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Found 447 results

  1. http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/toyota-recalls-7-4-million-vehicles-balky-window-120804141.html Toyota announced this morning it would recall about 2.5 million cars and trucks in the United States and 7.4 million vehicles worldwide to fix power window switches that can stick, smoke and potentially cause a fire. 2007 to 2008 Yaris • 2007 to 2009 RAV4 • 2007 to 2009 Tundra • 2007 to 2009 Camry • 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid • 2008 to 2009 Scion XD • 2008 to 2009 Scion xA • 2008 to 2009 Sequoia • 2008 Highlander • 2008 Highlander Hybrid • 2009 Corolla • 2009 Matrix http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/toyota-recalls-7-4-million-vehicles-balky-window-120804141.html WOW, Guess they are not perfect after all.
  2. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 3, 2012 Besides hybrid powertrains, Toyota's powertrain line has been lacking some key features that competitors are now offering. Those features include direct-injection, Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT), and turbochargers to balance performance and fuel economy. According to Autoweek, Toyota will be adding those features to their lineup over the next few weeks. At the moment, Toyota employs direct-injection in the Scion FR-S, Lexus GS, and LS: But in the next two years, Toyota will introduce two new engines, 2.5L Atkinson cycle engine for hybrids (Next Year) 2.0L turbocharged (2014) Toyota will also add direct-injection to certain number of vehicles including the Camry and Venza. Also coming to Toyota vehicles will be more CVTs, and six- and eight-speed transmissions for its bigger cars. Source: Autoweek William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 3, 2012 Besides hybrid powertrains, Toyota's powertrain line has been lacking some key features that competitors are now offering. Those features include direct-injection, Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT), and turbochargers to balance performance and fuel economy. According to Autoweek, Toyota will be adding those features to their lineup over the next few weeks. At the moment, Toyota employs direct-injection in the Scion FR-S, Lexus GS, and LS: But in the next two years, Toyota will introduce two new engines, 2.5L Atkinson cycle engine for hybrids (Next Year) 2.0L turbocharged (2014) Toyota will also add direct-injection to certain number of vehicles including the Camry and Venza. Also coming to Toyota vehicles will be more CVTs, and six- and eight-speed transmissions for its bigger cars. Source: Autoweek William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 24, 2012 2012 was supposed to be the year that Toyota would begin selling the electric version of the iQ minicar called the eQ. When it introduced the vehicle back in 2010 expected, Toyota said it planned to sell several thousand of the vehicles per year. "Two years later, there are many difficulties," said Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's vice chairman and the engineer who oversees vehicle development. Now, Toyota is planning to only sell about 100 of the eQ vehicles in the United States and Japan in an extremely limited release. "The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge," said Uchiyamada. Toyota said they are putting more emphasis on hybrid technology, expecting to introduce 21 hybrid models by 2015. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 24, 2012 2012 was supposed to be the year that Toyota would begin selling the electric version of the iQ minicar called the eQ. When it introduced the vehicle back in 2010 expected, Toyota said it planned to sell several thousand of the vehicles per year. "Two years later, there are many difficulties," said Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's vice chairman and the engineer who oversees vehicle development. Now, Toyota is planning to only sell about 100 of the eQ vehicles in the United States and Japan in an extremely limited release. "The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge," said Uchiyamada. Toyota said they are putting more emphasis on hybrid technology, expecting to introduce 21 hybrid models by 2015. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 16, 2012 If you're in the market for a pickup truck, there is some very good news for you. Truck manufacturers are offering rebates ranging from $1,500 to $4,500. So why the large rebates? Well, part of it is to make room for the 2013 models. The other part is due in part to GM. GM's supply of pickup trucks has been growing and growing due in part to the company making sure they have enough supply when they shut down their plants to retool. GM is stuck between a rock and hard place on trying to make sure they have the right amount of trucks. Starting after Labor Day, GM started their semiannual truck promotion which offers rebates on trucks up $3,500 or $4,500 with a trade. This is a surprise since the promotion usually starts in October. "They've pulled forward truck month, so we get both September and October, and they're putting a lot of cash on the hoods. With a little participation from the client, I think we'll be fine," said Chris Haydocy, a Buick-GMC dealer in Columbus, Ohio Not to be outdone, Ford, Ram, and Toyota have introduced rebates and incentives to bring people into one of their trucks. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 16, 2012 If you're in the market for a pickup truck, there is some very good news for you. Truck manufacturers are offering rebates ranging from $1,500 to $4,500. So why the large rebates? Well, part of it is to make room for the 2013 models. The other part is due in part to GM. GM's supply of pickup trucks has been growing and growing due in part to the company making sure they have enough supply when they shut down their plants to retool. GM is stuck between a rock and hard place on trying to make sure they have the right amount of trucks. Starting after Labor Day, GM started their semiannual truck promotion which offers rebates on trucks up $3,500 or $4,500 with a trade. This is a surprise since the promotion usually starts in October. "They've pulled forward truck month, so we get both September and October, and they're putting a lot of cash on the hoods. With a little participation from the client, I think we'll be fine," said Chris Haydocy, a Buick-GMC dealer in Columbus, Ohio Not to be outdone, Ford, Ram, and Toyota have introduced rebates and incentives to bring people into one of their trucks. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  8. Toyota Motor Sales Reports 40 Percent Increase in August Sales August 2012 Sales Chart TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported August 2012 sales results of 188,520 units, an increase of 40.2 percent compared to the same period last year on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for 27 selling days in August 2012 compared to 26 selling days in August 2011, TMS sales were up 45.6 percent from the year-ago month. The Toyota Division posted total August sales of 164,283 units, an increase of 42.0 percent on a DSR basis from August 2011. On a raw volume basis, Toyota Division sales were up 47.5 percent from the year-ago month. “The auto industry continued to outperform the general economy in August,” said Bill Fay, Toyota group vice president and general manager. “The driving force behind our growth continues to be strong consumer response to the new models we’ve launched over the past twelve months and the added value those vehicles represent.” The Lexus Division reported total sales of 24,237 units in August 2012, up 28.9 percent from August 2011 on a DSR basis. Volume-wise, Lexus Division sales were up 33.9 percent compared to the same period last year. “Virtually every Lexus model enjoyed a significant sales increase in August,” said Tim Morrison, Lexus vice president of sales and dealer development. “With a strong Labor Day weekend, and our newly launched products leading the way, the momentum continues into September.” Toyota Division Toyota Division passenger cars recorded combined monthly sales of 93,083 units, up 47.2 percent from August 2011. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid with combined sales of 36,720 units, and Corolla reported August sales of 24,311 units. The Prius family of vehicles posted August sales of 21,111 units. Toyota Division light trucks recorded August sales of 71,200 units, an increase of 47.9 percent compared to the same month last year. Light truck sales were again led by the RAV4 compact SUV and Tacoma mid-size pickup truck, with monthly sales of 15,685 and 12,193, respectively. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid reported combined sales of 11,441 units, and the Tundra full-size pickup reported sales of 11,347 units. Scion posted August sales of 7,722 units, up 111.6 percent on a volume basis over August 2011. The tC sports coupe led the way with sales of 2,378 units, up 113.5 percent, while the newly launched FR-S sports car reported sales of 1,913 units. The XD five-door urban subcompact posted sales of 1,004 units, and the xB urban utility vehicle posted August sales of 1,879 units. The all-new iQ premium micro-subcompact posted monthly sales of 548 units. Lexus Division Lexus reported passenger car sales of 14,024 units, up 35.7 percent from August 2011. The ES 350 entry luxury sedan and the first-ever ES Hybrid led Lexus passenger car sales with combined sales of 7,557 units, while the IS luxury sports sedan reported sales of 2,369 units. The CT 200h premium hybrid compact posted sales of 1,472 units. Lexus luxury utility vehicles recorded sales of 10,213 units, up 31.4 percent over August 2011. Lexus light truck sales were led by the RX and RX Hybrid luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined August sales of 8,628 units. The GX 460 mid-size luxury utility vehicle reported sales of 1,071 units, while the LX luxury utility vehicle recorded sales of 514 units. TMS Hybrids TMS posted August sales of 28,960 hybrid vehicles, an increase of 110.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division posted August sales of 25,400 hybrids, while Lexus Division reported sales of 3,560 hybrids for the month.
