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Auto blogSat, 08 Jun 2013
Alright, so maybe "most elegant" is a bit of a stretch, but we feel safe in calling the 1992 Toyota Paseo in the video below an "automobile." High praise, we know. Still, it's clear someone loves the awkward little coupe enough to produce a hilarious video to sell the thing. Henry Floyd worked up a quick parody of the over-the-top luxury car ads we all know and loathe, and while the finished product is a little skimpy on details like price or location, it certainly doesn't hold back on the exposition.
Hell, if we didn't already have a parade of horrible ideas floating around our collective driveways, we might even be convinced to give this little heap a new home. You can check out the ad for yourself below, just don't be surprised if you find yourself with a burning desire to own a Paseo.
We happen to like the Toyota GT86 - and, it of course goes without saying that the same applies to the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, as well - just the way it is. Yes, that includes the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine and its 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm.
That said, a little extra power never hurt anybody, right?
The most obvious way to add some punch to the GT86 would be with a turbocharger, and that has indeed long been rumored for an STI version of the BRZ. Will Toyota follow suit? According to Top Gear, the answer is no. Says GT86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, "I think 300bhp with a turbo and 200g/km of CO2 would be tasteless in this day and age. And a turbo would mean the loss of the GT86's uniqueness." Perhaps a bit harsh, but there you go.
With uncertainty in the US and Chinese markets, automakers are scrambling to rev up their efforts in what were traditionally secondary markets. Take Toyota's efforts in Latin America. A recent story from The Wall Street Journal highlights the Japanese brand's push in the southern hemisphere, particularly in Brazil, where it has expanded its operations and installed new executives with a greater range of powers, all in a bid to grab a bigger slice of the ever-growing South American pie.
South America is dominated by General Motors, Fiat and Volkswagen, which maintain a combined 60 percent of the market share - Toyota holds a mere 4.5 percent. The WSJ spoke with Steve St. Angelo, Toyota's boss in Latin America, who said, "We are playing catch up, but we're catching up fast. We now have the resources to give the region the attention it really needs and deserves."
That attention includes an all-new, locally produced small car called the Etios. As bewildering as it seems, Toyota wasn't competing in the low-cost economy car market in South America. With the Etios, which arrived in September of 2012, its sales in the first seven months of 2013 are up 75 percent.