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Coming Soon: The Next-Generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ

subaru brz toyota 86

The rumors are true after all. The next-generation models of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have been confirmed. An official announcement about the scheduled debut of the two is yet to be made but sources suggest that it might take place at the Tokyo Motor Show this month.

A few months ago, Toyota definitely impressed us with the unveiling of the new Supra. Demand was high on the new sports car as orders piled up from US customers. However, it seems that Toyota has more surprises to come.

According to the press release of Toyota, the joint development of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have been green-lighted. With that, the two sports cars are expected to share plenty of features.

The specifications of the cars are yet to be revealed but they will likely come with a new version of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Subaru Ascent. The power unit will not be too overpowered though in order to avoid casting a shadow on the performance of the Supra. The two brands will probably keep the rear-wheel-drive platform of the said vehicles.

At the end of September, Toyota increased its stake in Subaru. Toyota raised its holdings in Subaru from 17 percent to 20 percent. This makes Subaru an equity affiliate of Toyota. Moreover, the move also brings the strong US sales and profits of Subaru onto Toyota.

The expansion of the partnership between the two automakers will allow them to share plenty of interesting technologies for their future cars, including Toyota’s new hybrid system and Subaru’s advanced all-wheel-drive system.

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Pricing Revealed at $36,300

toyota rav4 trd off-road (20)

After the unveiling of the 2020 year model Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road sport utility vehicle at the Chicago Auto Show, we were left wondering how much it will cost. Now, we know that it will start at $36,300, which already includes a $1,120 destination fee.

The RAV4 TRD Off-Road sits somewhere between Toyota’s entry-level LE and the more expensive Limited trims. The former is priced at $26,970 and the latter is just $300 more than the TRD Off-Road.

The TRD Off-Road is only a notch above the Adventure trim with its off-road focused features (as indicated by its name). However, the off-roader is $2,225 more costly than the Adventure version of the RAV4.

Under the hood, the TRD Off-Road is equipped with a 2.5-liter engine much like the RAV4’s other trims. That’s good for a 203 hp peak output. Also, it is available only in an all-wheel-drive system like its siblings.

Justifying its price though is its tuned suspension, reconfigured coil springs, and modified shocks. Since it is designed to conquer rugged terrains, these are partnered with 18-inch matte black wheels.

The auto is offered in a two-tone finish called the “Magnetic Gray with Ice Edge” palette. The Midnight Black and Lunar Rock color schemes can be combined with Ice Edge for those who do not like the standard colors of the SUV. Furthermore, buyers who want a simpler tone for their autos can just go for the Super White and Ruby Flare Pearl themes.

Inside, the “TRD” letterings can be found in the vehicle’s headrests and all-weather floor and cargo mats. Red stitchings also highlight its upholstery.

Check out some of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road’s photos in the gallery below:

UK Tuner Company Gives The 2020 Toyota Supra 420HP

toyota supra

It’s only been a couple of weeks but a UK tuning company already gave the 2020 Toyota Supra it’s very first tune, extracting a total of 420 horsepower from the Japanese supercar.

There was no major tune-up. All Litchfield had to do was add power to the Supra’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine via an ECU remap. There were no hardware changes involved in the tune-up. At this point, everything is purely computer.

On its own, the Supra can make 335 horsepower. It’s super fast and that has been confirmed via the first official lap time. If the car is truly making that straight from the factory, this means that the tune-up added an impressive 85 horsepower. For a computer tweak, that’s pretty remarkable.

The good news is that Litchfield isn’t done yet. According to reports, the UK tuner company will optimize a tune with bolt-on modifications. The tuner company plans to eliminate the particulate filter that the Supra came with from the factory (this is not installed in US-spec cars).

Instead, the tuner will allow buyers to choose between a Milltek or Akrapovic exhaust. These changes are bound to add another 20 to 30 horsepower to the car’s output.

Thankfully, Litchfield doesn’t charge as much as other tuner companies when it comes to their kits. Similar kits fitted for BMW cars cost only £600 (or $730). Based on that figure, the tune and the exhaust in the 2020 Toyota Supra will most likely cost $1,500. Considering that there’s a possibility your Supra can have 450 horsepower, that’s not much money to ask.