  9. Toyota Motor Sales Reports 40 Percent Increase in August Sales August 2012 Sales Chart TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported August 2012 sales results of 188,520 units, an increase of 40.2 percent compared to the same period last year on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for 27 selling days in August 2012 compared to 26 selling days in August 2011, TMS sales were up 45.6 percent from the year-ago month. The Toyota Division posted total August sales of 164,283 units, an increase of 42.0 percent on a DSR basis from August 2011. On a raw volume basis, Toyota Division sales were up 47.5 percent from the year-ago month. “The auto industry continued to outperform the general economy in August,” said Bill Fay, Toyota group vice president and general manager. “The driving force behind our growth continues to be strong consumer response to the new models we’ve launched over the past twelve months and the added value those vehicles represent.” The Lexus Division reported total sales of 24,237 units in August 2012, up 28.9 percent from August 2011 on a DSR basis. Volume-wise, Lexus Division sales were up 33.9 percent compared to the same period last year. “Virtually every Lexus model enjoyed a significant sales increase in August,” said Tim Morrison, Lexus vice president of sales and dealer development. “With a strong Labor Day weekend, and our newly launched products leading the way, the momentum continues into September.” Toyota Division Toyota Division passenger cars recorded combined monthly sales of 93,083 units, up 47.2 percent from August 2011. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid with combined sales of 36,720 units, and Corolla reported August sales of 24,311 units. The Prius family of vehicles posted August sales of 21,111 units. Toyota Division light trucks recorded August sales of 71,200 units, an increase of 47.9 percent compared to the same month last year. Light truck sales were again led by the RAV4 compact SUV and Tacoma mid-size pickup truck, with monthly sales of 15,685 and 12,193, respectively. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid reported combined sales of 11,441 units, and the Tundra full-size pickup reported sales of 11,347 units. Scion posted August sales of 7,722 units, up 111.6 percent on a volume basis over August 2011. The tC sports coupe led the way with sales of 2,378 units, up 113.5 percent, while the newly launched FR-S sports car reported sales of 1,913 units. The XD five-door urban subcompact posted sales of 1,004 units, and the xB urban utility vehicle posted August sales of 1,879 units. The all-new iQ premium micro-subcompact posted monthly sales of 548 units. Lexus Division Lexus reported passenger car sales of 14,024 units, up 35.7 percent from August 2011. The ES 350 entry luxury sedan and the first-ever ES Hybrid led Lexus passenger car sales with combined sales of 7,557 units, while the IS luxury sports sedan reported sales of 2,369 units. The CT 200h premium hybrid compact posted sales of 1,472 units. Lexus luxury utility vehicles recorded sales of 10,213 units, up 31.4 percent over August 2011. Lexus light truck sales were led by the RX and RX Hybrid luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined August sales of 8,628 units. The GX 460 mid-size luxury utility vehicle reported sales of 1,071 units, while the LX luxury utility vehicle recorded sales of 514 units. TMS Hybrids TMS posted August sales of 28,960 hybrid vehicles, an increase of 110.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division posted August sales of 25,400 hybrids, while Lexus Division reported sales of 3,560 hybrids for the month. View full article
  10. Toyota Motor Sales Reports Rise in July 2012 Sales TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported July 2012 sales results of 164,898 units, an increase of 36.6 percent compared to the same period last year on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for 24 selling days in July 2012 compared to 26 selling days in July 2011, TMS sales were up 26.1 percent from the year-ago month. The Toyota Division posted July total sales of 146,663 units, an increase of 36.7 percent on a DSR basis from July 2011. On a raw volume basis, Toyota Division sales were up 26.1 percent from the year-ago month. “Consumers are responding to Camry’s strong value and affordability proposition, taking advantage of long-term, low interest rate financing and low lease rates,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "Leasing has gone mainstream. For instance the Camry, the best-selling car in America, is benefitting from strong residuals -- which allow for leases of less than $200 a month." The Lexus Division reported total sales of 18,235 units in July 2012, up 35.9 percent from July 2011 on a DSR basis. Volume-wise, Lexus Division sales were up 25.4 percent compared to the same period last year. “Our new and redesigned models continue to drive our sales growth,” said Lexus Group vice president and general manager, Mark Templin. “With good availability of the new 2013 RX, and with the all-new ES and ES Hybrid arriving at dealers nationwide, customers will find a great selection in August during our Golden Opportunity Sales event." Toyota Division Toyota Division passenger cars recorded combined monthly sales of 80,061 units, up 33.2 percent from July 2011. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid with combined sales of 29,913 units, and Corolla reported combined July sales of 23,640 units. The Prius family of vehicles posted July sales of 16,643 units. Toyota Division light trucks recorded July sales of 66,602 units, an increase of 18.6 percent compared to the same month last year. Light truck sales were led by the RAV4 compact SUV and Tacoma mid-size pickup truck, with monthly sales of 15,248 and 11,350, respectively. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid reported combined sales of 10,669 units, and the Tundra full-size pickup reported sales of 9,176 units. Scion posted July sales of 6,904 units, up 97.3 percent on a volume basis over July 2011. The tC sports coupe led the way with sales of 2,013, up 26.6 percent, while the newly launched FR-S sports car reported sales of 1,649 units. The XD five-door urban subcompact posted sales of 977 units, and the xB urban utility vehicle posted July sales of 1,708 units. The all-new iQ premium micro-subcompact posted monthly sales of 557 units. Lexus Division Lexus reported passenger car sales of 9,759 units, up 22.4 percent from July 2011. The ES 350 entry luxury sedan led Lexus passenger car sales with sales of 3,759 units, while the IS luxury sports sedan reported sales of 2,296 units. The CT 200h premium hybrid compact posted sales of 1,499 units. Lexus luxury utility vehicles recorded sales of 8,476 units, up 29.1 percent over July 2011. Lexus light truck sales were led by the RX and RX Hybrid luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined July sales of 7,357 units. The GX 460 mid-size luxury utility vehicle reported sales of 813 units, while the LX luxury utility vehicle recorded sales of 306 units. TMS Hybrids TMS posted July sales of 23,044 hybrid vehicles, an increase of 126 percent compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division posted July sales of 20,309 hybrids, while Lexus Division reported sales of 2,735 hybrids for the month. View full article
  11. Toyota Motor Sales Reports Rise in July 2012 Sales TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported July 2012 sales results of 164,898 units, an increase of 36.6 percent compared to the same period last year on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for 24 selling days in July 2012 compared to 26 selling days in July 2011, TMS sales were up 26.1 percent from the year-ago month. The Toyota Division posted July total sales of 146,663 units, an increase of 36.7 percent on a DSR basis from July 2011. On a raw volume basis, Toyota Division sales were up 26.1 percent from the year-ago month. “Consumers are responding to Camry’s strong value and affordability proposition, taking advantage of long-term, low interest rate financing and low lease rates,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "Leasing has gone mainstream. For instance the Camry, the best-selling car in America, is benefitting from strong residuals -- which allow for leases of less than $200 a month." The Lexus Division reported total sales of 18,235 units in July 2012, up 35.9 percent from July 2011 on a DSR basis. Volume-wise, Lexus Division sales were up 25.4 percent compared to the same period last year. “Our new and redesigned models continue to drive our sales growth,” said Lexus Group vice president and general manager, Mark Templin. “With good availability of the new 2013 RX, and with the all-new ES and ES Hybrid arriving at dealers nationwide, customers will find a great selection in August during our Golden Opportunity Sales event." Toyota Division Toyota Division passenger cars recorded combined monthly sales of 80,061 units, up 33.2 percent from July 2011. