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Archive for the ‘Toyota’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Opens New North American Headquarters in Texas

Toyota Motors North America has cut the ribbon to its new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. The 2.1 million-square-foot facility will be home to more than 4,000 Toyota employees in departments ranging from engineering, sales, and marketing to financial services and corporate leadership. The move centralizes these corporate branches, which are currently spread across the country. The new headquarters is the crown jewel in the company’s “One Toyota” initiative, designed to unify business for more streamlined operations.

President Trump even congratulated the automaker in a statement from the White House, saying he is proud of the work Toyota is doing and “looks forward to supporting the continued growth of its United States operations.” In addition to Trump’s support, Toyota has worked closely with the state of Texas and city of Plano and to make this project a reality. Plano even gave Toyota a $6.7-million grant for building in the city’s Legacy Business Corridor. In return, Plano is expected to see roughly $7.2 billion in positive economic impacts from Toyota’s relocation over the next decade. But not all of Toyota’s building expenses are for brick and mortar. Part of the billon-dollar construction cost is devoted to relocating Toyota employees from their current locations in California and Kentucky. Toyota’s new headquarters is only part of a $10-billion investment over the next five years aimed at improving its U.S. operations and manufacturing facilities. Toyota currently has 10 manufacturing plants in the U.S., along with roughly 1,500 dealerships, 37 finance offices, and 14 R&D and design centers.

Continue reading for info on Toyota’s new U.S. Headquarters.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Toyota Camry Production Begins in Kentucky


Only about a week after it was introduced to the world, the new 2018 Toyota Camry starts production at the company’s American plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. That means pretty soon you will see the 2018 Camry in all its various models on the roads. So it you are planning to upgrade the family car you best hold on a few more weeks. 

Built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and manufactures its vehicles, the 2018 Toyota Camry promises even greater levels of fuel efficiency, more responsive handling, and a more stable, comfortable feel while driving than its predecessors. But you will be glad to know the car is also properly exciting to look at this time, and that it has an interior that seems to be built by Lexus engineers. All in all, the new Camry is a very good effort, one that will cement its position as America’s best selling family car.

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The new Toyota Camry’s production has added 700 new jobs to the Kentucky plant, bringing the total number of employees to an all-time high of over 8,000. That is not surprising when you realize this plant has made over the past 31 years 11 million vehicles including 8 million Camrys.

“The launch of the next-generation Camry is important for Toyota in America, and expands the company’s footprint in and commitment to Kentucky,” said Wil James, president, TMMK. “We are proud to be the first in North America to produce a vehicle with TNGA. It’s a testament to the skill and dedication of our team members.”

The post 2018 Toyota Camry Production Begins in Kentucky appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Quietly Kills Regular Cab Tundra for 2018

Amid Toyota’s February 2017 debut of the slightly updated 2018 Tundra pickup, the brand buried its plot to end production of the Tundra regular cab. The once-popular cab style has faded from glory as customers choose pickups versions with more interior room. As it turns out, the regular cab Tundra only mustered an abysmally low 0.4 percent rake-rate in the first five months of 2017. The larger Double Cab accounted for 34.1 percent of Tundra sales during the same period, while the Crew Max represented 65.5 percent of the 43,809 Tundras sold between January and May. Do the math, and Toyota only sold 175 regular cab Tundras in five months.

This isn’t a new trend, of course, with regular cab trucks from every automaker losing out to more spacious cab configurations. It’s also worth noting Toyota trails in half-ton pickup truck sales, followed only by the new Nissan Titan and Titan XD pickups, whose production is still being ramped up following their recent introductions. In contrast, Ford sold 351,965 F-Series pickups between January and May, while Chevrolet sold 212,425. The domestic brands also control the vast majority of the fleet and work-truck segments, which still skew towards low-cost trims and cab configurations. That presents this question: Why isn’t Toyota marketing to these segments? Other automakers do very well selling high-quantity, low-content pickups, Ford especially. Let’s explore this more below.

