Toyota Announces Track-Ready Supra

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division is working on a beefed up Supra for fans of the Japanese sports which has risen from the grave. The GR Supra GT4 is set to be released publicly sometime next year.

There is no word yet in which markets the GR Supra GT4 will be released in, however.
The new GR GT4 is based on the Supra that was released earlier this year, but Toyota has yet to release any details about the new Supra’s powertrain. As the GT4 edition is going to be built with circuit racing in mind it is expected to be a higher performance vehicle than Supra re-release. This will be a track-only vehicle, so don’t expect to see it on the road.

Released photos of a stripped-down GT4 reveal a cockpit dressed in carbon fiber. It also revealed bare metal coming from the transmission tunnel as well as the firewall and rear interior. It is also sporting a large wing mounted on its back. A video game controller styled steering wheel is covered in buttons. The driver is encased in a roll cage. The fuel tank is a fast fill, racing style tank.

More details will be released later this year.

In New Business Move Toyota to Offer Access to 24k Patented EV Parts

Toyota’s electric vehicle department head revealed that the carmaker has got offers from 50 some companies since it made a recent announcement that the Toyota company would give free access to important patents for power control units and EV motors.

The potential partnerships are seen by Toyota Motor Corporation as a way to decrease outlays in expanding hybrid and electric car component manufacturing in Japan, China and the U.S.

Becoming a supplier to their rivals would increase, perhaps exponentially, the scale of production for such hardware like electric motors and controller units which are essential components of electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrids and gasoline-electric cars.

The plan outlined by Toyota offers automakers and auto parts suppliers royalty-free access to some 24,000 technologies that are owned exclusively by Toyota Motor Company. Overall the company sees this as an opportunity to decrease cost and to create a new source of revenue.

Pricing and Revisions, 2019 Toyota Prius Line

The new AWD-e, 2019 Toyota Prius, will start at $27.3 K (including a $920 destination charge) and will be available in January. The Prius AWD-e XLE will start at $29,740. The entire lineup of 2019 Prius vehicles is getting front and rear styling tweaks.

AWD-e will only be available on the mid-level versions of the Prius. The AWD-e premium comes out to about $1,400 on the LE and $1K on the XLE. The AWD capability is added with a rear-axle electric motor that shares no mechanical link with the up-front hybrid drive system. It handles additional traction up to 43 mph and in the 0-6 mph zone for more starting line power. The EPA has yet to post fuel economy ratings. Toyota estimates the ratings at 52/48/50 mpg (city/highway/combined0 on the AWD-e models versus the front-wheel-drive at 58/53/56. Not too shabby either way.

The revised Prius line takes the model variations from seven to four with the pricing starting at $24,690 (only up a few hundred for the base model 2018 Prius). The level up front drive starts at just under 26K and the XLE starts and just under 29K. The top line Limited will run consumers roughly 33K.

Toyota’s Go Any Where Van

Toyota has started shipping of the Land Cruiser Utility Commercial; a two-situate van variant of its ultra-extreme SUV.

Eliminating the back seats authorizes additional space, which aggregates 1574 liters in the littler, short-wheelbase form, with a heap limit of up to 593kg.

The long-wheelbase auto, which in traveler shape would be a seven-seater, can convey up to 756kg behind the front seats, with a heap territory of 2216 liters. The two autos get a non-slip stack straight floor and a metal bulkhead isolating the traveler and payload regions.

As opposed to supplanting the windows with sheet metal, they’re rather secured with a body-shaded film. The long-wheelbase rendition keeps up the five-entryway body style of the traveler form, as opposed to erasing them by and large, however the blocked windows are not openable.

Not at all like the traveler conveying Land Cruiser, the Utility Commercial just gets a side-pivoted rear end, as opposed to the side-pivoted back end and glass back end of the traveler auto. Programmed lights and a tire weight screen come as standard, and also Trailer Sway Control for the long-wheelbase auto. The two variants are fit for towing three tons.

Toyota hasn’t entered this market before in the UK, in spite of the fact that it has beforehand offered the auto in Ireland. No business figures have been anticipated, yet independent ventures, agriculturists and protect administrations are probably going to think about the vehicle. 80 orders have just been taken for this present year, nonetheless, implying that it’s on course to satisfy the UK’s 150-unit portion for 2018. 2019 deals are required to top this.

