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    Toyota bet on Hydrogen and Hybrid for the 21st century and lost that bet with the rest of the auto industry choosing BEV. Toyota has finally released the details of their first global BEV.

    Toyota bZ4X is their start of catching up to the rest of the auto industry in having BEVs. Toyota announced the details of this new BEV with the following bullet points per their press release:
    Contribution to SDGs based on the concept of "home planet"
    Toyota's approach to carbon neutrality is "practical and sustainable," aiming to reduce CO2 with products that are easy to use and highly appealing. The TOYOTA bZ series adopts a BEV-dedicated platform that aims for a value greater than zero ("beyond Zero"). The bZ4X has the excitement of an SUV-style BEV, driving appeal, and is the first model of the Toyota's bZ series, which emphasizes safety and peace of mind. It will be launched worldwide in the middle of 2022. Toyota is promoting the deployment of BEVs in its full lineup, starting with the bZ4X. For those auto fans that want the fine details, here they are on their first BEV, an FWD/4WD suv. Compared to competition, much slower, heavier and very questionable about delivering on the battery range based on this info provided by Toyota.

    With the basic details done, lets hit on how Toyota is marketing this BEV and the message they are trying to transmit to the world.
    Practical and Sustainable
    Toyota is using this phrase to talk about their reduction in C02 emissions with a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. This they believe can be achieved by building a global portfolio of HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs.
    "bZ" Toyota's New Value Provided by "beyond Zero"
    This is Toyota's way of establishing the following four target values.
    You & Others
    In addition to comfortable cabins, Toyota bZ offers a new lifestyle and the opportunity to spend precious time with family and friends.
    You & Your Car
    Toyota bZ delivers the BEV's unique joy of driving and excitement at anticipated possibilities.
    You & the Environment
    Toyota bZ will not only reduce CO2 and other emissions―it aims to contribute positively to the environment.
    You & Society
    Toyota bZ aims to create a safer society where everyone enjoys greater peace of mind.
    bZ4X Vehicle Overview
    Cars that are more than just a means of transport, able to provide enjoyable time and space for passengers, with the "activity hub" concept Toyota bZ4X adopts a BEV-dedicated platform (first for Toyota) based on e-TNGA philosophy, to achieve impressive driving performance through a low center of gravity and greater rigidity. Performance Focused on Safety and Peace of Mind Details of the bZ4X
    This is an interesting area for Toyota as they try to copy Rivian with marketing this as "new lifestyle and the opportunity to spend precious time with family and friends."
    They say this is part of the You & Others section with a spacious, quiet, relaxing space, extra wide cabin, home-like comfort, a space to stimulate conversation.

    Seems the focus is on performance for safe, convenient driving. Heat pump AC, seat and steering wheel heaters, front-seat radiant foot-heating (first for Toyota) and they top it with a 150-kW compatible quick charging, recharging 80% of the battery pack in 30 minutes.
    Toyota then goes on to the You & Your Car, how the bZ4X delivers joy of driving and excitement due to the following points.
    Low center of gravity innovations Thin high-capacity battery pack placed flat under the floor E-axle, integrating motor, transaxle and inverter (a Toyota first) Electricity Supply Unit (ESU) consolidating charging and power distribution functions (a first for Toyota) Greater rigidity innovations Hot stamp materials used in key framework parts, adoption of a lightweight, high-rigidity body structure partially made of high tensile steel Enhancement of rigidity of various parts including around the battery pack, areas where the BEV unit and radiator are installed, and around forward and rear suspension Driving that leverages motor drive characteristics Agile response, sense of linear acceleration, high-precision output control (Lightening of acceleration/deceleration control and driver pedal operation, slip suppression control on slippery roads, etc.) Improved turning and stability through independent control of front and rear motors (AWD) Adoption of Subaru's AWD technology and X-MODE (AWD vehicle, a first for Toyota). Also, Grip-Control was newly developed and installed as a new feature for X-MODE. By leveraging motor drive characteristics, it is suited to everything from everyday driving to light off-road driving and more, achieving off-road performance exceeding expectations in BEVs
    Interesting observation is that Toyota seems to cling to the ICE age in poorly routed wiring and keeping a transmission tunnel that is used for the core wires. At a time when they are using a new platform built from scratch, this is a poor engineering design by not incorporating it into the floor better IMHO.
    Toyota then continues this conversation of a new driving experience.
    Cockpit that emphasizes meter visibility
    Meters are positioned to be visible through the upper part of the steering wheel (top-mounted meters, a first for Toyota) Emphasizes ease of viewing by reducing eye movement and enabling a distance point of focus Modularized driving controls including a steering column, adopting a wing-shape that promotes eye guidance from hands to meters
    One-motion grip*4 combining steer-by-wire system and uniquely shaped steering wheel (A Toyota first)
    Some models adopt the steer-by-wire system, where there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and tires. Characteristics of this are listed below
    Lock-to-lock is set at around 150 degrees, eliminating the need to change grips when steering, greatly reducing the burden on the driver for U-turn, garage parking and on winding roads The steering feeling is improved through independently controlling the steering torque that the driver feels and the steering angle of the tires. Steering characteristics can be changed with drive mode select Blocks unnecessary vibrations from tires and only transmits necessary vibrations such as road information. System controls tire movement to ensure vehicle stability when driving on uneven surfaces or when Lane Tracing Assist is activated One-motion grip provides more legroom, improving driving position freedom and ease of entry and exit *4 For the Chinese market, thereafter, for other markets, it will steadily be fitted on vehicles launched from 2022 onwards Dial type shift (a first for Toyota)
    Pursuing a simple and easy-to-operate impression
    Styling that expresses the innovation of BEV and the impact of SUV
    Based on the design theme "Hi-Tech and Emotion," we strived to create a form combining an advanced BEV feel with the inherent beauty of cars, aiming to create advanced and sleek, powerful styling unique to SUVs.
    Side view Aiming for sleek proportions and expressing an unconstrained silhouette that takes advantage of the long wheelbase with the tires placed at the four corners
    Front view The corners with aero dynamic items and the thin shape of the bumper expresses the uniqueness of the BEV. Also, the large hammerhead shark-like shape running from the hood to the top of the headlamps is uniquely iconic
    Rear view The rear combination lamps, back door, and bumper, which have the trapezoidal theme heading to tires, creates a powerful stance

