Category: Green Auto Technology
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
When most people think of a hybrid vehicle the first one that comes to mind is the Toyota Prius. That’s because it’s the biggest success story when it comes to hybrids. It was one of the first hybrids released and the first real success story in the segment. While there are plenty of other hybrid options out on the market today, the 2017 Toyota Prius remains the best value for the money when purchasing a hybrid vehicle according to News and World Report’s comparison. That means that if you are looking for a hybrid to lower your environmental impact, to cut your gas costs or just to avoid using as much fuel as you once did, the Toyota Prius is likely one of your very best options.
How Winners are Chosen
News and World Report gives out awards to vehicles in 20 different categories and there is a strict comparison technique that the company relies on to select the winners of the contest. To decide which vehicles are the best value, the company looks at the initial price of the vehicle, as well as the total cost of ownership over a five-year stretch. With these two figures it is a simple matter deciding which vehicle is the best value of the bunch.
Affordable and Efficient
The Toyota Prius is known for its efficiency and there are models that average around 55 MPG in city driving conditions today. That’s an impressive figure, and that’s not all the automobile has going for it. Compared to other hybrids on the market, the Toyota Prius is surprisingly affordable. At between $25,000 and $30,000 the Prius is easy for most people to purchase and something that the average homeowner would have no trouble buying.
Spacious and Well-Appointed
The Prius isn’t known for being a luxury vehicle, but that doesn’t stop it from being well-equipped, spacious and nice-looking within. Inside the vehicle you’ll find all the standard features that you expect from a modern vehicle, plus a bunch of active safety features that will help keep you safe while out on the road. The vehicle also comes with plenty of interior space for five people to sit comfortably. There’s ample trunk space in the back, allowing you to pack clothes for a trip or head to the grocery store and do some shopping.
Sure, the Prius isn’t a sports car, but that doesn’t matter. The Toyota Prius has over 120 HP thanks to the two electric motors and the small gasoline engine. The two electric motors rev up and get the vehicle off to a smooth start from a standstill quickly and effectively. The vehicle isn’t going to win any races, but it doesn’t feel sluggish and handles pretty nicely.
Overall the Toyota Prius is a solid vehicle with a lot to offer in the value department. If you want an efficient car that isn’t going to use much gasoline, the Toyota Prius is still the king of the hybrids and pretty hard to pass up.
Business owners interested in protecting the environment and working toward more sustainable business practices may be interested in the Sustainable Quality Awards scheduled for April 21st this year. The event is set to begin at 11:00 AM and will be help in the Delfina Santa Monica Hotel Penthouse Ballroom. It’s going to be a fun day of awards, speeches, demonstrations and food for surrounding business owners and enthusiasts. A sustainable lunch will be served to everyone in attendance and there will be an hour dedicated to business networking for anyone looking to make connections.
Learn to Build a More Sustainable Business
Clinton Maloney, an expert in sustainable businesses with more than 17 years of experience in the matter will be giving a keynote speech at the event. Anyone interested in building a more sustainable business can learn something from Maloney and his wealth of experience and knowledge.
Enjoy a Bite to Eat
Attendees will have the opportunity to try out different appetizers from Uplifters Kitchen, Sunny Blue, Lo/Cal Coffee, and the Art Institute International Culinary School.
Pedal Up in Style
The Santa Monica Bike Center is coming together to organize a group ride to the Awards on April 21st. The ride starts at Santa Monica bike Center and takes a direct route to Le Meridien Delfina Hotel. If you’re interested in taking part in the ride make sure you show up at 10:30am. If you’ll need bike tuning you should show up earlier so you have time to prepare for the ride.
It’s a Green Event
This organized event will produce zero waste thanks to careful organization and planning. It’s lead sponsored by LAcarGUY and Morley Builders and will show off local restaurants that rely heavily on local Farmers Market Produce.
When and Where?
The 2016 Sustainable Quality Awards are set to take place on April 21st and the Le Meridien Delfina Hotel in Santa Monica. If you aren’t sure where that is, the address is 530 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA. Prepaid tickets for Chamber members is just $50 and nonmembers can pick up tickets for $60. Tickets are available online here or you can call (310) 393-9825 to reserve your spot at the big event.