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid with combined sales of 29,913 units, and Corolla reported combined July sales of 23,640 units. The Prius family of vehicles posted July sales of 16,643 units. Toyota Division light trucks recorded July sales of 66,602 units, an increase of 18.6 percent compared to the same month last year. Light truck sales were led by the RAV4 compact SUV and Tacoma mid-size pickup truck, with monthly sales of 15,248 and 11,350, respectively. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid reported combined sales of 10,669 units, and the Tundra full-size pickup reported sales of 9,176 units. Scion posted July sales of 6,904 units, up 97.3 percent on a volume basis over July 2011. The tC sports coupe led the way with sales of 2,013, up 26.6 percent, while the newly launched FR-S sports car reported sales of 1,649 units. The XD five-door urban subcompact posted sales of 977 units, and the xB urban utility vehicle posted July sales of 1,708 units. The all-new iQ premium micro-subcompact posted monthly sales of 557 units. Lexus Division Lexus reported passenger car sales of 9,759 units, up 22.4 percent from July 2011. The ES 350 entry luxury sedan led Lexus passenger car sales with sales of 3,759 units, while the IS luxury sports sedan reported sales of 2,296 units. The CT 200h premium hybrid compact posted sales of 1,499 units. Lexus luxury utility vehicles recorded sales of 8,476 units, up 29.1 percent over July 2011. Lexus light truck sales were led by the RX and RX Hybrid luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined July sales of 7,357 units. The GX 460 mid-size luxury utility vehicle reported sales of 813 units, while the LX luxury utility vehicle recorded sales of 306 units. TMS Hybrids TMS posted July sales of 23,044 hybrid vehicles, an increase of 126 percent compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division posted July sales of 20,309 hybrids, while Lexus Division reported sales of 2,735 hybrids for the month.
  12. Toyota Sales Increase More Than 60 Percent in June 2012 TORRANCE, Calif. (July 3, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported June 2012 sales results of 177,795 units, an increase of 54.3 percent compared to the same period last year on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for 27 selling days in June 2012 compared to 26 selling days in June 2011, TMS sales were up 60.3 percent from the year-ago month. The Toyota Division posted June total sales of 157,773 units, an increase of 51.7 percent on a DSR basis from June 2011. On a raw volume basis, Toyota Division sales were up 57.5 percent from the year-ago month. For the first half of the year, TMS reported sales of 1,046,096 units. With 154 selling days in the first half of 2012, compared to 152 selling days during the first half of 2011, sales were up 27.0 percent on a DSR basis from the same period last year. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for two extra selling days in 2012, sales were up 28.7 percent during the first half of the year. “June and first-half year sales were driven by consumer interest in our new models including the Prius c, the newest member of the Prius family, and the Camry, the best-selling car in America," said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "We expect to see continued stability in the automotive market during the second half of 2012 thanks to pent-up demand, low interest rates and a continued influx of new products." The Lexus Division reported total sales of 20,022 units in June 2012, up 79.0 percent from June 2011 on a DSR basis. Volume-wise, Lexus Division sales were up 85.9 percent compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division Toyota Division passenger cars recorded combined monthly sales of 90,079 units, up 68.1 percent from June 2011. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid with combined sales of 32,107 units, and Corolla reported combined June sales of 26,647 units. The Prius family of vehicles posted June sales of 19,150 units. Toyota Division light trucks recorded June sales of 67,694 units, an increase of 34.3 percent compared to the same month last year. Light truck sales were led by the RAV4 compact SUV and Tacoma mid-size pickup truck, with monthly sales of 15,129 and 11,864 respectively. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid reported combined sales of 10,379 units, and the Tundra full-size pickup reported sales of 8,693 unit. Scion posted June sales of 8,400 units, up of 134.1 percent over June 2011. The newly launched FR-S sports car led the way with sales of 2,684. The tC sports coupe reported sales of 2,128 units, flat year-over-year. The XD five-door urban subcompact posted sales of 1,017 units, and the xB urban utility vehicle posted June sales of 1,869 units. The all-new iQ premium micro-subcompact posted monthly sales of 702 units. Lexus Division Lexus reported passenger car sales of 10,247 units, up 99.7 percent from June 2011. The ES 350 entry luxury sedan led Lexus passenger car sales with sales of 3,780 units, while the IS luxury sports sedan reported sales of 2,572 units. The CT 200h premium hybrid compact posted 1,387 units. Lexus luxury utility vehicles recorded sales of 9,775 units, up 61.4 percent over June 2011. Lexus light truck sales were led by the RX and RX Hybrid luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined June sales of 8,641 units. The GX 460 mid-size luxury utility vehicle reported sales of 808 units, while the LX luxury utility vehicle recorded sales of 326 units. TMS Hybrids TMS posted June sales of 25,776 hybrid vehicles, an increase of 335.2 percent compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division posted June sales of 23,105 hybrids, while Lexus Division reported sales of 2,671 hybrids for the month. View full article
  13. Toyota Sales Increase More Than 60 Percent in June 2012 TORRANCE, Calif. (July 3, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported June 2012 sales results of 177,795 units, an increase of 54.3 percent compared to the same period last year on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for 27 selling days in June 2012 compared to 26 selling days in June 2011, TMS sales were up 60.3 percent from the year-ago month. The Toyota Division posted June total sales of 157,773 units, an increase of 51.7 percent on a DSR basis from June 2011. On a raw volume basis, Toyota Division sales were up 57.5 percent from the year-ago month. For the first half of the year, TMS reported sales of 1,046,096 units. With 154 selling days in the first half of 2012, compared to 152 selling days during the first half of 2011, sales were up 27.0 percent on a DSR basis from the same period last year. On a raw volume basis, unadjusted for two extra selling days in 2012, sales were up 28.7 percent during the first half of the year. “June and first-half year sales were driven by consumer interest in our new models including the Prius c, the newest member of the Prius family, and the Camry, the best-selling car in America," said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "We expect to see continued stability in the automotive market during the second half of 2012 thanks to pent-up demand, low interest rates and a continued influx of new products." The Lexus Division reported total sales of 20,022 units in June 2012, up 79.0 percent from June 2011 on a DSR basis. Volume-wise, Lexus Division sales were up 85.9 percent compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division Toyota Division passenger cars recorded combined monthly sales of 90,079 units, up 68.1 percent from June 2011. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid with combined sales of 32,107 units, and Corolla reported combined June sales of 26,647 units. The Prius family of vehicles posted June sales of 19,150 units. Toyota Division light trucks recorded June sales of 67,694 units, an increase of 34.3 percent compared to the same month last year. Light truck sales were led by the RAV4 compact SUV and Tacoma mid-size pickup truck, with monthly sales of 15,129 and 11,864 respectively. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid reported combined sales of 10,379 units, and the Tundra full-size pickup reported sales of 8,693 unit. Scion posted June sales of 8,400 units, up of 134.1 percent over June 2011. The newly launched FR-S sports car led the way with sales of 2,684. The tC sports coupe reported sales of 2,128 units, flat year-over-year. The XD five-door urban subcompact posted sales of 1,017 units, and the xB urban utility vehicle posted June sales of 1,869 units. The all-new iQ premium micro-subcompact posted monthly sales of 702 units. Lexus Division Lexus reported passenger car sales of 10,247 units, up 99.7 percent from June 2011. The ES 350 entry luxury sedan led Lexus passenger car sales with sales of 3,780 units, while the IS luxury sports sedan reported sales of 2,572 units. The CT 200h premium hybrid compact posted 1,387 units. Lexus luxury utility vehicles recorded sales of 9,775 units, up 61.4 percent over June 2011. Lexus light truck sales were led by the RX and RX Hybrid luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined June sales of 8,641 units. The GX 460 mid-size luxury utility vehicle reported sales of 808 units, while the LX luxury utility vehicle recorded sales of 326 units. TMS Hybrids TMS posted June sales of 25,776 hybrid vehicles, an increase of 335.2 percent compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division posted June sales of 23,105 hybrids, while Lexus Division reported sales of 2,671 hybrids for the month.