For the longest time, the Starlet was Toyota’s definition of what a compact hatchback must be. In 1998, Toyota flipped the script, replacing the Starlet with an all-new model called the Vitz (also known by its alternative names Yaris and Echo). It was an instant sensation, winning Japan Car of the Year in 1998 and going on into a very successful production run since. While the Vitz made its name for its fuel economy and affordability, a lot of people believe there’s performance potential in its compact confines. The Toyota Vitz RS is the epitome of that belief, a hot hatch in its truest sense.
First-generation Toyota Vitz RS
While the first-generation Vitz is considered as a success in most parts of the globe, there are still a lot of people who are demanding better performance for this compact. Toyota responded by releasing the RS in 2001. This car carries a bunch of exterior and interior modifications, including updated bumpers, side skirts, a mesh grille, alloy wheels, sport seats, and leather wrapped steering wheel. However, it is on the performance department where it made a huge leap. Bigger brakes and a firmer suspension are installed. 2 engine options are available for the Toyota Vitz RS: a 1.3 liter engine with max output of 88 horsepower and a 1.5 liter engine with max output of 110 horsepower. A turbocharged version of the 1.5 was created by TRD, upping max output to 148 horsepower.
Second-generation Toyota Vitz RS
The second-generation Vitz was released in 2005, with distribution gradually increased over the years. The wait for the RS version of this new Vitz lasted up to 2007, when the next-generation Toyota Vitz RS was unveiled. This car was considered as a Japan exclusive, with this variant being sold in Europe and the USA as the Yaris TS. This car was powered by a 1.8 liter DOHC dual VVTI inline 4 engine with a maximum output of 130 horsepower. Just like the previous RS model, this car comes with exterior, interior, and mechanical upgrades such as a mesh grille, modified bumpers, a sport-tuned suspension, and 17-inch wheels.
Third-generation Toyota Vitz RS
The third-generation Vitz was released in 2010, with the car being distributed worldwide by 2011. This car has a distinctively new and aerodynamic look that has a low drag coefficient value of 0.285. It is considered as a fan favorite due to its remarkable fuel economy (this car is capable of going at least 20 kilometers per liter of fuel!). The Toyota Vitz RS was released in 2011 as the sportiest variant of the batch. It comes with the performance-oriented 1.5 liter dual VVTI engine with maximum output of 109 horsepower. With its aerodynamic components and sport-tuned suspension, the new RS continues the tradition of being the hot hatch variant of the Vitz.
The Toyota Vitz RS has created for itself a niche for compact car fans. Fuel efficient yet fun to drive, Toyota’s version of the hot hatch lives up to every expectation.
Have you been following Toyota recently? If you have, you must probably have heard of its top secret sports car concept. Yep, that is right. That is the topic for today.
On January 13, 2014, Toyota revealed its recent masterpiece – the Toyota FT-1. It was announced at the press conference that happened in COBO Hall in Detroit, Michigan. The car’s beauty and the details given by the company astounded all the sports car enthusiasts who were in attendance. Simply put, the Toyota FT-1 left everybody on the North American International Auto Show speechless and overwhelmed.
In case you have played Gran Turismo in PlayStation, you might already know how the sports car will look like and how it will perform on the road (virtually). And as you would have already known, Toyota is one of many car manufacturers that have stopped creating super cars for years. Unfortunately, due to the global economic situation, the company needed to halt its activities that are related to motor sports, not to add that Toyota was not faring well in the last events it joined.
The meaning behind the car’s name is a no brainer. The letter F stands for ‘future’, the letter T stands for ‘Toyota’, and the number 1 stands for ultimate. Fundamentally, FT-1 is Toyota’s future ultimate car. The components and design influence for the sports car came from the company’s cars such as the Scion FR-S, MR2, Supra, Celica, and 2000GT. Also, a few design aspects of the car came from Toyota’s other concept autos such as the Lexus LF-LC and FT-HS.
The concept sports car has been long developed by Calty Design Research, which is based in Newport Beach, California. For your information, Calty Design Research is one of Toyota’s design studios around the world. The focus of the research studio is the development of exterior car designs. The studio has been working on this car project for more than two years now.
Unlike any other sports car manufacturers, Toyota has a different reason for creating the FT-1. Instead of revolving and investing a lot in functionality and performance, the company has concentrated more on making the car more likeable to car consumers. However, it does not mean that the concept car is not capable of knocking your socks off. Calty has also made sure that the car’s design will logically aid it to perform well. As an example, the studio has ensured that the car will receive a well-balanced rear wheel drive with the engine situated in the front layout.
As for the reaction of consumers, most of them are wishing that the company should start producing this magnificent concept car. Toyota is flattered with the reception it has been getting for its new car, but it has not given answers to its consumers’ wishes. Nevertheless, if you want to drive the car, you have the option to use it in Gran Turismo. It might not provide you with the experience of being comfortable with its state of the art cockpit, but it will make you virtually experience how the sports car may feel once you drive it.