If you would like to be more involved with the big day than just being an attendee now’s your chance. Visit this link to learn how you can be an event sponsor, a volunteer or an exhibitor at the 2016 Sustainable Quality Awards.
When you think about high-octane racing vehicles, chances are the Toyota Prius isn’t the first one to come up. After all, the Prius is known far and wide as the ultimate hybrid vehicle, not a gas-guzzling racecar. However, all that is about to change, as Toyota has just unveiled a high-performance version ready for Japan’s Super GT racing series. Introducing the 2016 Toyota Prius GT300!
The big question: When is it coming out?
No firm date was given, but it looks like early first quarter of 2016
What is going to cost?
Again, no firm numbers were given, but we’d bet that it will be very close in pricing to the current one, even though there is more content and safety items available.
How big is it?
The new Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.8 inches lower than the model it replaces, providing a planted on-road presence while delivering more occupant and cargo room.
Will it get better fuel economy?
With an expected ten percent improvement in EPA estimated MPG on core models, Prius will offer best-in-class fuel economy among vehicles without a plug. A soon-to-be unveiled Eco model will achieve an even greater improvement, strengthening Toyota’s leadership in hybrid fuel efficiency.
What is the interior like?
The Prius’ new, premium interior adopts advanced technology complemented by features that are functional, fun and have high visual impact. The wrap-around dash design, form-hugging seats, ease of controls and improved visibility put the driver in complete control.
What has Toyota done to make the Prius safer?
The new global architecture that the 2016 Prius is built on also provides a more rigid structural framework to help enhance occupant protection in the event of a collision. The high strength upper body is designed to distribute frontal collision impact energy. Plus, the Prius will be among the first U.S. models to offer Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Automatic High Beams
What inspired the design?
From the side, it is longer and sleeker with the overall outline evoking an athletic shape. Inspired by a runner in the starting blocks, the sporty design conveys a feeling of forward motion.
The hood is lower and the distinctive roof peak has been moved forward. Bold character lines run along the side from the front fenders – one just above the sill that sweeps up towards the rear fender, while the upper crease morphs into the rear spoiler, which has been lowered.
The use of new standard LED headlamps minimizes the Prius’ front fascia and, at the same time, provides an arresting lighting display which helps define the vehicle’s character. The unique and striking rear combination lamps express the distinctive lines of the Prius from the rear spoiler to the trailing edges of the sides.
When can I place my order?
Make sure that you follow us on Facebook and Twitter and we will let you know just as soon as you can.
It never ceases to amaze us how far some of these little diesel vehicles can travel. Volkswagen just set a new record with the Golf TDI by travelling a whopping 8,233.5 miles on less than 300 dollars in diesel fuel. If that’s not an impressive return on investment I don’t know what is. During the course of the trip the vehicle managed to travel through each of the 48 lower states and traveled for a total of 16 days.
Setting the Record
Volkswagen managed to beat its own record while trying to do the same thing the company already did. Over this trip they managed to get 81.7 MPG, beating the old record of 77.99 MPG. It’s important to note that this trip beats the hybrid vehicle record by more than 6 MPG, which is pretty impressive since hybrids are supposed to be highly efficient drivers.
Driving Skills Preparation in California
You can’t just start driving and expect to meet the level of fuel efficiency that Bob Winger and Wayne Gerdes managed during their world-record trip. In order to hit the records that they did, the team had to spend hundreds of hours training in different driving conditions. They weren’t verifying the chosen route using these test trips, but rather honing efficient driving skills that would provide the fuel figures the team was striving for.
In a recount of the prep leading up the big trip Gerdes is on record saying that he relied on the Tejon Pass, the Cajon Pass, the San Gorgoino Pass and the Laguna mountains to figure out how to drive efficiently through steep elevation climbs and descents. It took countless trial runs through these mountain passes to hone steep incline driving skills enough to keep efficiency levels up where they needed them to be.
In order to learn how to deal with the highly congested sections of I-95 the trio would encounter through the northeastern portions of the trip, they headed over to 405 and 5 between LAX and San Diego. These notoriously congested sections served as a training ground to master efficient driving even when roads are packed and driving conditions are more restricted and start and stop traffic is common.