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 28, 2012 The average age of a vehicle in the U.S. has hit a record high. According to Experian Automotive, the average age of the 245 million vehicles registered in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2012 was 11 years. That's an increase of just over 2 months when compared to last year. Experian Automotive goes onto say that more than 52 million cars and trucks in the U.S. are 16 years or older. Experian Automotive's analysis also found that Ford has the most models on the road compared to any other automaker. That really shouldn't come as a surprise since the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 30 straight years. The top four automakers with the oldest models on the road include; Ford: 17.2% Chevrolet: 15.8% Honda: 10.4% Toyota: 7.3% The four most popular models are; Ford F-150: 3.4% Honda Accord: 2.6% Toyota Camry: 2.6% Chevrolet Sliverado: 2.0% Why are there more old vehicles on the road? For one, the recession and sluggish recovery has caused people put off buying or trading-in for a new or used car. Also, vehicles are just better built. During the 90's, improvement in quality picked up serious momentum. Source: CNBC William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster View full article
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 28, 2012 The average age of a vehicle in the U.S. has hit a record high. According to Experian Automotive, the average age of the 245 million vehicles registered in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2012 was 11 years. That's an increase of just over 2 months when compared to last year. Experian Automotive goes onto say that more than 52 million cars and trucks in the U.S. are 16 years or older. Experian Automotive's analysis also found that Ford has the most models on the road compared to any other automaker. That really shouldn't come as a surprise since the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 30 straight years. The top four automakers with the oldest models on the road include; Ford: 17.2% Chevrolet: 15.8% Honda: 10.4% Toyota: 7.3% The four most popular models are; Ford F-150: 3.4% Honda Accord: 2.6% Toyota Camry: 2.6% Chevrolet Sliverado: 2.0% Why are there more old vehicles on the road? For one, the recession and sluggish recovery has caused people put off buying or trading-in for a new or used car. Also, vehicles are just better built. During the 90's, improvement in quality picked up serious momentum. Source: CNBC William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Toyota has revealed the powertrain details on the new 2013 Avalon. As expected, the new Avalon will still use the 3.5L V6 from the previous Avalon. The V6 is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft. of torque and will go through a six-speed automatic. EPA rates the V6 at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. Toyota has equipped the Avalon V6 with three different power modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) and certain models get paddle-shifters for a more “sporty” experience. The new Avalon will also come in a hybrid model. The hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor producing a combined 200 HP. EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid at 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. The new Avalon goes on sale later this year. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2013 Toyota Avalon Features Both Gasoline and Hybrid Powertrains TORRANCE, Calif. (June 26, 2012) – When the all-new, North American designed and engineered 2013 Avalon goes on sale later this year, consumers can choose between a powerful V6 gasoline powertrain and Toyota’s proven Hybrid Synergy Drive. The efficiency offered by the new hybrid model will help the all-new premium mid-size sedan achieve excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined. In addition to offering a hybrid powertrain, the new Avalon features a stunning design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. Powerful, Efficient V6 Engine The 2013 Avalon will feature a proven 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transaxle, which has been enhanced to offer more responsive and efficient performance. The all-aluminum six-cylinder engine will produce 268 horsepower and 248 lbs. ft. of torque, which will propel the new sedan to 60 mph in under seven seconds. Compared to the previous-generation Avalon, this 2013 powertrain combination offers improved fuel economy, performance, superior shift feel and response, with upgraded drivability and quietness. This enhanced powertrain’s programming has been updated to offer ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes. The ECO mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by reducing power application at lower speeds and reducing energy consumed by the air-conditioning system. The SPORT Mode provides increased acceleration responses though altered engine control unit (ECU) programming, and it offers a more direct and responsive EPS programming to enhance steering feel. In addition, the new transaxle is equipped with a numerically lower differential gear drive ratio (3.23), designed to help improve fuel economy. The V6-powered 2013 Avalon achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/ 31 hwy). The transmission operation has been made more efficient and responsive with the adoption of a flex-start control feature lock-up clutch. With lock-up control, the transmission’s torque converter fully engages at a lower RPM during standing starts to improve acceleration response and help suppress unnecessary engine revolutions. The new transmission is also kept at an optimal temperature with an automatic-transmission fluid warmer, helping enhance efficiency. The multi-mode automatic transmission console shifter offers a D range and can be moved into an S-mode gate, which allows manually operated sequential shifting using the console shifter or available (Touring and Limited models) steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The gear can be selected by moving the shifter up to (+) position or lower using the (-) position to experience highly responsive shifts. By using the paddles or in S-range, the transmission uses a quick responding shift-logic that includes throttle blipping for downshifts. The gear changes and range-of-gear selections are displayed in the color multi-information display. Avalon Adds Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive For consumers seeking a premium mid-size sedan with excellent fuel economy ratings and an environmental message, the new Avalon features a full power-split hybrid system. Coupled with reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in aerodynamics, the Avalon Hybrid is expects to achieve impressive fuel economy ratings. The 2013 Avalon incorporates the latest advances in Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, building upon Toyota’s 14 years of hybrid-development experience. The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle. A power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the seamless operation of electric-motor power application and regenerative braking. The power control unit relies on liquid cooling to maintain an efficient temperature. The Avalon Hybrid achieves a total system output of 200 horsepower and offers three unique modes of operation: EV, ECO and SPORT. The Avalon Hybrid models achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway for a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers an EV mode that, under certain conditions, allows the vehicle to operate solely on electric propulsion. EV mode can be engaged, provided other conditions are correct, for up to one mile at speeds up to 25 mph, providing an all-electric option that is convenient in residential areas or parking garages. The ECO drive mode engages the gasoline motor, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency. The SPORT Mode takes full advantage of the new Avalon’s dynamic character, improved chassis, and enhanced suspension by altering the engine’s throttle response and enhancing steering feel. The Avalon’s hybrid’s battery pack is comprised of 204 cells and is located in the vehicle trunk behind the rear seats, while still providing ample trunk space. The scroll casing for the battery cooling system’s blower fan has been designed to produce extremely quiet and efficient airflow, helping reduce interior noise and elevating refinement. The power-control unit, located in the engine bay, houses the inverter, DC-DC converter. The efficient hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement. Captivating Styling with a Spacious, Luxurious Interior Experience The new 2013 Avalon is the product of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s striking exterior and luxurious interior design was conceived by a youthful, talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc., facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focus, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at the award-winning Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Powertrain Specs Avalon V6 Avalon Hybrid Gasoline Engine Type/Displacement 2GR-FE / 3.5L 2AR-FXE / 2.5L Max Horsepower 268 hp 154 hp Max Torque 248 lbs.