Toyota – Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Sat, 03 Dec 2016 11:05:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 Toyota Teases 2018 Camry http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-toyota-camry-teased/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-toyota-camry-teased/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 20:29:47 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1028257 DETROIT, Michigan – Though the American public continues its mass migration to crossover/utility vehicles, midsize sedans still rule the roost at brands like Toyota, which teased us Thursday with a look at the rear quarter-panel and roof sail of the all-new Camry. The 2018 Toyota Camry will be unveiled in January at the 2017 North...

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DETROIT, Michigan – Though the American public continues its mass migration to crossover/utility vehicles, midsize sedans still rule the roost at brands like Toyota, which teased us Thursday with a look at the rear quarter-panel and roof sail of the all-new Camry. The 2018 Toyota Camry will be unveiled in January at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Bob Carter said here Thursday.

Carter, who is senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales (Toyota and Lexus) in North America, made another attempt at injecting sizzle into the Toyota brand’s bread-and-butter sedan.

“This was a Camry that sent chills up my back,” Carter said, describing his first drive of the upcoming eighth-generation model. Though an automotive appliance by our No Boring Cars standard, Toyota has sold 355,204 through November. That’s off 9.4 percent versus the first 11 months of 2015, though it’s still the brand’s bestseller, ahead of Corolla (346,999, up 3.7 percent year-to-date) and RAV4 (314,925, up 11.1 percent year-to-date) and will be its bestseller again for the entire year, Carter predicted.

The Camry also will retain first place among U.S. car sales in calendar 2016, he predicted, or fourth behind the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram pickup trucks. It makes a big contribution to Toyota’s bottom line, allowing plenty of capital to build very low-volume, interesting cars, like the Lexus LC 500 that Carter said is set for a Spring 2017 launch. Carter also said that the Toyota CH-R entry-CUV, which was originally intended for Scion will go on sale “later in the summer” of next year.

Toyota Motor Sales has scheduled an unprecedented three press conferences at NAIAS17 in Detroit, Carter said — one for the 2018 Toyota Camry, one for Lexus, and “a technical-based press conference that affects both brands,” which hints at a major advancement in Toyota Motors’ autonomous development. Media days for NAIAS are January 9 and 10.

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Toyota Supra Mule Spied Wearing FT-1 Styling Cues http://www.automobilemag.com/news/toyota-supra-mule-spied-wearing-more-ft-1-styling-cues/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/toyota-supra-mule-spied-wearing-more-ft-1-styling-cues/#respond Mon, 28 Nov 2016 21:00:15 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1026073 When we first saw prototypes for the upcoming Toyota Supra, the cars bore little resemblance to the FT-1 concept of 2014. Now, the camo is coming off and the sports car jointly developed by Toyota and BMW is starting to look more like that radically sculpted show car. These latest shots reveal a more production-ready...

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When we first saw prototypes for the upcoming Toyota Supra, the cars bore little resemblance to the FT-1 concept of 2014. Now, the camo is coming off and the sports car jointly developed by Toyota and BMW is starting to look more like that radically sculpted show car.

These latest shots reveal a more production-ready front fascia, with intake openings that have a similar shape to those of the FT-1. This car also has an unsightly bump on its nose, which could be hiding the Formula 1-inspired beak of the concept. It’s difficult now to see how that design element would mesh with the rest of the car’s design, but maybe it’ll all come together once the camo comes off.

The FT-1 cues don’t stop at the front. In back, we see slender taillights and a molded ducktail spoiler that could almost be lifted straight off the FT-1. We don’t have the diffuser or F1-style third brake light, but the car is definitely starting to look more like the FT-1 concept from behind.

As we previously reported, the Toyota Supra will share its platform with the BMW Z5, and both cars are expected to be built by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. Engine options are unknown, but six-cylinder and hybrid drivetrains have been rumored.

Check out the latest Toyota Supra spy shots in the gallery below and tell us if you think the car will be a worthy successor to the Japanese supercar icon.