Continue reading for more information and opinion.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Toyota Camry – Specs, Details, Pricing

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Well, the highly anticipated 2018 Toyota Camry is here and bot has it gone butch. It’s like Toyota was adamant no one should make fun of the Camry’s bland and tasteless design that they went all out and sort of overstyled the car. Not that we’re complaining. Better to be confused than bored!

The new design language that 2018 Toyota Camry features has, of course, been in the making for a few years and it now culminates in a sporty if somewhat brash look for the latest model. Some may say it was the very blandness of the old Camrys that made them popular with, well, the Camry buyers, and that the new look is going to scare off a goodly portion of them. But we reckon the Camry nameplate carries enough weight for that not to happen. Besides all the intricate styling features the new Camry also comes with some lively colors such as Wind Chill Pearl, Brownstone, and Galactic Aqua Mica to name a few.

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Inside the cabin there is very little that is not great. You get a strong whiff of Lexus just looking at it, and it’s full of air and light. There is an abundance of soft touch and premium materials on the major surfaces – dashboard, instrument panel, center console, door trim – and you get Toyota’s latest in-vehicle information technology with three available interlinked displays: a 10-inch color Head-Up Display (HUD); a seven-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch audio/navigation/HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control panel. And all of this is designed to be least distracting to the driver.

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2018 Toyota Camry is built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and with it comes an all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine, new Direct Shift-8AT eight-speed automatic transmission and a new double wishbone rear suspension. There is also a new 3.5-liter V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection and next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II). The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP for the new 2018 Toyota Camry gas models will range from $23,495 for the value-driven L grade 4-cylinder to $34,950 for the Premium XSE V6.  The MSRP for the Camry hybrid will range from $27,800 for the LE to $32,250 for the XLE. Prices do not include the delivery, processing, and handling (DPH) fee of $885.

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The post 2018 Toyota Camry – Specs, Details, Pricing appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Camry

Initially launched as a four-door version of the Celica in 1979, the Camry became a stand-alone nameplate in 1982. Since then, it has evolved into one of the most reliable and popular sedans on the market, especially in the U.S., where Toyota has delivered more than 200,000 units a year since 1988 and in excess of 350,000 examples since 1996. Currently the best-selling passenger car in North America, the Camry drove into a new generation for the 2018 model year.

While almost all new-generation vehicles get redesigns both inside and out, the new Camry is a massive departure from its predecessor. Not only given a new look, it’s also sleeker, sportier, and more stylish than its predecessor. It looks as if the new Camry was created to bridge the gap between the dull Toyota cars and the premium Lexus offerings. And that’s not a bad idea. As usual, the redesigned exterior is jointed by a revamped interior with new styling and updated technology. Toyota also took care of the drivetrain department by introducing three new engines, including a hybrid. So how good is the new Camry? Let’s find out the answer to this big question in the review below.

Update 6/21/2017: Toyota has announced pricing for the
2018 Toyota Camry, and the entry-level price increased by just $425. Check out the prices section below to learn all about it.

PostHeaderIcon Australia Gets Exclusive Toyota 86 Limited Edition

Toyota 86 Limited Edition-1

While the Americans have the prospect of a new STI-tuned BRZ to look forward too, the Aussies are getting a new Toyota 86 Limited Edition with a number of really cool upgrades. This version is limited to just 60 units and is only available Down Under. But, alas, there is still no power boost.

Still, the 2017 Toyota 86 Limited Edition should outperform its ordinary siblings by virtue of all the dynamic upgrades it gets. The list includes Brembo brakes featuring rotors of 326mm x 30mm with four-piston calipers at the front and 316mm x 20mm rotors with two-piston calipers at back, lightweight Sachs dampers, and 17 inch wheels wrapped in grippy tires.