-ft. 153 lbs.-ft. Transaxle Type 6-speed AT E-CVT Electric Motor Max Output - 140 hp Max Torque - 200 ft. lbs. Battery Type - Nickel-Metal Hydride Nominal Voltage - 245 volts Number of Cells - 204 Cells Max Output - 34 kw or 45.6 hp Total System Output - 149 kw 200hp Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. 197.6 in. Overall Width 72.2 in. 72.8 in. Overall Height 57.5 in. 58.5 in. Wheelbase 111 in. 111 in. Front Tread 62.6 in. 62.2 in. Rear Tread 62.2 in. 61.6 in. Front Overhang 38.8 in. 39.4 in. Rear Overhang 45.5 in. 47.2 in. Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (V6), 3594 lbs. (Hybrid XLE) 3,616 lbs. View full article
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Toyota has revealed the powertrain details on the new 2013 Avalon. As expected, the new Avalon will still use the 3.5L V6 from the previous Avalon. The V6 is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft. of torque and will go through a six-speed automatic. EPA rates the V6 at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. Toyota has equipped the Avalon V6 with three different power modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) and certain models get paddle-shifters for a more “sporty” experience. The new Avalon will also come in a hybrid model. The hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor producing a combined 200 HP. EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid at 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. The new Avalon goes on sale later this year. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2013 Toyota Avalon Features Both Gasoline and Hybrid Powertrains TORRANCE, Calif. (June 26, 2012) – When the all-new, North American designed and engineered 2013 Avalon goes on sale later this year, consumers can choose between a powerful V6 gasoline powertrain and Toyota’s proven Hybrid Synergy Drive. The efficiency offered by the new hybrid model will help the all-new premium mid-size sedan achieve excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined. In addition to offering a hybrid powertrain, the new Avalon features a stunning design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. Powerful, Efficient V6 Engine The 2013 Avalon will feature a proven 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transaxle, which has been enhanced to offer more responsive and efficient performance. The all-aluminum six-cylinder engine will produce 268 horsepower and 248 lbs. ft. of torque, which will propel the new sedan to 60 mph in under seven seconds. Compared to the previous-generation Avalon, this 2013 powertrain combination offers improved fuel economy, performance, superior shift feel and response, with upgraded drivability and quietness. This enhanced powertrain’s programming has been updated to offer ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes. The ECO mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by reducing power application at lower speeds and reducing energy consumed by the air-conditioning system. The SPORT Mode provides increased acceleration responses though altered engine control unit (ECU) programming, and it offers a more direct and responsive EPS programming to enhance steering feel. In addition, the new transaxle is equipped with a numerically lower differential gear drive ratio (3.23), designed to help improve fuel economy. The V6-powered 2013 Avalon achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/ 31 hwy). The transmission operation has been made more efficient and responsive with the adoption of a flex-start control feature lock-up clutch. With lock-up control, the transmission’s torque converter fully engages at a lower RPM during standing starts to improve acceleration response and help suppress unnecessary engine revolutions. The new transmission is also kept at an optimal temperature with an automatic-transmission fluid warmer, helping enhance efficiency. The multi-mode automatic transmission console shifter offers a D range and can be moved into an S-mode gate, which allows manually operated sequential shifting using the console shifter or available (Touring and Limited models) steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The gear can be selected by moving the shifter up to (+) position or lower using the (-) position to experience highly responsive shifts. By using the paddles or in S-range, the transmission uses a quick responding shift-logic that includes throttle blipping for downshifts. The gear changes and range-of-gear selections are displayed in the color multi-information display. Avalon Adds Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive For consumers seeking a premium mid-size sedan with excellent fuel economy ratings and an environmental message, the new Avalon features a full power-split hybrid system. Coupled with reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in aerodynamics, the Avalon Hybrid is expects to achieve impressive fuel economy ratings. The 2013 Avalon incorporates the latest advances in Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, building upon Toyota’s 14 years of hybrid-development experience. The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle. A power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the seamless operation of electric-motor power application and regenerative braking. The power control unit relies on liquid cooling to maintain an efficient temperature. The Avalon Hybrid achieves a total system output of 200 horsepower and offers three unique modes of operation: EV, ECO and SPORT. The Avalon Hybrid models achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway for a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers an EV mode that, under certain conditions, allows the vehicle to operate solely on electric propulsion. EV mode can be engaged, provided other conditions are correct, for up to one mile at speeds up to 25 mph, providing an all-electric option that is convenient in residential areas or parking garages. The ECO drive mode engages the gasoline motor, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency. The SPORT Mode takes full advantage of the new Avalon’s dynamic character, improved chassis, and enhanced suspension by altering the engine’s throttle response and enhancing steering feel. The Avalon’s hybrid’s battery pack is comprised of 204 cells and is located in the vehicle trunk behind the rear seats, while still providing ample trunk space. The scroll casing for the battery cooling system’s blower fan has been designed to produce extremely quiet and efficient airflow, helping reduce interior noise and elevating refinement. The power-control unit, located in the engine bay, houses the inverter, DC-DC converter. The efficient hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement. Captivating Styling with a Spacious, Luxurious Interior Experience The new 2013 Avalon is the product of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s striking exterior and luxurious interior design was conceived by a youthful, talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc., facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focus, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at the award-winning Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Powertrain Specs Avalon V6 Avalon Hybrid Gasoline Engine Type/Displacement 2GR-FE / 3.5L 2AR-FXE / 2.5L Max Horsepower 268 hp 154 hp Max Torque 248 lbs.-ft. 153 lbs.-ft. Transaxle Type 6-speed AT E-CVT Electric Motor Max Output - 140 hp Max Torque - 200 ft. lbs. Battery Type - Nickel-Metal Hydride Nominal Voltage - 245 volts Number of Cells - 204 Cells Max Output - 34 kw or 45.6 hp Total System Output - 149 kw 200hp Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. 197.6 in. Overall Width 72.2 in. 72.8 in. Overall Height 57.5 in. 58.5 in. Wheelbase 111 in. 111 in. Front Tread 62.6 in. 62.2 in. Rear Tread 62.2 in. 61.6 in. Front Overhang 38.8 in. 39.4 in. Rear Overhang 45.5 in. 47.2 in. Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (V6), 3594 lbs. (Hybrid XLE) 3,616 lbs.