Since Litchfield is a UK company, buyers in the US won’t be able to have their hands on the same tuning kit. The tuner company isn’t even making the kit available to the European market. Surely, American tuner firms will also start to unlock the powers in the Supra’s machine.

 

Limited Edition Toyota Supra Gets Double Mark Up Pricing From Dealership

toyota supra launch edition (1)

The new Toyota Supra is one of the hottest things arriving in US dealerships this year. It comes with a Launch Edition model that’s only limited to 1,500 units globally. Some merchants are taking advantage of its rarity by offering it with a mark up nearly double its price for a quick profit.

toyota supra launch edition

In a posting at Jerry’s Toyota in Baltimore, Maryland, the dealership was seen selling the Toyota Supra Launch Edition under a $100,000 price tag. That’s nearly double the MSRP of the car at $57,975.

Jerry’s Toyota is yet to comment on the matter. However, Toyota’s Senior Manager of Product Communications Nancy Hubbel revealed that dealers are free to set the final price on their products. She said that their company can only monitor the sales prices and consult their dealers when necessary. For short, they have little or no control at all on the massive markups.

2020 Toyota Supra Launch Edition at a Glance

There’s a lot to be desired in the new Supra. The sporty design of the car features an angular nose, faux air inlets, aggressive creases, false cooling ducts, triple grille look, LED lights, rear spoiler, wide wheel arches, huge brake light, and twin exhaust tips. The Launch Edition ups the ante with unique trim elements like red mirror caps.

Inside, the car is rigged with components found in the cockpit of the BMW Z4 like the iDrive controller, digital instrument cluster, and 6.5-inch screen (with an optional 8.8-inch touchscreen replacement). In addition, it is fitted with adjustable bucket seats, optional 12-speaker audio system plus high-quality leather and carbon fiber insert on the dashboard and central console.

Beneath the Supra’s hood is a 3.0-liter inline-six engine with 335 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The setup pushes the car from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds while its max speed is capped at 155 mph.

Toyota’s Self-Driving Vehicle Venture Gains Ground With Subaru, Mazda

toyota self driving

Subaru and Mazda became the latest Japanese car companies to join the self-driving vehicle venture started by SoftBank Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. That brings a total of five Japanese companies—including Suzuki Motor Corp.—in the venture.

According to a Reuters report, Mazda, Suzuki, and Subaru, Isuzu Motors and Toyota’s compact car unit Daihatsu plan to invest $530,620 each in the venture in exchange for a 2-percent stake. The statement said the venture is called the Monet.

Toyota and SoftBank will retain their 35-percent stake in the company seeing as they were the ones who took it off the ground. The capital is now said to be around $26.6 million.

Launched in October, the venture will capitalize on the market’s need to rent services instead of buying a vehicle. It will roll out on-demand bus and vehicle services in Japan next year. There will also be a services platform for electric vehicles by 2023. The platform will be based on Toyota’s boxy e-palette multi-purpose vehicle.

The ride-sharing industry is currently dominated by startups such as Uber Technologies Inc., Didi Chuxing, and Lyft Inc., but Monet is trying to invite members to its fold. The key to infiltrating the market is to bring together this band of traditional automakers. The advantage is the venture’s capability to manufacture the vehicles cheaply. This will allow them to offer their services cheaper, too.

But the automakers need to partner with tech companies, too, since they need large investments on software expertise to develop programs that will answer the demands of the market.

This new investment will push Suzuki, Mazda, and Subaru to further their partnership with Toyota, who’s at the forefront of Japan’s research and development on electronic vehicles and other future technologies.

Earlier this month, Monet’s CEO told Reuters that it plans to expand its investment in Southeast Asia next year.

2020 Toyota Prius Prime Gets Fifth Seat, Apple CarPlay, And Black Interior Trim

2020 toyota prius

Rejoice, Toyota Prius Prime fans who are constantly asking the Japanese automaker to equip the hybrid plug-in vehicle with a fifth seat, your wish has been granted. Finally, the 2020 Toyota Prius Prime is being updated with a fifth seat, as well as standard Apple CarPlay, two USB ports at the rear, SiriusXM radio, and black interior accents.