California is a state filled with unique features and even though the state was only a small portion of the overall record-setting trip, it served as the key training ground that made it possible for the trip to be successful in the first place.
The trip started at the American Headquarters in Herndon Virginia on Monday the 22nd of June. After 16 days of straight driving the vehicle ended up in the same exact spot on July 7th. The main driver doing the run was Wayne Gerdes, but he had help from Bob Winger the co-driver along on the trip.
About the Vehicle
In order to accomplish this very impressive feat the 2015 Golf TDI relies on a turbo-charged engine that uses direct-injection technology and runs on diesel fuel. It has a 6-speed manual transmission that’s quite efficient. This particular vehicle was fitted with Linear Logic ScanGuage II to take a precise measure of the fuel economy throughout the trip. It also relied on an LG G4 smartphone and a Garmin Nuvi LM GPS navigator to get the vehicle where it needed to go all along.
This record shows you how far you can push a couple tanks of diesel if you know what you’re doing and if you have the proper equipment. The Golf TDI is meant to drive far without burning through much fuel, but I doubt anyone expected it to travel quite as far as it did in real-world driving conditions, or as efficiently.
Diesel vehicles are well-known for being fuel efficient and that’s why truck drivers rely on them to get freight around the country. It’s a benefit that recent vehicle buyers are beginning to notice, and could cause more shoppers to start choosing diesel when making their purchases.
For all the critics out there that say that hybrid vehicles are a waste of resources, particularly because the batteries go bad after a time, it’s important to realize that many hybrid batteries live another life after they aren’t suitable for use in vehicles any longer. A cluster of buildings in Yellowstone National Park powered solely by car battery packs are an excellent reminder that hybrid batteries don’t have to be tossed out when they aren’t usable in vehicles any longer.
Harnessing Solar Power Effectively
Most of the time when solar energy is harnessed the excess power that’s produced is simply sent off to the rest of the power grid for someone else to use. This works well for those who are tied to an existing power line, but isn’t a viable option for more remote buildings without remote access. For situations such as those battery storage is the best solution and that’s exactly what’s used at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch buildings. There are five in all and they make use of a collection of vehicle batteries to store energy collected from solar, and soon hydro energy sources.
Inspecting the Packs
Each of the excess battery packs is disassembled and tested to make sure they can be used for energy storage. After the batteries are approved they are given a new battery management systems and arranged into 52 pack arrays for a high storage capacity. The five buildings make use of an array of 208 batteries that hold a total of 85 KWH of energy in all. The storage solution offers plenty of power for the buildings to use when the sun isn’t out, and helps keep any excess energy that the building doesn’t make use of during the day too.
Toyota has a recycling program for its battery packs, but it’s even more beneficial to reuse the packs for another purpose before they are recycled. The packs offer a lot of great storage capacity and could be used in a range of possible projects, especially with so many homes turning to alternative energy sources like solar panels to provide needed power.
That’s why hybrid vehicles may not be the responsible vehicles that some people are making them out to be. Whether the batteries they use are recycled or put to another use, they aren’t going to the landfill anytime soon and that’s a good thing. The packs offer a lot of precious metals that most people aren’t going to want to simply let go to waste.
Developing new automotive technologies can be extraordinarily expensive and it makes sense to advance technology in the most affordable way possible. That’s why many car companies are starting to work together to try and lower research and developments costs for new technology. Toyota is considering a partnership with Mazda so that both companies can improve their lineup affordably. Toyota is known for its hybrid and fuel cell technology and Mazda has some highly efficient gas and diesel engines. By sharing these technologies amongst each other both automakers could improve their vehicles noticeably.
An Existing Relationship
Toyota and Mazda already have a mutually beneficial relationship and this latest deal would just be expanding upon the benefits that both are already enjoying. Currently Toyota is making its gas-electric technology for some of Mazda’s lineup and Mazda is working on developing a small car at its Mexico plant for Toyota. Mazda should start development on the vehicle later on this year.