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But most of the 60 people who will get the Toyota 86 Limited Edition will do so because of the new and exclusive visual features. This model comes in a special Solar Orange paint work complemented with 10-spoke anthracite rims and metallic black rear spoiler and door-mirror housings. The car is also an ace in terms of kit and equipment, boasting leather-accented front sports seats with perforated Alcantara trim and contrast orange stitching also found on the steering wheel, gear shift, park brake and door trim, suede-like Grandlux dashboard with an 86 logo embossed with orange stitchwork, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone climate control, a 4.2-inch multi-information display, rear spoiler, privacy glass, satellite navigation and an upgraded multimedia system with a 6.1-inch display screen and Toyota Link connected mobility.

Toyota 86 Limited Edition is based on the AU-spec GTS model and costs down there $41,490.

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The post Australia Gets Exclusive Toyota 86 Limited Edition appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon The Toyota GT 86 Re-Establishes Its Claim As The King Of Endurance Drifting

The Toyota GT86 has had a very interesting life since it burst onto the scene in 2012. It’s captivated and frustrated people from all corners of the world, and to this day, it still finds a way to make headlines. In fact, the 86’s latest news-grabbing episode has all to do with the Guinness Book of World Records, specifically the car etching its name into rarefied air by setting a new record for the world’s longest drift, going a distance of 102.5 miles with its tail out and eclipsing the previous record of 89 miles.

South African journalist Jesse Adams takes the distinction of piloting the 86 in the record slide, upending German racer Harald Müller’s record-setting attempt in 2014, which he set while drifting… a Toyota GT86. So basically, the GT86 beat the GT86 for the record, an achievement not lost on anyone who swears by the coupe’s ability to kick its rear out for extended periods of time. The record has yet to be verified by representatives from the Guinness world records, but all signs point to it getting the nod since the model that was used was largely stock in configuration except for the larger fuel tank that was put in place in the spare-tire well. So once more, all hail the Toyota GT86 as the kind of endurance drifting. I’d say it’s a title that the car isn’t too keen on giving up anytime soon.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro – Driven

The 2015 – 2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is Toyota’s most rugged and capable SUV. Thanks to some clever engineering in the Toyota Racing Development labs, the 4Runner enjoys a truly hard-core off-road version that usurps even the venerable Trail Edition 4Runner. Heavy duty Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, thick coil springs with a 1.0-inch suspension lift, upgraded wheels and tires, and a tank-like front skid plate makes the TRD Pro a natural in the dirt. All the same off-road tech on the 4Runner Trail Edition carries over to the TRD Pro, too. This includes the electronic locking rear differential, manual transfer case, and Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system.

A unique front grille with the blocky T-O-Y-O-T-A lettering sets the TRD Pro apart, along with TRD Pro badging on the C-pillars and bespoke TRD Pro wheels and all-terrain tires. Things inside aren’t much different than other 4Runners, beside a TRD gear shifter and some like-branded floor mats. So how does the TRD Pro handle everyday life and the sandy trails of Central Florida? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full review.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Prius TRD

We here at TopSpeed don’t shy away from exploring the weirder and wilder side of performance vehicles. In fact, we relish in it. Any chance we come across to break away from convention and blow your mind is worth it, especially if it gets the unruly mobs up in arms. And that’s exactly the sort of reaction we’re expecting with this – a performance-oriented Toyota Prius TRD. Here’s the formula – ditch the eco tires, slap on some real rubber, boost the engine, stiffen the suspension, add the proper cabin gear, and voila – the perfect solution to a dearth of jimmy rustlin’.

But here’s the thing – we’re actually totally serious. This isn’t some April Fool’s joke. We legitimately think there’s a real case to made for a performance Prius. Don’t believe us? Then read on. We dare you.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Prius TRD.

PostHeaderIcon Japan Gets a Cooler Version of the Camry, and it’s Even Offered in TRD Form

When Toyota pulled the sheet off of the 2018 Camry at the Detroit Auto Show a few months back, we were quite literally stunned by what sat in front of us. The crappy econobox from the late 80s and early 80s has officially grown up. So much so, in fact, that we even took the time to compare it to the Mercedes E-Class. It actually fared pretty well. But see, here’s the thing. Over in Toyota’s home country of Japan, the Camry has a slightly different face, and even more important than that, it’s going to be offered in TRD and Modellista form too!

