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    William Maley

    Also, we have fuel economy figures

    Before the new Corolla hatchback hits dealers later this summer, Toyota has revealed pricing and fuel economy numbers.
    The base SE will set you back $20,910 (includes a $920 destination charge), while the XSE begins at $23,910. That will net you a new 2.0L four-cylinder with 168 horsepower and a six-speed manual. A CVT is available for an additional $1,100.
    This is what you get on either trim:
    SE:  Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning; 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, and 16-inch wheels. XSE: 18-inch wheels, LED fog lamps, upgraded infotainment system, leather-and-fabric upholstery, and heated front seats.  As for fuel economy, the SE with the CVT is the mileage leader with EPA estimates of 32 City/42 Highway/36 Combined. The XSE CVT is next with figures of 30/38/33. For the manual, Toyota only has figures for the SE which are 28/37/31. Numbers on the XSE manual are coming soon.
    Source: Toyota

    William Maley

    The car previously known as the iA and Yaris iA

    The Toyota Yaris iA is no more. Putting to rest the last remnants of the Scion brand, Toyota is renaming their smallest sedan to the Yaris for 2019. It also marks the introduction of a range of trims (L, LE, and XLE).
    Not much changes in terms of the exterior aside from a honeycomb grille and chrome trim. A lip spoiler is standard on the LE and XLE models. For the interior, the Yaris sedan comes well equipped with a 7-inch display, Bluetooth, backup camera, push-button start, and cruise control. LE and XLE models add a Smart Key. The top-line XLE comes with leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, automatic rain-sensing wipers, and automatic LED headlights.
    The powertrain remains a 1.5L four-cylinder with 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with a six-speed manual or automatic. 
    All Yaris sedans come equipped with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System.
    No word on pricing, but the 2019 Yaris sedan arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Toyota
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2019 Yaris Sedan Offers Ideal Blend of Value and Fun
    2019 Yaris Sedan Available in Three Grades: L, LE, XLE New XLE Grade Adds Leather Accents, Leatherette-Trimmed Interior New Sport-Inspired Front Grille Available 40 MPG Highway Rating* Standard 7-inch Touchscreen Multimedia System Standard Active Safety System, Low-Speed Pre-Collision System PLANO, Texas, March 26, 2018 – The 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan offers an exceptional blend of efficiency, fun, comfort and safety all at a reasonable price. Is this combination too much to ask of an entry subcompact vehicle? The new Yaris answers with a resounding, “No!”

    The Yaris sedan, previously the Yaris iA, will be offered in three grades for 2019, including the sporty L, the well-equipped LE grade, and the new premium XLE grade. Premium, on a Yaris? That’s right. The XLE takes Yaris up a notch with sporty leatherette-trimmed front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake, an HVAC system with Automatic Climate Control, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and illuminated entry.
    For 2019, all Yaris sedans will feature a new sport-inspired front grille with a honeycomb insert design. Exterior styling cues include upscale piano black accents and chrome trim. Fog lights come standard on the LE and XLE grades, and these grades also sport a new rear lip spoiler. Every grade is fitted with a roof-mounted, color-keyed shark fin antenna for available satellite radio. Power outside mirrors come standard on the L, while the LE and XLE are equipped with power outside heated mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators.
    Safety is a priority on every Toyota, and that’s why all Yaris sedans comes standard with an Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. The Yaris features a high-compression 1.5-liter engine that boasts up to 40 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway*.
    The Yaris sedan will be offered in seven colors that include Frost, Chromium, Graphite, Stealth, Sapphire, Pulse and the all-new Icicle. The new Yaris will go on sale in the fall of 2018.
    Efficiency is Key
    There’s no question that fuel economy is high atop the list of must-haves for Yaris. When the direct-injection 1.5-liter engine is paired with the available 6-speed automatic transmission, the Yaris boasts an impressive 32 MPG in the city, 40 on the highway and 35 combined*. When paired with the six-speed manual gearbox offering, the Yaris provides 30 mpg in the city, 39 on the highway and 34 combined*.
    The sporty Yaris sedan is a blast to drive, thanks in large part to the engine and transmission offerings. The 1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine pumps out 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque for plenty of pep to power onto highway onramps and seamlessly navigate workday traffic. The standard manual transmission features a compact, lightweight design with a short-throw shift for smooth, quick gear changes. The available automatic transmission aids in smooth starts while offering quick, precise shifts at higher speeds.
    Value Doesn’t Sacrifice Fun
    Yaris’ sporty handling is engineered into the chassis with effective use of high-tensile steel in the body and frame. The rigid chassis design is complemented with a pairing of stiff springs and MacPherson struts on the front suspension and a durable torsion beam suspension in the rear.
    The electronic power steering is designed for smooth, effortless operation. For more spirited driving, Sport Mode provides improved torque feel at the flip of a switch. Stopping duties are handled by ventilated discs up front and drum brakes in the rear. The braking system is tuned with a progressive experience when cornering, as the pedal offers a cushioned feel that gets progressively more rigid as G-force rises. The LE and XLE feature a unique 16-inch alloy wheel with new dark gunmetal finish.
    It’s What’s Inside that Counts
    Upping the ante on interior comfort and features, every Yaris features a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system with voice recognition, remote interface, steering wheel controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The touchscreen also displays the standard backup camera. Belting out tunes in the cabin is a six-speaker sound system, and each Yaris includes available satellite radio with a 3-month complimentary SiriusXM® All Access trial. An integrated AM/FM antenna, auxiliary audio jack and USB port with iPod® connectivity are standard.
    Every Yaris comes equipped with a stylish instrumentation cluster that includes an analog speedometer, digital tachometer and incorporated trip meter. Cruise control also comes standard. Push button start is standard on all grades, and the L grade features a remote keyless entry system while both the LE and XLE are equipped with Smart Key System. Every Yaris is fitted with power windows with driver-side auto up/down and jam protection. A standard 60/40-split rear seat easily expands carrying capacity and versatility.
    Standard Safety System
    Every Yaris is equipped with an Active Safety System that includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and a Brake Over-Ride System (BOS).
    The Yaris is also fitted with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System, which scans the road ahead for potential vehicle collisions. If the system detects a potential frontal collision, an audio/visual alert and braking assistance are designed to automatically activate. Should the driver not respond, this system may automatically apply the brakes.
    A driver and front passenger airbag system and seat-mounted side airbags are standard, as are front and rear side curtain airbags. Other standard safety features include a Driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) and Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR) on all passenger belts. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) is also standard on outboard rear seats with tethers and anchors on all rear seats. A Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) also is equipped on all grades.