Photo Source: KGP Photography

Toyota Supra prototype front three quarter 01 Toyota Supra prototype front three quarter 02 Toyota Supra prototype front three quarter 03 Toyota Supra prototype front three quarter 04 Toyota Supra prototype rear three quarter 02 Toyota Supra prototype rear three quarter 01 Toyota Supra prototype front three quarter 05 Toyota Supra prototype detail Toyota Supra prototype front end Toyota Supra prototype rear end Toyota Supra prototype rear three quarter 03 Toyota Supra prototype rear view Toyota Supra prototype side profile 01 Toyota Supra prototype side profile 02

 

 

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U.S. Spec 2018 Toyota C-HR Makes 2016 LA Auto Show Debut http://www.automobilemag.com/news/u-s-spec-2018-toyota-c-hr-makes-2016-la-auto-show-debut/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/u-s-spec-2018-toyota-c-hr-makes-2016-la-auto-show-debut/#respond Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:00:47 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1021764 While the Euro-spec Toyota C-HR that made its debut in Geneva earlier this year — a model recently sampled by our colleagues at Motor Trend — gave us a good idea what to expect, it’s only now that we’re meeting the C-HR that will reach U.S shores this coming Spring. To answer those wondering what...

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While the Euro-spec Toyota C-HR that made its debut in Geneva earlier this year — a model recently sampled by our colleagues at Motor Trend — gave us a good idea what to expect, it’s only now that we’re meeting the C-HR that will reach U.S shores this coming Spring.

To answer those wondering what Toyota’s intent is with the 2018 C-HR, it’s a response to the appetite consumers have for sporty subcompact crossovers that lean more toward the sporty and stylish end of segment. Its main competition will be the likes of the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Nissan Juke.

If you were hoping the C-HR would retain the expressive and unique styling of its overseas brethren, you’re in luck. Apart from some alterations to headlight and taillight signals, the C-HR will arrive in America with the same sharp looks as it flaunts in other parts of the world.

2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter 1

Under the hood, Toyota’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I-4 will deliver 144 hp and 140 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. Other parts of the world will see all-wheel-drive and hybrid variants, but Toyota has yet to announce if or when either drivetrain will be offered in North America. However, we’re counting on seeing one if not both arrive stateside in the future.

At launch, the U.S.-spec C-HR will be offered in two trims: XLE and XLE Premium. Both arrive with 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display, and Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) as standard equipment. TSS-P is a bundle of safety technologies that include pre-collision and pedestrian detection functions, which automatically apply emergency braking if the driver fails to, along with lane departure alerting, assisted steering, automatic high beans, and dynamic radar cruise control. Coupled with a standard suite of 10 airbags, hill-start assist, and a rear backup camera, the only safety equipment offered outside of that is blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alerts, an option that’s exclusive to the XLE Premium.

Additional niceties included in the XLE Premium are heated front seats with power lumbar for the driver and auto folding, heated side mirrors, which include puddle lamps that project a “Toyota C-HR” logo onto the ground. XLE Premium models also come with keyless entry and push button start.

Pricing on the C-HR XLE and XLE Premium has not been announced, but we expect it to be competitively priced when it goes on sale Spring 2017, with the XLE starting around $19,500 and XLE Premium around $23,500.

2018 Toyota C HR side

2018 Toyota C HR front end 1 2018 Toyota C HR rear end 2018 Toyota C HR rear badge 2018 Toyota C HR headlamp 2018 Toyota C HR cargo 1 2018 Toyota C HR center console gear knob 2018 Toyota C HR center stack screen 2018 Toyota C HR exterior details 1 2018 Toyota C HR rear interior seats 1 2018 Toyota C HR front interior seats 1 2018 Toyota C HR gear knob 2018 Toyota C HR speaker 1 2018 Toyota C HR steering wheel 02 2018 Toyota C HR interior door panel 2018 Toyota C HR steering wheel controls 2018 Toyota C HR interior 1 2018 Toyota C HR steering wheel 2018 Toyota C HR overhead details 2018 Toyota C HR taillight 2018 Toyota C HR parking brake 1 2018 Toyota C HR wheels 1 2018 Toyota C HR speaker 2018 Toyota C HR steering assist 2018 Toyota C HR parking brake 2018 Toyota C HR overhead light 2018 Toyota C HR instrument cluster 2018 Toyota C HR center console 2018 Toyota C HR climate controls 2018 Toyota C HR cargo seats folded down 2018 Toyota C HR cargo 2018 Toyota C HR cargo 02 2018 Toyota C HR interior 2018 Toyota C HR cockpit 2018 Toyota C HR rear interior seats 2018 Toyota C HR front interior seats 2018 Toyota C HR engine 2018 Toyota C HR engine 02 2018 Toyota C HR wheels 2018 Toyota C HR rear wing 2018 Toyota C HR exterior panels 2018 Toyota C HR exterior panel 2018 Toyota C HR exterior details 2018 Toyota C HR top view 2018 Toyota C HR rear three quarter 2018 Toyota C HR rear three quarters 2018 Toyota C HR rear taillight 2018 Toyota C HR rear three quarter 02 2018 Toyota C HR headlight 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarters 02 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/u-s-spec-2018-toyota-c-hr-makes-2016-la-auto-show-debut/feed/ 0 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter 1 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR side 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view 2018 Toyota C HR front three quarter top view
2018 Toyota C-HR Coming to L.A. Auto Show http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-toyota-c-hr-bound-l-auto-show/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-toyota-c-hr-bound-l-auto-show/#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2016 16:33:53 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1011780 The 2018 Toyota C-HR will make its U.S. debut at the Los Angeles auto show later this month. Toyota’s pint-sized crossover made its first appearance at the Geneva motor show in March before heading to the Paris show several weeks ago. Now that it has toured Europe, the C-HR will be revealed in U.S.-spec form...