The 2013 Scion xD was ranked as one of the most affordable small cars that was based on 52 published reviews and test drives. The xD is one of the many additions to the popular Scion family released by Toyota. The cars are quite popular among younger drivers aged 16 to 35 and are noted for their affordability and stylish exterior interior and high customization as well. Even though it’s a hatchback, the xD has a fresh, updated look that’s noted for its reliability, safety features and performance. So what else is it about the xD that makes it such a popular contender among hatchbacks and subcompact cars?
The xD is a replacement for the Scion xA, which was ran from 2004 to 2006. This incarnation of Toyota’s popular car failed to create much of a buzz and received low marks, mainly because it felt a bit too much like a standard economy car and wasn’t hip or as cool as Scion enthusiasts were used to. Toyota quickly remedied the situation by releasing the xD onto the unsuspecting public.
Every xD model comes with a 128-horsepower, four-cylinder engine as well as a five-speed manual transmission. Motorists also have the option of having a four-speed automatic transmission if they wish. One thing that was commented on the most by test drivers of the xD is how well it was able to navigate city streets and how smooth both the manual and the automatic transmissions were.
If you’re a big music person, then you’re sure to enjoy the effort Toyota put into the Scion xD audio system with a six-speaker sound system. Your music will not only sound great, you’ll look great while driving down the road in your xD.
Something else to like about the xD is the 27 mpg rating it received in the city and the 33 mpg it received on the highway. While the fuel economy isn’t the absolute best in a subcompact car, the way that it smoothly rides in the city and on the highway more than makes up for it.
A Hatchback with Personality
The 2013 xD comes packed with standard features on its interior, such as high definition radio, a cutting edge stereo and a USB port as well. Reviewers found the climate controls and the stereo quite easy to use and remarked that the xD’s safety features earned it a safety score that is higher than the average of other subcompacts. One gripe with the xD is that it doesn’t offer very much in the way of legroom or much room for cargo. If you’re tall or have especially long legs, you might feel somewhat cramped while driving in the xD, but this is found to be quite common with a majority of small hatchbacks.
In terms of frontal offset test results, roof strength test results, rear crash protection results and side impact test results, the xD received good marks. Safety features include air bags, four-wheel disc brakes, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, integrated turn signal mirrors and electronic stability control.
Customize your Ride
Another great thing about the xD is how customizable it is. Owners enjoy outfitting it with larger tires, bigger wheels, bigger brakes, springs that are positioned lower than normal, a navigation system, an exhaust system, quick-shift kits, overhead console and a carbon-fiber engine cover. Imagine driving down the road in an xD that perfectly fits your personality right down to the cover and variety of customizable features. Even if you aren’t the only person on the road driving an xD, you’re sure to be the only one to be driving an xD that looks exactly like yours.
The xD is a solid choice for those looking for a dependable and affordable hatchback that offers one of the best high-tech sound systems to be found anywhere.
Toyota has been releasing Scion models for the past ten years. That’s ten years of producing some of the most innovative, affordable and customizable automobiles that young drivers seem to love. As a way to celebrate their decade of success, Toyota is releasing the Scion 10th series, an automobile that promises to be the king of all Scions.
Not-So Ancient History
The very first Scion model was released back in 2003 with the xB, a box-shaped wonder that appealed to younger drivers who wanted something that was safe, affordable and could be customized to fit their personal preferences and individual personalities. While many might not realize it, it was the xB that first started the trend of urban box-shaped automobiles. The second generation xB was unveiled in 2007 and lost a bit of the original box shape and was a bit larger.
The tC is a sport compact car that was first debuted in 2004 and the second generation tC was released in 2010. The second generation had the same spacious interior, all-glass roofing and hatchback design as the first and included 18-inch wheels, a wider track, a finely tuned electric power steering system and stability control.
The FR-S is the latest model, released in 2012, and was part of Toyota’s 86 series. The FR-S was unique from other models in the series since it lacked trim level.
To the 10th Power
The 10th Series is a limited edition series of Scion cars that will come complete with the features that represent the very best of the Scion series. The 10th Series has a special silver paint, a top-of-the-line touch screen audio system, exterior badges that light up, an individually numbered badge on the inside of the car and an impressive solar-powered illuminating shift knob.
Five of a Kind
The 10th series will consist of five individual models that have their very on individual features that best represent that particular model’s personality. The 10th series xB, xD and iQ will have their very own special set of 16-inch graphite wheels in addition to a jackknife key. Lovers of the tC model will enjoy 18-inch alloy finish wheels, projector-beam headlights, solar-powered illuminating shift knob, matching stitching over the steering wheel and seats and body colored side skirts. The FR-S model has a push start button, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch wheels, Xenon powered headlamps and a frameless rearview mirror. As a way for motorists and enthusiasts to enjoy the cutting edge sound system, there will also be a special music release by established as well as up-and-coming artists.
