , Humor We love a good automotive-themed prank. R
Filed under: Aftermarket , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Cosworth stands on the list of the most famous engine tuners in the world with its DFV engine engine dominating Formula One for a time in the ’70s. So when it teases plans to take on the FA20 engine from Subaru and Toyota found in the BRZ , Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 abroad, our interest is indeed piqued. Cosworth is promising to take the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine from its current 200 horsepower all the way to 325 hp and even 380 hp in a future track version through a series of staged Power Packages. At the moment, only the first stage is available that takes the mill to a potent 230 hp. Cosworth says that its new strategy is to offer its upgrades in kits rather than individually so that it can be sure that everything works and fits when owners receive it. The Stage 1 Power Package emphasizes helping the FA20 breathe better and includes a nearly complete replacement for the stock exhaust system. There is a sports exhaust with four-inch, diagonally cut, polished tips and Y-shaped muffler, an overpipe front pipe with a spherical resonator and a new manifold header that is 22 percent lighter the standard unit. In addition to that, the kit comes with a software reflash, low temperature thermostat, Cosworth badge and plaque. The stage one kit is available now, and stages two and three go on sale later this summer, according to its website . Autoblog contacted Cosworth for pricing information for the kits.
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Europe , Japan , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota , Diesel Toyota first launched the Yaris in 1999, though that model was sold in the North America as the Echo . The second generation arrived in 2005, replaced by the third in 2011. Sometime next year, Toyota is expected to roll out a new Yaris for North America, to be built in Mexico on the same platform as the next Mazda2 . But before that comes to pass, Toyota has introduced a mild facelift for the Yaris in markets other than ours. With styling cues borrowed from the new Aygo and the Yaris Hybrid-R concept, the new Yaris (for Europe) and Vitz (for Japan) are distinguished by updated styling front and rear. Though the European model bears a more aggressive look than the JDM version, both feature the new X motif that seems to be the new look for the whole family – particularly for small hatchbacks. The back end has also been revised to incorporate new LED taillights and a (faux) diffuser in the bumper. The cabin, meanwhile, has been redesigned to feel roomier and quieter with upgraded equipment. The suspension has also been refined, and in Europe at least, Toyota will continue to offer the Yaris with a choice of 1.0- or 1.3-liter gasoline engines, 1.4-liter diesel or hybrid powertrains. We’d tell you more about the varied specifications, but Toyota, in all its worldwide wisdom, oddly released one photo and a press release for the EU-spec Yaris, a whole mess of photos but no press release for the JDM-spec Vitz, but videos for both.