As far as the Japanese version of the Camry, there really aren’t too many differences to note. It does have a different fascia with a much larger grille. As such, it gets rectangular fog lights and a sporty lip at the bottom. The headlights are also more toned and feature clear side markers. Around back, it gets a different rear fascia and a different set of tail lights. Whether or not it’s more attractive is a matter of opinion, but one thing that I can say for sure is that I want to know when we’re getting the TRD and Modellista versions here in the U.S. See, the TRD gets a much larger lip, sportier side skirts and a new lip in the rear as well – basically a four-piece lip kit. There’s no word on any performance enhancements, but with the TRD badge being prominently displayed, I certainly hope there are some. As for the Modellista, it gets some healthy doses of chrome and likely offers up more luxurious materials inside.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Toyota’s Fun Concept Is What Our Camry Should Have Looked Like

I’ll get this out of the way: I’m not a fan of the new Toyota Camry’s design. I know it runs counter to what most have said about the sedan, but I’m not sold on it. The new Camry may look more alive than its ho-hum predecessors, but it feels like Toyota just threw in design pieces from a lot of its other models and decided to adopt it for the new Camry. The result is a little messy and lacks the kind of aesthetic consistency that, say, the Honda Accord has in sprinkles. Fast forward to the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show and there’s a model from Toyota called the Fun Concept. I say that’s what the Camry should have looked like from the very beginning.

I know it’s a concept, so there’s more design leeway there to be forward-thinking, but if you look at it, there’s little that’s overbearingly futuristic about the Fun Concept’s design that Toyota couldn’t have adopted on the production version of the Camry. The sharp, slanted headlight configuration already has similarities to the Toyota Mirai and the sharp bumper, grille, and intakes all provide the kind of aggressive design nods that elevate the concept’s sporty and refined look. As a whole, the Fun Concept already looks like it’s ready to hit production anytime soon. There are even some whispers in Shanghai that indicate it’s in the auto show to provide a small glimpse into the future of the Camry in the Chinese market. If it does end up that way, it’s going to feel like a missed opportunity for Toyota as far as the U.S. market is concerned.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Toyota FT-4X Is a Cool Toolbox on Wheels

When it discontinued the FJ Cruiser in early 2014, Toyota killed off the only vehicle that was somewhat reminiscent of the original Land Cruiser/FJ40. Now that the FJ Cruiser is gone, Toyota is pondering a new retro-style SUV, and it just unveiled a concept vehicle at the 2017 New York Auto Show. Although the Japanese firm didn’t say whether a production model is in the books, the FT-4X concept is proof that Toyota still has second thoughts about dropping the FJ Cruiser.

Granted, the FJ Cruiser was pretty boxy for mid-2000 standards, but the FT-4X concept takes the idea to a new level. It’s rather difficult to find rounded areas on this crossover, but that’s far from surprising given that Toyota designers likely took inspiration from the Land Cruiser of the 1960s. The roof reminds me a bit of the Kia Soul (or even the now defunct Scion xA), but other than that, the FT-4X is a nice mix of old and modern styling cues. While the roof is a big square with a 45-degree windshield, the sculpted side skirts and front fenders give it a fresh and unique look. The front end and the wide, almost separate wheel arches have a Wrangler-esque vibe, but the X-shaped fascia and bumper section make it as original as they get.

The big wheels, a common feature for concept cars, suggest excellent off-road capability. Toyota says the concept uses a mechanical four-wheel drive system with a selectable low-range and a MacPherson suspension, so it’s safe to assume that this toolbox on wheels can tackle dusty and snowy trails.