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The 2018 Toyota C-HR will make its U.S. debut at the Los Angeles auto show later this month.

Toyota’s pint-sized crossover made its first appearance at the Geneva motor show in March before heading to the Paris show several weeks ago. Now that it has toured Europe, the C-HR will be revealed in U.S.-spec form for the first time. As of now, we don’t know the final design of the U.S.-bound model, nor do we know the engines it will offer.

But if it’s anything like a prototype we spotted in Michigan in April, the small crossover should look quite a bit like the European version. The U.S. prototype retained the same distinctive styling as the Euro-spec production car, including the same overall shape, body lines, and truncated rear. But it appears Toyota has changed up the lights; the prototype, as well as the model teased in the image above, has taillights that look a bit different than those on the European model.

Overseas, the C-HR receives a 1.8-liter gas-hybrid system making 122 hp,  a 1.2-liter turbocharged engine producing 115 hp, and a 2.0-liter engine with around 150 hp. We likely won’t receive this same set of engines in the U.S., so we’ll just have to stay tuned for more details.

Toyota’s C-HR comes as a late offering into the popular subcompact crossover space. The model will compete against a host of existing entries such as the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-3. The model debuts November 17 ahead of the L.A. auto show.

Toyota-CH-R-front-three-quarters 2016 Toyota C HR side profile Toyota-CH-R-rear-three-quarter 2016 Toyota C HR side profile in motion

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SEMA 2016: Toyota Debuts Land Speed Cruiser http://www.automobilemag.com/news/toyota-debuts-land-speed-cruiser-extreme-sienna-concepts-sema/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/toyota-debuts-land-speed-cruiser-extreme-sienna-concepts-sema/#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2016 15:00:07 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1011639 Toyota usually brings out a slew of concepts to the annual SEMA Show, and this year is no different. Though the Scion brand is conspicuously absent from this year’s parade of show cars, Toyota still has plenty of sheetmetal to get excited about. Here are a few of our favorites. Toyota Land Speed Cruiser The...

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Toyota usually brings out a slew of concepts to the annual SEMA Show, and this year is no different. Though the Scion brand is conspicuously absent from this year’s parade of show cars, Toyota still has plenty of sheetmetal to get excited about. Here are a few of our favorites.

Toyota Land Speed Cruiser

Toyota-Land-Speed-Cruiser-2016-SEMA

The Toyota Land Cruiser probably wouldn’t be your first choice as a base for building a 200-plus-mph car. That is, unless you’re Toyota. The automaker has dropped a 2016 Land Cruiser on large, five-spoke Momo wheels and twin-turbocharged its 5.7-liter V-8 to produce more than 2,000 hp. Thanks to the two volleyball-sized Garrett large-frame turbochargers, the SUV has a claimed top speed of 220 mph. The hood has been redesigned for better aerodynamics and to accommodate airflow to the two enormous turbos.

Toyota Prius G

Toyota Prius G Extreme 2016 SEMA 01

The Prius isn’t a vehicle you see often at SEMA. The hybrid has traditionally been pretty boring to drive and has given the aftermarket little reason to care about it. Toyota set out to change that with the Prius G, or Prius Extreme. Gordon Ting of Beyond Marketing drew inspiration from the Prius GT300 race car and endowed the 2017 Prius with Tein coilovers, 18×10.5 front and 18×9.5 rear Volk TE-37SL alloy wheels, Toyo R888 competition tires, Brembo four-piston brakes, and more. The upgrades helped the Prius pull 0.99 g on the skid pad.

