Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) will send a revised TMG EV P002 to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to defend its electric title. Based on last year’s ground-breaking run of 10 minutes 15.380 seconds, engineers at TMG’s electric vehicle technology center have generated more performance from the TMG powertrain to further improve the mark.
The P002 now has a top speed of 142.9 miles per hour, 1200 newton meters of maximum torque and 400 kW of maximum power. Before the annual climb, the EV P0002 will get aerodynamic upgrades and more track testing. A Schneider Electric EVlink DC charger will charge the P0002′s 42-kWh lithium ion ceramic battery on race day. All these upgrades and the history of record-setting gave Claudia Brasse, TMG’s executive coordinator of strategic EV development, reason to call the TMG EV P002 the “standard bearer for electric race cars.”
On June 30, just one week after TMG’s Toyota Racing team takes on the Le Mans 24 Hours with a hybrid prototype, Rod Millen will drive the TMG EV P002 at Pikes Peak. As a multiple record-setter at Pikes Peak and regular competitor in Toyota machinery, the 61-year-old New Zealander is highly experienced and will benefit from various improvements to the high-tech racer.
According to kbb.com’s Shopper Loyalty survey for Q1 2013, Subaru steadily climbed to the No. 3 position, to be among the top three brands for the first time since 2009.
“As current Subaru owners prepare to off-load their current vehicle, it is easy to reconsider the brand as it offers a diverse lineup, including models that not only appeal to the everyday shopper like the all-new 2014 Forester, but also a sportier option like the BRZ,” said Akshay Anand, Kelley Blue Book Insights analyst. “With Subaru‘s first-ever hybrid vehicle arriving at dealerships in Q4 2013, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid is expected to help the brand retain even more shoppers as its portfolio expands into hybrid technology.”
Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence examines shopper loyalty while consumers are still in the shopping phase. For this analysis, shopper loyalty is defined as owners of the brand who are currently shopping the same brand for their next new vehicle. This includes data from consumers who view a trade-in page or private party page, in addition to a new-car page on Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.
LAcarGUY is a longtime supporter of Heal The Bay, participation in beach cleanups, and most recently, LAcarGUY owner Mike Sullivan joined their Board of Directors. To celebrate our partnership, LAcarGUY’s Toyota/Scion Santa Monica will be donating a 2013 Scion FR-S for this year’s Bring Back The Beach live auction, with all proceeds going to Heal The Bay.
We urge you to support this great cause and join us for an amazing night on the Beach with Heal The Bay supporters
Heal the Bay invites you to celebrate the ultimate beach party at our annual Bring Back the Beach gala benefit on May 16, 2013, at Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica.
Relax with your toes in the sand while you meet and mix with leaders from Southern California’s environmental, political, business and entertainment communities. Join us for a fun-filled evening under the stars to celebrate our honorees and support the mission of Heal the Bay.
The night will honor the environmental dedication and leadership of Heal the Bay’s former president Mark Gold, D. Env., Oscar-winning actor and environmental champion Jeremy Irons, and founder of the Inclusive Health movement and philanthropist Dr. Howard Murad. Plus enjoy a special acoustic performance by five-time Grammy Award winner Ziggy Marley.
Tickets & Sponsorships
· Tables and Sponsorships: $5,000 – $50,000
· Individual Tickets: $500
· Beach Chic
· Be prepared to walk in the sand to your table. Choose shoes accordingly!
The new Porsche 911 is getting a serious dose of added power with the addition Turbo and Turbo S models that were unveiled earlier this month. The 2014 911 Turbo keeps its twin turbos but bolts them to a 3.8-litre flat six for an output of 520 horsepower which is an improvement of 20 horses. That’s enough for a zero to 60 mph time of 3.2 seconds. Even faster is the Turbo S, with 560 horsepower and shaving the same sprint to 2.9 seconds. At the famed Nurburgring, the new Turbo runs the track in well under 7 and a half minutes on production tires.