Prius Primes before the 2020 version have only two seats at the back. In place of what is typically a third middle seat are two cupholders. While a person can cram in there for very short trips, it’s mighty uncomfortable and there is no seatbelt to keep him/her safe.

Supposedly, the reason for the elimination of the fifth seat was efficiency. Back in 2016, Toyota executive Nathan Kokes said that with five seats, the car would need more reinforcing material and its 3.3-kWh charger would have to be moved.

This is ironic because the main objective of the Prius Prime is, aside from fuel efficiency, to negate the need for more cars on the road. Not adding a fifth seat prevented Prius Prime owners from maximizing said efficiency.

Back to the present, the Prius Prime didn’t get any styling updates or engine upgrades this year, much unlike what the regular Prius had last year. This doesn’t do Toyota any good since the Prius Prime only depends on its 25-mile range while other plug-in hybrids have bigger battery packs and much longer range at only slightly a higher price range.

The Prius Prime’s 25-mile range is possible when it’s running solely on electric power from a battery that has been aptly charged. When the battery’s charge drops below a certain level, the Prius Prime reverts to a gas-electric hybrid state.

When operating as a hybrid, Toyota has one of the best EPA ratings. The Japanese automaker said its Prius Prime has an EPA-estimated rating of 56 mpg combined in a hybrid state. That’s a far better rating compared to its competitors once battery power has run out.

 

 

5 Things We Learned From The 2020 Toyota Corolla Reveal

2020 toyota corolla (2)

Japanese automaker Toyota took off the cover from its redesigned Corolla sedan that’s slated to become a 2020 model. This followed the earlier reveal of a redesigned Corolla hatchback at the start of the year.

The revelation happened during a private event but the general public will see the sedan later this month at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. According to Toyota, the new compact sedan will be in showrooms next spring as a 2020 model.

It Uses Toyota’s TNGA Platform

The architecture behind the new Corolla is the TNGA modular design, which is already being used in the latest versions of the Prius, Camry, and the CH-R. As the 12th generation of the Corolla nameplate, there’s a lot riding on the 2020 model. What we can deem from the reveal is that the sedan and hatch versions will be closely related and the use of the platform will give the new Corolla better handling because of the low center of gravity and increased body rigidity.

It Has Better Handling And Rigidity

Thanks to the TNGA platform, the new Toyota Corolla has better handling than its predecessors. Specifically, the torsional rigidity is up by 60 percent, thanks largely to the multi-link rear suspension that’s a major advance over the torsion beams set up in the previous generations. The setup works together with the MacPherson strut suspension up front. Buyers can choose wheels measuring up to 18 inches in diameter.

It Will Have A Hybrid Powertrain

Toyota said that there will be a hybrid powertrain available for the 2020 Corolla model and that should be revealed soon. For now, there are two powertrains: a standard unit from the previous generation’s 1.8-liter inline-4 that makes 139 horsepower and a new 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 169 horses. The CVT is an automatic option though buyers can opt for a six-speed manual with rev-matching.

It Has A Tablet-Like Dashboard Design

The previous generation’s busy dashboard design has been discontinued in favor of a tablet-like touchscreen for the infotainment. It appears to float above the climate control vents. In the instrument cluster, the 4.2-inch screen is standard and a 7.0-inch screen is an alternative.

It Has A Host of Electronic Driver Aids

The new Corolla is packed with driver assistance features such as the automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. Some other cool features are the wi-fi hotspot and its compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay.

Toyota Avalon And Camry To Have TRD Versions

toyota camry trd

The Toyota Camry and Avalon currently have XSE versions, which Toyota apparently doesn’t think is sporty enough. The Japanese automaker is now sending these two models to its performance-oriented TRD division.

The TRD versions of the Camry and Avalon will make an appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month, Toyota confirmed on Twitter.

The TRD division doesn’t have much experience tinkering with a Toyota sedan as it is mostly focused on the off-road-oriented TRD Pro trucks and SUVs, as well as the newly updated 86 TRD Special Edition sports car. Based on the teaser photos, the TRD versions will have more aggressive wheels and tires and a body kit with a red stripe.