    As many people have stated, styling is a very subjective area on an auto and the bZ4X is an ECLECTIC style to say the least and not necessarily in a good way, yet there are those that seem to be very smitten with Toyota's current styling direction.
    Latest infotainment system
    Multimedia system
    The bZ4X adopts cloud navigation that uses map information on the cloud to obtain traffic information and parking space availability information in a timely manner. Additionally, BEV specialized services such as driving support, charging station display, driving support display, and driving range display are available Enhanced voice-recognition function
    Also able to operate wipers and air-conditioning Over-the-air (OTA = wireless) software updates
    Software updates to improve performance are possible for the latest preventive safety package, Toyota Safety Sense, and the multimedia system without needing to visit a dealership Digital Key (specially equipped vehicles)
    With a smartphone, users can lock, unlock and start the system without screen operation. Digital keys can be handed over between smartphones, making it easy for family and friends to borrow and lend vehicles remotely
    You & the Environment
    Energy-generating BEVs
    Roof Solar Panel that can generate the equivalent of 1,800 km of driving distance per year.
    Proactive initiatives of recycling to reduce CO2 creation. Auto's that are built by reuse, recycle of materials from the outside to the inside.

    One can only hope that with the use of recycled materials that the interiors will be of a competitive quality level, yet the above picture of the rear storage area makes one go Hmmmmmmmmmm. 
    You & Society
    Latest preventive safety performances
    Latest Toyota Safety Sense In order to realize the ultimate wish of the mobility society―"zero fatalities and injuries in traffic accidents"―the bZ4X adopts the evolved Toyota Safety Sense. By expanding the detection range of the millimeter wave radar and monocular camera, we have enhanced the performance of each function and added new functions to assist on ordinary roads. The aim is to prevent accidents, further reduce traffic fatalities and injuries, and ease the burden on drivers.
    Adopts the Toyota Advanced Park advanced driver assistance technology (with remote function) (specially equipped vehicles) Pursues Collision safety performance expected of BEVs
    An omni-directional crash-response structure to protect passengers, batteries, and the other vehicle BEV unit compartment is fitted with a cross framework firmly connecting left and right front-side members to boost collision energy absorption Two cross-members are located in front of the vehicle to reduce harm to the other vehicle Strong framework created at the cabin front to achieve full under-floor mounting of the battery pack Adopts a structure that distributes input load over multiple routes in a collision to stabilize and protect the cabin and battery pack in frontal or side collisions
    Battery safety
    By strengthening measures to prevent and detect signs of battery failure, and introducing new technologies, have adopted a design and multiple monitoring system that ensures safety and security in case of emergency Thorough production process that eliminates contamination, which is a cause of abnormal heating Redundant monitoring of battery voltage, current, and temperature to detect signs and occurrence of abnormal heating to prevent overheating Newly introduced the use of high-resistance coolant, which prevents fire from short circuits even if there is leakage of the battery's liquid coolant Newly introduced the use of a high-capacity battery pack integrated with the body to ensure protection in the event of a collision External power supply function
    DC external power supply function (Japanese specifications) Can connect to a power feeder to supply high-output electricity to homes and home appliances for outdoor activities, and during disasters and other emergencies When used with home solar power generation, solar power can supply electricity to the house in the daytime, surplus electricity can be used to recharge the vehicle via a power feeder, and electricity stored in the vehicle can be used to power the home at night More photos of the all-new Toyota BEV bZ4X can be viewed here:
    All of this is provided via the extensive press release at the link below if you are wanting even more information and is the property of Toyota.
    Details of All-New bZ4X BEV Announced | Toyota | Global Newsroom | Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website


    Toyota announced a 30 electric auto lineup for global sales by 2030. A strategy that makes some go Hmmmmmmmm.

    Toyota is not new to auto electrification, but they have found themselves on the far side of the moon in comparison to other OEMs in being ready to sell electric autos to the global public.
    Toyota sued California CARB in attempts to stay ICE with their hybrid Prius line-up and Hydrogen as Toyota had bet big on Hydrogen over electric autos to the extent of selling Hydrogen autos in California and building some Hydrogen fueling stations. Yet while this could be the way for Semi trucks or what is known as Class 8 heavy haulers that use hydrogen generators to power an electric power train, it seems the public has chosen to endorse BEV or battery electric autos.
    As such, Toyota has had to make a massive change and went on a hiring spree of engineers to support a global electric auto lineup for Toyota and Lexus and with that, they have announced the following:
    Akio Toyoda announces 30 battery electric models by 2030 Total global battery electric vehicle sales to reach 3.5M within same timeframe Lexus aims for 100% battery electric mix in Europe*, N. America and China by 2030 Announcement underpins Toyota Motor Europe plan for 100% CO2 reduction in all new vehicles sales by 2035 in West Europe bZ battery electric family in Europe to expand with introduction of a small crossover as follow up to bZ4X launch They also had a Media Briefing on their battery EV strategies:
    It would appear that the Toyota Tacoma electric pickup is their most complete concept EV that could go into production.
    Sadly, for some weird reason, I cannot download the press release images from their website, please look at the images here:
    Electric Auto Portfolio

    It would seem Bugatti has rubbed off on Toyota / Lexus for one of their electric super cars.