In addition to all-wheel-drive, which has been standard on 911 Turbos for years, the 2014 models will also have rear-wheel steering. Porsche says that at speeds up to 31 mph, the rear wheels will turn in the opposite direction from the front wheels, leading to greater maneuverability in tight curves and when parking the car. At speeds greater than 50 mph, the front and rear wheels will move in the same direction.
The 911 Turbo models will set themselves apart visually with a wider rear end and unique 20-inch wheels. On the Turbo S, the headlights will be full LED units. Other new items include a three-stage front and rear spoilers. And the interior, of course, gets the full suite of changes brought into the 911 model. For the first time, a Burmester system is also available as an optional feature. A radar-controlled cruise control system, camera-based road sign recognition and speed limit recognition are other new options being offered. And go-fast features include active rear steering, adaptive aerodynamics, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC).
Check out the video to discover the new 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo:
While some people are switching to smaller cars or making the move to hybrids, for die-hard SUV fans, a proper SUV is the only way to go, rugged and capable of going almost anywhere. With the all-new 2014 Toyota 4Runner, there’s more features, more capabilities, along with a redesigned look and feel, inside and out, making it one of the few SUVs left that can literally tow its own weight!
One of the first things that stand out is its facelift with new headlights, grille and front bumper giving it an edgier and more muscular look. Smoked headlights, clear-lens tail, new 17-inch wheels on SR5 and Trail models, while the Limited continues to ride on 20s, and a standard roof rack on all trim levels complete the refreshed style on the outside. New additions to color choices include Super White, Attitude Metallic Black, Barcelona Metallic Red, and Nautical Blue Metallic.
On the inside, the redesign focused on improving refinement and multimedia. The 2014 Toyota 4Runner SR5 and Trail both receive standard Soft Touch door trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather shift knob giving both interiors a more premium feel. The SR5 receives a new bright and highly visible Optitron instrument panel that houses the speedometer, tachometer, voltage, fuel and coolant temperature gauges. The multimedia display offers a number of different functions while the Eco-Driving feedback system enables the driver to monitor fuel consumption in real-time.
On the 4Runner Trail, the overhead console provides easy access and organization of off-road switches in one location. In addition, a compass indicator and outside temperature display provides added functionality.
According to the press release from Toyota, the 4Runner 4.0-liter V6 generates 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. Dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) optimizes torque across the engine’s operating range. Fuel economy ratings rival some crossover SUVs with an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for 4×2 models, and 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway for 4×4. Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds and all vehicles feature an integrated tow-hitch receiver and wiring harness as standard equipment.
The 2014 4Runner continues to improve on its legendary off-road capabilities along with its smooth around-town towing. The A-TRAC traction control system is standard on all 4×4 models and it provides distributed driving force to any one wheel in contact with the ground, which makes terrain irregularities and slippery patches virtually transparent to the driver. An electronic lock differential is standard on the Trail grade.
The Trail grade is designed to maximize off-road performance with superior approach and departure angles, high ground clearance, and an array of functional upgrades for the most demanding outdoor enthusiast. Also available as an option is the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) which significantly improves terrain-following ability by dynamically disconnecting stabilizer bars to allow for more axle travel, and better suspension articulation in slow, difficult terrain.
In addition, the 2014 4Runner also features standard Entune Audio Plus, an update on the current infotainment system. Limited models have Entune Premium, equipped with a 15-speaker JBL audio system and a navigation system. For all models, the radio antenna has been integrated into its glass instead of having a pole antenna, and each model also comes with Party Mode in its audio settings that pumps up the bass and shifts the sound to the rear of the 4Runner for tailgating.
When it comes to safety, the 2014 models have active headrests in front, eight airbags, three-point seatbelts for all seats, and the Limited is offered with Safety Connect telematics.
Check out the debut of the 2014 Toyota 4Runner at the Stagecoach Music Festival last month.
On May 2nd Audi Pacific hosted the private preview for Iron Man 3 in Torrance. A BIG thank you to the over 160 customers that came out to experience the fun and see the Audi R8 and Tony Stark in action.