Toyota Extreme Sienna

Toyota Extreme Sienna 2016 SEMA 01

Toyota has brought modified Siennas out to SEMA before. Last year it surprised everyone with the race-ready, Camaro-beating Sienna R-Tuned concept. This year, Toyota’s Sienna concept is more show than go, but still well done. The goal with the Extreme Sienna was to recreate the experience of flying in a private jet. To this end, the interior was reupholstered in parchment and cognac Euro Autolux leather, and received custom burl wood accents, reclining and massaging heated captain’s chairs, Brazilian Pecan hardwood floors, and a home theater system. An iPad controls the entire vehicle, including the Air Lift Performance air ride system.

The Rest

Toyota also brought out a modified Corolla, a GT86 CS-Cup car, and the Tacoma TRD Pro race truck set to compete at next year’s Mint 400. Each of Toyota’s SEMA vehicles is displayed alongside a stock version of one of its ancestors. The lineup of vintage Toyotas includes a 1969 2000GT, 1983 Van, 1969 Corolla, 1966 Stout 1900, 1961 FJ25 Land Cruiser, and 2000 Prius.

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SEMA 2016: FJ Company Customizes a 1982 Land Cruiser FJ43 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/1982-land-cruiser-fj43-fj-company-sema-2016/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/1982-land-cruiser-fj43-fj-company-sema-2016/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2016 22:00:34 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1010900 In a sea of modified Mustangs and custom Camaros, an old Land Cruiser FJ43 is sure to stand out in its own way at SEMA. The FJ Company brought out a custom FJ43 Land Cruiser it calls “The Aspen Project.” Its purpose? To serve as a “family-friendly beast that could take on the rigors of...

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In a sea of modified Mustangs and custom Camaros, an old Land Cruiser FJ43 is sure to stand out in its own way at SEMA.

The FJ Company brought out a custom FJ43 Land Cruiser it calls “The Aspen Project.” Its purpose? To serve as a “family-friendly beast that could take on the rigors of everyday highway driving as well as the back-country near Aspen, Colorado,” the company says. To that end, the custom Cruiser receives a more modern 4.5-liter inline-six making 210 hp. This powertrain is mated to a FJ80 Toyota five-speed manual transmission. The Aspen Project, which is a full, frame-off restoration, also boasts power steering, front disc brakes, an Old Man Emu suspension, and Haltech electronic fuel injection. A Warn 8274 winch and PIAA LED fog lights make the special FJ ready for the trail, and a custom roll cage should give drivers peace of mind.

The FJ Company Land Cruiser FJ43 The Aspen Project rear three quarter

Inside the cabin, you’ll fast forward into the future with creature comforts like a backup camera, digital instrument cluster, LED ambient lighting, Bluetooth, and a premium sound system. An A/C system from Vintage Air and Recaro SPEED seats complete the effect. The dashes and switches have been customized, and a Rhino Linings bedliner prevents scuffs and scrapes.

The FJ Company Land Cruiser FJ43 The Aspen Project cabin

Check out the gallery below for a complete look at the “The Aspen Project.”

Photo Source: The FJ Company

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http://www.automobilemag.com/news/1982-land-cruiser-fj43-fj-company-sema-2016/feed/ 0 The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The FJ Company Land Cruiser FJ43 The Aspen Project rear three quarter The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The FJ Company Land Cruiser FJ43 The Aspen Project cabin The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls The-FJ-Company-Land-Cruiser-FJ43-The-Aspen-Project-audio-controls
Watch Ryan Tuerck’s Ferrari-Powered Toyota GT86 Scream http://www.automobilemag.com/news/listen-ryan-tuercks-ferrari-powered-toyota-gt86-scream/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/listen-ryan-tuercks-ferrari-powered-toyota-gt86-scream/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2016 15:16:13 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1010428 Drifting maven and horsepower maniac Ryan Tuerck is in the process of stuffing a Ferrari V-8 under the front hood of a drift-prepped Toyota GT86. To our delight, he’s documenting nearly every portion of the build process. The project is coming along nicely – so well, in fact, the team behind the car posted a...

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Drifting maven and horsepower maniac Ryan Tuerck is in the process of stuffing a Ferrari V-8 under the front hood of a drift-prepped Toyota GT86. To our delight, he’s documenting nearly every portion of the build process. The project is coming along nicely – so well, in fact, the team behind the car posted a video of the engine turning over for the first time. They also just posted a video of the beast in action.