Toyota’s RAV4 gets “Rugged” Makeover

Lawrence Illif reported for Automotive News on the new version of the crossover compact from Toyota, the RAV4 Adventure. Illif reports that Toyota expects the made-over more “rugged” RAV4 may overtake the Camry for sales this year.

Some of the RAV4 Adventure’s changes are merely aesthetic. These changes include a height lift, roof rack and lower body guards—all features that seemed aimed at the weekend-warrior market. There are, however, more functional feature upgrades that will appeal to the same crowd interested in a compact SUV: a towing package, upgraded radiator and supplemental cooling for engine oil and transmission fluid. This all making “rugged” more than metaphor for the RAV4 Adventure.

Illif writes: “Now, Toyota is floating a trial balloon to see if consumers want something with a little more DNA from Toyota’s truck division.”

Illif quotes Greg Bernas, chief engineer in the Toyota Technical Center’s product development office: “Turning the soft roader into a rock climber would take additional engineering and “sitting down and understanding exactly what the capabilities are,” Bernas said, but isn’t out of the question if consumers show enough interest.”

Looks as if Toyota has a winner on its hand with a continued interest in weekend eco-tourism and the usefulness of small format SUVs for the suburban consumer.

Joe Victor

2017 Toyota Yaris iA

The 2017 Toyota Yaris iA starts at $15,950 and you can finance it for 60 months at 0% APR. It comes in three shades of grey, black, sapphire blue, dark blue and red. The Yaris iA has a 1.6L 4-Cylinder 6-speed you can either get in Manual or Automatic.

Some of the other standard equipment is 16-inch alloy wheels, contoured sport seats, 7-inch touch-screen display, two USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity, remote keyless entry, push button start. It also comes with a tire pressure monitor system, and has low-speed pre-collision system which can detect certain objects on the road apply the brakes to avoid collisions.

Alas, they do not come in hybrid models. They are rated to get 30/39 est. mpg.

Check it out:
http://www.toyota.com/yarisia/

Toyota FT-1 Concept car

Here is another car making its rounds to all the auto shows. The Victor crew got to see it at the New York International Auto Show this spring. The Toyota FT-1 is a beauty. (psst … FT stands for Future Toyota)

This car was devised by Calty Design Research in the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo game environment. The way the front engine is configured sets the cockpit further back for better weight distribution. Find out more here.

Toyota FT1

Another interesting car: Toyota i-ROAD

IMG_0363

The Victor crew found a “car” at the New York International Auto Show that is more like a motorcycle-car hybrid. It is the Toyota i-ROAD. It is perfect for urban areas. It can seat two (if you put a small person in the back.)

There are two wheels in the front that move up and down independently but synchronize with the driver’s steering. You can lean just like you do on a motorcycle. Two of them will fit in a parking space. It is the answer for those who may want a motorcycle but don’t want to get wet on a rainy day. Its lithium-ion batteries will go a little over 30 miles on one charge.

See it in action:

A vehicle for your next wilderness adventure

It will be trail season again soon in Northeast, Ohio and that means camping, fishing, off-roading and other activities in rugged terrain. Jody Victor wanted to know which 2014 off-road vehicles were up to the test of wilderness trails, rocky inclines, and uneven terrain.

Consumer Reports uses a seemingly unsophisticated, but useful system to test “…axle articulation, suspension travel, traction, approach and departure angels, and more.” The test system is a simulated “Rock Hill” consisting of a 23 degree incline of boulders arranged in cement.

They suggest the benefits of their testing system are twofold: first, it provides a “repeatable terrain” or one that doesn’t change after many test runs; second, it simulates an honest, if not extreme, terrain. This terrain is similar to something one would find in the American Southwest.

They further explain that sophisticated off-road 4-wheel drive systems helped scores on some vehicles, but were not a major factor in determining off-road performance. The Toyota FJ Cruiser came out on top over vehicles like the Land Rover LR4 which employs such off-road gadgetry.

In fact, Toyota came in second, fifth and ninth as well with their Tacoma, Sequoia Limited and their 4Runner SR5.

Jody, you can find out more at Consumer Reports.

~ Joe Victor