    Strangely I find the future design directive of Toyota / Lexus to be a very Angular style.

    I did find that all the extra-large images have been posted here:
    Toyota Pickup EV Concept Likely Previews Electric Tacoma (insideevs.com)
    Toyota unveils full global battery electric line-up
    Video: Media Briefing on Battery EV Strategies | Corporate | Global Newsroom | Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website


    People have joked about how old the Toyota Tundra truck is compared to other trucks. Today September 19th 2021, Toyota introduced the all new 2022 Tundra. Check out the goods on this truck!

    Toyota has decided "Born From Invincible" is the new marketing message for the all new Toyota Tundra 2022!
    From the African Savanna to the Australian Outback or the asphalt of NASCAR, Toyota Trucks has taken people places for over 70 years. The global debut of the All-New 2022 Tundra builds on what Toyota brought to the world starting in 1950 with the first Land Cruiser building on the unique heritage to take Toyota into an even more exciting future per their press release.
    To quote their Invincible press release:
    “Born from Invincible” showcases an unparalleled international truck history in a wild ride down memory lane. Toyota’s rich history of building world-class body-on-frame vehicles is highlighted in an action-packed montage that culminates with the global debut of the star of the show, the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra. In addition to the next-generation Tundra, Toyota trucks featured in the spot include: the 1987 4Runner SR5, 1960s Australian Troopy FJ45, 2007 FJ Cruiser, 2017 Tundra SR5, 2012 Tundra Platinum, 2021 NASCAR Trucks, 1985 Tacoma SR5, 1991 Australian FJ75 and Baja Truck. Keen viewers might even catch a glimpse of a 1980s icon that took us back to the future. For a deeper dive into Toyota’s truck history, click here.
    Toyota starts the All-New 2022 Tundra with the following bullet points:
    Standard i-FORCE 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 produces 389 HP / 479 lb-ft of torque Available i-FORCE MAX Hybrid V6 producing 437 HP / 583 lb-ft of torque Both engine options mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission 12,000-pound maximum towing capacity 1,940-pounds payload capacity Bold Exterior style complementing spacious, well-equipped interior Available 14" touchscreen with all-new Audio Multimedia system 12.3" and 8" Instrumentation panel display available Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 active safety standard on all grades.
    As the third generation Tundra, Toyota is looking to improve upon everything, from performance, capability, multimedia, comfort and more. 
    Toyota will offer two different four-door layouts and have three bed lengths, 5 1/2, 6 1/2 and an 8.1 foot bed length. The all-new Toyota Tundra pickup truck starts with a high-strength steel chassis to increase rigidity over previous generations. Frame crossmembers are double the size of previous generations adding reinforcement and rigidity and yet Toyota has introduced aluminum in key areas to reduce overall weight. Engineering designs have moved forward to give enhanced handling dynamics on steering input for for the driver by constructing the front cross brace also hold the steering gear box. The truck beds are built of extremely strong SMC (Sheet Molded Compound) construction using aluminum. The over all double wall construction of the bed and gate reduce weight by 20% over the outgoing model while protecting the outside of the truck from impact dings, rust, etc. from material put into the bed. Standard on all models is that the tailgate release is built into the key fob.
    Storage is enhanced via cabin storage under the back seat.

    Toyota has also continued the all-new changes as they have complimented the all-new chassis with an all-new multi-link suspension, ditching leaf springs in favor of coil springs.

    Toyota has left no area untouched as they built a new double-wishbone front suspension, enhanced twin-tube shocks front and rear with triple -oil seals and extended dust covers for added durability and protection. TRD packages get Monotube Bilstein shocks. TRD Pro get FOX internal bypass shocks as standard. So many details in the suspension that if you are interested in these details, click the link below for the Press release.

    Toyota is retiring their V8 engine as they go with a Twin Turbo V6 or Twin Turbo V6 Hybrid engine. These are Dual overhead cam, chain driven motors featuring Dual VVTi systems. The twin turbo system is water-cooled. This same cooling system is used to cool the exhaust to lower exhaust gas entering the turbo chargers to improve reliability and performance.
    Both motors are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with intelligence (ECTi). This transmission will feature sequential shift mode to optimize uphill and downhill shifting and yet also having a special programmed TOW/HAUL mode. Two TOW/HAUL modes are given with the first one programmed for small trailers, boats, etc. Second TOW/HAUL mode is for towing large trailers such as RVs, Large 5th wheel box trailers and larger boats. When in the TOW/HAUL mode, start/stop is disabled.

    Toyota has multiple interiors depending on if you have the TRD Pro, TRD, Limited, etc. You have three screen size choices, 14", 12.3" and 8" size screens are available with multiple choices in multimedia and audio systems. These systems will come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the systems will take advantage of over the air software updates.
    The A.I. of the systems will allow voice control for human like conversation. Blue tooth connectivity is available for smartphones or tablets and even with the use of the Toyota App you can store User Profiles allowing each user upon entering the auto to have their own profile set for the vehicle. Toyota also will offer WiFi connection of 4G connectivity for up to 10 devices allowing the truck to be an AT&T hot spot.
    Be it in 4x4 or 4x2 models, the all new 2022 Tundra offers options aplenty with your choice of Crewcab or Double Cab configurations and available in 11 different colors.
    Quote: Super White, Wind Chill Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Celestial Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, Super Sonic Red, Army Green, Lunar Rock, Blueprint, Smoked Mesquite (Limited and 1794) and Solar Octane (TRD Pro exclusive).
    2022 Toyota Tundra will come with a standard bumper to bumper 36 month / 36,000 mile warranty with the powertrain having a 60 month / 60,000 mile warranty and 24hr roadside assistance for the first two years or 25,000 miles.
    More images inside and outside of the 2022 Tundra can be seen here:
    While not every detail has been covered here in this writeup from their press release and much more is available for you to read at the links below, this writer does wonder if this truck outside of traditional loyal Toyota owners will be able to increase full size truck sales to get conquest buyers with what is being offered here in this all-new pickup truck.
    Absolute Powerhouse: Next-Generation 2022 Toyota Tundra - Toyota USA Newsroom
    2022 Toyota Tundra is ‘Born from Invincible’ - Toyota USA Newsroom


    Toyota released their new vision of a dedicated BEV line-up in Shanghai tonight 4/19/2021. The Toyota bZ lineup will cover 15 BEVs of which 7 will be Toyota badged bZ BEVs to be introduced globally by 2025.

