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Auto blogFri, 14 Dec 2012 20:02:00 EST
Who would have ever thought there'd be a day where people are able to skip television commercials only to go to websites to watch them later? Such is the joy of a DVR and YouTube. AdWeek tabulated the 20 most-watched ads on YouTube, and found that nine were car-related including eight coming from automakers.
Volkswagen continued its Star Wars theme with two ads in the top 20, including the highest-ranking car commercial The Bark Side spot at number three with almost 18 million views, which doesn't even have a single car in it. Some of our favorites are from Chrysler with Clint Eastwood in It's Halftime in America and House Arrest with Charlie Sheen for the Fiat 500 Abarth. Chevrolet, Honda, Audi and Toyota were the other automakers in the top 20, but we'd be remiss if we didn't at least mention one of the coolest ads on the list, the Hot Wheels corkscrew jump.
Of all the car videos, only the Fiat ad wasn't played during a Super Bowl. Check out all eight videos - in order - after the jump. Nike took the top spot with its My Time is Now ad that has been seen online more than 20 million times with Pepsi's Uncle Drew posted up in the runner-up; some of the other videos include four Old Spice commercials and an ad in which Snoop Dogg is pedaling Hot Pockets.
There are, as they say, two sides to every story, so after we posted a video on Monday showing what an owner claimed to be a case of unintended acceleration causing her Toyota Highlander to crash into a house twice, Toyota reached out to us revealing some additional information about the incident.
Following this crash, which took place back in November, Toyota had this Highlander inspected and pulled data from its Event Data Recorder (EDR), or Black Box as we've come to call it. Not only was this the first time we've seen a claim of unintended acceleration like this caught on video, but now, also a first, we have actual data showing what the vehicle itself recorded during this frightening ordeal.
Brian Lyons, Toyota Communications Manager for Safety and Quality, first gave us some information about the Highlander in question, including the fact that it was a 2012 model. The 2012 Highlander came from the factory with a brake override system, meaning it was not part of the company's initiative in 2010 to add the system to all 2011 models. Also, after looking at the data from the EDR, he said - as many of you pointed out in the comments for the previous post - that the "brake pedal was never touched." In the video, you can see that the crossover's brake lights never come on, and the EDR's data backs this up.
Toyota has undeniably carved out a niche for itself as the industry's leader in hybrid propulsion. What started out with the original Prius in 1997 has, over the past sixteen years, ballooned to what Toyota reports as a global hybrid portfolio of 23 models. But few (if any of them) are particularly exciting.
That's where the Yaris Hybrid-R concept comes in. Set to be showcased along with the rest of Toyota's hybrid and fuel-cell lineup at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show next month, the concept starts with one of the Japanese auto giant's least exciting models and upgrades it to more enticing territory. Toyota Motorsport GmbH - the same Cologne, Germany-based division that operated the company's F1 team, currently runs its Le Mans program and gave us that bonkers 650-horsepower Lexus LS - has slotted in a version of Toyota's new 1.6-liter Global Race Engine and paired it with a couple of electric motors for hybrid propulsion and through-the-road all-wheel drive.
Like the TS030 Hybrid LMP1, the Yaris Hybrid-R concept uses a super capacitor (instead of a conventional battery) to store the regenerated brake energy and give it upwards of 400 horsepower. That's about all Toyota is revealing at this point, but this is the first time it has confirmed the project is based on a Yaris, of all things, and the confirmation comes with the solitary teaser rendering you see above. Check out the press release after the jump and watch this space for more as Frankfurt fast approaches.