Meeting Strict Emissions Requirements
All around the world governments are cracking down on fuel efficiency and emissions standards. The governments want cleaner vehicles. They want less pollution going into the air and they want their nations to stop depending on fossil fuels so much. What this really means is that automakers have a lot of work ahead of them and they will probably spend a great deal on research and development to meet the new guidelines and remain in operation legally. While some automakers are focusing on lobbying and stopping these new laws, or at least softening the requirements, other car companies are striking up relationships to try and spread these developments costs amongst themselves. With the new Mazda engine technology Toyota will be able to make its lineup more efficient and improve MPG across its lineup. Toyota fans can expect even more impressive vehicles in the future with technology that was only available to Mazda previously. Mazda will be able to make similar changes to its own lineup and will likely begin offering some hybrid and possibly fuel cell cars in the future to help reduce its dependency on gas and diesel.
Mazda plans to form additional partnerships in the future, and with Toyota giving out information and working to expand its fuel cell technology so aggressively it’s likely they will form new partnerships in the future as well. Each new partnership helps bring better more technologically advanced vehicles to the marketplace for everyone to enjoy.
LAcarGUY has lead the revolution when it comes to offering environmentally friendly vehicles for sale to the public, more people come to the LAcarGUY family of dealers for EV’s Hybrids and Clean Diesels that just about anyone else in the country. Our leadership on that front continues as Toyota Santa Monica has been named one of eight exclusive stores to sell the Toyota Mirai, the next step in the revolution of environmentally responsible vehicles from Toyota.
The Toyota Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan with performance that fully competes with traditional internal combustion engines – but it uses no gasoline and emits nothing but water vapor. The groundbreaking fuel cell electric vehicle is powered by hydrogen, re-fuels in about five minutes, and travels up to 300 miles on a full tank.
In its basic operation, a fuel cell vehicle works much like a battery electric vehicle. But instead of the large drive battery, Mirai’s fuel cell stack combines hydrogen gas from tanks with oxygen to produce electricity that powers the electric motor.
Beginning in summer, you can request a Mirai by visiting www.toyota.com/mirai. Production of the Mirai is limited to approximately 3000 units through 2017 , and vehicles will be placed with select, eligible customers. Therefore, we encourage you to make your requests early to save a potential parking spot in transportation history. You can visit www.toyota.com/mirai today to sign up for more information and notification of exact order request launch timing in the coming months, also make sure to stop in at Toyota Santa Monica to talk to us about the Mirai, and watch for more news coming on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
When most people think about electric vehicles one of those dinky little Prius models comes to mind, or even an under powered all-electric commuter. It’s vehicles like these that make it hard to imagine Porsche utilizing electric technology to enhance their own vehicles, but that’s just what the automaker intends to do.
Porsche believes that all-electric, and hybrid electric vehicles are the future of the premium segment. There are a few major benefits to using the technology, and one of them is something you might not have considered, added power!
Enhanced Torque and Power
In vehicles like the Cayenne hybrid, or the Tesla Roadster you can really feel all the power and torque available. That’s because electric motors provide a nearly instantaneous power source and ridiculous levels of torque. Even just adding in a small electric motor alongside a standard gasoline engine will add in a noticeable amount of torque to the equation. This makes cars feel more responsive and improves acceleration capabilities dramatically.
Reducing Turbo Lag
Today most automakers are switching over to smaller turbo-charged engines, Porsche included. With turbo’s being used more frequently it makes sense to try and come up with a good reliable fix for turbo lag. There are many advanced turbo systems that remedy lag pretty well, but one of the best solutions is to include an electric motor as well. The electric motor can provide that initial power burst while the turbo-charged engine gets up to speed, masking nearly all of the lag.
More Fuel Efficient Sports Cars
Consumers looking for top-level sports cars normally don’t care about fuel efficiency figures, but the EPA and other sources do. Porsche has to follow fuel efficiency and emissions regulations just like every other automaker in the industry, and electric technology can help them meet the requirements. As regulators become more strict about fuel efficient requirements Porsche will likely lean on electric power more and more to keep their dynamic cars from becoming sluggish when meeting efficiency demands.
All of these very real benefits pretty much guarantee that the Porsche lineup is going to become thick with electric models. Someday every vehicle may integrate some type of electric engine into the mix, but for now you’ll just see more electric and hybrid variations popping up.