    Toyota Motor Corporation announced their Toyota bZ line-up of BEVs at the Shanghai Auto Show. The first to be unvealed is the Toyota bZ4X, an AWD in the bZ series. This CUV plays off the success of the Toyota Rav 4 hybrid series in style.

    Toyota had 4 key points that they made with tonight's product reveal:
    Toyota intends to contribute to SDGs based on the perspective of "home planet" that responds to environmental issues of global scale above and beyond the concepts of "hometown" and "home country" that the automotive industry has long continued its business in. Toyota intends to fully concentrate on achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, in accordance with the energy and industry policies in different countries. Toyota is establishing a full line-up of electrified vehicles, which has worked in reducing carbon emissions, based on the concept of introducing sustainable vehicles practically to the market. The number of electrified models will reach around 70 by 2025. In establishment of a full line-up of electrified vehicles, Toyota is underway to introduce 15 BEVs, including seven Toyota bZ models, by 2025. Toyota is working together with Subaru Corporation (Subaru) to promote car-making that takes advantage of the strengths of both companies. Toyota hopes to begin worldwide sales of the Toyota bZ4X, a new SUV BEV, by the middle of 2022. While Toyota had heavily invested in Hybrids and believed Hydrogen is the future, they have quickly paired up with other companies to share the cost of BEV development. China's BYD, Daihatsu, Subaru and Suzuki are partners in using the new e-TNGA platform.
    Toyota and Subaru jointly developled the Toyota bZ4X taking advantage of the companies strengths. Toyota expertise in electrification with Subaru's superior AWD technologies and driving performance that is both comfortable and enjoyable is what has allowed the bZ4X to be a class leading design with Toyota planning to have the bZ4X produced in Japan and China for global sales starting in the middle of 2022.

    The Toyota bZ4X has the following characteristics:
    Using a BEV-specific platform, the bZ4X combines a long wheelbase with a short overhang; this results both in a distinctive design, and in an interior space comparable to a D-segment sedan. A uniquely shaped steering wheel eliminates the need to change grip when steering, and also contributes to a spacious interior; the vehicle adopts a steer-by-wire system that provides a smooth driving feel aligned with the driver's intentions. The low position of the instrument panel and the location of the meters above the steering wheel serve not only to enhance the vehicle's sense of space, but also improve visibility and contribute to safe and secure driving. The bZ4X adopts a new AWD system jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru; it combines safe and pleasing driving performance―made possible by the unique responsiveness of electrified vehicles―with an impressive off-road performance. In addition to the use of regenerative energy systems, the vehicle also adopts a solar recharging system; this cleverly recharges the battery while stationary, and further enhances the unique environmental performance of a BEV. It also provides cruising range that ensures customers not to be inconvenienced in wintertime. Toyota believes they can greatly reduce CO2 emissions via their electrification program and as such plan to have globally 70 electrified models by 2025. This includes their HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles), PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles), BEVs (battery electric vehicles) and FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles).
    Toyota currently has 22% of their global product line some form of electrified vehicles. They plan to increase this to 70 models covering an undefined percentage of their global product line depending on customers needs Toyota will slowly phase out ICE only auto's as they move to a full hybrid/BEV/FCEV product line.
    An interesting observation is in their first commercial for the Toyota bZ product line and how they are clearly showing the BEV line as an activity / lifestyle auto with the ability to play in the city and just as easily play in the woods.
    You can find additional photo's and videos of the product release at the company link below.
    Toyota announces its new BEV series, Toyota bZ, in establishment of a full line-up of electrified vehicles | Toyota | Global Newsroom | Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website


    To comply with European and Chinese laws, Toyota has filed a new family of Names for their "Beyond Zero" EV product line built on the e-TNGA platform.

    According to L'argus.fr a french news reporting site, they have uncovered that the first 100% electric SUV from Toyota is to be called BZ4X with X standing for AWD. This BZ4X will be a class equal in size to the current Toyota Rav4. This news site states that Toyota will unveil the BZ4X on April 19th 2021.

    As stated, Toyota a strong Hybrid auto builder and strong believer that Hydrogen is the real future has found itself playing catch up to an industry that is now dominated by European and Chinese having declared for personal auto's that BEV is the future.
    Built on the e-TNGA platform Toyota has filed the following family line of names:
    BZ1, BZ2, BZ3, BZ4 and BZ5 expected to be either FWD or RWD. BZ2X, BZ4X are expected to be AWD.
    The sneek peak image that Toyota has released is expected to be what the production BEV will look like of their 6 BEV lineup with the BZ4/BZ4X being the first out equal in size as stated earlier to the Toyota RAV4 in both ICE and Hybrid form.

    The product line will be totally built on the e-TNGA platform of either 1 or 2 motors. This product line will also be sold at Subaru under their new BEV product line called Evoltis as well as an undefined name for Lexus.