    William Maley

    It would require a new platform?! Wait, what?!

    The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ coupes have earned a lot of praise agile and nimble handling. But many agree that they could use more power. The 2.0L boxer-four only produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Rumors have been swirling about possibly turbocharging the engine. But the chief engineer on the 86 and BRZ said that turbocharging is not in the cards for this generation.
    “When we launched 86, I got literally millions of questions from around the world of ‘when would you be launching the turbo version? I believe that often times I answered that there won’t be a turbo version, and there were some articles in the media that Mr Tada doesn’t like a turbo," said Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer for the two coupes to CarAdvice.
    “That’s not really true. I do like turbos, however if we come up with a turbo version of the 86 and boost up the power that would result in the necessity of changing the basic configuration completely, to come up with a car that I would be satisfied with.”
    Emphasis ours. Tada said the current car's weight distribution was designed the 2.0L boxer-four in mind.
    “One characteristic of the 86 is that in terms of the front balance its slightly front loaded so it makes the handling more fast and agile. So if we were to come up with a turbo version, we would have to go change the weight balance between the front and the rear. That means we have to come up with a completely new platform, so it’s not about just changing or slight modification in the engine parts,” said Tada.
    But considering how much demand there is for a turbocharged model, it might cause Toyota and Subaru to look at it for the next-generation models, whenever that may be. In the meantime, there a number of aftermarket suppliers who are willing to add a bit of turbo for your current GT86 or BRZ.
    Source: CarAdvice

    William Maley

    Toyota begins to play catch up in terms of EVs

    Toyota is well aware that they are quite behind competitors when it comes to electric vehicles. Facing a “now or never” crisis, the Japanese automaker announced a new plan that will see it sell more than 10 electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. The plan hinges on a significant acceleration in the development and launches of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cells. The new vehicles will be launched in China first, followed by other markets such as Japan and the U.S.
    Toyota is also planning on having an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025.
    The goals mark a major departure for Toyota as they have tended to focus more on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, not electric-only models. The company had said for the longest time that electric vehicles would be a niche market due to their limited range, slow recharging times, and high costs. Toyota would instead focus on developing fuel cell vehicles which had its own issues - limited fuel infrastructure and slow refueling times. But with various governments beginning to clamp down on emissions, Toyota knew it had to make a course change.
    The company is planning on launching a new, solid-state battery in the early 2020s which will improve the performance and weight of their electric vehicles.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Toyota
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Toyota Aims for Sales of More Than 5.5 Million Electrified Vehicles Including 1 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles per Year by 2030
    Electrified vehicles to be available across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up by around 2025
    Toyota City, Japan, December 18, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces today its plans toward the popularization of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
    Toyota has been working toward creating ever-better cars and an ever-better society under the thinking of contributing to a sustainable society and creating mobility that brings smiles to customers. Addressing environmental challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and limited natural resources and energy supply are of utmost importance to Toyota. "Environment" is one of the anchors of the company's product development, alongside "safety/peace of mind" and "emotion." Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues. In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realizing a sustainable society. In the ever-better cars category, Toyota aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels. Today's announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge.
    Electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up
    By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models. As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero. Zero-emission Vehicles
    Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s. Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
    The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s. Batteries are a core technology of electrified vehicles and generally present limitations relating to energy density, weight/packaging, and cost. Toyota has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialize the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles.
    Furthermore, Toyota aims to focus on the development of a social infrastructure conducive to the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles. This includes the creation of a system to help streamline battery reuse and recycling, as well as support of the promotion of plug-in vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations through active cooperation and collaboration with government authorities and partner companies.
    Toyota has been a leader in making vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago, as well as the launch of the world's first PHEV, the Prius PHV, in 2012. The second-generation Prius PHV, introduced in 2017, further increased the vehicle's electric mode cruising range. Additionally, in 2014 Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, which is being well-received by customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Through these activities, Toyota sales of electrified vehicles have reached more than 11 million units worldwide to date.