Tuerck dubbed this Frankensteined creation “a JDM supercar.” It’s a full drift-spec build with the requisite cage, wheels, and capacity for an insane steering angle. Up front, the relatively asthmatic 2.0-liter FA20 flat-four engine is ripped out and supplanted by a 4.5-liter V-8 from a Ferrari 458 Italia. It requires a fair bit of mechanical wizardry to make a powerplant designed for a mid-engine set-up work in a front-engined platform and as we see in the video, the engine sits very high, with intake runners dominating the driver’s view.

The setup works, apparently. Along with a pure exhaust video, the team released a clip of the GT86 donut-ing around an actual Ferrari 458. It sounds about as glorious as you would imagine.

Listen to Ryan Tuerck’s Ferrari-powered Toyota in the video below.

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2018 Toyota Camry Prototype Caught Sporting Four Exhaust Tips http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-toyota-camry-prototype-four-exhaust-tips/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-toyota-camry-prototype-four-exhaust-tips/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2016 14:00:10 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1010518 America’s best-selling sedan, the 2018 Toyota Camry, is due for a complete redesign. It is rumored to get a new engine and possibly even a high-performance model. Based on these spy shots, we’ll likely see it next year. A hi-po Camry seems a bit of a stretch, but the prototype shown here is fitted with...

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America’s best-selling sedan, the 2018 Toyota Camry, is due for a complete redesign. It is rumored to get a new engine and possibly even a high-performance model. Based on these spy shots, we’ll likely see it next year.

A hi-po Camry seems a bit of a stretch, but the prototype shown here is fitted with four exhaust tips, relatively sporty wheels, and a body kit. If anything, this may simply be a continuation of the current Camry XSE trim, which is made up of a stiffer suspension setup and special visual upgrades.

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The new Camry is expected to ride on Toyota’s TNGA architecture that launched on the new Prius. Expect a drop in curb weight and improved handling. Speculation also suggests a 2.0-liter turbo-four will be added to the engine lineup, with the 3.5-liter V-6 remaining as an option—both those engines should be mated to an eight-speed automatic. Meanwhile, the 2.5-liter inline-four is expected to carryover as a base engine paired with a six-speed auto. A hybrid will likely come later.

Styling appears to be evolutionary. This prototype’s front clip appears to have LED headlights and turn signals, and the narrow taillights look similar to the ones found on the Avalon. The photographer managed to capture a bit of the dashboard, which shows revised air vents and chrome trim in the instrument panel.

2018 Toyota Camry spy photos passenger window

 

Toyota still holds the sales lead in the midsize segment, despite tough competition from the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and others. Toyota is expected to unveil the 2018 Camry at the Detroit auto show this January, before rolling it out to showrooms by the end of 2017.

Photo Source: Chris Doane Automotive

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Catching Up With: Matt McClory, Toyota Mirai Development Engineer http://www.automobilemag.com/news/matt-mcclory-toyota-mirai-development-engineer-interview/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/matt-mcclory-toyota-mirai-development-engineer-interview/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2016 12:00:12 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1010391 Matt McClory is the manager of the fuel cell vehicle group at Toyota Technical Center in Torrance, California. His primary responsibility is the development, testing and evaluation of prototype fuel cell vehicles. In addition, he is involved in supporting the development of the hydrogen-refueling infrastructure. What countries get the Mirai? Japan, USA and Europe. The...

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Matt McClory is the manager of the fuel cell vehicle group at Toyota Technical Center in Torrance, California. His primary responsibility is the development, testing and evaluation of prototype fuel cell vehicles. In addition, he is involved in supporting the development of the hydrogen-refueling infrastructure.

What countries get the Mirai?

Japan, USA and Europe. The U.S. is California-only for now but we’re expecting sales to expand into the northeast region in 2017.

How is developing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle different from a conventional vehicle?

From a development process standpoint, we go through the same steps. Whether it’s an advanced diesel engine, an advanced gasoline engine, or a fuel cell, the process for development is the same. The difference is that the timeline is going to be longer for more advanced technologies. When we’re talking about technologies that are already understood in other applications or tweaking something that already has a foundation, development timelines are shorter. Figure it’s about a 3-5-year timeline for developing a new vehicle or powertrain, depending on what technologies are involved. The timeline is basically implementation and testing.

