Toyota recently took out a patent to create see through pillars, and the automaker does so using a very practical setup that is much more affordable than the camera and screen setups some luxury automakers used in the past. Instead of cameras and screens, Toyota plans to use a series of mirrors to create the illusion of a set of see-through pillars at the front of the vehicle.
How the New Tech Works
It’s not clear exactly how the technology works, but apparently a series of special mirrors create a see-through pillar experience at the front of the vehicle. Since mirrors are utilized for the illusion, it shouldn’t be very expensive to implement the technology. If Toyota can find a way to make the tech work well enough, it’s likely that it will show up on all of the Toyota vehicles in the future, as well as Lexus models and maybe other vehicles from other manufacturers as well.
Enjoy Safer Driving
If you’ve ever been driving and missed someone out of your blind spot at the front of the vehicle due to the pillars, you already understand how see-through pillars could benefit drivers. While small, there are decent blind spots at the front of most vehicles today due to the structural pillars used. They’re necessary, but they can create some dangerous driving situations as well. With a set of see-through pillars, it’s possible to remove that danger almost entirely and create substantially safer driving conditions overall.
While most automakers are looking to make major technology advancements through artificial intelligence, computers and expensive technology, Toyota shows that you can improve vehicles notably with simple enhancements as well. Something as basic as a set of mirrors can make a world of difference when utilized properly, and that’s pretty cool.
It’s likely that we’ll see this technology show up on Toyota vehicles in the future, but for now we’ll have to speculate about how it all works and wonder exactly how those pillars are going to look when they finally make it onto a production model vehicle from Toyota. It’s likely that we’ll see the technology make its debut at an auto show first, before it finally makes it onto vehicles for sale.
Recently Volkswagen has put a premium on producing capable electric vehicles, and the automaker is working very hard to create a powerful new EV that can keep up with products put out by Tesla and other automakers. The electric vehicles are all going to be part of the I.D. family within Volkswagen, and they are expected to be released in just a few years from now. While most people expected the I.D. car, similar to the one that was put on display would be the first vehicle released in the United States, but Volkswagen says that’s not the case. Instead the automaker is bringing a full electric crossover to market first, and coming out with the car later on.
The Car Releases First Elsewhere
Volkswagen doesn’t plan on releasing its all new I.D. electric vehicles in North America first, and will instead launch its early products over in Europe. The I.D. car is expected to be the first vehicle launched and goes live in 2020. This will be followed up by the crossover and then finally a microbus creation.
A Capable EV SUV
There are no specifications out just yet about the I.D. SUV since it’s still in development, but if it’s anything like the I.D. hatchback that was already put on display it should offer at least 250 miles on a single charge and as much as 375 miles. That’s an exceptional improvement over most current electric vehicles, making it a more reliable option for long-distance travel.
The MEB Platform
Volkswagen spent years creating its MEB platform designed to underpin most of the compact electric vehicles that it plans to release in the future. The automaker plans on using the MEB platform for vehicles like the Golf, Passat and Tiguan in the future as well, though larger vehicles will rely on a different platform.
The Volkswagen I.D. Car is expected to be released in 2020, but that may not be the same release date for the crossover. Since the crossover is going to come out after the car, it’s likely it will be released later in 2020, or even in 2021. That means everyone in America will have to wait longer to get their hands on Volkswagen’s more capable EV than other parts of the world like Germany.
The I.D. line of electric vehicles is expected to make its way to the US in full eventually, but everyone should expect to have to wait until 2021 or 2022 before getting a chance to test any of it out.
Porsche took a whole lot of criticism when it first came out with its Panamera sports car. Porsche fans weren’t fond of it’s odd front end or the massive proportions, but the sports car has come a long way since then. It still doesn’t hold the same level of prestige as the 911 lineup does, but when it comes to four door sedans, there are few vehicles on the market that can stand up to the sheer capabilities put forward by the Porsche Panamera.
Plenty of Variants
Whether you want a hybrid powertrain, a turbocharged monster of an engine, a standard model or a mid-level power Panamera, there are options for you to choose from. Porsche presents you with a long list of trim levels and power points in the 2018 Panamera, making it easy to get exactly the right type of vehicle for your needs.