    This product line of BEV to be sold under three name plates will have a range of 110 to 220 or 300 HP for a sporty version based on past comments from Toyota.
    Welcome to "Beyond Zero"

    Toyota BZ4X (2022). Le premier SUV 100 % électrique bientôt dévoilé (largus.fr)

    William Maley

    We hardly knew you Yaris and Yaris Hatchback

    The Toyota Yaris and Yaris Hatchback will be no more in the U.S. come the end of June. That's according to a leaked memo posted to Reddit and found by CarBuzz. Sent to "All Southeast Toyota Dealers and General Managers" by Toyota, the memo says the Yaris will "cease production" at the end of June.
    "The Yaris sedan and Yaris Hatchback will not be available for model year 2021. Model year 2020 will be the last year for Yaris. June 2020 will be the last month of production for the Yaris sedan and Yaris Hatchback for the US," wrote Christine N. Henley, Toyota North America's Western Communications Manager in the memo.
    Toyota confirmed the memo, and gave Car and Driver this statement;
    "The entry-subcompact segment has new regulations that require additional homologation. Those regulations, coupled with declining sales in the segment, are some of the reasons behind the decision."
    (Author's Note: We're wondering what Toyota means by the statement we bolded here, and we'll update if we get some sort of clarification. -WM).
    The declining sales makes sense as Toyota only moved 21,917 Yaris models in 2019, down 5,293 units when compared to 2018. To give more perspective, the Corolla moved 304,850 units last year.
    So if you're interested an affordable Toyota, we would hurry down to your nearest dealer ASAP.
    Source: CarBuzz, Car and Driver

    Drew Dowdell

    ...aiming at the Chey Blazer...

    According to the Rumorpile, Toyota is working on bringing back the Venza, a car that went out of production after 2015. The original Venza did not sell very well, partially due to its wagon-like shape and also relatively high pricing.  It also lacked any off-road pretense that typically comes with a crossover.
    The problem for Toyota is that there is a large Venza sized gap in their SUV lineup between the RAV-4 and Highlander. This time around, the Venza would ditch the wagon looks and instead be a true crossover along the lines of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Honda Passport, and Ford Edge. There is a possibility that the Venza would come in only hybrid form using the same 2.5-liter setup with rear electric motor that the Highlander uses. 
    If the rumors prove true, you could see a new Venza hit the auto show circuit as early as 2021. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...get a grip...

    Toyota announced today that the Toyota Avalon and Camry would be getting an all-wheel drive option. It's the first time the Camry has offered all-wheel drive since 1991 and the first ever for Avalon.  AWD will be available as a standalone option on Camry LE, XLE, SE, and XSE trims and on the Avalon XLE and Limited trims.
    In both models, the car is powered by a 202 horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and an 8-speed automatic. Camry XSE AWD and both Avalon AWD trims get 205hp with their dual exhaust. 
    The AWD system is borrowed from the Toyota RAV-4 and is called Dynamic Torque Control AWD. It is designed to help with traction in slippery weather but not drag down fuel economy when the weather is clear. The AWD system can direct up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear wheels.  When AWD isn't needed, the system can disengage the drive shaft from the differential to lessen the drag on fuel efficiency. 
    Neither of these cars was originally planned to have AWD, but given the flexibility of the TNGA architecture they and the RAV4 all ride on, Toyota's R&D department in Saline Michigan was able to modify the cars for this new option.  The body of the Camry and Avalon was combined with the drivetrain of the RAV-4. Floor structure modifications were required, plus the use of an electronic parking brake.  The gas tank was modified, and despite of the addition of a rear differential, the trunk floor height remains the same.  The addition of AWD adds 165lbs to the Camry while the Avalon's weight remains the about the same as the FWD V6 model. 
    Camry AWD will be arriving for model year 2020, while Avalon AWD arrives in 2021. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...from ugly duckling to beautiful swan...

    The current generation Toyota Mirai has never been a "looker". It seemed like some sort of Prius with a glandular problem.  Toyota hopes to change that and make the fuel cell vehicle sexy with the new 2021 Toyota Mirai Sedan Concept.
    The new concept sits on a rear-wheel drive platform and sports an new, more powerful fuel cell powertrain.  Toyota claims a 30-percent increase in driving range with increased hydrogen capacity. 
    Most importantly thought, Toyota un-weirded the Mirai so that it now looks like something that might sit in a Lexus showroom rather than Toyota. 
    The next generation Toyota Mirai will go on sale in late 2020.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...could this become the most popular PHEV?....

    Toyota has announced that they will be bringing a new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to the Los Angeles Auto Show this year.  The difference for this hybrid is that it will be a plug-in and it will also be more powerful. Toyota promises "spirited acceleration" in their press release.  As we get closer to the show, we'll get more details on range, power, battery size, etc. 
    The RAV4 is already the best selling crossover in the segment and that could mean that the RAV4 PHEV could end up being the most popular PHEV for sale. Globally that title currently belongs to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. 
    Toyota has twice previously made full EV versions of the RAV4, but limited their sales primarily to California where they enjoyed limited success as "compliance vehicles" with 1,484 sold of the first generation and 2,600 copies of the 3rd generation.  There was no second generation RAV4 EV.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...so slight, I had to look at the current car to see the difference...

    Toyota has released an update to its funky little crossover/hatchback, the C-HR.  The changes are slight and include a (slightly) revised front fascia, new wheels, two new colors, Android Auto and Apple Car play standard, and on the Limited trim, an adaptive front lighting system and 8-way power seats. 
    The C-HR already comes with Toyota Safety Sense - P, a suite of safety technologies that include  a multi-feature advanced active safety suite that bundles Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
    The C-HR is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder producing 144 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 139 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm. A CVT puts the power to the wheels, though in sport mode it simulates a 7-speed automatic. The C-HR has a EPA-estimated MPG of 27 city / 31 highway / 29 combined. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...To help streamline operations...