Customize Your Ride
One of the things that make Scions so unique and popular is that they can be outfitted with a number of customizations. If you want to improve the fuel efficiency on your tC, think about adding brand new spoilers and look into getting larger tires if you want to have better handling on your vehicle. Other customizations include air filter for improved air flow, steel dual exhaust for a deep grumble to your engine and rear spoilers that will limit how much lift your car will have so that you’ll enjoy better handling.
While you might not want to customize the Scion 10th series, it’s still nice to know that you have the option. Even though there will only be 10,000 10th series automobiles released, you can still add a few personal touches of your own so that your vehicle looks that much more unique.
Toyota has done an excellent job creating a long-lasting, impressive and appealing line of cars. One can’t help but wonder what other ideas they have for car enthusiasts in the years to come after the 10th series has been unleashed on the public. It’s sure to be just as iconic as their current line of eye-catching vehicles.
Consumers who are shopping for compact pickup trucks have very few options to choose from these days. With the exit of the Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger trucks the only real compact models left to choose from are Toyota’s Tacoma and Nissan’s Frontier.
Both vehicles are really more mid-size in form factor than they are compact. However, they are the best small-truck alternatives to the full-size trucks that are currently offered as standard entry-level models by most major manufactures.
On the surface at least, the Frontier and the Tacoma appear identical in several respects. Both offer a standard inline four-cylinder engine and an available V6 powertrain option. Both models are available in 2WD and 4WD short and long-bed models and weigh between 3,500 and 4,500 pounds. Under the hood, the Frontier’s 2.5 liter four cylinder engine generates a respectable 152 horsepower and 171 pounds per feet of torque, while the Tacoma’s four cylinder delivers a totally comparable 159 hp and 180 lb/ft of torque.
The V6 engines on both vehicles come in at 4.0 liters. Both vehicles have remarkably similar pricing as well. A Frontier 4×2 Crew Cab with a Premium package has a sticker price of around $28,000 while a comparable Tacoma PreRunner 4×2 costs just over $27,000.
The similarities stop there however. In overall head-to-head comparisons between the two vehicles, several differences become apparent very quickly. For instance, though the V6 engines on both models are 4.0 liters in size, the Frontier’s engine generates 261 horsepower and 281 pounds per square feet of torque, compared to just 236 hp and 266 lb/ft of torque with the Tacoma’s engine.
Not surprisingly, the Frontier has the better acceleration of the two vehicles and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, compared to 7.2 seconds with the Tacoma. The Frontier’s six-cylinder version is also capable of towing or trailering a much higher maximum payload of 11,133 pounds, compared to 8,100 pounds with the Tacoma.
The Nissan Frontier does not have a regular cab for passengers like the Toyota Tacoma does. However, it offers a more naturally designed front seating configuration and a more comfortable backbench than the Tacoma. The Frontier’s interior is reasonably well designed and comfortable, with most controls being easily readable and reachable. Still, many features that are available as standard on other vehicles, including some audio equipment, are only available as options on the Frontier.
The Tacoma’s interior, meanwhile, offers many of the same features found in the company’s Camry passenger car, though customers have to spring for a higher-end Double Cab model if they want amenities such as a decent audio system.
The Frontier’s exterior design is derived from other Nissan trucks and SUVs. In keeping with its status as a pickup truck, the Frontier’s exterior design presents a blend of contemporary style and aggressiveness. Yet, it looks somewhat cutesy in comparison to the toughness and worker-bee vibes generated by the Tacoma’s exterior design.
Both vehicles offer reasonable bang for the buck at least as far as entry-level trucks are concerned. From a resale value standpoint, the Tacoma, like all Toyota vehicles offers slightly more value for the money than the Frontier. If you’re buying a Tacoma or Frontier located out of state, car transport services provide quick and easy vehicle shipping in covered and uncovered trucks. Check out the services provided by various auto transport companies at CarMoves today!
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Toyota is blowing mouthfuls of hope in the dices for the highly-anticipated Supra successor. The Japanese automaker has announced that the long awaited model will finally be launched by the end of 2017.
Given the fact that the vehicle won’t be available for the next four years, reliable information about it isn’t easy to come by. However, rumor has it that the model will be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine linked to a hybrid system. The total output could be in the 400 HP – 298 kW area and if that’s not enough, there has also been speculation of a more powerful hybridized 3.5-liter V6.
As a reminder, the Supra successor will be the offspring of both Toyota and BMW which have recently combined forces on an upcoming hybrid project. The Supra will be built on a revised version of the GT 86 platform and will feature suspension tuning by BMW.