The amount of power you get with Porsche’s sedan depends on the variant that you opt for. The base model sports a very healthy 330 HP thanks to its twin-turbo V6 engine, but if that’s not enough for you, you can step it all the way up to 540 HP on the Panamera Turbo with a more potent V8 engine. Of course there are options in between those two extremes as well, letting you fine tune exactly how much power you’re comfortable with.
The Porsche Panamera has been engineered to an impressive level to corner, brake and handle very well at top speeds. That means you can push the vehicle well past your comfort zone while on the track, without maximizing the capabilities of the car itself. It’s meant for street driving, but this powerful sedan holds its own on the track and isn’t shy about taking on tough turns, and all the other elements of a standard street course. Take it out to the track and you’ll be burning through sets of tires like nobody’s business while falling in love with Porsche’s longest car.
The Panamera comes with all-wheel drive, and the drive system offer the perfect balance of handling mechanics. Whether you’re dishing out understeer or oversteer, the car wards them off with ease, leaving you with precision controls and a truly enjoyable driving experience overall. If you’re looking for a car that can carry around the family, that’s a true pleasure to drive, and also good enough to take to the track on the weekends, the 2018 Panamera is the best four-door sedan for the job. It’s a blast to drive, it’s elegant and finely designed, and it handles superbly, no matter what you throw at it. What more could you ask for?
Over the last 20 years, the Camry has been the franchise leader for Toyota. When you sell 400,000 units of something year after year after year, you have to be doing something right. However the Camry in its current guise has been around for quite a while, and it has been a decade since it was all new front to back. In that decade America, and the world have moved from four door family sedans to crossovers as their vehicles of choice. For 2017 the RAV4 will outsell the Camry, and by a fair number of units at that.
The family four-door sedan might not be the bread and butter for Toyota anymore, but the segment and the Camry specifically are still vital to the company. That is why Toyota has launched the all new 2018 Camry, and the first full vehicle to be built on the company’s new TNGA platform. The current Prius and C-HR share parts of the platform but the Camry is the first to employ it completely. The new platform (all new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, all new chassis) allow for more interior room, a quieter more comfortable ride and significant weight savings.
The new Toyota Camry makes a much bolder more cohesive statement than the outgoing model. That said Toyota knows that some customers would rather blend in, while others like to make a statement. With the new Camry, both are an option depending on which trim level of Camry you select.
The L, LE and XLE models styling is sporty without being a boy racer. The nose has an aggressive look, and from the side profile as well as the rear three-quarters view, it is muscular and handsome. Choosing the SE or XSE there are more sporty styling cues to make the Camry really stand out. They include a different front end styling, large side intake vents, small rear spoiler, plus and option of two-tone paint that adds a black metallic color to the roof along with matching paint on the rear spoiler and the rear view mirrors. SE and XSE come with 18” alloy wheels with 19” alloy wheels as an option.
The all-new Camry is built around the cockpit theme. Instruments, dials, knobs, and switchgear are all angled at the driver to make it as easy as possible to see, touch and feel exactly what you are looking for.
Materials have received a nice upgrade from the previous generation, and are now very competitive with the best in the segment. L and LE trims have nice cloth seating, SE trim gets SofTex seating material, while XLE, XSE get leather seating with XLE receiving a quilting pattern to give it a more high-end appearance.
Toyota has also upgraded the trim materials as well with different wood or metal materials depending on trim level and packages. SE gets embossed mesh interior trim while XSE gets textured metal materials. L and LE have a layered wood trim, XLE receives “Tiger Eye” trim based off the Tiger Eye gemstone. XLE and XSE interiors are very nice, and while they might not be at Lexus levels they aren’t far off and come at a much-reduced price compared to Lexus.
Standard on L, LE and SE Camry’s is a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment screen in the center stack and a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument cluster. XLE, XSE and V6 models receive an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the center stack and a 7-in multi-information display in the instrument cluster.
A new and exciting option on the new Camry is a 10-inch Heads Up Display. The HUD can project audio, speed, driver assistance and navigation onto the windshield.
The 2018 Toyota Camry offers you the choice of three powertrains. Over 80% of Camry buyers are likely to choose an all new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. While the displacement and number of cylinders may be the same as the outgoing Camry, this is all new engine. The long stroke high compression engine with both direct and port fuel injection delivers 203 horsepower (a 25 horsepower jump over the old model) at 6,600 rpm and 184 lb/ft of torque at 5,000 rpm.