Obviously, safety is a big part of the development with a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

From a safety standpoint, the key philosophy is that we minimize the amount of high-pressure hydrogen that we have and prevent leaks. Our system only keeps high-pressure hydrogen in the tanks, we don’t have a bunch of lines strewn across the car carrying high-pressure hydrogen. The amount of hydrogen we have on the car outside of the tanks is a fractional percent. We have about 11 pounds of hydrogen in the tanks and less than 1% of that in the lines and manifolds. This minimizes the amount of hydrogen that we have to deal with to make sure it doesn’t leak.

2016 Toyota Mirai side view 2016 Toyota Mirai rear side view 2016 Toyota Mirai engine cover 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel

We’re also monitoring the use of the hydrogen. When it’s consumed in the fuel cell stack, we know where basically every molecule is going. We know what’s being consumed in the fuel cell system and we know how much is in the tank. So, we know that if there’s a variance then there is a problem or a leak and shut the system down. Also, there are valves inside the tanks that are normally closed, so when power gets cut due to an accident or deactivation of the system, the valves will close immediately and automatically. These are basically spring-loaded valves that shut when they aren’t powered.

Additionally, the tank system is designed to maintain system integrity if there’s a fire or a collision. That’s been verified through regulated crash testing as well as other tests we do in house. We have a lot of confidence through all the tests that we have done that the hydrogen system is as safe as a conventional vehicle.

What have been some other specific challenges with the development of Mirai?

If the water that gets produced inside a fuel cell freezes, it blocks the passages and you no longer have power. Additionally, it may damage the fuel cell. One of the things that we do is prevent the water from freezing. There is a technique you can do inside the fuel cell where water doesn’t act like a normal liquid, but is in a polymer-like state.

What were the key test and development facilities for Mirai?

The design of the vehicle took place in two different areas — Hagashi Fuji, our research and test facility at the base of Mount Fuji, and our design development group is in Toyota City. The cold test facility is in Japan — in Shibetz, Helkaido (northern Japan).

The other part is our development in the U.S. We test on local roads in Los Angeles as well as Death Valley for hot weather testing. We also go to places like Fairbanks, Alaska and Canada for cold weather testing. We use Colorado for high altitude testing. These different places make up the portfolio of testing locations.

How much platform and component sharing does the Mirai have with other Toyota models?

The platform came from the global MC platform, the same platform as the Prius V and the Lexus HS. It was adapted for the fuel cell, so there were numerous structural enhancements made to accommodate the hydrogen tanks and how the fuel cell stacks sit underneath the vehicle.

2016 Toyota Mirai interior view 2016 Toyota Mirai rear interior seats 2016 Toyota Mirai center stack screen 2016 Toyota Mirai front interior seats

The big success with the Mirai fuel cell vehicle is actually not the technology per se, but the cost reduction. We developed the core technology for the previous-generation fuel cell vehicle, which was based on the Highlander — the Toyota FCHV-adv (Fuel Cell Hybrid-Vehicle Advanced). We had a fleet of just over 100 of those vehicles running around the U.S. and other locations. That validated that the technology was ready to go to market. The Mirai fuel cell vehicle was developed to bring costs down and make something that we can serially produce in a factory for the retail market.

We not only took the platform from an existing vehicle line, but also used the power electronics. That was one of the key things for cost reduction. The power electronics were taken from a conventional vehicle such as the Camry Hybrid and Lexus RX Hybrid. Components such as the high-voltage battery, the inverter, and the traction motor were all taken from those platforms to help reduce costs.

We then developed a new converter to boost voltage out of the fuel cell to mate it with the high-voltage BUS that’s driving these other components. The other benefit of having the fuel cell booster is that it allowed us to cut the size of the fuel cell, which reduced the cost of the fuel cell. So, even though we’re adding another component and there are costs associated with that, the overall net effect was a cost reduction due to sharing components.

Why use nickel-metal hydride batteries versus lithium ion?

Cost. Lithium ion (li-ion) batteries are typically suited for something where you want more energy density, not power density. You can make a li-ion be both energy and power dense, but we already had a nickel-metal hydride setup and we know the pedigree and the costs very well. We’re not looking for energy density; we’re looking for the same type of energy size we’d have with a Prius-size hybrid vehicle as far as power. So, the battery pack gives you that additional boost in addition to the fuel cell for making the system more efficient.

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For the future, we’re looking for li-ion prices to come down but, again, at the point in time where we made the design freeze for the Mirai, the li-ion battery that we had in the pipeline wasn’t at the level of development that we wanted it to be for us to consider it as an option.