    We reported back in April that the Toyota Tundra and Toyota Tacoma would be consolidated to a single modular platform for their respective next generations. Now Toyota is making a $391 million dollar investment into its San Antonio production line to help smooth the way.  The investment is not expected to create any new permanent jobs. 
    The new platform, internally called F1, will first appear in the next generation Tundra expected in 2021 and eventually spread to all of Toyota's pickups worldwide.  Tacoma will move to the F1 platform in 2023 or 2024. The new platform will be capable of electrification. One of the engines rumored for the Tundra is a Twin-Turbo V6 Hybrid with 450 hp and 500 lb.-ft of torque
    The Tundra is the oldest full-size pickup on the market today, first debuting in 2007 with the last major update done in 2014. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...India is kind of a big deal...

    Last week we reported that Toyota and Suzuki are forming an alliance to share technology and small-car platforms between the two companies. The deal, however, looked great for Suzuki but with not much in it for Toyota. Today brings some clarity to the arrangement. 
    India is currently the 4th largest new car market and is expected to leapfrog Japan to number 3 in the near future.  Being such a large and growing market has outsiders clamoring to get in, but one company is already there in a big way.  Suzuki's local subsidiary Maruti accounts for 46 percent of the sub-contienent's new-vehicle sales.  We reported earlier that Suzuki agreed to provide Toyota with two compact vehicles to sell in India and will produce one of its SUVs in a Toyota factory in India. 
    Toyota has taken a rather hands-off approach to the companies it buys a stake in. Subaru, Mazda, Daihatsu all enjoy relative autonomy from the Toyota juggernaut. The same remains to be seen with this tie up with Suzuki.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...A stock swap leading to tech swap...

    Toyota and Suzuki have announce plans to formalize a technology alliance.  Suzuki will purchase approximately $454 million of Toyota stock while Toyota will acquire approximately $908 million in Suzuki shares for a 4.94 percent stake in the company. 
    The two companies will share technology and platforms.  Toyota will provide technology for electrification while Suzuki will provide platforms for small vehicles.   Both companies will collaborate in the area of autonomous driving technology.
    The two companies already have an agreement where Toyota will provide Suzuki badged variants of the RAV-4 and Corolla Estate for the European market, while a Suzuki model will be built at Toyota's Derbyshire plant in the UK. Toyota will get Suzuki's new compact vehicle engines for the Euro market, while both will co-develop hybrid vehicles for the Indian market. 
    From the sounds of it, none of the technology swap will be seen here in the U.S., but it does make us wonder about the small car agreement that Toyota has with Mazda to build the Toyota Yaris.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...rumor says it will have approximately 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque...

    A rumor has been leaked that the next generation of Toyota Tundra, coming in 2021, would have a twin-turbo V6 combined with an electric motor for its top trim trucks.  The tipster posted to TFLtruck.com saying that the new motor would be based on the existing 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 found in the Lexus LS and LC 500h.  It would have around 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque and able to achieve over 30 mpg highway. 
    In the Lexi, the engine produces 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and manages 33 mpg highways.  Our suspicion is that Toyota is making up the deficit by filling the bigger Tundra with bigger electric motors and adding an expected 10-speed automatic, up from the current 6-speed.
    Currently, the Tundra uses two V8s for its powertrain, a 4.6 liter making 310hp and 327 lb-ft of torque and a 5.7 liter making 381hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Neither engine gets better than 20 mpg currently. 
    The next generation Toyota Tundra will be using an all-new platform dubbed F1 and will likely remain in Texas for production.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...a new modular global platform to underpin both..

    According to an article in Automotive News, Toyota plans to move the Tundra and Tacoma to a shared platform, internally called "F1".  The platform is to be used globally and will require a bit of modularity.  The platform is said to be nearing completion and the next Tundra could be debuting for the 2021 model year. 
    The Tacoma will likely join later as it was redesigned in 2015 and given a refresh for 2020 at the Chicago Auto Show along with a bunch of other TRD models like the Sequoia TRD Pro. 
    For US consumption, all Tundras and most Tacomas are built at the company's San Antonio, Texas plant. Moving to a single platform would make things easier and cheaper on Toyota.   But what of the other SUVs built on the same platforms?   The Sequoia is largely based on the Tundra and the 4Runner is related (distantly) to the Tacoma.  Those vehicles would likely be refreshed right behind the trucks.  In any case, Toyota is planning on putting some electrification into the new platform. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ... A Mazda by any other name...

    A few weeks back we reported that the Toyota Yaris hatchback that we all knew and ...er... loved... would be ending production but we also found out that there was a possibility that the model name would continue in the form of a rebadged Mazda 2 hatchback like the Yaris Sedan. 
    Yesterday, those suspicions were confirmed.  Toyota released details ahead of the New York International Auto Show of the coming 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback.   Like the sedan, it is based on the Mazda 2 but with a Toyota front clip and badging.  Surprisingly, it is larger than the old model. Wheelbase is up by 2.4 inches over the outgoing model and features a trunk area with almost 16 cubic feet of room. 
    Toyota describes the styling as "Cab-Rearward", giving the hatchback a hunkered down bulldog like look.  The interior is standard issue Mazda with Toyota badging and we expect it to be excellent for the class.  Toyota claims the Yaris Hatch will be a hoot to drive due to its use of ultra-high tensile steel frame.  The high structural integrity combined with a MacPherson Strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension have been tuned for handling agility and comfort. 
    The Yaris will come in just two trims, LE and XLE, both equipped with Navigation hardware (SD card with Maps sold separately), but you could also use the standard Apple Car Play or Android Auto for navigation on the standard 7-inch touchscreen.  Stepping up to the XLE brings faux leather in gray or black, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic LED headlamps, and leather trim on the steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake. 
    Both trims of the Yaris will be equipped standard with low-speed pre-collision safety system, dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS, brake assist, and brake override systems. 
    Powering the Yaris will be the same engine as in the Yaris Sedan, a 1.5 liter inline 4-cylinder that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque.  This engine has direct injection and a 12.0:1 compression ratio.  A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission choice.
    No word yet on pricing, but expect a small bump over the $15,450 of the Yaris Sedan. 
    The Yaris will debut on April 17th at the New York Auto Show and go on sale later this year. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...the small sports coupe from Toyota and Subaru lives on.