  18. Drew Dowdell Managing Editor CheersandGears.com April 5, 2012 The 2012 New York Auto Show was sedan heavy this year with 6 major releases or concepts. Some of the releases were impressive, some not so much. Fisker Atlantic - A smaller, lighter, and less expensive entry from Fisker, the Atlantic hopes to slot in at the high end of the BMW 3-series price range. This luxury extended range electric vehicle is one of the curviest sedans shown at the show. Despite the low roof in the rear, Fisker promises the Atlantic will have similar interior room to the 3-series as well. Fisker had some problems with the launch of the Karma earlier this year, but if a similar issue can be avoided on the Atlantic, we think Fisker can pull this one off after all of the funding they've recently secured. While electric vehicles aren't to everyone's taste, we think that any domestic manufacturer trying to put sexy cars into production should be applauded. 2014 Chevrolet Impala – This was one of the bigger surprises for me. I'm not sure why my expectations were so low, but Chevrolet did a great job on the Impala. With this car, Chevy is moving the Impala away from the fleet queen status it has maintained for at least a decade. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but you can be certain it will jump substantially from the ~$23k you can get into one today with. The interior is well above the current full size class in design and amenities. There is still the issue of the steering wheel and buttons, but we'll have to wait till the car gets closer to production. Of note, the Impala has generated more traffic and comments than any other release from the show.2013 Lincoln MKZ – As we had essentially seen this car in concept form at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so the overall look isn't a surprise. This Fusion based Lincoln is a transitional product for Lincoln (hopefully the last such) and Lincoln continues to stress that they have 7 new or refreshed vehicles coming. While the MKZ has some interesting engine options and technology, not to mention the huge sunroof, I think this still isn't enough to bring Lincoln back to prime time. It still doesn't have the interior of the ES and doesn't have the presence of a 2008 CTS. Lincoln needs more, a lot more, if they ever want to be relevant in this class again. 2013 Lexus ES – A few months ago a Lexus exec was talking smack on the Buick Lacrosse saying that the next ES interior would blow away the Buick. I'm not sure if he was talking about the next next one or just what, but this 2013 ES ain't it. The ES takes on the predator mouth grill that is spreading throughout the rest of the Lexus lineup, but it doesn't quiet fit on the otherwise slab sided car. The clean lines of the rest of the car break into a mess of creases and folds at the front. Stare at the ES for more than 15 seconds and the Camry/Avalon base is still apparent. The interior is flat and gray. There is no integration between the dash and the door. The lines don't even line up. The center console is hard scratchy plastic in the places where it isn't piano black. The dashboard is just rubber with stitching. You set the parking brake in the ES with your foot. The Lacrosse has electronic parking brake available. After I checked out the ES, I wandered over to Hyundai to check out the Santa Fe and ended up sitting in an Azera. Sticker price on the Azera was $32k, but the interior design was much nicer and better executed. Yes it's a Hyundai and not a Lexus, but to quote Oldsmobile: “It's your $32,000, demand better.” 2013 Nissan Altima – The new Altima should make the competition sit up and take notice. The interior is attractively done with a light and airy feel. Controls are laid out in a logical fashion and visibility seems excellent. Of course, having a class leading combined fuel economy won't hurt either. The Sonata and Optima have been the media darlings of the class for about a year now, but my bets are either on the Altima or Fusion taking on that role in the near future.Acura RLX concept – This thing is just a mess. It looks like a big, bloated Honda Accord. All that complexity of the hybrid and it only gets 30mpg highway? The V6 Chrysler 300 can do that today. Sure the RLX has 370 horsepower, but that is irrelevant to the target market of this car. A more targeted horsepower number and a blow-your-mind fuel economy number would be more likely to get customers to overlook the dull and dated style. 2013 Toyota Avalon – The Avalon managed to stay unleaked right up until the reveal, probably because no one could be bothered to click send. Described by Toyota as “bold and sporty”, the Avalon adopts the new corporate face that we know from the Camry. Moving to the new Camry platform, the Avalon boasts better structural rigidity and a re-calibrated suspension. Styling wise, we're not so sure about “Bold and Sporty”. It's a conservative Toyota sedan... burgundy is about as bold as you get here. The let down is how we were teased last week with a drawing from Toyota that showed a car much more rakish. Sedans aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if nothing else, the variety of these entries is interesting. What do you think? Are we spot on? Off our rocker? Leave your comments below. Of course, once they visit the C&G garage, you'll get to take part in the review. View full article
  19. Drew Dowdell Managing Editor CheersandGears.com April 5, 2012 The 2012 New York Auto Show was sedan heavy this year with 6 major releases or concepts. Some of the releases were impressive, some not so much. Fisker Atlantic - A smaller, lighter, and less expensive entry from Fisker, the Atlantic hopes to slot in at the high end of the BMW 3-series price range. This luxury extended range electric vehicle is one of the curviest sedans shown at the show. Despite the low roof in the rear, Fisker promises the Atlantic will have similar interior room to the 3-series as well. Fisker had some problems with the launch of the Karma earlier this year, but if a similar issue can be avoided on the Atlantic, we think Fisker can pull this one off after all of the funding they've recently secured. While electric vehicles aren't to everyone's taste, we think that any domestic manufacturer trying to put sexy cars into production should be applauded. 2014 Chevrolet Impala – This was one of the bigger surprises for me. I'm not sure why my expectations were so low, but Chevrolet did a great job on the Impala. With this car, Chevy is moving the Impala away from the fleet queen status it has maintained for at least a decade. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but you can be certain it will jump substantially from the ~$23k you can get into one today with. The interior is well above the current full size class in design and amenities. There is still the issue of the steering wheel and buttons, but we'll have to wait till the car gets closer to production. Of note, the Impala has generated more traffic and comments than any other release from the show.2013 Lincoln MKZ – As we had essentially seen this car in concept form at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so the overall look isn't a surprise. This Fusion based Lincoln is a transitional product for Lincoln (hopefully the last such) and Lincoln continues to stress that they have 7 new or refreshed vehicles coming. While the MKZ has some interesting engine options and technology, not to mention the huge sunroof, I think this still isn't enough to bring Lincoln back to prime time. It still doesn't have the interior of the ES and doesn't have the presence of a 2008 CTS. Lincoln needs more, a lot more, if they ever want to be relevant in this class again. 2013 Lexus ES – A few months ago a Lexus exec was talking smack on the Buick Lacrosse saying that the next ES interior would blow away the Buick. I'm not sure if he was talking about the next next one or just what, but this 2013 ES ain't it. The ES takes on the predator mouth grill that is spreading throughout the rest of the Lexus lineup, but it doesn't quiet fit on the otherwise slab sided car. The clean lines of the rest of the car break into a mess of creases and folds at the front. Stare at the ES for more than 15 seconds and the Camry/Avalon base is still apparent. The interior is flat and gray. There is no integration between the dash and the door. The lines don't even line up. The center console is hard scratchy plastic in the places where it isn't piano black. The dashboard is just rubber with stitching. You set the parking brake in the ES with your foot. The Lacrosse has electronic parking brake available. After I checked out the ES, I wandered over to Hyundai to check out the Santa Fe and ended up sitting in an Azera. Sticker price on the Azera was $32k, but the interior design was much nicer and better executed. Yes it's a Hyundai and not a Lexus, but to quote Oldsmobile: “It's your $32,000, demand better.” 2013 Nissan Altima – The new Altima should make the competition sit up and take notice. The interior is attractively done with a light and airy feel. Controls are laid out in a logical fashion and visibility seems excellent. Of course, having a class leading combined fuel economy won't hurt either. The Sonata and Optima have been the media darlings of the class for about a year now, but my bets are either on the Altima or Fusion taking on that role in the near future.Acura RLX concept – This thing is just a mess. It looks like a big, bloated Honda Accord. All that complexity of the hybrid and it only gets 30mpg highway? The V6 Chrysler 300 can do that today. Sure the RLX has 370 horsepower, but that is irrelevant to the target market of this car. A more targeted horsepower number and a blow-your-mind fuel economy number would be more likely to get customers to overlook the dull and dated style. 2013 Toyota Avalon – The Avalon managed to stay unleaked right up until the reveal, probably because no one could be bothered to click send. Described by Toyota as “bold and sporty”, the Avalon adopts the new corporate face that we know from the Camry. Moving to the new Camry platform, the Avalon boasts better structural rigidity and a re-calibrated suspension. Styling wise, we're not so sure about “Bold and Sporty”. It's a conservative Toyota sedan... burgundy is about as bold as you get here. The let down is how we were teased last week with a drawing from Toyota that showed a car much more rakish. Sedans aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if nothing else, the variety of these entries is interesting. What do you think? Are we spot on? Off our rocker? Leave your comments below. Of course, once they visit the C&G garage, you'll get to take part in the review.
