TORRANCE, Calif., (Dec. 20, 2012) – The Scion FR-S was nominated as a Best of 2013 car by Cars.com, an online review and consumer information website. Judges evaluated this year’s new and redesigned cars, and they praised the FR-S for its driving experience and affordability. The FR-S shares its nomination with the Subaru BRZ.
Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Hatchback , Scion , Toyota The last time we discussed the Scion xB and xD , in April of this year, it was to announce a report that both models were being killed. The vice president of the brand had said, “We don’t have plans for a direct xB or xD replacement,” but no date was given for the termination. Turns out rumors of their deaths have been greatly exaggerated: as part of a Toyota press release that summarized feature and pricing changes for 2013, the Scion xB was included. The 2013 hatchback (above) gets a new front bumper and lower fascia with LED lighting, and the rear end gets a black diffuser. Stingray Metallic and Elusive Blue Metallic exterior hues will disappear, Absolutely Red and Nautical Blue Metallic will take their places. Inside will be light bronze metallic and chrome accents, as well as new seat fabric and the availability of the BeSpoke Premium Audio. It increases in price by $500, the manual costing $16,800, the automatic $17,750. The xD (inset) has been left off the list and the Scion website it still hawking the 2012 car. But 2013 xD pricing and new features were announced earlier this year , the MSRP rising by $125 to $16,500. New equipment and options includes smoked headlight covers, more airbags and a two-tone paint job.
TORRANCE, Calif., (Dec. 5, 2012) – The Scion FR-S earned recognition today from Car and Driver, the world's largest automotive publication, as part of its “10Best” cars of 2013 . The magazine highlights the best cars for under $80,000 available on showroom floors in January 2013. Scion introduced the FR-S earlier this year to positive industry reviews and consumer excitement. The FR-S shares its spot on the list with the Subaru BRZ.
Filed under: Convertible , Sedan , Japan , Crossover , BMW , Land Rover , Mazda , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Luxury The Mazda CX-5 stamped its Kodo design and SkyActiv technology authority all over the Japan Car of the Year awards, taking the top prize ahead of the Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT 86 . It is Mazda’s second victory in the last ten years, the 2005 MX-5 claiming the same trophy, and the fourth time the Hiroshima company has won. The award is decided by 60 local “automotive experts and journalists,” and open to any passenger car released in Japan from November 1, 2011 to October 31, 2012 that has sold more than 500 units. Each judge gets 25 votes, his or her top vote getting 10 points, the rest of the points being spread among the judge’s choice for the next best four cars. The second-place getters were the Toyobaru twins with 318 votes, the surprise being they didn’t beat or get any closer to the crossover. The Subaru BRZ did claw some mojo back, earning the Special Award given to cars that have made “an exceptional impact.” The BMW 3 Series was third overall and won the Import Car of the Year award with plenty of room between it and the second place Range Rover Evoque . The full list of winners is below , along with press releases from the organization and the manufacturers. Congratulations to Mazda on the win. Continue reading Mazda CX-5 named Japan’s Car of The Year, Subaru BR-Z wins “Special Award” Mazda CX-5 named Japan’s Car of The Year, Subaru BR-Z wins “Special Award” originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Dec 2012 10:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , China , Europe , Chrysler , Honda , Toyota , Volkswagen , Fiat Automotive News has announced its annual list of Industry All-Stars. This year, the theme is apparently “success in the face of economic uncertainty,” or something of that liking. The list points to executives who have led their respective brands and automakers to positive sales in spite of the European financial crisis and slowing sales in China . See the list below, and you’ll understand why: Industry Leader of the Year and CEO, Europe – Martin Winterkorn, CEO, Volkswagen Group (above): The VW boss started with the German automaker in 2007, overseeing a staggering 12 brands. Under his leadership, sales of Volkswagens have gained in both China and America. VW has also expanded production to America and grown its operations in Brazil. Winterkorn is a very hands-on executive, traveling to America six times to test and tweak the American-built current-generation Passat. Volkswagen is aiming to be the largest and most profitable automaker in the wold by 2018, and Winterkorn will stay on through that time, making him accountable for those goals. CEO, North America – Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group: How does 31 straight months of positive year-over-year sales sound? The Fiat and Chrysler chief has bestowed dealers with a wealth of new product, and the American automaker is expected to post $1.5 billion in profits this year, in spite of economic turmoil in Europe.
Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Performance , Videos , BMW , Lotus , Mercedes-Benz , Porsche , Scion , Toyota , Luxury , MISC , McLaren EVO has come out with another gotta-watch-it video, throwing its 2012 Car of the Year contestants around the UK’s 1.5-mile Blyton Park track. It’s actually a 15-minute teaser for the full-length DVD detailing the magazine’s Car of the Year selection, but the tease is worth every penny free second. Tiff Needell and sports car racer Richard Meaden handle the wheel duties, the two driving five pairs of sports cars: Lotus Exige S vs. Porsche Boxster S , Morgan Three-Wheeler vs. Toyota GT86 , BMW M135i vs. Porsche 911 , Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series vs. Alpina B3 GT3 , the marquee event pits the McLaren MP4-12C vs. the Pagani Huayra . After a head-to-head lap with commentary during drifts, Meaden takes each car out to set a representative lap time. You’ll find the verdicts, lots of tire smoke, and lines like “Anything you can do sideways I can do sideways” in the video below .
Filed under: Car Buying , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Mitsubishi , Nissan , Toyota The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan took quite the toll on the automotive industry in that nation. Not content to lean on that tragedy as excuse for slagging sales, the Japanese automakers are planning on a major production expansion in North America. The aim is to reclaim the market share lost from the Tsunami-based dip, and overcome a dollar/yen exchange rate that makes exporting to America unprofitable. Following the Tsunami, Japanese automakers ramped up production in their North American facilities to compensate, but according to Automotive News , Nissan , Honda and others have all reported plans for still-further increased production in the year ahead. As part of this ramp-up, Mazda will open a facility in Salamnca, Mexico before March of 2014. Part of that increase in output is 50,000 units of a Toyota-badged compact car, which Mazda will produce . Other Mexican production facilities opening include a Honda plant, which will open in Spring 2014 in Celaya, and a Nissan plant, set to open later this year in Aguascalientes. Nissan also said that it will need another plant in North America within the next five years. According to Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn, the company aims to raise its stake in the US market from 8 percent to 10, and adding production will help achieve that goal. Even Mitsubishi is aiming to boost production at its Normal, Illinois plant.
Toyota and Lexus Honor The Entertainment Industry’s Environmental Excellence at the 22nd Annual Environmental Media Awards
TORRANCE, Calif., (Sept. 28, 2012) – Toyota and Lexus are once again celebrating the entertainment industry’s environmental efforts as the presenting sponsors of the Environmental Media Awards on Saturday, Sept. 29. In its 22nd year, the annual event honors film and television productions that communicate environmental messages in creative and influential ways. This year marks Lexus and Toyota’s 11th year as the presenting sponsors.
Filed under: Hatchback , Toyota , Electric 2012 was supposed to be the year the all-electric version of the Toyota / Scion iQ made a splash. Instead, it appears that while it remains technically true that the iQ EV will launch this year, it will be a much, much smaller splash than previously anticipated. According to Reuters , the iQ will have an “extremely limited release.” That’s a kind way to say that the 100 iQ EVs that Reuters says Toyota will now sell in the U.S. and Japan is a much smaller figure than was anticipated. The writing has been on the wall for a while. All the way back in 2009, Toyota hinted that the EV, which can only go 50 miles on a charge, might be destined for car-sharing services , and in 2011, a Toyota spokesperson confirmed the iQ EV would be a ” low-volume vehicle .” Now, the official Toyota line (see below ) is that: Toyota has seen that many customers are not yet willing to compromise on range, and they don’t like the time needed to re-charge the batteries. Moreover, the infrastructure for recharging has not become as widespread as originally anticipated. So, even though Toyota is ready with the iQ EV, we believe a plug-in hybrid solution offers a better way than pure electric for most customer needs in the short- to medium-term, and that is where we will concentrate our commercial activities . Toyota vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada tells Reuters , “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.” Compare this attitude to the one displayed by Daimler , which today has hundreds of Smart Electric Drive vehicles functioning as car-sharing rides through its Car2go program in places like San Diego, CA and Austin, TX. Toyota will still move forward with the launch of the RAV4 EV, and expects to sell around 2,600 of them in the next three years .
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.