Next up is a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This engine is a carryover with some technology upgrades. New variable valve timing enables greater fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. The V6 is rated at 301 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 267 lb/ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. Both the four-cylinder and the V6 use a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The final powertrain is the Hybrid system. Total power between the engine and hybrid power is rated at 208 horsepower. The big news with the hybrid is the fuel economy numbers. in LE trim (lighter vehicle weight and more efficient battery pack) the Camry Hybrid is EPA rated at 51 city/53 highway/52 combined. In SE and XLE it returns 44 city/47 highway/46 combined. If you were looking at the Prius for fuel economy but were not taken with the new styling direction then the 2018 Camry Hybrid LE will return very similar fuel economy numbers in a more “standard” looking car for around the same money.
Fuel economy for the four-cylinder Camry is EPA rated at 28 city/39 highway/32 combined, while the V6 is rated at 22 city/32 highway/26 combined.
The 2018 Camry comes with a standard suite of safety systems starting with Toyota’s Star Safety System which includes, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), 4-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA)andSmartStop Technology®(SST) and 10 airbags. Also available is Safety Connect® — includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification. Available by subscription. Complimentary one-year trial subscription. (XSE and XLE V6 models only) Toyota Safety SenseTM P (TSS-P) – Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross Traffic Braking (XSE and XLE grades only)
Toyota will offer their latest Entune 3.0 system. Entune offers Scout GPS Link through an app on your phone for navigation and comes with a free three-year trial, Entune App Suite, Siri Eyes Free, Google Voice Control along with voice recognition and Bluetooth audio.
Other trim levels and options packages offer XM Radio, HD Radio, Gracenote album cover art, Safety Connect, Service Connect, Remote Connect and a built-in WiFi hotspot. Available with the upgraded JBL Audio system is a feature called Clari-Fi. Clari-Fi takes streaming audio from apps like Spotify, Pandora, Google Music and Apple Music and upconverts it to higher quality audio.
2018 Camry Wrapup:
The 2018 Toyota Camry is really three different cars depending on trim and powertrain chosen. The four-cylinder Camry feels light, composed and sporty. While you would not call it a sports sedan it can certainly handle back roads without effort. The ride is very composed and interior noise levels are very pleasant. The V6 Camry drives and rides like a very substantial car. The ride is still very composed yet it feels far more luxurious. The car feels more planted to the road and solid overall. That is not to say the four-cylinder is lacking in driving refinement, it’s that the V6 takes it to a higher level, near Lexus quality ride control. Finally, the Hybrid Camry combines the best of both the V6 and the four-cylinder. The overall feel of the car along with the ride quality is right in line with the V6, yet the steering is light as in the four-cylinder. Where the V6 gets up to speed very quickly, far quicker than you’d expect, the hybrid is not far behind and is almost silent in doing so.
Pricing for the 2018 Toyota Camry is as follows:
Camry L $23,495
Camry LE $24,000
Camry SE $25,200
Camry XLE $28,450
Camry XSE $29,000
Camry XLE V6 $34,400
Camry XSE V6 $34,950
Hybrid LE $27,800
Hybrid SE $29,500
Hybrid XLE $32,250
A race-bred Porsche is something of a work of art. It holds majesty whenever it hits the track. It does not need to show its resume – the many overall and class wins Porsche achieved in its decades of racing. It will only show its competitors its rear wing.
The new Porsche 911 GT2 RS is the latest edition in a long history of track-bred production cars.
Unlike any of our historic performance Porsches, we had to present it in a very different way. At the recent E3 conference here in L.A., where game consoles and games are presented – so was this high performance, race-bred version of the GT2 line. Microsoft helped Porsche bring it out – along with the upcoming Forza Motorsport 7 game.
Unlike a gaming console and its peripherals, the GT2 RS will have a real 3.8 liter horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine with twin turbochargers and rear wheel drive. There has not been any confirmation of gearbox, horsepower and performance figures but the number 700 keeps making the rumor mill!
Like every other performance model we sell, Porsche South Bay can facilitate a purchase of one of these very special machines. We can assist by putting our potential customers in touch with Porsche Motorsports or other resources towards delivery. Once we have the full details, we can discuss purchasing options for this very special, real-time, gas-powered car.
The Volkswagen Atlas was created specifically to appeal to the American market, which means that it has a whole bunch of features that Americans value. Below is a list of some of the main features that you’ll find in the new Atlas that were added specifically for American buyers.
