Showing posts with label Toyota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toyota. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Report: Toyota Prius V launch delayed in Japan due to earthquake

The new-for-2012 Prius V was scheduled to go on sale in Japan at the end of April, but Automotive News reports that production delays stemming from the March 11 earthquake have pushed that date back a bit. In Toyota’s official statement regarding the delay, the company notes plant closings, supply chain issues and damage to Japanese Toyota dealerships as primary reasons.

Japan is slated to get both five- and seven-seat versions of the new Prius MPV. We’ll only be seeing the five-passenger configuration here in the United States, and European markets are scheduled to get the seven-seat Prius. Toyota says that, as of now, the U.S. and European launches of the Prius V are not expected to be delayed.

One of the key reasons for this delay is that one of the plants damaged in the earthquake, operated by Primearth EV Energy Co., supplies batteries for Toyota’s hybrid vehicles. This plant has the capacity to supply enough nickel-metal hydride battery packs for up around 300,000 vehicles annually. With this plant offline, Toyota faces a 27 percent drop in hybrid production. The automaker also receives batteries from plants in Tokyo and Nagoya, which are fully operational.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Study reviews break-even point for hybrid vehicles

Buying a hybrid is a responsible environmental move but, given their premium over standard cars, they aren’t always a money-saving purchase. A study by CarGurus showed that gas would have to top $7 a gallon to make most hybrids the economical choice.

Hybrids command, on average, a 17-percent markup over their standard-powertrain counterparts, which stunts their economy at the pump. The $7-a-gallon break even point is an average. For some cars, the break-even is point is even higher. For a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid to make you money, gas will need to climb to $15 a gallon.

On the lower side of the scale are the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid. The Toyota’s break-even point came out to $4 a gallon, while the Ford bucked the trend, breaking even at $2.50 a gallon.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

Thursday, 11 November 2010

SEMA 2010: Toyota brings some swagger to Sin City

Seven million. That's how many times Toyota's much-loved Swagger Wagon rap video has been viewed on YouTube. Well, actually, it's 7,154,749... but who's counting? With that in mind, it's not surprising that the Japanese automaker has chosen to outfit its official SEMA floorspace with a customized Sienna dubbed, appropriately enough, Swagger Wagon Supreme.

Actor Brian Huskey, otherwise known as Swagger Dad, was on hand to introduce the stretched and lowered metallic blue Sienna minivan. He started his speech from inside the Wagon, which is decked out with a nicely finished wood floor along with plenty of cabinetry, televisions and computer paraphernalia.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Frankfurt 2009: Toyota Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept

Toyota Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept

And now for your viewing pleasure, we bring you these live shots of the Toyota Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept (seriously, could Toyota have come up with a longer name?). Technically, the vehicle shown in our image gallery below is listed as a concept car, but every indication is that it's not all that different than what will be rolling out of Burnaston factory in England sometime during the second half of 2010.

We wouldn't necessarily count on the dash-mounted solar panels that feature trays to recharge your electronics – though, how cool would that be? – but the rooftop cells may make it into production to help keep the cabin cool on sunny days as a similar system already is optional on the 2010 Prius. In any case, Toyota's 1.8-liter four cylinder and Hybrid Synergy Drive ought to ensure stellar fuel economy and carbon emissions of below 100 g/km – both important considerations across the pond where gas is especially pricey and taxes are high.



Frankfurt motor show debut for precursor to Toyota's first full hybrid mainstream European production model


* Concept previews new Auris HSD Full Hybrid, Toyota's first full hybrid mainstream model in Europe
* World debut at the Frankfurt motor show
* Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, shared with latest generation Prius
* Sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, class-leading combined cycle fuel consumption and 0-62mph acceleration in around 10 seconds
* Detailed exterior styling changes to improve aerodynamic performance
* Extension of on-board solar power technology
* Auris HSD Full Hybrid production model to be built at TMUK's Burnaston factory
* Sales scheduled to start during second half of 2010

* 'Full Hybrid' means the car can be driven on petrol engine alone, electric motor alone or combination of both. Not all hybrids can do this.

The new Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept, presented publicly for the first time at the Frankfurt motor show, marks a significant milestone in Toyota's plan to equip its mainstream European models with full hybrid technology. Toyota is committed to making the environmental benefits of its Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) accessible to a wider customer base and it is on track to offer a hybrid version of every model in its range by the early 2020s.

A five door hatchback is the best selling type of car in Europe and consequently the installation of HSD in Auris is the logical first step in deploying full hybrid technology across Toyota's entire European model line-up.

By introducing the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept, Toyota also aims to shift customer perceptions of hybrid technology. The obvious advantages are exceptional fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions, but customers will also experience smooth and sophisticated driving unlike any other family hatchback, thanks to the everyday usability, comfort and quietness of the Toyota full hybrid powertrain.

The Auris HSD Full Hybrid will be built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) at the Burnaston factory, near Derby, with sales scheduled to start during the second half of 2010.

The news that Europe's first hybrid production model will be built in the UK has been welcomed by the British Government. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: "I'm delighted Toyota has chosen the UK to build its first hybrid vehicle in Europe. When I visited the Burnaston plant in July, I saw for myself the energy and commitment of Toyota and its workers. The unveiling of the new car at the Frankfurt Motor Show brings the vision of making the UK the best place in the world to develop low carbon vehicles a step closer. I look forward to seeing the cars roll off the line next year."