Since this is a TRD version, the Avalon and Camry are expected to have a stiffer suspension tune, a sportier interior trim, and plenty of TRD badging.

Although both the Avalon and Camry are not lacking in power, we hope that there will be an update of engines. Currently, both offer a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that makes 301 horsepower, which is quite a significant amount for any front-wheel-drive sedan. To improve the output, the TRD configuration will need to add a sport exhaust. The power boost would be minimal, though, since too much power would not fit the front-wheel-drive configuration of the Camry and Avalon TRD.

There’s no competition in this segment except perhaps for the Ford Fusion Sport that makes 325 horsepower, the Buick Regal GS that produces 310 horses, and the Dodge Charger with its various V-8-powered variants. These three are the only larger mainstream four-door sedans with performance variants.

The Camry and Avalon TRD models will make their debut later this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which starts on November 28. We expect it to have a starting price of $24,565.

Will There Be A Manual Transmission For The 2019 Toyota Supra?

the-toyota-supra-was_1600x0w

The long journey of the 2019 Toyota Supra from concept to production is nearing its end and with it comes the possibility that the car will arrive with an option for manual transmission.

At least, that’s what Supra project head Masayuki Kai told Road and Track during a conversation. But if you want this to happen, you have to let Toyota hear your voices. The only way the manual gearbox will be available for the Supra is if Toyota sees the market demand. The possibility of a Supra with manual transmission is entirely dependent on the reaction to the car, specifically the standard version that has an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The fact that Toyota has already developed the hardware is even more exciting news but you have to hold your breath because the Japanese carmaker said that the currently available hardware is for the right-hand drive market. It’s not clear whether Mr. Kai means that it will only be available for the right-hand drive market or it will be an option also for other markets like the United States.

Supra project’s chief engineer also hinted that the production of a manual-transmission Supra must fall within financial reasons, meaning that it’s expensive for Toyota to produce this mechanism for the masses. If it is offered, it might only come as a special edition of 100 units, so the company can spend less in “tooling.”

Right now, what we know about the Supra is that it will be powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine that makes more than 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque (there’s no exact figure from Toyota yet). If Toyota wants to increase the power and compete with others in the segment, an insider told Top Speed that the Toyota Supra can accommodate up to 500 horsepower.

 

Toyota To Introduce A Corolla Sportwagon

toyota corolla touring sports (1)

Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Japanese automaker Toyota is in the process of unveiling a wagon variant of its popular new Corolla lineup at the Paris Auto Show in early October. The sportwagon will have a Touring Sports body style designed and developed in Europe.

Toyota will use the TNGA platform for the sportwagon which means that it’s going to be a Corolla Hatch that has a wagonback. The long-roof Corolla will have a longer wheelbase at over 106 inches. It should be noted that the hatch’s wheelbase is less than 104 inches. This gives the Touring Sports the distinguished title of being the best in its class in terms of rear-seat legroom.

As for the powertrain options, the Touring Sports will get the same lineup as the rest of the Corolla range in Europe. This means there will be a non-hybrid engine and no diesel engines. On the base model lies a 1.2-liter turbo engine that makes 116 horsepower. The two other powertrains above that trim level include a 1.8-liter engine and 2.0-liter hybrids.

The bigger hybrid engine can produce 180 horsepower while the smaller ones will only make 122 horsepower. The hybrid technology should not worry you about the possible space to accommodate a battery pack. The cargo space will be 21.1 cubic feet.

When it comes to the styling and appearance of the sportwagon, the Touring Sports will most likely resemble “lifestyle” wagons such as the original Lexus IS Sportcross. Buyers would also love the tapering roof, especially when finished with the glass moonroof, because the car resembles more “dynamic” wagon offerings.

It makes sense for Toyota to introduce a stretched version of the Corolla because its decision to pull out the IC coupe from its lineup in Europe left a wide gap. The Touring Sports will give an alternative for Toyota customers who are looking for the height of a conventional wagon but do not want a crossover.

The Touring Sports is tailored fit for the European market, so it’s unlikely we’ll see it on the American soil. It should be revealed at the Paris show in October.

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