As Porsche begins preparing for its much-anticipated and triumphant return to the prototype class of racers participating at this years 24 hrs of Le Mans endurance race, the company has decided to give fans of its racing program an early pre-race present by unveiling new images of its latest LMP1 racing vehicle which were taken during its initial tests on the company’s Weissach test track. Continue Reading →
Getting the Corolla right is of utmost importance to Toyota, which has moved nearly 40 million units over 10 different body styles since the nameplate debuted in 1966. Last night, Autosavant was invited to witness the unveiling of the 11th-generation, 2014 Corolla at its North American debut, in Santa Monica, Calif., and to see if the newest, more style-driven model is worthy of the Corolla name.
After losing the title of most valuable car brand to German competitor BMW in 2012, Toyota has knocked its German rival out of the top spot to reclaim the title of Most Valuable Car Brand once again for the 2013 calendar year.
Last fall, Autosavant’s Kevin Gordon and I were both fortunate enough to drive the Scion FR-S. His was equipped with the sweet-shifting six-speed manual, which offers the driver complete control in extracting the goodness out of what is arguably Toyota’s sportiest offering in some time. My fate? Spending a week with the automatic-equipped FR-S. Was it as good? Continue Reading →
Next week’s New York International Auto Show will mark a first for Japanese automaker Subaru – it will show the company’s first gasoline-electric hybrid. Though we don’t know many details yet, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid will use hybrid technology provided by Subaru’s partner Toyota.
I like to think that when life deals me lemons, I usually have the ability to turn them into lemonade. And so, about two weeks after my wife and preschool-age son were in a serious auto accident (they were hit by a tractor trailer in our old 2008 Sienna, but miraculously walked away from the accident), we went back into debt and purchased a new van. But, the good news is that this is the first new vehicle that my family has purchased since Autosavant has begun long-term testing new vehicles that our staff members purchase. So my family’s misfortune means that you will learn what it was like to buy, and what it’s like to live with a new Toyota for the next several years. Hopefully this time, it will last us more than five years, and give us as trouble-free of a life as its predecessor gave us.
Toyota’s GT86 (aka Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, etc.) was one of the most anticipated cars of 2012. With its lightweight, rear wheel drive chassi, near-perfect balance, and sporty good looks, it heralded the possible return of a long-dormant segment of affordable rear wheel drive sport coupes. Don’t think that Mazda, purveyor of the excellent MX-5 (nee Miata) wasn’t raising an eyebrow when it first heard about the Toyota FT-86 coupe; previously, it practically had a lock on fun-to-drive, efficient two doors (albeit ones with soft tops).
In nearly every segment that Toyota has entered in the U.S., its vehicles have sold very well. I have to qualify with “nearly,” though, because the Tundra full-size pickup does not sell in nearly the volumes Toyota hoped that it would. When the current-generation Tundra debuted for the 2007 model year, Toyota had two plants to produce it, with capacity of up to 400,000 units annually. In 2012, the Tundra sold just over 100,000. Back to the drawing board!
The Toyota Corolla, introduced in the U.S. in mid-2008 as a 2009 model in its current generation, has not aged particularly well. But man, can Toyota ever sell the hell out of this car. Despite fairly consistently lukewarm critical reviews, the Corolla manages to stay near the top of the sales charts for a few reasons: reputation, reliability, and habit. Did you notice that I didn’t mention excitement or features?
At next week’s International CES in Las Vegas (where our own Kevin Gordon will be on-site), both Toyota and Audi will show their concepts for self-driving, or autonomous cars. Some states (Nevada, California, and Florida) have approved autonomous cars on public roads, and many observers see them as welcome, or necessary, or inevitable. But are you ready for them?
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