  20. Drew Dowdell Managing Editor Cheersandgears.com April 5th, 2012 Toyota today unveiled the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York Auto Show. The Avalon moves to the new Corporate face of Toyota as seen on the Camry while also moving to the new Camry platform introduced late last year. Toyota calls the styling on the Avalon bold and sporty... which we will leave that judgement up to you. The host of suspension and performance improvements are detailed in the press release on page 2. The Sensational New 2013 Toyota Avalon Makes World Debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show NEW YORK, (April 5, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. revealed the all-new 2013 Avalon premium mid-size sedan today at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The new Avalon is re-conceived for the premium mid-size sedan segment with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design. When it arrives to dealerships late this year, the new Avalon will offer improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. The new 2013 Avalon is the result of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s dramatic exterior and interior design was conceived by a youthful and talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc. facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was principally led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focused theme, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at Toyota’s facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Enhanced Avalon Dynamics In addition to its stunning design, numerous structural and chassis improvements were made to the new Avalon to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling. The body structure gains improvements in torsional rigidity thanks to additional and strategically placed welds, improved body bracing, and high-strength steel in key areas in order to provide a stiffer chassis and optimize suspension performance. The new Avalon suspension relies on MacPherson struts with advanced valving and rebound springs to balance handling and agility with ride comfort. Coil spring rate and front and rear sway bar stiffness was increased from the current model to help improve body control and body roll. The Avalon’s electric power steering (EPS) system has been tuned to help deliver enhanced controllability and vehicle agility while also realizing superior linear stability. The new Avalon offers three distinct drive modes that help tailor dynamic performance to the driver’s needs. The drive modes - Normal, Eco, and Sport -are made available through driver-selectable switches. In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted from center to offer a sportier character. Eco changes throttle response and A/C power usage to help improve fuel economy. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters help provide a sportier drive while in the D or S Mode, where the revised throttle helps improve shift response to help maximize engine power and vehicle performance. Dynamic Exterior Styling The new Avalon’s dynamic exterior styling defines a sleek and expressive profile that helps communicate a sense of motion for the vehicle even when it is at rest. The beltline has been lowered to accentuate a strong stance. Compared to its predecessor, the new Avalon is a bit more compact yet displays better proportions with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. New 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel and tire combinations fill the wheel well to enhance the vehicle’s dynamic exterior expression. Key exterior design elements include the square Double-eye PES (Projector Ellipsoid System) headlamps with HID (High-Intensity Discharge)and elegant DRL (Daytime Running Lights) feature available that provide excellent night time visibility while helping define a narrower, more taut and muscular exterior expression. A wider, more assertive grille design provides a bolder front perspective. At the rear, high-performance LED combination tail lamps are adopted which are more integrated with the revised rear-body styling. The dual rear tailpipe outlets further the more cohesive design theme. Modern Interior Experience Design elements enhancing comfort, convenience and technology help create the luxurious experience that will prove tempting to buyers of the next Avalon. The 2013 Avalon offers a modern, spacious, premium interior highlighted by abundant rear seat legroom, while featuring a myriad of available features. Beyond mere dimensions, the new Avalon’s interior design enhances the cabin’s sense of spaciousness and comfort. The front seat’s hip point has been lowered by 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) to help create improved headroom. The new power front seat design with increased side bolstering is more supportive and offers an expanded range of downward adjustment. In addition, the structural components of the sunroof and the headliner design have been optimized to help increase the cabin’s roominess. A concave dash panel design, located in front of the passenger, helps create an expansive feeling. While the rear overhang has been reduced by 1.7 inches, the luggage compartment capacity is 16.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.6 cubic feet as compared to the outgoing model. The Avalon’s premium interior attains a high level of refinement by reducing wind, engine and road noise inside the cabin. The resultant interior is even significantly quieter and more comfortable than the current Avalon and it creates an ideal environment to enjoy conversation, music or Toyota’s available multimedia system, Entune™. Sound absorbing materials have been strategically placed around the cabin and body structure while not inhibiting a reduction in overall vehicle weight. The windshield and front side-glass panels utilize acoustic glass that helps control sound intrusion into the cabin. Reductions in wind noise have been realized by optimizing exterior shape, specifically cowl and louver sealing, outer mirror shape and position, and wiper-blade position, which have all been developed to dramatically reduce wind noise generation. Exterior gaps and steps have also been minimized to reduce wind noise around the door glass areas. The new Avalon’s interior utilizes premium materials and a high degree of craftsmanship to offer an upscale experience. Rich, supple leather trims the steering wheel, shift knob, and seat upholstery helping add visual and tactile appeal. Hand-crafted, decorative stitching is adopted for the steering wheel, and soft-touch materials on the dash panel and door trim elevate the vehicle’s sense of tactile luxury. Smoked chrome-metallic accents are applied to the instrument panel, center console, door panel, and steering wheel surfaces to help add distinction and exceptional feel. Available push-button controlled soft white ambient lighting illuminates key regions of the interior to help convey the sense of luxury. The new Avalon’s center console includes a convenient console tray that is ideal for the storage of electronic hand held devices. The new Avalon’s console area is equipped with a USB port, AUX input terminal and three 12-volt power outlets to help facilitate device interface and charging. The new Avalon will offer innovative technologies such as advanced capacitive touch switches with positioning and sensitivity that makes them ideal for vehicle system controls. Other premium in-car technologies include three color display screens that support the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel. An easy to use Display Audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard on the new Avalon; while a JBL Synthesis Premium Audio system, HDD Premium Navigation with 7” screen, dynamic radar cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a three-zone air conditioning system are also on the list of available features and equipment. Safety Like all Toyota models, the new Avalon will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. The new Avalon helps to prioritize occupant safety with a best-in-class10 airbags system. A Pre-collision system is also available that is designed to “sense” an impending frontal collision and can help mitigate damage. A variable ratio brake pedal is adopted that varies the initial and final pedal effort ratios to help realize excellent brake pedal feel. In addition to a rearview monitor, Avalon offers an available Blind Spot Monitoring system which is designed to help detect vehicles behind the outer mirrors and to help alert drivers in addition to a new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (RCTA) that can alert drivers of cross traffic when they are backing up. Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. (4960 mm) 197.6 in. (5020 mm) Overall Width 72.2 in. (1835 mm) 72.8 in. (1850 mm) Overall Height 57.5 in. (1460 mm) 58.5 in. (1485 mm) Wheelbase 111 in. (2820 mm) 111 in. (2820 mm) Front Tread 62.6 in. (1590 mm) 62.2 in. (1580 mm) Rear Tread 62.2 in. (1580 mm) 61.6 in. (1565 mm) Front Overhang 38.8 in. (985 mm) 39.4 in. (1000 mm) Rear Overhang 45.5 in. (1155 mm) 47.2 in. (1200 mm) Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (estimated) 3,616 lbs. (Avalon model) View full article
