Miami, Florida, United States
As basic transportation goes, there's not a lot to complain about with the Toyota Yaris. The five-door hatch (not to mention its JDM cousin, the Vitz) are due for upgrades, though, having toddled along in its current form since the 2011 model year. Now, we have what looks to be leaked images of the new Yaris, straight from a Japanese brochure.
The next-gen Yaris was previewed in Frankfurt by the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept. Surprisingly, both the standard version and the RS (shown above) share a strong resemblance with the Frankfurt concept. That gaping lower intake remains, while a pointy, sharp front end shares a resemblance with the new Aygo city car (though the Yaris won't have a giant X on its face like its smaller cousin). The lower intake is flanked by a pair of what we're guessing are non-functional grilles, which house the fog lights. There are only a few small images of the rear of the car, which looks more like an evolution of the current five-door hatch.
The interior looks rather racy, with a small, thick-rimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel and black cloth seats with red contrast stitching. There's a bright red button to the right of the steering wheel on this right-hand-drive JDM model, which could indicate the arrival of pushbutton start. Under hood of this Mazda-built Toyota should be a Mazda Skyactiv engine. That gives us hope that this latest Toyota compact will be imbued with some sense of driving fun.
Enthusiasts have been begging for a new Supra practically since Toyota stopped selling its fourth generation in the US way back in 1998. We've been hearing rumors about a successor for years, but the Toyota FT-1 Concept from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show is the first tangible sign from the automaker that a new generation may be on the table. To temp us even more, the Japanese company reportedly filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office last week to renew its 2010 trademark for the name "Supra."
Granted, these kinds of trademark updates aren't uncommon, as automakers don't want to lose their rights to nameplates (even if they have no immediate plans to use them). However, Toyota briefly abandoned its rights to the Supra name entirely. According to The Motor Report, the original trademark was continually renewed until 2006, but the Japanese automaker let it lapse in the US until applying for it again in 2010.
The FT-1 Concept in Detroit was created at Toyota's Calty Design Research center in California and carries cues from the 2000GT, Celica and Supra in an ultra-curvy body. Officials did not disclose anything about its powertrain. Toyota is also co-developing a future sports car platform with BMW that will underpin models from both companies, but few other details are konwn, and it isn't yet clear that the joint venture has anything to do with a future Supra. Hope springs eternal.
It doesn't matter the make or model - modern vehicles are technological miracles when it comes to occupant protection. Take this story out of New York City, which involved two people going for a very wild ride in a Toyota Matrix.
Carlos and Raquel Broadbelt were on the Cross Bronx Expressway overpass when they hit a patch of ice while dodging a pothole, sending them hurtling into a guardrail and over the side of the overpass. They fell 50 feet onto the road below. Despite the catastrophic accident - and the mangled Toyota - both driver and passenger walked away. The couple spent a night in the hospital just for observation.
The Broadbelts' miraculous survival has even surprised doctors, who told Dave Carlin from CBS New York they'd never seen an accident like it. Take a look below for the full news report from CBS New York.