Mon, 22 Sep 2014
Every car has its definitive year. Whether it be the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, or yes, even the ubiquitous Toyota Camry, 10.2 million of which have been sold since 1983, every car has its year. For the Camry, that year was 1992. With son-of-Lexus styling, a clear sense of purpose and a parent company that had hit its stride as the purveyor of faultlessly reliable family transportation devices, the Camry got its legs in 1992. It's a car that even your mom is likely to remember, even if she never owned one herself.
Sun, 21 Sep 2014
The Camry you see here represents the closest Toyota has come to emulating the magic formula that made the 1992 model the stuff of legends. Compared to the 2014 model, some 2000 of the car's 6,000 parts are new, most of them involving things you can see or touch (on the outside, for example, only the roof carries over from 2014).
It's not a full redesign, but nevertheless it's a stunning development considering the predecessor upon which it's based only survived two model years. That's a testament to both the hyper-competitive nature of the family sedan segment and the lukewarm critical response that the outgoing car garnered. But that's in the past now - after driving this 2015 model, we suspect the new car's changes will be thorough enough to continue pulling in new customers by the hundreds of thousands each year for the foreseeable future.
Last week, Toyota previewed an upcoming concept called the C-HR and promised it would debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. It didn't say much more or give us anything beyond a silhouette and the shape of the lights, but here we have the first images of the finalized form.
Sun, 21 Sep 2014
The C-HR envisions a hybrid crossover coupe with angular styling that looks ready to take on the Nissan Juke. It's far sportier than a RAV4, and looks closer to how we'd imagine the next-generation Scion FR-S would look like if it were riding on a jacked-up suspension - with some show car elements thrown in for good measure, like a gloating roof, radical lighting and the usual absence of door handles and usable wing mirrors.
Of course, this being a Toyota concept, it packs a hybrid powertrain, although specifications did not leak out along with the images. Overall the form looks pretty striking, if decidedly unsubtle. We'll look forward to bringing you more as the Paris show rapidly approaches.
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.
Thu, 18 Sep 2014
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.
Toyota has announced a recall of roughly 20,000 vehicles covering the 2014 Avalon, Camry, Highlander (pictured) and Sienna, as well as the 2015 Lexus RX luxury crossover. The affected vehicles are all powered the 2GR-FE engine, which in layman's terms, is Toyota's well-regarded 3.5-liter V6.
Mon, 15 Sep 2014
According to Toyota's statement, a parts supplier might not have welded "the end cap on the right-hand fuel delivery pipe in the engine compartment" correctly, meaning fuel could leak. Leaking fuel, of course, increases the chance of an engine fire. That said, no fires, crashes or injuries have been reported due to the issue.
Owners will be notified to report to dealers, where techs will check the fuel delivery pipe and fit a replacement part as necessary.
The midsize truck segment is suddenly seemingly exploding with new vehicles worldwide, even here in North America. Not only will the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon be available very soon, Toyota is already testing a replacement for its aging Tacoma and Honda has promised a Ridgeline replacement within the next 18 months. Also, the recently shown Nissan Navara is said to portend the future of our Frontier. Here's some more fresh evidence from Europe of this pickup boom with the next generation of its venerable Hilux in testing.
Mon, 15 Sep 2014
Thanks to Top Gear and sometimes the evening news, the Hilux has built a reputation of being able to go just about anywhere. According to out spy shooter, this particular pickup was spotted during hot weather testing in southern Europe. Interestingly, a Volkswagen Amarok was along for the ride as a benchmark. Because the VW tends to offer a bit more comfort than the generally utilitarian Hilux, this could indicate Toyota is considering taking the new truck in a slightly comfier, more refined direction.
Compared to the current model, this camouflaged tester sports a narrower front grille and headlights. The hood scoop is also absent here. The lower air dam also receives a more horizontal look, but the more vertical fog light housings provide some contrast. The crazy camouflage pattern makes things hard to discern at the rear, but the taillights appear to be more slender than they on the current model. Unfortunately, mechanical details about the new truck remain a mystery at the moment, but enjoy these spy shots as a preview of one more upcoming pickup.