    William Maley

    The price isn't helping matters either

    Toyota's polarizing C-HR crossover went on sale earlier this year and it isn't doing so well in terms of sales. Through November, Toyota has only moved 21,889 units, way less than Chevrolet Trax (72,723 units) and Honda HR-V (86,491).
    Speaking to Wards Auto, Toyota Motor Sales USA's president Bob Carter said a key reason the comes down to the C-HR not offering all-wheel drive in North America. Most subcompact crossovers sold in the U.S. have the option of AWD. But if Toyota was to AWD to the C-HR, it would highlight another problem. The C-HR carries a base price of $22,500, making it one of the more expensive models in the class.
    The C-HR isn't the only crossover that will only come front-wheel drive. Nissan's upcoming Kicks crossover will also be FWD only. However, Michael Bunce, senior vice president-product planning for Nissan North America tells Wards that only offering FWD on the Kicks shouldn't dent sales due to the low price of under $19,000. Those who want AWD will need to step up to the Rogue Sport which begins at $22,470 for the base S AWD.
    Source: Wards Auto

    William Maley

    One of the three crossover concepts will go into production

    Over the course of this year, Toyota has unveiled three different crossover concepts; the FT-4X, TJ Cruiser, and the FT-AC. We figured that one of these concepts could make it into production and this was confirmed by a Toyota executive.
    "It's like the 90s again, we can have more than one vehicle in each segment if they are different enough," Toyota Motor North America General Manager Jack Hollis told Motor Authority.
    While the three concepts differ greatly in terms of design, Hollis explained this was done to "test the waters in the market and get feedback from consumers." No matter which design is chosen, there are certain details that have been confirmed. Hollis said this new model will sit alongside the C-HR and be based on the company's TGNA platform. Power will come from a four-cylinder, but don't count out a hybrid option. Unlike the C-HR, this model will have the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The new crossover will also influence the design of the next-generation 4Runner and RAV4.
    Hollis said the model will have a price tag of under $20,000 and go on sale within the next two to three years. 
    Source: Motor Authority

    William Maley

    Blame the RAV4 Hybrid

    The Toyota Prius V is an odd duck in the Prius family. The wagon/van shape offered buyers more space to carry stuff while returning high fuel economy numbers. But its run in the U.S. will be coming to a close at the end of this year.
    "After six years and nearly 160,000 units sold in the U.S., the decision was made to end Prius V production for the U.S. and Puerto Rico this December," said Toyota's East Coast communications manager Corey Proffitt to Green Car Reports.
    Proffitt went on to say the Prius V would continue to be sold in other markets around the world, but it is unclear whether Canada will be part of that or not.
    Declining sales is the key reason Toyota is pulling the Prius V out of the U.S.
    2011: 8,399 2012: 40,669 2013: 34,989 2014: 30,762 2015: 28,290 2016: 14,840 2017 (YTD): 8,299 The reason for the massive drop-off in 2016 is due to Toyota launching the RAV4 Hybrid with sales of 45,000 models. In 2017, Toyota has moved around 41,400 units.
    Source: Green Car Reports

    William Maley

    Blame stronger emission regulations

    Most vehicles sold feature an internal combustion engine running some type of fuel, but a Toyota executive believes this engine will be gone for vehicles by 2050.
    “We expect that by 2050 we will have reduced CO2 emissions from vehicles by 90% compared to the figure in 2010. To achieve that from 2040 simple internal combustion engined cars will not be made, but they may be the basis of some hybrid or plug-in hybrid cars,” said Seigo Kuzumaki, Toyota’s head of advanced R&D and engineering.
    Kuzumaki's reasoning for this comes down to governments tightening regulations on emissions. This, in turn, will cause automakers to accelerate development of alternative powertrains such as electrics.
    Toyota's a latecomer to electric vehicles, instead choosing to focus on hydrogen. But the Japanese automaker is working on a new family of EVs that will launch in 2020. The models will use lithium-ion batteries and have a range of 300 miles. But Toyota hopes to launch solid state batteries only a few years later for their EVs. Solid state batteries use solid electrolytes instead of liquid to hold a charge. This will provide better performance and a smaller size than the lithium-ion battery packs.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    It depends on how the public reacts

    Toyota's Tj Cruiser concept is an interesting one. It takes elements of a van and SUV, and mashes them up into a capable and practical vehicle. Toyota in a press release announcing the concept hinted that it could go into production by saying it would be based on their TGNA modular platform, feature a hybrid powertrain, and have the choice of front or all-wheel drive.
    According to Autocar, Toyota is serious about possibly bringing the Tj Cruiser to production. Design chief Hirokazu Ikuma told the outlet that if the concept gets enough of a positive reaction from those attending the Tokyo Motor Show, it may move on to the next step of taking this vehicle to various consumer clinics to gather reactions.
    If the Tj Cruiser is given the green light, it would be underpinned by the next-generation TGNA platform due in 2022.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    A sporty hybrid from Toyota?

    Toyota's European division wants to show there is another side to hybrid vehicles than fuel economy. Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Toyota Europe boss Johan van Zyl says they are planning to launch a lineup of hybrid vehicles that will boast more performance and be fun to drive.
    “One will provide the traditional benefits of efficiency and fuel economy, like in the current offer. The second will build on this, adding more power and a more dynamic driving character,” said van Zyl.
    Toyota previewed this with the C-HR Hy-Power concept this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept features a gloss black finish on various trim pieces, ‘Burning Orange’ finish on the front pillars, and the interior finished in black and orange. Oddly, Toyota doesn't provide any figures on the “higher powered” hybrid powertrain used in this concept.
    More details on the high-performance hybrids will be revealed 'early next-year' van Zyl explained.
    Hybrids currently make up 40 percent of Toyota's sales in Europe, with Western Europe being close to 50 percent.
    Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Plus, possible clues for the engines