Inside, the FT-4X is an advanced, modern vehicle. The driver and front passenger area has a simple, practical layout. The dash is essentially a storage area with a floating glove box, while both door panels include fancy looking water bottles. The steering wheel is also simple and straightforward, while the traditional instrument cluster was replaced by a small screen. The low dashboard also offers tremendous visibility up front. Behind the front seats, the FT-4X can provide seating for three adults or a flat loading area with loads of space for hauling stuff around or a long trip to the great outdoors.

The SUV is equipped with all the tech you need on vacation too. There are USB outlets, a ceiling-mounted removable flashlight, air vents that can warm and dry clothing, GPS, and a removable audio system. Just in case you want to throw that beach party you’ve been dreaming of in your high-school years. Should you get cold, there’s a sleeping bag between the front seats.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Yaris

The 2017 Geneva Auto Show had plenty of supercar action, but the Toyota booth had quite the nice surprise for performance enthusiasts, in the shape of the new Yaris GRMN. Based on the WRC-spec rally car, the GRMN is the Polo GTi and Fiesta ST competitor we’ve been asking about for years, but it wasn’t the only Yaris show in Switzerland. Alongside the performance version, Toyota also displayed the regular Yaris, which just received a mid-cycle update.

Now sporting a revised front fascia with more angular lines and a sportier bumper and larger taillights around back, the Yaris has taken a more aggressive stance against the competition. The fresh design is backed by a revised interior with new technology and an enhanced safety package, while the drivetrain department has news to share too. On top of the new GRMN model with the supercharged 1.8-liter engine and a mild update to the hybrid version, the Yaris also ditched the 1.3-liter unit in favor of a brand-new, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Powerful yet more efficient, the new unit also makes the Yaris quicker, which is a big plus with so many nippy options on the market right now.

All told, the Yaris gained quite the comprehensive update and it’s now one of the most modern and advanced propositions in this crowded niche. Find out how it compares with the competition in the my review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Yaris.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota FT-4X Concept

It appears Toyota is ready to debut an off-roader concept vehicle at the 2017 New York Auto Show. The announcement came via a single teaser image showing a Goodyear tire mounted on an alloy wheel. Though Toyota is silent the details, some educated guessing and speculation sheds light on this possible future product.

First off, check out those tread blocks. They’re chunky with plenty of space in between. This suggests an off-roader or a moderately capable crossover. The tires are likely directional too, hinted by the arrow on the left side of the teaser image. Off to the right, the tire size of 225/55R18 is embossed into the sidewall. A little math shows these tires are roughly 28 inches tall. As Truck Trend pointed out, that’s about two inches larger than the tires fitted to Toyota’s RAV4 Rally racer and about two inches smaller than the tires on the Tacoma TRD Sport.

So what could Toyota be building? Our bet is a mildly off-road-capable crossover, possibly smaller than the RAV4. Think Honda C-HR but with more ground clearance, suspension travel, and AWD. The funky nature of the C-HR comes across in the FT-4X’s bright orange accented bumper and detailing on the wheel. Concept vehicles are often flashy to attract attention, though, so we might be completely wrong.

The only solid information Toyota released was the location, date, and time of the FT-4X’s debut. It will break cover at 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 12 at the New York Auto Show. You’ll be able to watch the reveal on Toyota’s live stream here.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota FT-4X Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Corolla iM – Driven

Ah Scion, Toyota’s youth-market sub brand. Now in 2017, we can only reminisce about bygone days when new Scion hatchbacks, coupes, and toasters sat in showrooms waiting for eager high-school teens to arrive with daddy’s money or senior citizens to stroll in looking for something more economical than their worn-out Mercury Grand Marquis. Those days are gone though, thanks to Toyota shuttering Scion and consolidating a few of its models into the Toyota fleet. One such example is the Scion iM.

The iM was all-new for the U.S. market in 2015, launched beside the Mazda-derived Scion iA sedan. The iM was basically a Toyota Corolla Hatchback, though you’d never hear a Scion salesman pointing that to potential buyers. The car featured the same, 1.8-liter four-cylinder as the Corolla, as well as the six-speed manual or optional Continuously Variable Transmission. But, sadly, the iM and iA couldn’t save the Scion brand. Toyota ended the brand’s 13-year run in August of 2016. Fast-forward to today, and Toyota has rebadged the iA, iM, and FR-S as the Yaris iA, Corolla iM, and the 86, respectively.

