For Sale By:Private Seller
Sub Model: BJ70 FJ40 BJ45
Model: Land Cruiser
Exterior Color: Green
Interior Color: Gray
Drive Type: AWD
Key Biscayne, Florida, United States
The Mazda CX-5 stamped its Kodo design and SkyActiv technology authority all over the Japan Car of the Year awards, taking the top prize ahead of the Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT 86. It is Mazda's second victory in the last ten years, the 2005 MX-5 claiming the same trophy, and the fourth time the Hiroshima company has won.
The award is decided by 60 local "automotive experts and journalists," and open to any passenger car released in Japan from November 1, 2011 to October 31, 2012 that has sold more than 500 units. Each judge gets 25 votes, his or her top vote getting 10 points, the rest of the points being spread among the judge's choice for the next best four cars.
The second-place getters were the Toyobaru twins with 318 votes, the surprise being they didn't beat or get any closer to the crossover. The Subaru BRZ did claw some mojo back, earning the Special Award given to cars that have made "an exceptional impact." The BMW 3 Series was third overall and won the Import Car of the Year award with plenty of room between it and the second place Range Rover Evoque.
As dearly as we love the Toyota GT86 / Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ franchise, we readily admit we wouldn't look sideways at a model with a bit more firepower. And while that's not quite on the table yet, Toyota has been busy amping up the visual firepower of its rear-drive coupe with a whole host of TRD parts. To this point, that's been a largely à la carte affair, but the automaker's UK outpost has just announced a special-edition model that allows our British friends to pick up the whole shooting match all in one go.
The Toyota GT86 TRD will only be available in black and white, and just 250 examples are to be built. As you can see from the excellent gallery above, the catalog of look-faster bits include a more aggressive front air dam, side skirts, rear bumper fascia, spoiler and unique 18-inch forged alloys. Additional flourishes include a TRD shift lever and branded radiator cap. The sole concession to actual performance? A "fast-response quad exhaust" that might only improve things audibly - 0-62 mph is apparently unchanged at 7.7 seconds, and the top end is still 140 mph for the manual transmission model. (The auto gets by with 8.4 seconds and 130 mph).
Pricing? Glad you asked. £31,495 for GT 86 TRD manual, £32,995 for the automatic - that's nearly $50,000 US for the tripedalist and just over for the automatic. (Those are heady prices, but bear in mind that UK MSRPs and taxes are generally significantly higher than their US counterparts). If the standard GT86 is more your speed, it still rings up at a more affordable £24,995 - roughly $39,500 - leaving plenty of budget for actual performance parts. No word yet on North American availability of a special TRD model, but we've got a call in...
No, a Ford Expedition did not drive from Russia to Canada via the North Pole, but that's exactly what a team of intrepid explorers accomplished recently. Using specially-modified buses with massive tires, the group slowly drove 2,485 miles in 70 days over drifting ice, occasionally using a pickaxe to clear a path and staying on guard for chasms that could open up and plunge the team into the frigid arctic waters. Average speeds were about 6 mph, "at the speed of a (farm) tractor." While the big tires technically allowed the buses to float if the need arose, the team preferred to stay out of the water to keep the suspension from getting coated in thick, hard ice. Falling in on foot would mean almost certain death.
According to Phys.org, the buses were powered by Toyota diesel engines, but were built with prototype parts from a previous driving expedition to the North Pole. Right now, the machines are parked in a garage in Canada's Resolute Bay while the the team rests up with family back home. They plan to continue their trek to back across the Bering Straight to Russia. If successful, the team may eventually offer a version of their buses for commercial sale.