    The upcoming Toyota Supra is considered to be one of the most highly anticipated vehicles to come out. It has also garnered a fair amount rumors, partly due to it sharing some bits with the next BMW Z4. But some leaked internal documents may dampen some of that anticipation.
    A member on the Supra MKV forums obtained a BMW model code document listing out the various combinations for the upcoming Supra and Z4, along with which market they will appear on. For the Toyota, the document shows that it will be offered with the 30i and 40i engines. This likely means the Supra will get BMW's 2.0L turbo-four (248 horsepower) and 3.0L turbocharged inline-six (335 horsepower). Interestingly, none of Toyota variants list a manual transmission. They all appear to be hooked up to an automatic. Compare it to list of BMW models where there appear to be some manual options.
    Before you start panicking about the missing manual, the document is a few months and what is listed may change.
    So for right now, take a deep breath and wait patiently for BMW and Toyota to reveal the models.
    Source: Supra MKV

    William Maley

    Return of the 'Three Brothers'

    Toyota appears to be building out their sports car lineup with the 86 and the rumored Supra coupe. There is now talk of third sports that would mark the return of the 'Three Brothers'; MR2, Celica, and Supra.
    Evo reports that Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Toyota 86 and head of Gazoo Racing revealed that a spiritual successor to the MR2 is in the works. The successor would act as the starting point for the 'three brothers,' with the 86 serving as the successor to the Celica and the Supra as the top dog. Tada said the company hopes to have the trio in production together, "as soon as possible."
    Details are slim, but Evo expects the model to be smaller and lighter than the 86 coupe. There is the possibility of a hybrid powertrain, using tech from Toyota's Le Mans prototype race car.
    Source: Evo

    William Maley

    Toyota makes three as it announces when it will end Australian production

    Toyota has announced that October 3, 2017 will be the date it will cease Australian production at their plant in Altona - a suburb of Melbourne. The date is 17 days before Holden shutters its production line in Elizabeth. In a statement, Toyota is planning to keep the AM and PM shifts at the plant until the plant closes. This is to ensure the company meets their goal of 61,000 vehicles for the year - 26,600 domestic and 34,400 exports.
    "Our priority over the remaining months is to continue to support our employees in every way possible so that they are well prepared for the future," said Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner in a statement.
    "We remain extremely proud of our rich manufacturing history which spans over 50 years. Our employees are committed to producing vehicles of the highest quality as we work towards our goal of 'last car = best global car'."
    Toyota will begin phasing out production of various models beginning in August with the Aurion. This will be followed by the Camry Hybrid in September, and the standard Camry on October 3rd.
    Once the Altona plant is closed, Toyota will begin importing the 2018 Camry from Japan.
    Source: CarAdvice, Toyota
    Press Release is on Page 2

    31 January 2017
    Toyota Australia has today announced that Tuesday 3 October 2017 will be its final day of vehicle production at its Altona manufacturing plant.
    As part of the shutdown process, the plant will stop building Aurion vehicles in August, Camry Hybrid vehicles in September and Camry Petrol vehicles in October.
    The company will continue operating both AM and PM shifts until the final closure date. This will ensure the total volume production of 61,000 vehicles for the year, made up of 26,600 domestic and 34,400 exports, is met. 
    Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner reinforced the company's commitment to supporting employees throughout the transition period and beyond.
    "Our priority over the remaining months is to continue to support our employees in every way possible so that they are well prepared for the future," Mr Buttner said. 
    "We remain extremely proud of our rich manufacturing history which spans over 50 years. Our employees are committed to producing vehicles of the highest quality as we work towards our goal of 'last car = best global car'."
    As part of Toyota Australia's transition to a national sales and distribution company, the consolidation of all corporate functions from Sydney to Melbourne will take effect by 1 January 2018. 
    As a result of this consolidation and closure of manufacturing, the number of employees will reduce from 3,900 people to approximately 1,300. 
    The head office will continue to be based in Port Melbourne and most of the Altona manufacturing site will be retained for new and relocated functions.

    William Maley

    Toyota's European boss says a second-generation of the 86 is coming

    Toyota and Subaru have been quiet on whether or not there would be a second-generation to the 86/BRZ coupe. But Toyota has broken the silence, telling Autocar there would be a second-generation model.
    “The GT86 will carry on. The car serves a big purpose. We are not getting out of that business. Sporty cars go through their phases. It’s our intention to continue with that car,” said Toyota Europe boss Karl Schlicht.
    Like the current model, it is expected that Toyota and Subaru will once again team up on developing the next-generation model. Schlicht did admit that there is no firm confirmation of Subaru coming back to this partnership. 
    “Will it be with Subaru? I don’t know. But for the concept to carry on, with the low engine, we’d have to do that. There are a lot of reasons to continue with Subaru.”
    Autocar says the next-generation 86 could arrive in late 2018 or 2019.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    But there is the possibility of a faster C-HR

    To say we were slightly disappointed to find out that the U.S.-Spec Toyota C-HR would only come with a 2.0L four-cylinder producing 144 horsepower would be an understatement. The European-spec C-HR has the choice of either a turbocharged 1.2L four or a hybrid, but neither of these powertrains will be showing up in the U.S.
    Car and Driver spoke with the C-HR's chief engineer, Hiroyuki Koba to find out why. Koba didn't say why the turbocharged 1.2L would not come to the U.S., but we're guessing Toyota didn't want to put the effort in getting this engine certified for the U.S. Also, performance numbers between the 2.0L and turbo 1.2L are similar (11 seconds for the 2.0 to hit 60 mph, 11.1 seconds for the 1.2).
    As for the hybrid, Koba said the decision comes down to the market, not engineering. At the moment, Toyota doesn't see the demand for this model in the U.S.
    Koba did admit there is a possibility for a more powerful version of the C-HR, but quickly added there aren't plans for this at the moment.
    Source: Car and Driver

