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    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Corolla for the past couple of decades has been the poster child of the vehicle that just existed. All it was built to do was go from point a to b without any sort of enthusiasm. But Toyota is wanting to change that with the redesign of Corolla, starting with the new Corolla Hatchback. Has it worked?
      The Corolla Hatchback falls in line with recent Toyota models with a shouty design. A sloping front end features massive lower grille, slim daytime running lights, and headlights that looked to be chiseled in. My SE tester lacked the 18-inch alloy wheels and a huge rear wing that is standard on the XSE. But the smaller wheels and wing provide a much cleaner look.
      The interior looks more expressive with a layered dashboard design and faux stitching around both the dash and transmission. In traditional Toyota fashion, controls for the various functions are within easy reach. An eight-inch screen mounted high on the dash is standard on Corolla Hatchbacks and comes with the latest version of Entune. As I have noted in other 2019 Toyotas, the updated Entune is noticeably quicker when switching between various functions. Also appreciated is the integration with Apple CarPlay which gives a driver another choice for infotainment. Those with Android phones will need to get their hands on the 2020 model. What I do wish is that Toyota had made the interface slightly more modern and added other colors that weren’t 50 shades of grey. 
      If you find yourself riding in the Corolla Hatchback, be sure to nab the front seat. Those sitting in the back will find space for their legs to be quite small. This isn’t helped with the narrow rear door openings. At least no one will have any complaints with the headroom as the hatchback has plenty of it. It gets even worse when you open up the rear tailgate and you’re presented with a minuscule 17.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. The new Mazda3 offers more space at 20.1.
      Power comes from a new 2.0L four-cylinder producing 168 horsepower and 151 pounds-feet of torque, a noticeable increase from the outgoing Corolla iM - 137 HP and 126 lb-ft. This has moved overall performance impressions from poor to adequate as the hatchback is noticeably quicker around town. Country and highway driving are still a weak point as you’ll need to jam the gas to get any real movement from the engine. I would like to see either Toyota introduce a small turbo engine or figure out how to have torque readily available at a lower rpm. 
      My test vehicle was fitted with an optional CVT; a six-speed manual is standard. This CVT is different from others as Toyota fitted a fixed first gear ratio that it uses when leaving a stop. This reduces the rubber-band-type delay when accelerating and makes it feel more like a conventional automatic.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the Corolla Hatchback with the CVT are 32 City/42 Highway/36 Combined. My average for the week landed around 36.1 mpg.
      One area that the Corolla Hatchback’s predecessor impressed me was the handling. It felt planted and had surprising reflexes when going through a bend, but the rubbery steering did let it down. The Corolla Hatchback carries this torch as it feels even sharper with less body roll and a nimble feel. Steering is improved as well with a more natural feel when turning. I’ll still put the last-generation Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf as the best-handling models in the class, but Corolla Hatchback isn’t too far behind.
      Despite its sporting intentions, the Corolla Hatchback coped very well on Detroit’s shambolic roads with most bumps and ruts being smoothed over. Part of this comes down to the SE having 16-inch wheels, allowing for more sidewall. Road noise is kept out, but there is a fair amount of wind noise that enters when driving on the freeway.
      Toyota pulled most of the stops out when working on the Corolla Hatchback and their efforts have paid off. It is the best looking Corolla in quite some time, offers surprising handling characteristics, and comes well equipped for the money. The SE begins at $21,090 and that includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, eight-inch touchscreen, and LED lighting. Where the Corolla Hatchback loses ground is rear-seat space and cargo room which trails competitors by a significant amount. That’s the make or break decision as to whether you should or shouldn’t consider one.
      Nevertheless, Toyota has done the seemingly impossible: Made the Corolla interesting.
      Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla Hatchback, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Corolla Hatchback
      Trim: SE
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve D4S Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 168 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,800 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 32/42/36
      Curb Weight: 3,060 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $21,090
      As Tested Price: $23,639.00 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SE Preferred Package - $1,400.00
      Carpet Mat Package - $229.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Corolla for the past couple of decades has been the poster child of the vehicle that just existed. All it was built to do was go from point a to b without any sort of enthusiasm. But Toyota is wanting to change that with the redesign of Corolla, starting with the new Corolla Hatchback. Has it worked?
      The Corolla Hatchback falls in line with recent Toyota models with a shouty design. A sloping front end features massive lower grille, slim daytime running lights, and headlights that looked to be chiseled in. My SE tester lacked the 18-inch alloy wheels and a huge rear wing that is standard on the XSE. But the smaller wheels and wing provide a much cleaner look.
