2006 Toyota Camry Solara Sle V6 on 2040-cars
Bensenville, Illinois, United States
Disability Equipped: No
Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
Trim: SE Convertible 2-Door
Sub Model: SLE V6
Drive Type: FWD
Exterior Color: Silver
Number of Cylinders: 6
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Auto blogSat, 12 May 2012
Kei cars may be small in size, but they're big business in Japan. The latest arrival to the category is the little hatch you see above, the Toyota Pixis Epoch.
It's the fourth vehicle produced by the Daihatsu division but sold under the Toyota brand. As with other keis, power comes from a 660cc engine. It's mated to a continuously variable transmission driving either just the front wheels or all four. In both configurations, the Pixis Epoch features a stop-start system that helps its emissions and fuel efficiency figures come in well below even the Japanese government's stringent standards.
The whole package measures just 3,395 mm (133 inches) long, 1,475 mm (58 inches) wide and 1,500 mm (59 inches) tall, but offers a relatively spacious and utile interior, plus a tight turning radius of just 4.4 meters. Pricing ranges from 795,000 to 1.2 million yen - that's less than $10,000 (and no more than $15k). Further details in the press release after the jump.
Participants in the annual LA Design Challenge always manage to come up with edgy, wacky designs for future vehicles, but with a theme of "Biomimicry and Mobility: 2025" this year's crop of cars might be the quirkiest we've ever seen. As usual, automotive designers from around the world participated in this year's competition, and all the designs will all be unveiled next week during the LA Auto Show with a winner being announced on November 21.
Chinese automakers made a strong showing with Qoros, SAIC Motor, JAC Motors (the company responsible for the Ford F-150 clone) and Changfeng all bringing interesting takes on the biology, human intelligence and sustainability theme. One of the more innovative ideas among these automakers is the Qoros Silk Road System allows autonomous vehicles to drive in packs similar to how ants travel. Speaking of ants, the SAIC Motor Mobiliant (shown above) gets its design from the shape of an ant's body, and, like the insect, it can climb building acting as a personal elevator as well. The JAC Motors design also merges vehicle and building design, while the Changfeng LaBrea inspired by the design of muscle fibers.
Other entrants include Subaru and US-based design teams for BMW, Toyota and Mazda. BMW's duo of concepts mimic plant and animal life. The LA Subways concept acts as a submersible, single-person vehicle to take advantage of the LA river, with a shape similar to an Ocean Sunfish. The Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device (SEED) imitates the shape of a seed pod, and uses propulsion methods inspired by a shark, dragonfly and a water bug. Mazda's Auto Adapt might be the most car-like concept of the bunch, while the Subaru Suba-Roo and the Calty-designed, Toyota e-grus are the most mind-blowingly awesome.
Toyota has already paid out millions and billions of dollars in settlements surrounding unintended acceleration, but the first lawsuit in the matter, which headed to a California court in July, has reached a verdict. Following the 2009 death of Noriko Uno, whose 2006 Camry was hit by another car and then sped out of control before crashing into a tree, the jury found that Toyota was not at fault in the crash.
Even though the 2006 Camry (shown above) wasn't involved in any of the unintended acceleration-related recalls and it was not equipped with a brake override, Automotive News reports that the jury's verdict says there was no defect in the car and actually blames the entire incident on the driver that ran into Uno's car - to the tune of $10 million. The accident started when the other driver ran a stop sign and hit Uno's car, and the report says that medical conditions (including diabetes) caused Uno to fail to stop her Camry.
The AN article also states that this lawsuit was a bellwether case for around 85 other personal-injury and wrongful-death suits against Toyota, but there are still many impending suits across the country. Scroll down for an official statement on this particular case from Toyota.