    William Maley

    Toyota adds electric vehicle development to their portfolio

    While most auto manufacturers are betting on electrics as the future, Toyota believes that fuel cells are the answer. But fuel cells have a number of issues, with the biggest one being the lack of infrastructure. So it is surprising that Toyota announced yesterday that would be adding the development of electric vehicles to their green portfolio.
    "We want to get ready to consider the future release of electric vehicles," said Toyota's Executive Vice President Takahiko Ijichi.
    Ijichi said fuel cells are still the priority for the brand, but adding electrics is important as various markets have conditions surrounding energy and infrastructure. The Nikkei Asian Review says the company will start up an internal group focusing on the EV planning and development next year. Toyota will be accelerating development of various parts to play catch up with other automakers.
    It is expected that the first Toyota EV will roll out in 2020.
    Source: Nikkei Asian Review, 2

    William Maley

    Getting into a 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will cost you dearly

    If you want the most off-road capable Toyota Tacoma, then you'll be happy to hear the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will be arriving at dealers next months. But it will cost you a fair chunk of cash.
    The 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will carry a base price of $41,700 (includes a $940 destination charge). This nets you an off-road package that includes FOX 2.5 internal bypass shocks, new front springs with a 1-inch lift, and a revised rear suspension with progressive leaf-springs. The exterior features a retro Toyota grille, new head and taillights, front skid plate, and a set of 16-inch wheels wrapped in Kevlar-reinforced off-road tires.
    Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 278 horsepower. The V6 in the TRD Pro features a larger alternator, and coolers for the oil and power-steering. A six-speed manual comes standard, while a six-speed automatic is optional. No matter which transmission you choose, you'll get a part-time four-wheel drive system. Models with the manual transmission A-TRAC 4WD traction control system that modulates power to all four wheels without cutting the throttle. Opt for the automatic and you'll get Crawl Control that manages the throttle and brakes to maintain movement at one of five speed settings.
    Source: Toyota
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Toyota Releases Pricing for All-New 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro
    TORRANCE, Calif., August 2, 2016 - - It’s dirtier than ever and it’s coming soon! It’s the highly anticipated return of the all-new Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro! Whether tackling treacherous snow-covered terrain, driving off the beaten path, or surviving extreme conditions where roads fear to tread, the adrenaline-pumping Tacoma TRD Pro will be up for any challenge.
    Based on the ninth-generation Toyota Tacoma pickup that launched last fall, the Tacoma TRD Pro will start getting down and dirty when it reaches dealerships later this month.
    The Toyota Tacoma rejoins the 2017 model year TRD Pro family with all-new factory-installed off-road equipment designed by the experts at Toyota Racing Development (TRD) to make it EVEN MORE off-road capable than before.
    Aimed squarely at extreme off-roading enthusiasts who know the value of body-on-frame construction, and challenge themselves and their trucks and SUV’s in some of the harshest conditions, the new 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will raise the bar on TRD Pro performance. Courtesy of TRD, the new Tacoma TRD Pro will add an array of new performance equipment and features, making this a truly next-generation TRD Pro product, and the new benchmark for challenging off-road terrain.

    Extreme Exterior for Extreme Performance
    The 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro is designed to not only look tough, but to perform in the toughest off-road environment. Based on the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab Short Bed model in either 6-speed manual (with clutch start-cancel switch) or 6-speed automatic transmission, the new Tacoma TRD Pro will be available in three exterior colors: Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, and Super White. The exterior of each Tacoma TRD Pro model will also include:
    16-inch TRD black alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler® All-Terrain Kevlar®-reinforced tires TRD Pro aluminum front skid plate Rigid Industries® LED fog lights New projector-beam headlights with black bezels, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and auto on/off feature New taillights with black bezels TRD Pro badge on front door with diamond-pattern knurled finish Black TRD Pro and 4x4 rear tailgate badging

    Each Tacoma TRD Pro will also come equipped with a heritage-inspired TOYOTA front grille with color-keyed surround, blacked out hood scoop and graphic, color-keyed power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, color-keyed door handles, black overfenders, and a color-keyed rear bumper.
    Interior Sportiness Combined with Convenience Technology
    Driving a truck designed for harsh off-road conditions does not mean you also have to live without riding in comfort or the latest safety and convenience technologies. The new Tacoma TRD Pro combines performance and convenience with standard features that include:
    Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats with TRD Pro logo located on the headrests Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth® hands-free phone controls Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite New for 17MY power sliding rear window with privacy glass TRD shift knob TRD Pro floor mats Rear parking assist sonar Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)

    The new Tacoma TRD Pro also includes an analog instrumentation that features a 4.2-inch color Multi-Information Display (MID) with an integrated inclinometer and tilt gauge. The MID also has outside temperature, odometer, tripmeters, and average fuel economy.
    As in all Tacoma models, a GoPro® mount is located on the windshield for serious off-roaders who like to document their exploits with GoPro® HERO cameras.

    William Maley

    Toyota is at a crossroads for diesels in Europe

    With the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal hanging a dark cloud over the fuel, many automakers are considering whether or not they want to continue with diesel.
    Karl Schlicht, executive vice-president of Toyota Europe tells Autocar the company is wondering whether or not they should stop offering diesels. He uses the example of the Yaris Diesel. At the moment, the option makes "up less than 10%” of total sales for Europe. Dropping this model is a real possibility.
    “I think that anyone looking at investing in a new diesel plant, which might have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, will have to look long and hard at whether they would get payback,” said Schlicht.
    This comes as stricter emission standards and tests are on the horizon for Europe.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Owners of the Prius and CT 200h, we have some important news!

