For Sale By:Dealer
Engine:1.8L 1798CC 110Cu. In. l4 ELECTRIC/GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated
Power Options: Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Windows
Sub Model: Persona Series
Engine Description: 1.8L 4 CYLINDER
Exterior Color: Black
Trim: Base Hatchback 4-Door
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 4
Drive Type: FWD
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Options: Compact Disc
Safety Features: Anti-Lock Brakes, Passenger Side Airbag
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Auto blogThu, 30 Jan 2014 18:33:00 EST
Every year when we start talking about which automaker is the biggest in the world, there always seems to be at least a little bit of controversy. For 2013, Toyota handily took the top spot with 9.98 million sales, but it's the runner up spot between General Motors and Volkswagen that is starting to create a stir.
Based on our earlier report, GM's 9.71 million vehicles put it in second place ahead of VW's 9.5-million-vehicle effort. Now, The Detroit News is reporting that VW is claiming a tally of 9.73 million sales, including figures from MAN and Scania - heavy-duty truck divisions under the VW AG family. The article points out that Toyota's sales figure includes its Hino line of trucks, but these might still be considered light-duty vehicles while MAN and Scania build tractor trailers.
The Toyota Tacoma may be getting on in age, but that isn't stopping the Japanese manufacturer from ramping up production at the pickup's Baja California factory. The Mexican plant will soon be home to another 300 jobs as it increases total capacity by 41 percent. The increase is slated for April 2015.
The move is a curious one, considering the Tacoma's age and the fact that General Motors is preparing what, on the surface, appear to be two very competent challengers. The factory increase could be in preparation for the 2016 Taco (spy photos shown above), which is expected to represent a significant overhaul of the long-serving truck.
Toyota's decision to increase capacity could also be due to the factory building freeze implemented by President Akio Toyoda, according to Automotive News. Toyoda put a hold on new factories until 2016, asking executives to squeeze as much production as possible out of remaining factories before bringing any additional facilities online.
The people at Toyota Motorsport GmbH have been responsible for the Japanese automaker's motorsports efforts since the 1970s, but since Toyota pulled out of Formula One after the 2009 season, the tuning shop has been developing a super sedan based on the Lexus LS called the Sports 650. Details on TMG's first road car have been scarce, but XCAR was recently invited to drive the 641-horsepower Lexus on track.
Here's what we know: the Sports 650 has enough power to sprint to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, tops out at 199 mph, weighs over two tons and utilizes LFA brakes. Oh, and its twin-turbo V8 bellows like an AMG V8. That last part isn't surprising when considering TMG could become Toyota's in-house tuning arm - like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. As for the bespoke body kit, fender flares and stacked exhaust pipes? They fit the car well and even remind us a bit of Lexus' other high-performance sedan, the IS F. Currently there are no plans for the Sports 650 to be made into a production car, but we doubt TMG is devoting this much effort developing the LS into a road-rocket for nothing.
Check out XCAR's video below to see the AMG-fighter wrung out on track, and then ponder what could be if TMG were let loose to fiddle with other cars in Lexus' lineup. Now that's something we could get used to!