I recently got to sample the Corolla iM for a week – living with it during the daily grind. My tester came equipped with the six-speed manual transmission and zero options. It’s rare to have press fleet cars come so equipped. But rather than being a buzzkill from the usual whiz-bang gadgetry and overly complicated nature of many modern cars, the iM’s basic nature proved a welcomed reprieve and rather enjoyable. Heck, my tester didn’t even have floor mats. (I’ve heard Toyota is stingy with their floor mats.)

Of course, the most noticeable feature of this iM is its color – that big, bright, green color. Oh boy. Toyota calls it “Spring Green Metallic.” I call it ugly. Yet the color helped add a particular flare to car it wouldn’t have otherwise had. It also attracted everyone’s attention. I lovingly named my tester Snot Rocket.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna has been in its third generation since 2010. While models like the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica have since been updated and gone through generational shifts, the Sienna has soldiered on with relatively mild updates. In 2017, Toyota did upgrade the 3.5-liter engine and dropped the six-speed automatic for an eight-speed unit, but otherwise, it’s been pretty much the same van all this time outside of some minor changes to the exterior in 2015. Well, Toyota is bringing a revamped Sienna to the 2017 New York Auto Show, but it’s not a new-gen model. Instead, Toyota is adding new “swagger” with a new front fascia, new side skirts, some noise and vibration enhancements, and some additional technology like extra USB ports, an updated rear entertainment system, and a semi-digital instrument cluster.

But, don’t get it twisted. The Sienna may be pretty old, with the 2018 model year being the 8th year this generation is on the market, but it does pull its own weight as far as sales go. Sales have been well over the 100,000 mark from 2011 forward, with 2015 seeing 137,497 examples sold and 2016 accounting for 127,791 examples sold. That’s a pretty big deal considering the market it bursting with SUVs of every shape and size you can imagine. So, let’s see what these new enhancements do to liven up the third-gen Sienna and how it might help it stack up against some of the competition.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Toyota Sienna.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota 860 Special Edition

Ever since it arrived in 2012, the Toyota 86 has always been the sports car that had enough, but still left a lot of people wanting more. It’s the equivalent of a solid basketball team that’s one player away from being a true contender. Toyota knows all about this, but the measures by which it has addressed the issues of the 86 – never got more than an extra five horsepower in its life – has left the sports car in a continued state of just being “good enough.” Apparently, for the Japanese automaker, improvements come in the form of special edition models of the 86 and in the five years that it’s been around, it has had its fair share of SEs, including but not limited to the Blackline, the Yellow Limited, the Primo, and the Style CB. Now, we have the 860, the latest in a long line of special edition 86s that counts special trim and upgraded equipment as its two biggest selling points.

Say what you will about Toyota’s hesitance in ratcheting up the 86’s power and performance capabilities, but you can’t deny that the company isn’t trying to create plenty of differentiation for the sports car.

So what exactly can we expect from the 86 “860” Special Edition? Well, if you’re a fan of cosmetic upgrades and a spruced up interior that carries a long list of shiny new equipment, then you might want to stick around and see what Toyota has with its latest special edition 86. Remember, even without the extra power that we’ve long craved for, the 86 is still a good option for an entry-level sports car, provided of course that you get a trim that suits your style. With the 860 Special Edition, you’re going to get your fill of new additions. The only question is whether these additions are enough to make you want to pay extra for the chance to own the newest special edition 86 to come out of Toyota.