Roomy Feature Rich Interior
Americans don’t like to be cramped while riding around inside their vehicles, which is why the Atlas is so spacious on the inside. It offers enough room for everyone to sit comfortably, and is loaded up with USB ports, infotainment systems, plugs and storage compartments for the whole family. Everyone can ride in the Atlas and they’ll swear it’s a minivan on the inside with how many comfort features are available.
The driver will also enjoy a roomy seating area with plenty of space and comfort features around him. The seats are large and highly adjustable throughout, which is another major benefit of going with the Atlas. Heck, even adults can sit comfortably in the second row of the Atlas, making it a capable vehicle for moving around a group of adults as well as children.
Spacious Three Row Seating
American families tend to be larger than European families and there is still a real need to be able to cart around more than 5 people at a time. That’s something the Atlas makes possible for Volkswagen and it’s the main reason the Atlas was produced at all. This will allow the automaker to compete with the other full-sized SUV options on the market, and is an American feature for sure.
All Wheel Drive
American buyers love all-wheel drive because it’s capable of handling the wide range of climate types throughout the country. With all-wheel drive issues on each of the Atlas vehicles, Volkswagen makes its SUV an easy choice for buyers that live in markets that deal with snow on an annual basis.
The Volkswagen Atlas might not show off the luxury trims that some other Volkswagen vehicles have in the past, but it comes outfitted with all the features that American buyers are most interested in, which makes it a top choice for large families looking for seating space today. Invest in the Atlas and you’ll have a decent looking, spacious, well outfitted SUV for up to seven people to ride in.
We’ve already done a story covering some of the innovative features that are coming with the 2018 Audi A8 but the word is out that it’s getting yet another feature that many car owners are going to want, self parking. No it’s not the first car to ever offer self-parking as a feature, but it is the first Audi vehicle and we’re sure that it’s pretty much perfected as well. The A8 should be able to handle a wide range of parking conditions, and that will make doing things like parallel parking in the city, or getting into your garage at the end of the day a bit easier. The vehicle is even capable of backing into a parking space, making it easier for poor parkers to get their vehicle situated when backing in is called for.
Remote Self Parking
In the ad by Audi the A8 sedan is told to park itself by a simple button press on the keyfob and then it capably pulls itself into the garage without hitting anything at all. It’s not a brand-new feature that you can’t find on any luxury cars today, but the 2018 A8 will be the first Audi to receive the feature and something for Audi fans to celebrate.
In order to make self parking possible the A8 comes with the full suite of sensors and radar systems that are used with things like adaptive cruise control, lane assistance and emergency braking systems. The car will of course come with some added safety features as well and should be more convenient to own than many other A8 models in the past.
Complementing the 48V Setup
These new tech-heavy improvements just compliment Audi’s move to the 48V electrical system throughout the A8. Not only will the car be able to park itself and be safer than ever before, but it will also have regenerative braking and special electrical systems that make it more efficient and capable than ever before. The latest A8 is going to be a revolutionary product that’s worth the purchase because of all the added capabilities worked into it.
While Audi is already hard at working teasing the 2018 A8, it won’t be revealed until July 11 at the Audi Summit in Barcelona Spain. That’s when you’ll learn about all the different features offered and why so many people are going to want the A8 when it finally comes out.
There are few fans around more hardcore than those that like the Toyota Tundra, which means that truck owners are impatiently waiting the next release of Toyota’s full-sized truck to find out just what features are being added into the mix. Well, wait no more! The 2018 Tundra is out and you can find out exactly what it’s adding and taking away. Which should help you decide if it’s the truck you want to buy or not.
One of the biggest changes that’s coming with the 2018 Tundra is a change that’s affecting most of Toyota’s lineup, and that’s the addition of the Toyota Safety Sense P package. That means more active safety features than before, like a rear view camera, adaptive cruise. Blind spot monitoring, active braking and more to keep you out of trouble. This is particularly valuable on a large vehicle like the Tundra and should help many drivers stay safer while out on the road.
TRD Sport Trim
While much of the 2018 Tundra is going to stay the same, the new TRD Sport Trim will bring some much-needed changes into the mix. This trim level is between the SR5 and the Limited trims and brings with it a new grille design, and updated headlights. The trim level also gets a new gauge cluster and a better infotainment setup.
Goodbye TRD Pro
Another change to the 2018 Tundra is the removal of the TRD Pro trim. It will be gone for the next few years most likely, along with the options that it brought to Tundra owners.