    Toyota is recalling 482,000 Prius and Lexus CT 200h models for an issue with the side curtain airbags. According to Toyota, the hybrids use air bag inflators composed of two chambers welded together. Some vehicles may have a crack where the weld is. Over time, the crack can grow and cause the pieces to separate.
    "If an inflator separates, the CSA could partially inflate, and, in limited circumstances, one or both sections of the inflator could enter the interior of the vehicle," the company said in a statement.
    The models involved include,
    2010 - 2012 Lexus CT 200h 2010 - 2012 Toyota Prius 2010 - 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In

    The fix involves dealers installing retention brackets on the inflators to prevent it from entering the vehicle.
    Source: Toyota
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Toyota Recalls Certain Prius and Lexus CT Vehicles
    PLANO, Texas, June 28, 2016 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it is conducting a safety recall of approximately 482,000 Model Year 2010 - 2012 Prius; 2010 and 2012 Prius Plug-In Hybrids and 2011 and 2012 Lexus CT 200h vehicles.
    The involved vehicles are equipped with curtain shield air bags (CSA) in the driver and passenger side roof rails that have air bag inflators composed of two chambers welded together. Some inflators could have a small crack in the weld area joining the chambers, which could grow over time, and lead to the separation of the inflator chambers. This has been observed when the vehicle is parked and unoccupied for a period of time. If an inflator separates, the CSA could partially inflate, and, in limited circumstances, one or both sections of the inflator could enter the interior of the vehicle. If an occupant is present in the vehicle, there is an increased risk of injury.
    All known owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Toyota and Lexus dealers will install retention brackets on the curtain shield air bag inflators at no cost. These retention brackets are designed to prevent the inflator chambers from entering the vehicle interior if separation occurs.
    Information about automotive recalls, including but not limited to the list of involved vehicles, is subject to change over time. For the most up-to-date Safety Recall information on Lexus, Toyota and Scion customers should check their vehicle’s status by visiting http://www.toyota.com/recall and entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Safety Recall inquiry by individual VIN is also available at the NHTSA site: safercar.gov/vin. For any additional questions, customer support is also available by calling Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987.

    William Maley

    Tetsuya Tada talks about what he would like to see Toyota do in the future in terms of performance

    Tetsuya Tada, the man behind the Toyota 86 coupe (and sister models Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S) has some dreams that he would like the Japanese brand to take on.
    One thing Tada-san is adamant Toyota should do is launch a dedicated high-performance brand.
    “BMW has its M Division, Mercedes-Benz has Mercedes-AMG, Audi has quattro GmbH, so they have a stance of a sports car, but Toyota hasn’t,” Tada-san told CarAdvice.
    “So I would like to build that major sports car brand within Toyota, like BMW’s M.”
    The closest thing Toyota has at the moment is their TRD (Toyota Racing Development) arm. But Tada points to Gazgoo Racing - the group behind the racing efforts of the Lexus LF-A and Toyota 86 - as a possibility to reach this goal.
    “BMW and M and Audi and quattro GmbH used to be like the Toyota relationship with Gazoo – it wasn’t really one body, it was two separate things. But because of the time and the continuous effort, now they are together. So, I’m wishing that Toyota puts effort continuously, and then someday later, Toyota and Gazoo will be one body. The important thing is to keep putting in the effort and continue – never give up,” said Tada-san.
    Tada-san is also working on encouraging Toyota to build more vehicles with passion - see the upcoming Lexus LC 500 as an example. He is very much aware of the ‘opportunity’ to build a flagship sports car - the rumored Supra.
    “We’re putting all the effort into making it happen. There is so much gossip about it may be happening or it may be produced, but amongst Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), much of the things people think, have already been tried. But trying [‘things’] and trying to reach production, are two different things. So, of the ideas from our team, maybe one tenth is the production car.”
    Toyota and BMW currently have a partnership of developing various things, including a sports car platform. Rumor has it that next-generation BMW Z4 will share its platform with the Supra.
    Finally, Tada-san revealed what he would like to do as a dream project.
    “I would prefer a new Celica GT4 – turbo, four-wheel drive. [it’s a] really fun car and really fast. And [it was fast on] every type of road. [A new one is definitely] one of my dreams.”
    Source: CarAdvice

    William Maley

    Toyota's Australian office designs a more practical 86

    Most enthusiasts have a deep love for wagons. So it should come as no surprise as many enthusiasts are falling head over heels for this Toyota 86 Shooting Brake concept that was shown today in Australia.
    The concept takes the 86's body and extends the roofline towards the back to create a wagon shape. What makes this concept really impressive is that it is fully functional as it has run a few laps on Toyota's various test tracks.
    Back in 2014, the chief engineer for the 86, Tetsuya Tada was visiting Toyota's Australia office where he was shown a one-quarter scale clay model. He was impressed by the work that he decided to bring this idea to life. A hand-picked team in Japan built a full-size and functional concept.
    Before you ask, there are no plans to put the Shooting Brake into production.
    Source: Toyota