Exterior design

The design of the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept reflects the installation of a full hybrid powertrain in a mainstream package. Subtle changes have been made to Auris's styling to improve aerodynamic efficiency and blue hybrid badging identifies the car as a member of Toyota's full hybrid fleet.

The front end is designed to optimise airflow and so help maximise fuel efficiency. The front and rear bumper corners have flat surfaces, a feature that not only accentuates the car's wide and solid stance, but also smoothes the flow of air over the vehicle's flanks, minimising turbulence and drag.

The ride height is lower by 20mm compared to the conventional Auris, and underbody panels and a rear diffuser have been fitted to smooth and control airflow beneath the car. The bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels are designed to cut air turbulence in the wheel arches and are shod with low rolling resistance tyres. A larger, more efficient rear spoiler is also fitted. These aerodynamic elements target a drag coefficient of 0.28.

Interior design

The cabin has a number of special features that are linked to the car's full hybrid status.

The seats and upper dashboard are finished in blue Gaucholino leather with light blue accent stitching. To complement the exterior body colour, the centre console and side air vents have a tactile, pearl white finish.

The instrument cluster has hybrid blue illumination, with a design that combines high technology with easy-to-read displays. Alloy pedals reinforce the performance dimension of HSD technology and the steering wheel has a flat bottom section for easy driver access and better legroom.

Sequenced entry and exit lighting is provided, including puddle lights integrated in the door mirrors and ambient illumination of the footwells and headlining. Thick carpeting raises the on-board comfort and refinement levels and also contributes to a marked improvement in cabin quietness.

Refined driving experience

Using the same powertrain as the latest generation Prius, the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept is the first mainstream model in Europe to benefit from Toyota's refined, smooth and quiet Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The car will accelerate from nought to 62mph in around 10 seconds, while returning class-leading combined cycle fuel economy and sub-100g/km CO2 emissions. It offers four driving modes, three of which can be selected on-demand by the driver: ECO mode maximises hybrid system efficiency and fuel economy; Power mode boosts performance; and EV mode – a feature only available with a full hybrid system – allows for ultra-quiet running on electric motor power alone for up to 1.25 miles (2km) at speeds up to 31mph, with zero fuel consumption and zero CO2 and particulates (PM) emissions.

Building on the inherent quietness of HSD, particular attention has been paid to further NVH reduction measures to achieve a calm, quiet cabin environment at all speeds. Road and engine noise have been suppressed by comprehensive use of soundproofing materials, and full thickness glazing and an acoustic windscreen reduce wind noise at cruising speeds.

Environmentally efficient technology

Using technology that was first brought to the market in the latest generation Prius, the Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept marks a further development of solar powered ventilation, with solar panels covering the entire roof.

Similar technology is used inside the cabin, with solar panels on top of the dashboard that generate sufficient energy to recharge mobile phones or portable music plays mounted in purpose-designed charging trays. In the future, Toyota aims to advance this technology to provide solar powered recharging of the hybrid battery.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Toyota recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles over melting door panels - in China

Toyota recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles over melting door panels - in China

If you just got into your China-made Toyota Camry only to notice that your door panel has inexplicably melted, it's probably not your fault and the problem is going to be fixed for free. That's good news for you, we suppose, but not so much for Toyota. New reports say the Japanese automaker is recalling 688,314 Chinese-made sedans for faulty electronic window control systems. The damaged switches were reportedly caused by excessive lubricant used during manufacturing, which can cause overheating and, in rare cases, melting. The excessive lube issue has been traced to a single supplier, according to China's breathlessly named General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The vehicle most affected by the recall is the Camry, with 384,000 recalls. The Corolla comes in second with 245,000 units affected, followed by 35,000 Vios and 22,000 Yaris models involved in the recall. A Toyota China spokesman reportedly told Gasgoo that no accidents have occurred as a result of the defect.

[Source: Gasgoo]

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Electric Toyota iQ to get bespoke body

Electric Toyota iQ

Earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota surprised the audience by showing off a fully electric version of its diminutive iQ city car called the FT-EV. According to Autocar, a production version of the EV should be on the market by 2010, which, if true, would be an impressive feat indeed. We're not sure how these plans to along with Bill Reinert's assertion that electric cars "just aren't plausible right now," but we're happy to see EV technology progressing at the automaker regardless.

Hiroki Nakajima, chief engineer for the iQ, tells the British motoring mag that the electric iQ – known internally as BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) – will not share sheet metal with its gas-powered sibling. "We wanted to position the iQ as premium," he said, "but not so the BEV." That being the case, expect the Goldmember-style accents from the concept to be dropped in production form.

Following successful tests of the technology in its plug-in Prius fleet, the BEV will be the first production application of lithium ion batteries in a Toyota and the target range is 93 miles (150km). Charging time is quoted at eight hours, but that's surely dependent on the specific outlet serving up the charge. Power will come from one electric motor per wheel, potentially making this an all-wheel drive electric vehicle.

[Source: Autocar]