Other than these mostly aesthetic changes, the Tundra is going to stay about the same for the 2018 model year release. Fuel capacity and MPG will remain the same, as will the engine and transmission configurations. If you opt for the new trim package you’ll get some new enhancements, and the safety package is an obvious improvement, but if you don’t care about those things you’ll probably be just as happy in the 2017 model of the Tundra.
The sedan market is slow today, and it doesn’t seem to be speeding up anytime soon. That doesn’t change the fact that some people still need full-sized cars to transport their families around though. That’s why Toyota is working hard to create one of the most compelling sedans on the market today, and it’s going to try to capture that title with its Camry, one of the most successful sedans in the United States today. In order to really bring out the cool factor in its sedan Toyota tasked designers to figure out ways to really differentiate the different trim levels from one another. The end result was two very different looking trim levels of the same Camry, making it into almost two different vehicles entirely, the LE or XLE and the XSE
How are they Different?
The difference between the traditional LE or XLE and the more wild XSE is stark. The body of the XSE is more heavily defined and has a sporty modern look to it. The LE and XLE vehicles are less sculpted, use more mute colors and are obviously less sporty overall. The look distinction between the two vehicles was a smart one for Toyota to make because it helps differentiate the two trim levels and help the Camry to appeal to two different groups of people. Drivers looking for a conservative look can go for the XLE or the LE and get a nice traditional look that probably won’t turn too many heads but that will look nice. Those looking for a more wild car can go for the XSE and really stand out.
Wild or Mute Interior
The traditional Camry has a pretty mute interior with blacks, grays and browns as the colors found throughout. The XSE comes with brighter and bolder colors that really stand out as a more edgy look.
Another smart move made by Toyota was making the top luxury options available to both segment types. As an owner of the XLE or the XSE you can pretty much get all the nice features added on without missing out on anything. That means you can get the car that meets your look requirements, while also having the features that you want and you won’t have to compromise on much.
Toyota understands that one car can’t possible apply to everyone, which is exactly why the automaker is making strides toward producing multiple Camry vehicles that will appeal to different groups of people. Toyota wants the Camry to stay on top, and creating a wide range of vehicles is the best way for that to happen.
High-end Porsche cars are seen as much as a tool as they are a high-end fashion statement and that’s why it makes perfect sense that Porsche would be offering an exclusive watch, another fashion accessory, only to the Porsche owners willing to buy a $257,000 car. The Porsche 911 Turbo Exclusive Series is a slightly more powerful version of the Turbo with over 600 HP, and it comes with exclusive access to a beautiful watch that owners will no doubt be happy to show off.
This beautiful Porsche watch comes at a steep price of approximately $13,000 and it’s only aviaalble to owners of the exclusive special edition Porsche 911 Turbo vehicle, meaning that at most 500 people will be walking around with it on their wrists. It’s a beautiful timepiece that’s designed to match the gold Porsche car nicely. It shows off a series of carbon fiber accents, tosses in a nice splash of brilliant gold, or whatever color that you decide to choose for the sports car.
The watch is composed of titanium that’s been coated in a black carbide material for a nice smooth feel and top-end durability. The watch features a COSC-certified chronometer and a sapphire case back that positively shines in the light. It’s a high end product that will undoubtedly please a top-tier Porsche owner, and the watch even comes with an advanced flyback feature designed to time laps around a race track. So you can look stylish and stay on top of your high speed laps around the course too with this high end watch.
The watch has obvious appeal and we understand why Porsche would make it just as exclusive as its special edition car, but the car itself has a lot to offer as well, and buyers are probably just as interested in that. With over 600 HP this Porsche Turbo can really fly around the track. It manages 0 to 60 MPH in just 2.8 seconds and looks beautiful inside and out. The sports car is designed for maximum performance, but it’s also built to turn heads and really stand out. It comes with that signature sleek and sexy 911 look but features cool accents like the carbon fiber trim throughout the body and the unique gold paint job that you won’t find on any other 911. Porsche went all out to deliver a fully custom vehicle when you opt for the Select series, and the car is going to be a worthwhile purchase for buyers looking for something a bit more exclusive and exciting.
The Porsche watch is going to be something that only a few people can show off, and that’s the genius of the automaker. It will make buyers want them even more, and should help push through a few more car sales.