Category: Hybrid Vehicles
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s a reason that Toyota hybrid technology manages to stay ahead of the pack, despite very heavy development in the sector. It all boils down to talented researchers and engineers that work tirelessly to come up with improvements to the technology. Eric Dede is one of these engineers, and he recently developed a new invention at Toyota’s research lab that will noticeably improve the efficiency of Toyota’s future line of hybrid vehicles.
About Eric Dede
Eric Dede is currently the manager of the electronics research department at the Toyota Technical Center, but that doesn’t mean that he just sits on the sidelines telling others what to do. Previously Dede was the senior engineer for the University of Michigan Space Physics Research Lab and he likes to get his hands dirty and take part in the research process. While making sure the facility is running smoothly, Dede is chiefly responsible for developing future elemental technology for Toyota’s hybrid vehicles and EV’s. His invention in 2013 earned him the R&D 100 Award, essentially an Oscar for an inventor.
His Hybrid Invention
Eric Dede invented a micro-channel cold plate, or a more efficient way of transferring heat through Toyota’s hybrid vehicles. This invention improves heat transfer by up to 70 percent, reduces the total pump power needed by 50 percent and has the potential to increase hybrid performance by up to 10 percent, which is an awful lot in vehicles that are already getting over 50 MPG in the city.
Dede’s patent and subsequent R&D 100 Award isn’t the first that a Toyota engineer or scientist has earned, but it is the first time that all of the research was done in-house at Toyota. This is a sign that Toyota is continuing to expand their research facilities and create more cutting edge technologies for the future.
Even though it’s only Dede’s name on the patent he isn’t taking all the credit for the invention. He stated that “This was a great collaborative project that established useful methods for the advanced design and optimization of electromechanical systems.”
Toyota Leads the Pack
Most people already recognize Toyota for having some of the most sophisticated and accessible hybrid technology on the market today. The technology improvements by Dede, and the 1,355 patents filed by their engineers and scientists in 2013 proves that they want to continue holding that position in the industry. Toyota is working hard to develop the most sophisticated vehicles on the market, and they aren’t afraid to forge ahead on an unfamiliar path. Their development of the original Prius proves that, and they’re proving it once again with the Hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicle that’s set to be released in 2015.
Come meet SpongeBob Squarepants and see the all-new Highlander Hybrid at the LA Auto Show this weekend
Toyota’s Highlander Hybrid has always been a near-perfect combination of size, luxury, fuel efficiency and power, and for 2014 a dose of style can be added to its long list of positive attributes.
With the recent redesign of the gas-powered Highlander, the Highlander Hybrid benefits from fresh new looks. With an increase in length and width over the outgoing model, the new Highlander Hybrid has road presence like no Highlander before it.
Using the same powertrain as it predecessor, the V6-powered 2014 Highlander Hybrid should manage the same combined EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg.
The 2014 Highlander Hybrid will be available in two trims: Limited and Limited Platinum. Starting at $47,300, the Highlander Hybrid Limited comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen display with navigation and Toyota’s Entune system, eight airbags, and a backup camera among other things.
Moving up the Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum adds Safety Connect subscription emergency services, a radar-based cruise control with Toyota’s Pre-Collision safety system to help in avoiding accidents, a lane departure warning system, panoramic moonroof, and heated seats in the second row. The Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum will be priced at $49,790.
Meet SpongeBob Squarepants
If the passengers you’re hauling in your 2014 Toyota Highlander or Highlander Hybrid happen to be children, be sure to stop by the Los Angeles Auto Show this weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) to meet SpongeBob Squarepants and see the SpongeBob Squarepants Toyota Highlander.
Teaming up with Nickelodeon, Toyota will offer a build your own SpongeBob booth, airbrush tattoo artists, and a chance to win a surfboard by Santa Cruz Surfboards from the non-profit environmental group Heal the Bay.
On top of this, Toyota and Nickelodeon will work together to donate $5 to Heal the Bay for each individual who Tweets or Instagrams a picture of the SpongeBob Squarepants Highlander with #SpongeBobHighlander up to $10,000.