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Toyota Australia has unveiled a global first - a dramatic new "Shooting Brake" concept version of the 86 sports car.
    The prototype was conceived and developed by Toyota Australia's Product Design team and hand-built in Japan under the direction of the global sports car division.
    The Shooting Brake concept, which adds a more practical hatch styling to the rear of the sporty coupe, has been revealed to the world in Sydney by the Toyota 86 global chief engineer Tetsuya Tada.
    Toyota Australia divisional manager national marketing Brad Cramb said the unusual "shooting brake" name referred to a stunning design that gives the four-seat sports car a unique flavour with more rear head room and luggage space.
    "The Toyota 86 lends itself perfectly to a concept that expands its appeal with added versatility while retaining its sleek and sporty coupe styling and sharp, responsive driving character," Mr Cramb said.
    "The Shooting Brake concept is a classy option for active couples or a second car for families who want something different. Equally suited to weekends away as well as the track, it's a car you could buy with your head and your heart."
    Tada-san said he was inspired to support the project when shown a one-quarter scale clay model during a visit to Australia in November 2014.
    "I was totally surprised - and I liked it so much I arranged for my expert takumi prototype craftsmen to hand-build the Shooting Brake concept based on the Australian design," Tada-san said.
    "The concept car is a fully functional, driveable vehicle that has been put through its paces on Toyota test tracks.
    "The nicely weighted and direct steering of the 86 ensures the car retains the involving drive experience of the coupe with a slightly more neutral feel in tight corners on a driver's favourite road."
    Tada-san said Toyota wanted to gauge reaction to the concept, although it was conceived as an internal design study and there were no plans for production.
    "While we never say never, and I would love this concept to become a production reality, it is very much a concept that demonstrates the passion within Toyota for cars that are fun to drive."
    Toyota Australia's design chief Nicolas Hogios said his Australian design team engaged in enthusiastic debate about the extent to which they should make changes to the 86 coupe, eventually remodelling only the rear quarter and roof.
    "Like kids in a lolly shop, we thought about restyling more of the car; however, like a good parent saying 'no' to too many sweets, we made the conscious decision to keep as much of the original 86 as possible, only changing what was absolutely necessary.
    "The silhouette is still sporty, taut and energetic, but it's more practical as it allows the roof to be used to carry surfboards, bikes or storage pods for a weekend away while the larger opening of the new boot enables much easier loading.
    "As a result, we have expanded the appeal of the coupe while intentionally retaining the purity of the now-iconic 86 style," he said.

    William Maley

    Toyota goes back to drawing board with the Prius

    Back in 2011, Toyota made a very bold prediction; the Prius would be the best-selling Toyota model in the U.S. by the end of this decade. This seemed legitimate as gas prices had been climbing a steady rate and the Prius was the most popular hybrid. But that meant beating the Toyota Camry which in 2010 sold 327,104 models (the Prius only sold 140,928 models in 2010). To do this, Toyota would create the Prius family with the introduction of the Prius C, V, and Plug-In Hybrids.
    Five years on after this bold prediction, Toyota is reconsidering their plans. Thanks to lower gas prices (and in turn, consumers returning to pickups and crossovers) and models such as the Camry, Corolla, and RAV4 outselling it by a large margin, Toyota is now saying the Prius won't achieve that lofty goal.
    "Given all the changes in consumers' preferences right now, I don't think we're forecasting the Prius to be our top volume seller anymore," said Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager to Automotive News.
    Part of the reconsideration deals with the Prius C and V. Fay said Toyota is planning to "reinvest" in the C and V. But whether or not a second-generation happens for either model is still too early to tell.
    The V's future is in doubt more than the C because of a new hybrid model - the RAV4 Hybrid. While the RAV4 doesn't come close to matching the Prius V's fuel economy numbers (34 City/31 Highway/33 Combined for RAV4 Hybrid, 44 City/40 Highway/42 Combined for the Prius V), it does offer slightly more practicality and the option of all-wheel drive.
    "We'll have to see how well the RAV4 Hybrid does. Because the RAV4 could really take the place of the Prius V," Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    More Trucks Will Be Rolling Of Toyota's Production Lines

    To meet the growing demand for pickups in the U.S., Toyota will be boosting production of the Tacoma and Tundra in 2016.
    Bill Fay, head of Toyota's U.S. division says a third shift has been added to their Baja California, Mexico plant (Tacoma) and an additional 250 workers, plus a more flexible work schedule to its San Antonio, Texas plant (Tacoma and Tundra).
    The new workers and extra production will be in place in San Antonio by the middle of next year, said Fay.
    At the moment, Toyota's dealers are sitting on a 20-day supply of the Tundra, while the Tacoma is at a 10-day supply.
    "If you were to ask any of our U.S. dealers what they want, I'd say every one of them would say 'More trucks," said Bob Carter, senior vice president for U.S. Toyota operations.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    And now, the 2016 Toyota Prius *Cue Fireworks*

    Last night in Las Vegas, Toyota introduced everyone to the forth-generation Prius. The new model promises to be more efficient and sportier than the previous model.
    The 2016 Prius shares a resemblance to the Mirai hydrogen car in terms of looks. From the overall profile to the shape of the rear taillights, the fourth-generation Prius is very polarizing. Size-wise, the 2016 Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, and 0.8 inches lower than the outgoing model. This is due to the new Prius using Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA).
    The interior for the Prius retains a number of characteristics from previous models such as the instrument cluster positioned in the middle and the joystick control for the transmission. There is also a fair amount of white plastic around the center stack and console, reminding us of the first-generation Chevrolet Volt.
    Unfortunately, Toyota didn't say anything about the Prius' powertrain or fuel economy numbers. What they did say is the new model will bring a 10 percent increase in overall fuel economy, and there will be a new Eco trim which will increase fuel economy numbers more. Toyota promises the 2016 Prius will also be fun to drive.
    We'll have more information the next Prius in due time, including when it will go on sale.
    Source: Toyota

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Beyond Possible: The Sky's the Limit for the All-New 2016 Prius at Las Vegas World Premiere Event
    Striking exterior design ushers in new hybrid era New platform and rear double wishbone suspension dial up driving dynamics Ten percent fuel economy improvement on core models; highest MPG without a plug First vehicle based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture Toyota Safety Sense system available among other safety enhancements

    LAS VEGAS, Sept. 8, 2015 - - The same vehicle that pioneered the hybrid category just disrupted the status quo again. The all-new, fourth-generation Prius starred in a spectacular evening production of music, food and special effects to celebrate an industry icon in a way that was anything but expected.

