Archive for the ‘Toyota’ Category

2009 New Toyota Prius Update

In Toyota on December 3, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Toyota’s Prius is set for release next April and an awful lot of information has leaked including images of the forthcoming model.

What do we know so far?

Well, Toyota have ditched the old 1.5 litre engine in favour of a new 1.8 litre unit producing a more powerful 100ps over 77ps in the current generation.

Strangely with a power and capacity increase comes a fuel economy jump to a very impressive 40km/l although it’s not clear how this has been achieved.

On top of this, from the autumn Toyota plan on introducing a plug in system but at least initially it will only be leased to noted organizations and individuals.  A full production version is expected about 2 years later.

Solar panels will be offered as an option and are expected to assist fuel economy still further and should have the ability to entirely power such fuel sapping mechanisms as the air conditioning ( i think).  The panels are thought to have been subtly incorporated into a panorama roof which will be an integral part of the solar option.

Toyota arrived at the optimum aerodynamic shape for this type of car with the previous generation Prius and so as a result the new car doesn’t look significantly contrary although it does appear at the least freshened from the photos available on the net. 

 Honda have further endorsed the basic Prius outline with its upcoming Insight.

Honda’s challenger is of course going to present the biggest challenge to the Prius domestically.  Although Toyota’s new hybrid is going to be significantly more fuel efficient and technologically supreme it may lose out on price and perhaps stylistically.

The Prius is likely to retail from 2.4 million JPY but expect to add a lot more to that with options.  It is thought that Honda’s Insight will go on sale at below 2 million yen.

Let battle commence.

Picture below is of the current generation car.


Current Generation Prius

Current Generation Prius


Toyota IQ

In Toyota on October 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm

With Much Fanfare earlier this week, Toyota launched their much awaited 1.4 million yen 2 door IQ city car in Japan to go on sale next month.

The IQ would seemingly have all the attributes to make it a big seller in its home market.  First of all its tiny with an equally small 1000cc engine, both features highly regarded by the Japanese consumer.  It also carries the revered name of the most domestically respected brand.  

All of these little strings add to the IQ’S petite bow and should ensure a steady stream of orders.

Japan may however present the biggest challenge to the rather dynamic IQ`s global sales onslaught and that challenge will be the omnipresent Kei car. 

Toyota doesn`t presently dabble in this market directly but it does very heavily with its Daihatsu brand.

For historical, social, enviromental and economic reasons, Japan has long had a class of automobile which must conform to engine capacity (660cc) and size (very small) restrictions.  The benefit in owning one of these dimunitive machines is a big reduction in insurance, road tax and naturally they can be very cheap to buy new.

Toyota`s IQ doesn’t fit this criteria except in size but one without the other is meaningless. 

The range of Kei cars is vast and covers a huge range of styles.  Mostly city cars but also vans, 2 seater sports and even mini 4×4’s.  Nearly all of them come with 4 doors as standard and are supremely spacious given their dimensions.

For less yen than Toyota`s smallest, a newly revised and very cool looking Suzuki Wagon R Stingray can be had with 4 doors, 64 ps against the IQ’s 68ps and able to achieve a rather gratifying 21.5km per litre compared to a slightly better 23km per litre for the IQ.

In my mind the Suzuki would represent a alot more car for the money especially as it starts nearly 200,000 yen cheaper at 1.25 million yen.

The great Japanse public will soon make their preferences clear.

Toyota IQ

Toyota IQ

Suzuki Stingray

Suzuki Stingray

Next Generation prius

In Toyota on October 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm

One of the most anticipated new cars to come out of Japan in the coming months is undoubtedly the next generation Toyota Prius

Due for its domestic release in April of 2009 the new model has developed quite clearly.

However, First off, the exterior design is unlikely to change tremendously as the current models basic shape is about as aerodynamically efficient as Toyota can develop, evidenced by Honda’s endorsement of the Prius with their new insight model. 

Although Hopefully Toyota will be able to unfrumpise it a little  to increase its appeal with a larger audience.

It should come as no suprise that Toyota have managed to reduce fuel consumption over the old model.  The new figures are expected to be about 40 km/litre.

Engine capacity has also been increased from 1500cc to 1800cc so the promise of a little more power is on the cards. 

Solar panels on the roof will be available as an option and a full plug in version will be introduced by 2010.

The base model price is rumoured to start 2.3 million yen which as expected is more than the new Honda Insight will be. 

A controversial car the Prius is and it will surely up the ire of some of the anti green loonies.


Current Prius

Current Prius

Toyota FT HS Update

In Toyota on September 26, 2008 at 4:55 pm

The FT HS hybrid concept was introduced last year at the Detroit Motor Show as a rumoured Supra replacement. 

Recent rumblings suggest that the car is being developed further for potential manufacture next year with not one but two production models making an appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show this November.

One a Hybrid and the other carrying a standard engine.

Configuration is likely to be a a 2+2 set up and most certainly front engined, rear wheel drive. 

Power will be derived from a choice of a hybrid 3.5 litre or 3.7 litre normally aspirated V6 producing between 330 and 370 PS.

Because of Toyota’s desire to offer two models it has delayed release of the vehicle.

It’s possible that the hybrid and standard will be differentiated by two different body styles.

The situation remains unclear if the car will carry the iconic Supra name but if it doesnt it is surely a spiritual successor.

Toyota’s new sports coupe will slot in way below the Lexus LFA with a likely selling price of between 3.5 to over 5 million yen when on sale and will be considered to be a direct competitor to Nissans Fairlady Z.

Details are still sketchy.

Toyota Traffic Safety

In Toyota on September 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Being the rather huge auto maker that it is and all the responsibility that entails, Toyota has announced that it will be distributing flyers in Japan to support road safety in line with the nations traffic safety campaign this autumn. 

Frankly preposterously for such a risk adverse society that Japan is, a law requiring rear seat passengers to wear seatrbelts was only passed this year in June.  Apart from the obvious safety improvements for the populace the new law has enabled foreigners who hail from more draconian shores from looking like total cowards when they buckle up in the back.

The Toyota safety advice flyers will focus on rear seatbelts and not hitting cyclists.