 What is Toyota doing about the infrastructure shortcomings of hydrogen refueling stations?

Fuel station development is kind of the third part of our three-legged stool. One leg is the vehicle and the other is something we call codes and standards — to make sure the design framework exists to the level that it needs to. So, it’s supporting fuel stations and putting vehicles in the market place. From a hydrogen standpoint, Toyota develops relationships and financial arrangements with companies in the business.

One company is called, First Element. Another is Air Liquide, which is developing 12 stations in the northeast USA. First Element was awarded 19 stations in California. Today we have 21 stations, with about 15 of those from First Element. So, the rapid growth of fueling stations in California came from Toyota’s involvement in bringing up First Element in conjunction with an equipment supplier called Air Products in order to accelerate the build out of stations in the area where we’re launching the vehicle.

 What can be done to lower the cost of future hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the future?

It’s bringing the cost of the hydrogen storage tank down. It’s also reducing the cost of the fuel cell stack even further. Those are the two key areas from a cost standpoint. The Mirai was a 95% cost reduction compared to the previous-generation Highland-based fuel cell vehicle. Doing mass production or production on large-scale vehicles does not necessarily bring the costs down a significant amount. There is a certain amount of cost that comes down with mass production though economies of scale, but the first level of cost reduction comes in the design of the technology and manufacturing costs.

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First Drive: 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-toyota-tacoma-trd-pro-first-drive-review/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-toyota-tacoma-trd-pro-first-drive-review/#respond Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:06:21 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1008161 HANA, Hawaii – Roughly 65 miles separate Wailea from Hana, 52 miles of which are traveled on the eponymous Hana Highway, which is known as something of a sports car road. We did not drive this route in the new 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro because that’s not what the sport pickup truck is about,...

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HANA, Hawaii – Roughly 65 miles separate Wailea from Hana, 52 miles of which are traveled on the eponymous Hana Highway, which is known as something of a sports car road. We did not drive this route in the new 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro because that’s not what the sport pickup truck is about, even though its Kevlar-sidewalled 265/70R-16 all-terrain Goodyear Wranglers are meant to balance between off-road acumen and on-road noise and comfort. It would have taken two hours and 25 minutes to drive each way between our hotel and the remote Hana Ranch in Maui’s lush rain forest.

Instead, the drive was all on dirt, mud and rocks – terrain the TRD Pro handles handily. Toyota flew a small group of auto journos on hired helicopters 30 minutes each way (even with a bit of sightseeing), which allowed us time to spend the day caking the Barcelona Red, Cement, and Super White Taco Pros (the only three paint colors available) with mud.

This put Your Humble Servant a bit out of his element. Though more a sports car enthusiast than a truck guy, this critic finds the second-generation Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro the spiritual equivalent of, say, the Mazda Miata Club. It’s to the Toyota 86 what the Ford F-150 Raptor is to the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.

Unlike the Raptor, the Taco Pro’s 3.5-liter V-6 isn’t a high-performance engine, though a cat-back exhaust gives it a little kick. It’s not related to the Camry’s 3.5, but instead is part of a new engine family that will start finding its way under the hood of other Toyota vehicles. Rated at 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, it features direct and port injection, variable valve timing with intelligent wider intake – which means it uses the Atkinson cycle at cruising speed for better fuel efficiency and switches back to Otto-cycle when torque is necessary – and variable valve timing with intelligent exhaust. It’s available with a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual; one of our six test trucks was equipped with the new, short-throw stick.

Our Moment of Sports Car Zen came when Toyota let us loose with the trucks on a nine-turn, half-mile dirt-and-mud (mostly mud) racecourse. Traction and stability control off, we kept the truck in 4WD-High because Toyota suggested rear-wheel-drive would have us spinning in circles. Nicely tuned, direct and moderately light steering gave us good feedback – it’s notable for not requiring you pay much attention to it. The level of steering quickness seems just right for a tall 4×4. Problem is that we wanted to use the throttle to power out of the sweepers and a switchback, but in 4WD-High, the TRD Pro simply understeers too much, plowing and sliding its way to the outside of the apex. We did get the hang of a progressive 90-degree left-hander by dialing in steering early while lifting off the throttle and then re-applying heavy throttle as soon as the truck turned in, but if the Tacoma TRD Pro truly is meant for such exercises, it needs an expensive, complicated system to change the front-/rear-wheel-drive split. The 4×2 TRD Sport is probably the better ticket for this sort of driving. If you want to try your hand at dirt-road pro-solo competitions and need the TRD Pro’s off-road versatility, trade out the OEM Goodyear Wranglers for some serious knobbies at the expense of on-pavement ride, handling, and noise quality.