      The interior looks more expressive with a layered dashboard design and faux stitching around both the dash and transmission. In traditional Toyota fashion, controls for the various functions are within easy reach. An eight-inch screen mounted high on the dash is standard on Corolla Hatchbacks and comes with the latest version of Entune. As I have noted in other 2019 Toyotas, the updated Entune is noticeably quicker when switching between various functions. Also appreciated is the integration with Apple CarPlay which gives a driver another choice for infotainment. Those with Android phones will need to get their hands on the 2020 model. What I do wish is that Toyota had made the interface slightly more modern and added other colors that weren’t 50 shades of grey. 
      If you find yourself riding in the Corolla Hatchback, be sure to nab the front seat. Those sitting in the back will find space for their legs to be quite small. This isn’t helped with the narrow rear door openings. At least no one will have any complaints with the headroom as the hatchback has plenty of it. It gets even worse when you open up the rear tailgate and you’re presented with a minuscule 17.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. The new Mazda3 offers more space at 20.1.
      Power comes from a new 2.0L four-cylinder producing 168 horsepower and 151 pounds-feet of torque, a noticeable increase from the outgoing Corolla iM - 137 HP and 126 lb-ft. This has moved overall performance impressions from poor to adequate as the hatchback is noticeably quicker around town. Country and highway driving are still a weak point as you’ll need to jam the gas to get any real movement from the engine. I would like to see either Toyota introduce a small turbo engine or figure out how to have torque readily available at a lower rpm. 
      My test vehicle was fitted with an optional CVT; a six-speed manual is standard. This CVT is different from others as Toyota fitted a fixed first gear ratio that it uses when leaving a stop. This reduces the rubber-band-type delay when accelerating and makes it feel more like a conventional automatic.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the Corolla Hatchback with the CVT are 32 City/42 Highway/36 Combined. My average for the week landed around 36.1 mpg.
      One area that the Corolla Hatchback’s predecessor impressed me was the handling. It felt planted and had surprising reflexes when going through a bend, but the rubbery steering did let it down. The Corolla Hatchback carries this torch as it feels even sharper with less body roll and a nimble feel. Steering is improved as well with a more natural feel when turning. I’ll still put the last-generation Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf as the best-handling models in the class, but Corolla Hatchback isn’t too far behind.
      Despite its sporting intentions, the Corolla Hatchback coped very well on Detroit’s shambolic roads with most bumps and ruts being smoothed over. Part of this comes down to the SE having 16-inch wheels, allowing for more sidewall. Road noise is kept out, but there is a fair amount of wind noise that enters when driving on the freeway.
      Toyota pulled most of the stops out when working on the Corolla Hatchback and their efforts have paid off. It is the best looking Corolla in quite some time, offers surprising handling characteristics, and comes well equipped for the money. The SE begins at $21,090 and that includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, eight-inch touchscreen, and LED lighting. Where the Corolla Hatchback loses ground is rear-seat space and cargo room which trails competitors by a significant amount. That’s the make or break decision as to whether you should or shouldn’t consider one.
      Nevertheless, Toyota has done the seemingly impossible: Made the Corolla interesting.
      Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla Hatchback, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Corolla Hatchback
      Trim: SE
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve D4S Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 168 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,800 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 32/42/36
      Curb Weight: 3,060 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $21,090
      As Tested Price: $23,639.00 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SE Preferred Package - $1,400.00
      Carpet Mat Package - $229.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Los Angeles - Lexus unveiled the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible at the LA Auto Show today, ending speculation over whether the model was actually coming or not. 
      Typically when manufacturers make a convertible version of an existing car, significant weight penalties crop up as structural bracing is added to preserve rigidity. Lexus was able to move supports, and bracing to produce a convertible with only minimal weight gain while maintaining structural integrity. The LC Convertible’s suspension is tuned specifically to complement the subtle changes in weight between the two platforms, as a reduction of un-sprung weight in the front suspension improves the overall stroke. In the rear, engineers were able to further enhance structural rigidity by reshaping and relocating the rear suspension brace tower. Weight was reduced in the rear of the vehicle by utilizing a lightweight die-cast aluminum suspension brace, while a performance dampener is employed to enhance ride comfort.
      Power of the LC 500 Convertible is the same as the coupe, with a 5.0-liter V8 rated for 471 horsepower, 398 lb.-ft of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. To make the engine’s throaty voice heard while the top is down, the engine’s intake pulses are naturally carried through a diaphragm into a sound pipe that carries the sounds, not the air itself, into the cabin to enhance the V8’s rumble, all done without any electronic enhancement. 
      The top is a 4 layer design and the mechanism includes a tonneau cover for when the soft top is stored. The top can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph, while an animation on the display shows the tops progress through the motions. The cloth colors are offered in black or beige. Exterior paint options on the convertible include Ultra White, Smoky Granite Mica, Liquid Platinum, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Infrared, Cadmium Orange, Flare Yellow, and Nightfall Mica. Depending upon the exterior color chosen, three interior colors are available: Black, Circuit Red and Toasted Caramel.