    With the introduction of the Toyota Supra, rumors have been swirling that the 86/BRZ twins might not be replaced when their production lives were up.  Autocar UK has a quote from Toyota's European Marketing Chief saying "[the GT86] has been a successful halo product for us" and added that "...the Supra is not to replace that car."
    The 86/FR-S/BRZ was released in 2011 as a co-development between Toyota and Subaru.  It uses Subaru's boxer engine and transmission.  It is highly likely that the next generation model would continue to use the signature engine. The new car would continue sit below the Supra in the Toyota lineup. Akio Toyoda has stated interest in building a full lineup of sports cars.
    Whatever comes from the next generation 86, we're just glad that SUVs haven't killed yet another sports car.

    Drew Dowdell

    New tie up would provide market entries to each company in different markets

    Toyota and Suzuki are teaming up to share platforms and parts for markets other than the U.S.   
    Suzuki will get two hybrid platforms for Europe.  Toyota will build vehicles on their RAV4 and Corolla Wagon platforms and also supply hybrid powertrain tech to Suzuki for use in other vehicles. 
    Toyota will get access to Suzuki's new engine range designed for use under the new stricter EU emissions standards. Toyota will build the engines themselves in Poland. 
    The two automakers are working together to build a two new compact vehicles for the India and four for the Africa markets. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...adding 600 jobs in five states.

    Toyota announced today that they will be increasing their plan for a $10 billion investment in North America over 5 years to a $13 billion investment in the same time period.  Part of that will be an additional $749 million investment in plants in 5 states that will add 600 jobs to the roles. 
    The changes include adding the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Lexus ES Hybrid to vehicle production in Georgetown, KY, adding engine and hybrid transmission capacity in Huntsville, AL and Buffalo, WV respectively, as well as adding casting capacity in Tennessee and Missouri. 
    These additions are on top of a $1.6 billion investment into a new joint venture facility with Mazda in Huntsville AL that will add 4,000 jobs. 
    Further details of Toyota's expansion can be read in their press release on page 2
    Toyota Solidifies Its Substantial and Growing Investment in U.S.
    Company Throttles Up Investments from Original $10 Billion Commitment to nearly $13 Billion Over Five Years with Focus on Advancing Electrification, Creating Hundreds More American Jobs
      By 2021, Toyota will now invest nearly $13 Billion in its U.S. operations with plans to add nearly 600 new jobs at American manufacturing plants Hybrid versions of the popular RAV4 and Lexus ES to be produced in Kentucky for the first time Production capacity increases and building expansions at Toyota’s unit plants in Huntsville, Alabama, Buffalo, West Virginia, Troy, Missouri and Jackson, Tennessee March 14, 2019 WASHINGTON (March 14, 2019) – For over 60 years Toyota has been growing its manufacturing presence in the United States, and today the company announced it will exceed its 2017 pledge to invest $10 billion over five years with a new commitment to reach nearly $13 billion over the same period.

    Part of that commitment is seen today with an investment announcement of nearly $750 million in five different states, with more to come. The new investments include adding the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the best-selling SUV in the U.S., and Lexus ES 300h hybrid vehicle production at its Georgetown, Kentucky, manufacturing plant; expanding engine capacity at its Huntsville, Alabama, facility; doubling hybrid transaxle capacity at its plant in Buffalo, West Virginia; and a building expansion for additional castings at Bodine Aluminum’s Jackson, Tennessee, facility as well as additional castings at its Troy, Missouri, facility.

    “These latest investments represent even more examples of our long-term commitment to build where we sell,” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer for Toyota Motor North America. “By boosting our U.S. manufacturing footprint, we can better serve our customers and dealers and position our manufacturing plants for future success with more domestic capacity.”

    A state-by-state look at the new investments totaling $749 million and 586 new jobs:
    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama (TMMAL) - $288,000,000
    In Alabama, Toyota’s investment will increase annual engine capacity from 670,000 to 900,000 by the end of 2021 to increase product flexibility and better accommodate market demand. New 4-cylinder and V6 engine lines will add 450 new jobs to its Huntsville, Alabama, facility, the largest hiring need in the plant’s history. The investment also includes a building expansion. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $1.2 billion.

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) - $238,000,000
    Toyota’s Kentucky vehicle plant, the company’s largest globally, will begin production of the Lexus ES 300h hybrid in May 2019 with annual capacity of 12,000 units while RAV4 Hybrid production will start January 2020 with an annual capacity of 100,000 units. TMMK’s 8,000 team members also build Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES models with an annual capacity of 550,000 vehicles. Overall, the plant represents an investment of more than $7 billion.

    Bodine Aluminum Troy, Missouri - $62,000,000
    Investments in Toyota’s Bodine Aluminum plant in Missouri will provide equipment to produce an additional 864,000 cylinder heads for Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). Bodine’s 900 Missouri team members currently produce more than 3 million cylinder heads a year, which are made for every Toyota and Lexus manufactured in North America. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $455 million.