This special preview was before the Midnight first showing for the general public, in fact as the Audi Pacific showing was being ushered into the theatre, there were 10 lines of people waiting for the midnight showing.
This was the second time that Audi Pacific has hosted an Iron Man movie night at the AMC Del Amo in Torrance and it was great to see so many friends out to see it.
There were a number of people from the Audi Pacific and LAcarGUY team at the event including Mike and Sean Sullivan, Jeff LaPlant, Chris Prodromides and his wife Stephany, and many more.
The Audi R8 e-tron® was front and center in the latest Iron Man movie, it was the perfect choice for Tony Stark, power, technology, style, and all done in a way that defies convention!
Over the last 18 months you can really see Akio Toyoda’s fingerprints on the Lexus brand. For many years Lexus was considered a brand of fine cars with excellent build quality and a dealer network that set the standard for the industry. However, they were also thought of as bland and emotionless vehicles. Cars and SUV’s for those that wanted something nice, but didn’t care about cars or want to think about cars.
Akio’s statement was that cars bearing his family’s name WOULD have emotion, would have a connection to the driver, they would NOT be thought of as just a commodity item.
The all new GS was the first real statement along those lines and now with the 2014 Lexus IS, the third generation of the car, Akio has focused Lexus’ efforts into not just drawing event with cars like the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4, but setting the standard for the small luxury performance segment.
The new IS draws from it’s larger stablemate, the GS, in several areas. The front end is a further, more aggressive evolution of the spindle grill, the interior continues the horizontal theme dash, and the rear suspension is derived from the GS as well.
The new IS gains 2.5 inches in wheelbase allowing for a further 1.6 inches of rear seat legroom. The overall length has been extended 3.5 inches, the trunk now has an additional .5 cubic foot of space and the first time offering a 60/40 split folding rear seat for additional cargo capacity.
When the new IS is ordered with Satellite Navigation, it comes loaded with 3D mapping including Street View. Traffic and weather information are now subscription free, weather is updated every 10 minutes and traffic every 2 minutes. Traffic also has the addition feature of Predictive Traffic which can forecast ahead 15, 30 and 45 minutes so that you can see what your route may look like, and if you should choose a different way. Also when you are running low on fuel gas stations will appear as Points Of Interest on the map.
The 2014 IS has all of the safety features you’ve come to expect on a car at this level, 10 air bags, Blind Spot Warning with Cross Traffic, lane departure alert, and Pre Collision Radar cruise control down to 25 miles an hour.
The F-Sport version of the new IS, available on both the IS 250 and the IS 350 is distinguished by a different nose and bumper, different seats, LED daytime running lights, variable adaptive suspension and additional drive modes of Sports S and S+. Also in the F-Sport is a different gage cluster that draws it’s inspiration from the LFA Supercar. The center dial slides from the center to the right and alters the information on the LCD gage cluster.
Optional on all models is the 15 speaker, 835 watt Mark Levinson audio system. The system features a full digital (Class-D) amplifier, 5.1 channel/7.1 channel surround system, a total of 15 GreenEdge™ ultra-high efficiency speakers and a Lexus-first Auto Volume System,which automatically adjusts volume when changing between sources or radio channels.
The IS 250 and 350 can be had either as Rear Drive or All Wheel Drive. Power comes from either a 2.5 liter V6 in the IS 250 offering 204 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque, or the 3.5 liter V6 in the IS 350 which offers up 306 horsepower and 277 lb/ft of torque.
Fuel economy is rated in the IS 250 at 21/30/24 (city/highway/combined) for the Rear Drive and 20/27/23 for the All Wheel Drive model. The IS 350 rates as 19/28/22 for the Rear Drive and 19/26/21 for the All Wheel Drive.
All IS 250’s, plus the IS 350 AWD will use a six speed automatic transmission, while the Rear Drive IS 350 will use the eight speed automatic from the outgoing IS-F.