      The car being shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show is a limited edition model with a run of 100 units. It comes in Structural Blue with a white interior and blue top. 
      The LC Convertible's HVAC system is designed to maintain temperature year round even with the top down. Neck heaters are included in the seats while the dash outlets are designed to direct heated or cooled air to the driver's hands.  For 2021 the LC Convertible gets Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Car Play standard along with a 10.3-inch multimedia screen. 

       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Los Angeles - Lexus unveiled the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible at the LA Auto Show today, ending speculation over whether the model was actually coming or not. 
      Typically when manufacturers make a convertible version of an existing car, significant weight penalties crop up as structural bracing is added to preserve rigidity. Lexus was able to move supports, and bracing to produce a convertible with only minimal weight gain while maintaining structural integrity. The LC Convertible’s suspension is tuned specifically to complement the subtle changes in weight between the two platforms, as a reduction of un-sprung weight in the front suspension improves the overall stroke. In the rear, engineers were able to further enhance structural rigidity by reshaping and relocating the rear suspension brace tower. Weight was reduced in the rear of the vehicle by utilizing a lightweight die-cast aluminum suspension brace, while a performance dampener is employed to enhance ride comfort.
      Power of the LC 500 Convertible is the same as the coupe, with a 5.0-liter V8 rated for 471 horsepower, 398 lb.-ft of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. To make the engine’s throaty voice heard while the top is down, the engine’s intake pulses are naturally carried through a diaphragm into a sound pipe that carries the sounds, not the air itself, into the cabin to enhance the V8’s rumble, all done without any electronic enhancement. 
      The top is a 4 layer design and the mechanism includes a tonneau cover for when the soft top is stored. The top can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph, while an animation on the display shows the tops progress through the motions. The cloth colors are offered in black or beige. Exterior paint options on the convertible include Ultra White, Smoky Granite Mica, Liquid Platinum, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Infrared, Cadmium Orange, Flare Yellow, and Nightfall Mica. Depending upon the exterior color chosen, three interior colors are available: Black, Circuit Red and Toasted Caramel.
      The car being shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show is a limited edition model with a run of 100 units. It comes in Structural Blue with a white interior and blue top. 
      The LC Convertible's HVAC system is designed to maintain temperature year round even with the top down. Neck heaters are included in the seats while the dash outlets are designed to direct heated or cooled air to the driver's hands.  For 2021 the LC Convertible gets Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Car Play standard along with a 10.3-inch multimedia screen. 

       
  • Posts

    • Only in Canada would this happen or would it? Seems a very long dedicated Infiniti buyer, aka mayor of the city wanted to go EV and yet Infiniti does not have an EV yet till 2021 as a 2022 model. Local Infiniti dealer who always sold to him got a used Tesla 3 in trade. The mayor bought it till Infiniti has their EVs. https://electrek.co/2019/12/09/infiniti-delivers-tesla-model-3-loyal-customer/ VW Congratulates Tesla for Swiss Car of the Year, Challenges them with the ID 3 that will be out next year in a Paid AD by VW. https://electrek.co/2019/12/09/tesla-vw-kudo-ad-car-of-the-year-award-challenges-id3/#more-114331 Gotta hand it to VW, this is smart marketing. The message in the ad is in German and roughly translates to this (via Google Translate):
    • Weird, but older singers tend to have more songs I like than newer singers. Fiona Apple, Some of her songs I really like, most I can just pass on. This is not bad, but a Pass for future listening.  
    • Haha.  There's a lot of truth to that.  Greeks have left an indelible (still standing!) mark on Sicily and the southern provinces of Italy, at places like Paestum. I haven't been to Greece as many times as I should have!  I've been to Athens and 3 islands. I'd like to go to Athens and then to Corfu (Kerkyra) and get back to Italy from there ... on an overnight ferry ... that way, the passage is just a little bit more in $ than a hotel room and that includes a cabin.  It would nice to get up early and see the ferry approach the Italian coast at Bari or Brindisi ... both on the heel of the peninsula. There's no place like the Med!
    • Nations Largest Trucking Firm Celadon to Declare bankruptcy by Dec 11th and strand as many as 3,200 truckers across the nation. In 2019 640 trucking firms have declared Bankruptcy among one of the largest turn downs in Freight industry as only 175 firms declared bankruptcy in 2018 due to a reduction freight in the country for the last 11 months. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/an-american-trucking-giant-is-slated-to-declare-bankruptcy-—-and-it-may-leave-more-than-3200-truck-drivers-stranded-and-jobless/ar-BBXXdx6?li=BBnb7Kz
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