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The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro really shines at hill climbing. In Hana, nature has created mountains of pumice piled on top of itself at a 41-degree grade. Humans can stack pumice only up to 33 degrees before it topples. Toyota’s Lower Traverse Trail at Hana Ranch leads to the steeper hill, used to demonstrate the Pro’s Crawl Control, which adjusts the anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability control and throttle and transmission controls in milliseconds to maintain steady uphill or downhill speed. The driver may choose from any of five levels, 1 mph to 5 mph, for descending pumice hills and the like.

It works very well, making it possibly the best edition of now-common SUV hill descent-control to date. Leave your feet off the brake and throttle pedals and carefully steer your way down, or up.

Crawl Control comes standard, but only with the automatic, of course. The manual gets active traction control, instead. While all the automatics were equipped with keyless start, the single manual example had an old-fashioned key, with the ignition at the base of the steering column.

Toyota marketing says 5 percent of the approximately 1,200 Generation I TRD Pro buyers chose the manual, mostly East Coast consumers and serious off-roaders. Toyota worked hard to revise the manual for shifting feel and short throws, says Tacoma chief engineer Mike Sweers. It’s virtually free of the slop associated with most trucks’ stick shifts, easily among the best in the business. While it’s no sports car gearbox, it would be this critic’s choice.

While the new-for-2016 Toyota Tacoma’s design has been criticized for not being new enough, Sweers’ team gave this low-volume, top price level halo a thorough going-over.

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“The main thing is that we’ve improved the high-speed elements without taking away from its off-road capabilities,” Sweers says. The suspension has been tuned for a bit more body roll, which helps mitigate head-toss, and there’s more understeer for off-road capability, which explains why we couldn’t master the off-road race circuit using rally car techniques. The front anti-roll bar has been thickened by 2 mm, to 30 mm, to reduce pitching. Suspension travel is up 1 inch and 2.5-inch Fox internal bypass shocks have replaced 1.5-inch Bilsteins. Front ride height is up slightly and it’s backed by a ¼-inch thick aluminum skidplate. Front approach-angle is 36 degrees, up from 32 degrees, the rear is 24 degrees, and the breakover point is 26 degrees. Payload remains 1,420 pounds, though towing is 300 pounds lower, to 6,400.

Listening to the Voice of the Customer, Toyota replaced the old TRD Pro cloth seats with heated leather in order to make it easier to clean out mud and dirt. It’s a decent mid-grade leather that’s more supple than most and the seats coordinate well with the high-quality Toyota fit and finish, though they’re a bit flat, which means you tend to sit on them instead of in them. A new trapdoor under the engine makes it easier for owners to change the oil and filter.

There are new floor mats and shifter trim, and the TRD Pro eschews the Tacoma’s Toyota grille logo for blacked-out lettering that spells out the manufacturer’s name. The hood scoop is blacked out as well, and there’s new LED Rigid Industries lower front fog lamps in a nacelle with a second opening above to make space for brighter (non-Fed approved) aftermarket lighting.

The 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is typical to the brand’s thorough approach in designing its bread-and-butter vehicles, and it’s proof of the Japanese manufacturer’s ability to offer passionate drivers as much spice as any sexier brand while still cranking out beige RAV4s and Camrys.

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The Toyota Tacoma is Hawaii’s Ford F-Series – it’s the bestselling vehicle of any kind here, selling 5,500 in calendar 2015 and an expected 5,900 this year. With a very competitive Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon challenging the segment, the Tacoma remains a compelling truck even for us non-truck guys, from the base SR worktruck starting at just $25,060 to the $31,425 TRD Sport to the TRD Pro, at $41,700 with manual (buy this one) or $43,700 for the automatic. That’s a lot of scratch for a midsize, short-bed pickup truck, though the improvements made to the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro will do nothing but energize its loyal, enthusiastic following.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $41,700 – $43,700 (manual/automatic)
Engine: 3.5L 24-valve V-6/278 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 265 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, 4WD pickup truck
EPA Mileage: 17-18/20-23 mpg (manual-automatic)
L x W x H: 212.3 x 75.2 x 71.6 in
Wheelbase: 127.4 in
Weight: 4,425-4,445 lb (automatic-manual)
0-60 MPH: N/A
Top Speed: N/A
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