I’ll be honest; it’s hit or miss. But if somebody ends up liking, we’re not going to stop them from making that dive.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota 86 “860 Special Edition”

PostHeaderIcon Toyota to have a Trifecta of Sports Cars Once Again

Remember the good old days when Toyota actually had a presence in the sporty performance segment with cars like the Toyota Supra, the Toyota Celica, and the Toyota MR2? All three have since died a sad and emotional death among those that loved them, but there’s new hope for the future, and Toyota just might have three performance models in its lineup once again. We already knew about the Supra, which is being designed in part with BMW, and the GT86 is, by all rights, a successor to the Celica, so the brand is just missing the MR2, and we could see its successor in the very near future if reports from Evo are correct.

Speaking to Evo at the Geneva Auto Show, Tetsuya Tada – a Toyota engineer and the Chief of Gazoo Racing – kindled the fire, saying, “We hope to have the three brothers in place as soon as possible.” All but confirming that a third model succeeding the MR2 is in the works is big news, and while details are still under wraps at this time, we know it’s coming fast, and we may have already seen some hints as to what it might look like thanks to the Toyota S-FR Concept that debuted at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Show. Ideally, it should maintain the same general dimensions to take on models like the Mazda Miata.

And, the best part about all of this is that the third sports car will, of course, have Mr. Tada’s hands all over it, so that means light-weight and simple – a true competitor in the compact sports car market. According to Evo, Toyota is even working on bringing the hybrid technology from its LMP1 racers so it could still end up being mid-engined. There’s no guarantee that it will be hybrid from the start, but Tada told Evo that Toyota is “Working very hard” and making a hybrid sports car a reality.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Toyota Yaris Demonstrates How Auto Turnover Is Speeding Up

We all know competition in the auto world is absolutely ruthless these days. The pressure to make a sale is enormous, and that means each and every update has to be as effective as possible in order to keep a model afloat. For example, take the new Toyota Yaris. While technically just a mid-life refresh, this latest model year of the Yaris ushers in a slew of tweaks, refinements, and additions, which, taken as a whole, might qualify as a whole new generation just a decade ago.

It makes sense when you consider the Japanese brand has sold over three million of these things between 2001 and 2016. That’s a lot of Yarises (Yarii?), even when spread out across numerous major markets, including Europe, Africa, North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Clearly, this subcompact hatchback is an important model for Toyota, and as such, the company invested some 90 million euros ($95.3 million) to improve it. Many of the updates take after the Vitz, the Yaris’ Japanese equivalent, and include new styling, more equipment, improved handling, new safety features, and an updated 1.5-liter gasoline engine. There’s also an optional hybrid powerplant on the table, with 40 percent of the models sold in Europe being hybrids.

In total, the update consists of some 900 individual new parts. Read on to see how they fit together and why this is more than a simple refresh.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Toyota i-TRIL Concept Is Like A Four-Wheeled Reliant Robin From 2030

I’m always eager to get the full rundown when the Japanese give us a brand-new concept car. Because while the Italians usually give us concepts that are beautiful, and the Germans usually give us concepts that are clever, the Japanese concepts tend to be way off the beaten path. The Toyota i-TRIL that just debuted at the Geneva International Motor Show is one good example. I mean, just look at it – weird, right? It’s like some kind of futuristic transportation bubble out of a cartoon. I half expect it to talk and have feelings. And although it’s not quite sentient, this machine does offer a few unique ideas about the future of urban and suburban mobility, from the way it handles the road, to the way it’s controlled, to the interior layout and use of space.

It also looks pretty wild, with an open-vee exterior shape that gets narrower as you move towards the rear. The i-TRIL was built by Toyota Motors Europe, working in collaboration with designers at the ED2 studio in Nice, and it’s framed as a “more engaging” environmentally friendly alternative to traditional EVs, public transportation, and motorcycles.

Who would buy this thing? Toyota says the target consumer is a “sophisticated, single, 30 – 50 year old active female with two children and a vibrant lifestyle.” This imaginary customer also lives in a “small to medium sized town,” which means the i-TRIL should be ideal for quick trips and short errands.

Read on for the specifics and the weirdness.

Continue reading for the full story.

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