  21. Drew Dowdell Managing Editor Cheersandgears.com April 5th, 2012 Toyota today unveiled the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York Auto Show. The Avalon moves to the new Corporate face of Toyota as seen on the Camry while also moving to the new Camry platform introduced late last year. Toyota calls the styling on the Avalon bold and sporty... which we will leave that judgement up to you. The host of suspension and performance improvements are detailed in the press release on page 2. The Sensational New 2013 Toyota Avalon Makes World Debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show NEW YORK, (April 5, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. revealed the all-new 2013 Avalon premium mid-size sedan today at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The new Avalon is re-conceived for the premium mid-size sedan segment with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design. When it arrives to dealerships late this year, the new Avalon will offer improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. The new 2013 Avalon is the result of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s dramatic exterior and interior design was conceived by a youthful and talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc. facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was principally led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focused theme, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at Toyota’s facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Enhanced Avalon Dynamics In addition to its stunning design, numerous structural and chassis improvements were made to the new Avalon to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling. The body structure gains improvements in torsional rigidity thanks to additional and strategically placed welds, improved body bracing, and high-strength steel in key areas in order to provide a stiffer chassis and optimize suspension performance. The new Avalon suspension relies on MacPherson struts with advanced valving and rebound springs to balance handling and agility with ride comfort. Coil spring rate and front and rear sway bar stiffness was increased from the current model to help improve body control and body roll. The Avalon’s electric power steering (EPS) system has been tuned to help deliver enhanced controllability and vehicle agility while also realizing superior linear stability. The new Avalon offers three distinct drive modes that help tailor dynamic performance to the driver’s needs. The drive modes - Normal, Eco, and Sport -are made available through driver-selectable switches. In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted from center to offer a sportier character. Eco changes throttle response and A/C power usage to help improve fuel economy. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters help provide a sportier drive while in the D or S Mode, where the revised throttle helps improve shift response to help maximize engine power and vehicle performance. Dynamic Exterior Styling The new Avalon’s dynamic exterior styling defines a sleek and expressive profile that helps communicate a sense of motion for the vehicle even when it is at rest. The beltline has been lowered to accentuate a strong stance. Compared to its predecessor, the new Avalon is a bit more compact yet displays better proportions with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. New 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel and tire combinations fill the wheel well to enhance the vehicle’s dynamic exterior expression. Key exterior design elements include the square Double-eye PES (Projector Ellipsoid System) headlamps with HID (High-Intensity Discharge)and elegant DRL (Daytime Running Lights) feature available that provide excellent night time visibility while helping define a narrower, more taut and muscular exterior expression. A wider, more assertive grille design provides a bolder front perspective. At the rear, high-performance LED combination tail lamps are adopted which are more integrated with the revised rear-body styling. The dual rear tailpipe outlets further the more cohesive design theme. Modern Interior Experience Design elements enhancing comfort, convenience and technology help create the luxurious experience that will prove tempting to buyers of the next Avalon. The 2013 Avalon offers a modern, spacious, premium interior highlighted by abundant rear seat legroom, while featuring a myriad of available features. Beyond mere dimensions, the new Avalon’s interior design enhances the cabin’s sense of spaciousness and comfort. The front seat’s hip point has been lowered by 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) to help create improved headroom. The new power front seat design with increased side bolstering is more supportive and offers an expanded range of downward adjustment. In addition, the structural components of the sunroof and the headliner design have been optimized to help increase the cabin’s roominess. A concave dash panel design, located in front of the passenger, helps create an expansive feeling. While the rear overhang has been reduced by 1.7 inches, the luggage compartment capacity is 16.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.6 cubic feet as compared to the outgoing model. The Avalon’s premium interior attains a high level of refinement by reducing wind, engine and road noise inside the cabin. The resultant interior is even significantly quieter and more comfortable than the current Avalon and it creates an ideal environment to enjoy conversation, music or Toyota’s available multimedia system, Entune™. Sound absorbing materials have been strategically placed around the cabin and body structure while not inhibiting a reduction in overall vehicle weight. The windshield and front side-glass panels utilize acoustic glass that helps control sound intrusion into the cabin. Reductions in wind noise have been realized by optimizing exterior shape, specifically cowl and louver sealing, outer mirror shape and position, and wiper-blade position, which have all been developed to dramatically reduce wind noise generation. Exterior gaps and steps have also been minimized to reduce wind noise around the door glass areas. The new Avalon’s interior utilizes premium materials and a high degree of craftsmanship to offer an upscale experience. Rich, supple leather trims the steering wheel, shift knob, and seat upholstery helping add visual and tactile appeal. Hand-crafted, decorative stitching is adopted for the steering wheel, and soft-touch materials on the dash panel and door trim elevate the vehicle’s sense of tactile luxury. Smoked chrome-metallic accents are applied to the instrument panel, center console, door panel, and steering wheel surfaces to help add distinction and exceptional feel. Available push-button controlled soft white ambient lighting illuminates key regions of the interior to help convey the sense of luxury. The new Avalon’s center console includes a convenient console tray that is ideal for the storage of electronic hand held devices. The new Avalon’s console area is equipped with a USB port, AUX input terminal and three 12-volt power outlets to help facilitate device interface and charging. The new Avalon will offer innovative technologies such as advanced capacitive touch switches with positioning and sensitivity that makes them ideal for vehicle system controls. Other premium in-car technologies include three color display screens that support the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel. An easy to use Display Audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard on the new Avalon; while a JBL Synthesis Premium Audio system, HDD Premium Navigation with 7” screen, dynamic radar cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a three-zone air conditioning system are also on the list of available features and equipment. Safety Like all Toyota models, the new Avalon will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. The new Avalon helps to prioritize occupant safety with a best-in-class10 airbags system. A Pre-collision system is also available that is designed to “sense” an impending frontal collision and can help mitigate damage. A variable ratio brake pedal is adopted that varies the initial and final pedal effort ratios to help realize excellent brake pedal feel. In addition to a rearview monitor, Avalon offers an available Blind Spot Monitoring system which is designed to help detect vehicles behind the outer mirrors and to help alert drivers in addition to a new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (RCTA) that can alert drivers of cross traffic when they are backing up. Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. (4960 mm) 197.6 in. (5020 mm) Overall Width 72.2 in. (1835 mm) 72.8 in. (1850 mm) Overall Height 57.5 in. (1460 mm) 58.5 in. (1485 mm) Wheelbase 111 in. (2820 mm) 111 in. (2820 mm) Front Tread 62.6 in. (1590 mm) 62.2 in. (1580 mm) Rear Tread 62.2 in. (1580 mm) 61.6 in. (1565 mm) Front Overhang 38.8 in. (985 mm) 39.4 in. (1000 mm) Rear Overhang 45.5 in. (1155 mm) 47.2 in. (1200 mm) Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (estimated) 3,616 lbs. (Avalon model)
  22. http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/story/2011-11-09/Toyota-recall-cars-steering/51130852/1?csp=YahooModule_News In the United States, the automaker is recalling 283,200 Toyota brand cars, including the 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara, the 2004 Avalon and the 2006 Highlander HV. Its recall of 137,000 Lexus vehicles includes the 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330 and 2006 RX400h.

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