On the road the new IS has a very comfortable and controlled ride quality, the cabin is very quiet, as you’d expect. However, when you put your foot down, there is a very sporty sounding exhaust, and when tossed aggressively into corners, the body stays very flat, and the handling is very neutral, with just a hint of understeer to keep you safe.
Lexus believe you can have your cake and eat it too with the suspension in the new IS. They have soften the springs at all four corners to make the ride more supple, yet larger anti roll bars allow the handling to be very sporty and controlled without being overly stiff. When you want a more aggressive suspension you can dial it up with the drive mode selector. In the standard IS you have a Sport mode, and in the F-Sport there are Sports S and S+ options. The additional modes will not only change the suspension calibrations, but alter how aggressive the throttle is as well.
For 30 years the BMW 3 Series has set the benchmark for the small sport luxury segment, and Audi in the last decade has been running neck and neck with BMW with their A4. Lexus have now gone all in on this segment, and just like when Lexus entered the market with the original LS, the Germans will be may need to re-evaluate their current efforts.
Pricing for the IS 250 begins at $35,950 and $39,465 for the IS 350, All Wheel Drive adds $2,515 to the IS 250 and $2,235 to the IS 350, all models of the new IS will be available mid Summer.
In the second episode (part 1 of 2) released last week, the Subaru Rally Team USA reunites in Michigan for 2013 Sno*Drift Rally. This is the first rally of the Rally America season and takes place in Montmorency County. The one-off ice and snow event has been described as beyond treacherous and provides a unique challenge to the team.
The team will be competing agains the best and drivers David Higgins and Craig Drew will be pushed to the limit on this course that proves to be far more difficult than anybody had anticipated.
The all-new 2014 Lexus IS sedans will feature an all-new multimedia system with a remote touch interface and will deliver real-time traffic and weather information over the air for free.
Lexus has made $1,400 worth of equipment that was optional in previous IS models standard in the new luxury sedans, including HID headlamps, L-shaped LED daytime running lights, Drive Mode Select, paddle shifters, a dual-zone climate control system, a next-generation Remote Touch Interface, Display Audio, a color 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display, and 10 airbags, while pricing the new Lexus IS 350 2.1 percent lower than its predecessor.
The revamped in-vehicle multimedia system features a 7-inch VGA multi-display as the centerpiece, providing drivers with climate, audio, and navigation information. The display can be operated via a Display Audio controller, which can access Info, Setup, Display, Media, Climate, and Phone screens, or by way of the carmaker’s new Remote Touch system featuring a next-generation haptic joystick.
The in-vehicle information system also features what Lexus describes as “advanced voice recognition” enabled by a new dual-microphone system and voice box built on the latest Nuance voice recognition software platform. The system searches a navigation point-of-interest (POI) database to conduct local search and Microsoft’s Bing for Internet search through a connected smartphone app.
Lexus is billing the free, HD radio-supplied weather and traffic info accessible in the 2014 IS sedan as an “industry-first application.” The same information service was previously provided via Sirius XM but required a subscription. Customers will have the option to add the Lexus Enform App Suite to their system, which uses cellular connectivity to provide weather and traffic info when out of HD Radio coverage range, and also includes fuel price, stock market, and sports updates.
The experts at Consumer Reports have chosen the Porsche Boxster as their highest rated two-seater vehicle. In testing, Porsche Boxster knocked off the Mercedes-Benz SLK, Audi TT, and BMW Z4. They all did well, but CR proclaims mid-engine Boxster as delivering “the purest sports-car experience of the four roadsters.”
Consumer Reports liked the redesigned 2.7-liter Boxster as they found its engine “very responsive” and the 6-speed manual transmission “smooth and crisp.” Their team was impressed with the power-operated folding soft top and storage areas too, saying “the power top is quick and can be opened or closed on the go at up to 35 mph, a very nice convenience, and the front and rear trunks continue to be a bonus.” Sealing the win, the independent testing agency added, “handling is still excellent despite some loss of steering feedback and the ride is not punishing.”
Which is your favorite two-seater and does it deserve the top prize? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.