Notably, Toyota’s chief engineer, Mr. Tetsuya Tada has already confirmed the company’s intention to launch the car as soon as possible, which might indicate a possible preview at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
I guess that tuners will have to step-up their game if they want to churn-out more power from this rumored hybrid system. Watch this space for more details.
Source: Motor Trend
Toyota Motor Corporation, also known as TMC, is the eleventh-largest company in the world by revenue. By 2011, it was the third largest automobile manufacturer by production, coming in behind General Motors and Volkswagen. Last year though, the Japanese automaker managed to outsell the aforementioned auto giants, thus taking the first place in global car sales.
This was possible due to an increase in deliveries by 23 percent to a record total of 9.75M cars, including subsidiaries Hino Motors and Daihatsu. On the second place came General Motors with 9.29M units followed by Volkswagen with 9.07M vehicles delivered.
Toyota’s European Division saw an increase in sales by two percent to 837,969 units, while in the United States deliveries went up by 27 percent to 2.08M cars (including Scion models). Furthermore, Toyota also increased its market share in the U.S. from 12.9 percent to 14.4 percent, thus closing up on General Motors which now has a 17.9 percent share.
Back in Japan, sales have also went up by a significant 35 percent to a total of 2.41M cars, while overall overseas sales increased by 19 percent to 7.33M cars.
For 2013 Toyota plans to sell 9.91M cars as well as a revival in China. The Aichi-based automaker is counting on an increased demand in the United States and a weakening yen which will make the company more competitive against Hyundai/Kia.
Source: europe.autonews.com via WCF
Toyota and BMW have officially confirmed their partnership in co-developing a new sports car. Furthermore, the two auto-giants have agreed to jointly develop a fuel cell system by 2020. Faith in the automotive industry restored!
The partnership was made official today after a series of announcements that trace back to more than a year ago. The project focuses on developing lightweight technologies and conduct research into next-gen lithium-based batteries. Both automakers will develop a feasibility study to create the support for a mid-sized sports car, aiming to finish the study by late 2013. They will also focus on reinforced composites and carbon fiber materials which will be used not only for the sports car but also for their own models.
Notably, the hydrogen fuel cell technology will have an emphasis on hydrogen tanks, fuel cell stacks, motors and batteries. Furthermore, both Toyota and BMW will study what has to be done to prepare the infrastructure for producing hydrogen-fueled cars. Also part of the plan is the research on lithium-air batteries. More news about the project will be available as the project evolves.
Source: Toyota & BMW via WCF
Note:BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept pictured
Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has recently presented their brand new Sports 650 concept. The vehicle is based on a pre-facelift Lexus LS, and it’s described to be a “high-end limousine-sized car which is equally comfortable and exciting on the road as on track days.”
The sporty 650 concept packs an aggressive body kit wit a new front fascia, a ventilated hood, carbon fiber side skirts and a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser. The exhaust system has also been replaced with a four-tailpipe one.
Under that muscular bonnet lies a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 engine that outputs 650 HP – 478 kW and 710 Nm of torque. All that power goes to the asphalt via an upgraded eight-speed automatic transmission which enables the 2070 kg (4,563 lb) sedan to sprint from 0 to 100 Km/h (60 mph) in 4.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph).
TMG’s President Yoshiaki Kinoshita added in an interview, “This is a truly remarkable car with incredible performance; we are looking forward to hearing the reaction of visitors to this showcase of TMG’s engineering capabilities.”
Source: Toyota Motorsport GmbH
Whenever I think of a Toyota Avalon, I don’t really imagine a ride that’s fit for tuning or any other performance modifications. However, Toyota has announced that it has plans to introduce three customized Avalons at the SEMA Motor Show: The DUB Magazine Avalon, the TRD Avalon and the Avalon HV Edition.
The DUB Magazine Avalon has a Brilliant Black finish and it has been fitted with a custom body kit. The ride also features a lowered suspension, a mesh grille, tinted taillights and a set of matte black 22-inch TIS alloys. The interior cockpit has been equipped with black leather seats, a black suede headliner and a JBL audio system.
The Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Avalon boasts a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 under the bonnet that promises to substantially improve engine power while maintaining smooth drivability. The model has also been fitted with other performance improvements like the high-performance brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires and a lowered suspension. Furthermore, the sedan features an upgraded interior with perforated leather seats, custom black headliner and a JBL GreenEdge surround sound system.
Last but not least, the Avalon HV Edition received most of the TRD’s upgrades except for the supercharged engine which was swapped for a hybrid powertrain. The vehicle received eco-inspired accents including blue lighting units and blue-silver metallic leather seats to match the hybrid engine.
Oh, Toyota… If only the standard version of the Avalon looked like any of the three examples above, we’d be living in a much happier world.