We're now just a few weeks away from the start of the Paris Motor Show, and when the doors open at the Porte de Versailles, Toyota will be among the many automakers with new wares to show - including the new concept car pictured in this latest teaser image.
Fri, 12 Sep 2014
Called the C-HR, the concept is designed to represent an "innovative vision for a compact crossover model", incorporating "a new design language with an engaging driving experience and a hybrid powertrain." The Japanese industrial giant isn't saying much else, but the C-HR is set to debut alongside the finalized exterior design for its upcoming new fuel cell sedan.
Toyota, of course, became a pioneer in the compact crossover segment when it introduced the first-generation RAV4 way back in 1994. If the silhouette is anything to go by, however, the C-HR concept appears to adopt a far more streamlined form. Watch this space for more.
The Toyota Tundra debuted in new-ish form for the 2014 model year, but as we head into 2015, the truck boasts a couple of small updates. Most notably, the base V6 engine has been discontinued. On top of that, there's the new TRD Pro model on offer for 2015, which we've told you about before.
Fri, 12 Sep 2014
Why kill the V6? Simple - it was very low-volume. "The Tundra V6 take rate was significantly less than five percent," a Toyota spokesperson confirmed via email to Autoblog. So for 2015, the two V8 engine options remain - a 4.6-liter unit with 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, or the more powerful 5.7-liter powerplant with 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive is standard. Four-wheel drive, of course, is available with either engine.
The only other noteworthy changes for 2015 include an optional integrated trailer brake for the 5.7-liter models, a new rear under-seat tray storage system for Double Cab trucks, and a spray-in bed-liner. Scroll down for the official press blast.
Toyota is announcing a recall for about 130,000 examples of the 2014 Tundra Tundra pickup in Crew-Max Cab and Double Cab configurations.
Fri, 12 Sep 2014
According to the company, the "garnish on the center pillars" inside the trucks might not have been installed correctly. If the vehicle were in an accident, the side curtain airbags could deploy in the wrong shape. Toyota says that it's not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this potential problem.
To fix the issue, the pickups will have their interior center pillars inspected, and if faulty, the pieces will be replaced. Obviously, this will be done at no cost to owners. Scroll down to read the full announcement.
Tue, 09 Sep 2014
"It may fly within Japan, but not globally," VW's Shoji said.
It's long been battered into our beleaguered auto writer brains that the ultimate future source of motivation for tomorrow's cars and trucks is not gasoline, diesel, electricity, natural gas, propane or solar power - it's the hydrogen fuel cell. It's been the Next Big Thing since the start of Next Big Things.
There's a quiet revolution happening in US cities. People want to mix an urban lifestyle with a connection to nature and appreciation for craftsmanship. The result of all of this is folks pursuing things as varied as urban farming, home brewing and the whole maker movement. Toyota thinks it has the perfect concept for these intrepid customers with its new Urban Utility concept that it is debuting during a panel discussion hosted by Make: magazine in San Francisco and debuting publicly on September 20 at the World Maker Faire in New York City.
The Urban Utility concept can best be described as a modern take on the old panel van. Designers from Toyota's Calty Design Research center in California interviewed Maker Faire participants to find out what its users want from a novel vehicle like this. "Toyota saw an opportunity for a new approach to an urban vehicle based on increasing re-urbanization of our cities and urban drivers' desire for flexibility, fun and maneuverability," said Kevin Hunter president of Calty.
On the outside, the Urban Utility doesn't really scream for attention. It's meant to meet users "desire for greater utility but a smaller vehicle footprint," according to the release, but the shape is still very much a van. The designers do try to lend it some panache with the LED headlights up front and checker board side panels. It's really more about utility than looks, though, because the roof can roll back for taller loads, the rear glass retracts into the tailgate, and the whole rear can fold down as a ramp to load stuff more easily into the cabin. Toyota isn't talking about a powertrain yet but claims that the underbody is also especially durable for a long life in the big city.