To learn more about the 2014 Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, or the SpongeBob Highlander keep following LAcarGUY News.
The compact Lexus CT 200h is the latest Lexus to incorporate the company’s trademark “spindle grille” into its front-end design. Like other Lexus vehicles, the CT’s styling benefits from the aggressive maw, giving the car an added dose of character and aggression.
Scheduled to be unveiled at the Guangzho Motor Show in China, Lexus states the car will also receive a revised rear-end design and new alloy wheels.
Currently the CT is a hybrid only affair, affording the compact hatchback with impressive gas-mileage; however, Mark Templin, Lexus International executive vice president, recently told Motoring Australia that he hoped in the future Lexus might add a second powertrain option to the CT to target “people who want fast cars.”
Lexus recently revealed that it will show a compact SUV concept called the LF-NX with a new turbocharged four-cylinder at the Tokyo Motor Show. This engine is expected to eventually replace the IS250’s V6 engine, but will it also find its way under the hood of the updated Lexus CT? We’ll find out when the car debuts on November 21. Be sure to continue to follow LAcarGUY News for the latest Lexus news.
Image credit: Lexus
Original source VW USA
The Volkswagen XL1, the most fuel-efficient and aerodynamic production car in the world, made its U.S. debut at the 23rd Annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference at the Chattanooga Convention Center today. The XL1 offers an estimated European combined fuel consumption rating of 261 mpg (more than 200 mpg estimated in the U.S. cycle) and can cover up to 32 miles as a zero-emissions vehicle in all-electric mode.
“The XL1 offers a glimpse into Volkswagen’s present and future eco-mobility capabilities, and highlights the ultimate successes of ‘Thinking Blue’,” said Oliver Schmidt, General Manager of the Engineering and Environmental Office (EEO), Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Volkswagen is proud to debut this ultra-fuel-efficient vehicle before the Society of Environmental Journalists, a group that shares in our commitment to environmental stewardship.”
In addition to the XL1 display, Volkswagen’s participation in the SEJ Conference included a tour of its LEED® Platinum-certified Chattanooga manufacturing plant and solar park; test-drives in its line of eco-friendly cars, such as the e-Golf, Passat TDI Clean Diesel and Jetta Hybrid; and a bird-watching expedition on Volkswagen Chattanooga’s sanctuary grounds.
The XL1 is an automotive standout that follows pure sports-car design principles: light weight (1753 pounds), exceptional aerodynamics (Cd 0.19), and a low center of gravity. This super-efficient Volkswagen has the ability to cruise down the road at a constant 62 mph while using just 8.4 PS (6.2kW) horsepower. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover more than a kilometer.
The XL1 emits just 21 g/km of CO2, thanks to its high-tech lightweight design, aerodynamic efficiency, and a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 48 PS (35kW) two-cylinder TDI® engine, a 27-hp electric motor, a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a lithium-ion battery.
The estimated European driving cycle of 261 mpg fuel consumption figure is a record that has not been achieved by any other vehicle to date, showing that Volkswagen is redefining what is technically feasible in the automotive industry. The XL1 also has a top speed of 99 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.
Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagen’s 1-liter car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, now Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of putting into production a practical car that had combined fuel consumption of one liter per 100 km (235 mpg). In the two-seat XL1, this vision has become reality.
Despite the tremendous efficiency of the XL1, the engineers and designers successfully came up with a body design which delivers more everyday utility than the two previous prototypes. In the L1, the 1-liter car that was shown in 2002 and 2009, the driver and passenger sat in a tandem arrangement for optimal aerodynamics; in the XL1, the two occupants sit slightly offset, side by side, almost like a conventional vehicle.
The XL1 is 153.1 inches long, 65.6 inches wide, and just 45.4 inches tall. By comparison, a Volkswagen Polo is slightly longer (156.3 in) and wider (66.2 in), but is significantly taller (57.6 in). Even a purebred sports car like today’s Porsche Boxster is 5.1 inches taller. The XL1 will look spectacular going down the highway—a car of the future, built for today.