    Bodine Aluminum Jackson, Tennessee - $50,000,000
    The Tennessee investment includes a building expansion and equipment to double the capacity of hybrid transaxle cases and housings to 240,000 annually. The investment will also provide equipment to produce an additional 288,000 engine blocks a year for TNGA. The plant’s 300 team members currently produce 1.7 million engine blocks a year, which supply every Toyota and Lexus manufactured in North America, and 580,000 transmission cases and housings. Bodine will add 13 new jobs to its facility in Tennessee. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $365 million.

    West Virginia
    Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia (TMMWV) - $111,000,000
    The West Virginia investment includes a building expansion and equipment to double capacity of hybrid transaxles from 120,000 units (Start of Production-2020) to 240,000 units annually in 2021. To meet the production demands, TMMWV will add 123 new jobs to its facility in Buffalo, West Virginia. Overall, the plant represents a $1.4 billion investment.

    Ongoing Additional Investment
    Today’s news builds upon Toyota’s already expansive presence in the U.S., which includes 10 manufacturing facilities. This past year, Toyota announced a joint venture with Mazda to build an additional plant in the U.S. The $1.6 billion joint investment will create up to 4,000 new jobs in Huntsville, Alabama, with production slated for 2021. Meanwhile, Toyota’s Princeton, Indiana, plant is undergoing a $600 million transformation (previously announced) to incorporate TNGA and increase Highlander capacity by 40,000 units annually. With this, Toyota is adding 400-plus people to its team in Indiana. In Blue Springs, Mississippi, Toyota is launching the all-new 2020 Corolla on the TNGA line that included a $170 million investment and an increase of 400 jobs (previously announced). Currently, Toyota employs more than 37,000 Americans.

    William Maley

    Another Mazda rebadged vehicle coming to Toyota?

    It came as no surprise that Toyota decided to drop the Yaris Liftback for 2019 - they only sold 1,940 models last year. In our original report, Toyota spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell dropped an interesting bit of information by revealing they would have news on the 2020 Yaris at New York. Car and Driver has a possible guess as to what it could be - a rebadged Mazda2 hatchback.
    Some quick background: The current Toyota Yaris sedan is just a rebadged version of the Mazda2 sedan sold elsewhere in the world. It was introduced back in 2016 as the Scion iA and then became the Yaris iA a year later.
    Car and Driver is expecting the hatchback version to get the same front end as the Yaris sedan, while the rest of the body is unchanged. Power will remain the 1.5L inline-four teamed with either a six-speed manual or automatic.
    Source: Car and Driver

    William Maley

    Only sold 1,940 Liftback models sold last year

    In news that will likely not shock a lot of people, Toyota has dropped the Yaris Liftback for 2019. This was confirmed by Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell to CarsDirect. No reason was given as to why the liftback variant was being dropped, but we have to assume falling sales were the key reason. In 2018, sales dropped 77.6 percent to 27,209 models - only 1,940 of those were the liftback.
    Toyota is keeping the sedan variant but has dropped the price to $16,380.
    CarsDirect speculates this might have been a tough decision based on fleet documents that list the 2019 Yaris Liftback production as "TBA" for a number of months after issuing order guides.
    Interestingly, Hubbell told CarsDirect that Toyota has an announcement concerning the 2020 Yaris at the New York Auto Show in April.
    Source: CarsDirect

    William Maley

    Keyword is 'could'

    Toyota is reading to launch their high-performance sub-brand GAZOO Racing (GR) with the upcoming Toyota Supra - debuting next week at the Detroit Auto Show. But what comes next?
    "We have lots of requests from different countries, so it's really, really challenging to decide on the order [of performance models]," said Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Toyota 86 and Supra.
    "It's not just Hyundai. Other car brands are doing this too, so we are researching this and we have to create the brand strategy."
    According to Carsales, Australian executives are pushing hard for a GR version of the Corolla Hatchback to bring the fight to the Hyundai i30N hatchback. No mention was made as to what could be changed, but we're guessing some changes to the suspension and possibly some sort of forced-induction. But judging from Tada's comments, this may be one idea relegated to the back for some time.
    Source: Carsales.com.au

    William Maley

    Finally, we get to see the actual car!

    It has been a long time coming, but finally, we have gotten our first look at the upcoming 2020 Toyota Supra. The SupraMKV forums obtained a photo of the upcoming sports car in a transporter with most of the car cover removed from it.
    Comparing this photo with the FT-1 concept from a few years back, Toyota's designers toned down the front end. The nose isn't as pointy and the bumper has three large intakes - not two like the concept. It also appears the bubble roof has carried over onto the production model. 
    As we reported back in June, the Supra will come with two engines from BMW; the 2.0L turbo-four (265 horsepower) and 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six (335 horsepower). This will be paired with an eight-speed automatic.
    Toyota will be revealing the Supra next month at the Detroit Auto Show. In the meantime, we have pictures of the FT-1 Concept, a camouflaged Supra prototype, and the production model for your perusal.
    Source: SupraMKV.com
    Pic Credit: SupraMKV.com

    William Maley

    Also said their lineup will be biased heavily towards cars

    The past couple of years has seen a lot of talk about consumers are turning away from cars towards trucks and utility vehicles. U.S. automakers have responded to this trend by announcing cuts to their car lineup - General Motors being the latest one. But other automakers are being more cautious.
    Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America told a gathering at the Detroit Economic Club last week that car sales are reaching the point of bottoming out - just under 30 percent in November sales. Unlike the American brands, Lentz isn't giving up on cars as they represent more than 4 million compact, midsize, and near-luxury cars sold to buyers.
    "There’s no way I’m going to walk away from that. We are always going to have a bias toward passenger cars,” said Lentz.
    The Associated Press reports that sales of passenger cars "are on pace to be 800,000 vehicles below 2017, while truck and SUV sales should increase by the same amount."
    Source: Associated Press

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