    More than 350 journalists, social influencers and Toyota guests watched the all-new 2016 Prius elevate into the Las Vegas night sky. After almost twenty years of shaping the world view on alternative energy vehicles, and more than 3.5 million global sales, Prius is setting out to change the world again.
    Today’s consumers expect environmental credentials, and the new Prius delivers. Smaller, lighter hybrid system components, higher-energy density in the batteries, and an internal combustion engine touting ground-breaking thermal efficiency (more than forty percent), contribute to a significant advancement in fuel economy. With an expected ten percent improvement in EPA estimated MPG on core models, Prius will offer best-in-class fuel economy among vehicles without a plug. A soon-to-be unveiled Eco model will achieve an even greater improvement, strengthening Toyota’s leadership in hybrid fuel efficiency.
    But it’s not just about MPG anymore. Today’s customers want all the traditional benefits of a hybrid, but don’t want to compromise on looks and performance. So Toyota upgraded the Prius inside and out to deliver the complete package - emotional styling, smarter technology and impressive MPG, in a vehicle that’s more fun to drive than ever.
    “Prius set the global benchmark for hybrids, but now is breaking its own boundaries with more engaging style and fun-to-drive dynamics,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “What was once a rational purchase that for many customers focused on fuel economy, is now so much more. This Prius will invite new drivers into the category by delivering an impressive look and feel, built on the foundation of safety and eco-consciousness that define the vehicle’s heritage.”
    Easy on the Eyes
    The Prius’ exterior has been completely reimagined. From the side, it is longer and sleeker with the overall outline evoking an athletic shape. Inspired by a runner in the starting blocks, the sporty design conveys a feeling of forward motion.
    The hood is lower and the distinctive roof peak has been moved forward. Bold character lines run along the side from the front fenders – one just above the sill that sweeps up towards the rear fender, while the upper crease morphs into the rear spoiler, which has been lowered.
    The use of new standard LED headlamps minimizes the Prius’ front fascia and, at the same time, provides an arresting lighting display which helps define the vehicle’s character. The unique and striking rear combination lamps express the distinctive lines of the Prius from the rear spoiler to the trailing edges of the sides.
    A palette of seven exterior colors includes an all-new Toyota hue, “Hypersonic Red.” This new color utilizes a newly developed treatment process, which results in a deep and vibrant luster highlighting the external forms.
    Need a Hug?
    The Prius’ new, premium interior adopts advanced technology complemented by features that are functional, fun and have high visual impact. The wrap-around dash design, form-hugging seats, ease of controls and improved visibility put the driver in complete control.
    Once inside, drivers will feel immediately comfortable and impressed by styling cues that are unique in the industry. The wide instrument panel, seamlessly designed to be both functional and beautiful, gives a sense of comfort and spaciousness. Available premium white ornamentation in the lower sections of the cabin is reminiscent of fine bone china.
    Efficient Development from the Start
    The 2016 Prius is the first global vehicle to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). TNGA aims to greatly improve core vehicle performance and enhance product appeal through an integrated development program for powertrain components and vehicle platforms. Development of vehicles is being grouped to promote strategic sharing of components with the goal of improving resource efficiency by better than twenty percent. Resources will be directed into developing advanced technologies, and most importantly even further strengthening product appeal.
    A Fun-to-Drive Hybrid? A “Wish” Come True
    Engineered from the ground up, the new Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.8 inches lower than the model it replaces, providing a planted on-road presence while delivering more occupant and cargo room.
    Hallmarks of TNGA, a lower center of gravity and a more responsive suspension package, dial up the driving excitement. In fact, the height of the Prius’ front badge is exactly the same as that of Scion’s FR-S sports car – a remarkable achievement in height and mass reduction.
    The all-new rear double wishbone suspension produces a better connection to the road, providing greater control and feedback in all driving conditions. A more rigid body helps improve responsiveness while cornering. From winding mountain roads to the wide boulevards downtown, the new Prius stays connected to the road, without sacrificing ride quality and occupant comfort.
    Safety First
    TNGA also provides a more rigid structural framework to help enhance occupant protection in the event of a collision. The high strength upper body is designed to distribute frontal collision impact energy. Plus, the Prius will be among the first U.S. models to offer Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including:
    Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control Automatic High Beams

    Available on the new Prius, Toyota aims to make Toyota Safety Sense available across nearly the entire vehicle lineup by the end of 2017.

    William Maley

    Surprise! The Next Toyota Prius is Caught without any Camoflage

    The fourth-generation Toyota Prius has made an early debut thanks to spy photographer who caught the vehicle uncovered at a photo shoot.
    There's a lot of the Mirai hydrogen vehicle in the new Prius' design. Such details include very busy front-end with split opening grille and forked headlights, to a similar side profile and blacked-out C-Pillar. The Prius will be keeping the liftback shape that it has been using since the seconf-generation model.
    We don't know any details on the next-generation Prius hybrid powertrain, but Green Car Reports says the next Prius will use Toyota's new global modular platform and possibly have all-wheel drive as an option.
    We'll get our first look at the next-generation Prius next month.
    Source: Green Car Reports

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