Category: Toyota Santa Monica
LAcarGUY‘s Toyota Santa Monica and Fisker Santa Monica sponsored Heal the Bay’s the ultimate beach party celebration at their annual Bring Back the Beach gala benefit on May 17, 2012 at The Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica.
This evening recognized the eco-accomplishments of this year’s honorees: past president and chief operating officer of Hilton Hotels Matt Hart, director of photography Danny Moder and actress Julia Roberts, and actress Amy Smart.
We relaxed with our toes in the sand, mingled with leaders from Southern California’s environmental, political, business and entertainment leaders who all share our love for the beach and dedication to the ocean protection. It was a fun-filled evening under the stars to celebrate the honorees and support the mission of Heal the Bay.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) recently announced that global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles have topped the 4 million mark as of April 30, 2012. Currently, Toyota sells 18 hybrid passenger vehicles in 80 countries and regions around the world. And this year, hybrid sales accounted for 15 percent of TMC’s global vehicle sales.
The first Prius went on sale in Japan in 1997 and in 2000, Prius hybrid technology was introduced to the U.S. Since then, the Toyota Division of Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. has sold 1.5 million hybrid vehicles in the U.S., accounting for 65 percent of all hybrid vehicles sold in the region. Prius, the iconic hybrid brand, makes up half of all hybrids on the road in the U.S. with sales totaling 1.2 million units through April 2012.
The expansion of the Prius family line of vehicles has been successful in the U.S. since the Prius v was introduced to the market in November 2011 and the Prius c and Prius Plug-in during the first quarter 2012. In that time, Prius family sold 60,859 units in the U.S.
“All of us at Toyota would like to sincerely thank our customers, who have made Prius the best-selling hybrid in the industry,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “While we’re proud of this accomplishment, we are not stopping here as hybrids will continue to be a core technology for Toyota.”
As of April 30, 2012, TMC calculates that TMC hybrid vehicles, since 1997, have led to approximately 26 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions—considered to be a cause of climate change—than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.
As the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in begins to arrive at U.S. dealerships, Toyota wants potential buyers to be aware of the fact that the plug-in Prius is eligible for the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP). Designed to promote the use of clean vehicle technologies, the $1,500 CVRP incentive is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and is in addition to the $2,500 federal tax credit offered on the 2012 Prius Plug-in hybrid. The Prius Plug-in is eligible for the State of California’s green HOV sticker, allowing it access to the carpool lane during rush hour―a distinction other Prius hybrids no longer share.
Now that the Prius Plug-in is officially in the U.S., Toyota has also released its EPA-confirmed fuel economy numbers. According to Toyota, the Prius Plug-in has an EPA-rated electric-only range of up to 11 miles. Additionally, during “EV Mode” driving, the Prius Plug-in is rated at 95MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). In hybrid mode, the plug-in Prius returns an EPA combined mileage rating of 50 mpg. Total driving range for the plug-in Prius is listed at up to 540 miles.
The base MSRP for the Prius Plug-in is $32,000, though the Advanced version starts at $39,525. Initially, the Prius Plug-in will only be available in the following 14 states: California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. A nationwide rollout is scheduled for 2013.
The market for plug-ins has been soft of late, with GM last week announcing that it would suspend production of the Chevy Volt until it could sell off inventory. But there are signs that the Prius Plug-in may be entering the market at exactly the right time. Sales of Toyota and Lexus’s plugless hybrids were up 60 percent last month, as gas prices in many parts of the country roared past the $4-per-gallon mark. If gas were to continue on that trend going into the summer months, it’s possible that prices could break record highs this year―a turn of events that would undoubtedly help to build some steam behind not just the Prius Plug-in, but the electric vehicle market as a whole.
The 2011 SEMA Show will be the scene for the debut of the Oakley Surf Tacoma. From the coast of Baja to the cold water of Santa Cruz, Calif., the Oakley Surf Tacoma has the ability to live at the beach and go anywhere in search of mega waves. Australian surfing pro Tom Whitaker talked about the Oakley Surf Tacoma at a press conference in the Toyota exhibit at the SEMA Show.
Built using a rugged Toyota Tacoma 4×4 pickup equipped with a V6 engine and TRD supercharger that generates 304 horsepower, the truck was customized by Smithbuilt to be a Surfing Big Wave Assault Machine. Additional performance modifications include a Flowmaster stainless steel exhaust, an Icon stage 3 lift kit, Billet top A arms, new leaf springs for added height, a new front coilover system, and Walker Evans 17 x 8 bead lock wheels with a flat black finish mounted to BF Goodrich 285/75-17 all-terrain tires.
Inside modifications include Wet Okole Hawaii custom embroidered seat covers, Topstitch interior modifications on the door panels, head liner and carpet kit throughout, a Kicker sound system and an Oakley icon.
This unique Toyota Tacoma is a surfer’s dream as it is equipped with a purpose-built roof racking system for heavy hauling and can be accessed with ease for surf bag stowage and multiple board storage. The truck bed system, which has a lot of storage for wet suits and other equipment, also comes with an ice chest and barbeque grill. Meals and cold drinks can be enjoyed under a shade system that is equipped in the back of the roof rack system. Living comfort is also achieved with and integrated shower system. Illumination is supplemented with Vision X lighting in the bed and front driving lights.
After SEMA, the Oakley Surf Tacoma will follow the waves and appear at all Oakley surf competitions. Surf’s up!
OAKLEY SURF TACOMA FEATURES
– TRD Supercharged (304 horsepower)
– K&N air filter
– Flowmaster stainless steel exhaust
– Icon stage 3 lift kit
– Billet top A arms
– New leaf springs for added height
– New front coilover system
– Front – Arb Rear – Custom – Mike Smith Fabrication
– Arb deluxe bull bar
– ARB winch kit
– Two – eight-inch Vision X HID’s
– Mike Smith Fabrication rear bumper and tire rack
ROOF RACKING SYSTEM/REAR BED – MIKE SMITH FABRICATION
– Customized to hold 6-8 surf boards
– Custom access doors
– Integrated driving light by Vision X
– Oakley net system for extra storage
– Integrated shower system
– Custom storage system throughout truck bed
WHEELS AND TIRES
– Walker Evans 17 X 8 bead locks/flat black finish
– BF Goodrich 285/75-17 All Terrain Tires
– Wet Okole Hawaii seat covers custom embroidered
– Oakley icon
– Topstitch interior mods to include door panels, head liner and carpet kit throughout
– Kicker Sound System
– Storage cooler
– Storable barbecue grill
– On board air compressor supplied by VIAIR Corporation
– ARB rear canopy
– Walker Evans Wheels
– Vision X lighting
Sunday was National Plug-in Day (October 16, 2011), with over 200 EV drivers taking part in a parade of electric vehicles in Santa Monica, California over the weekend and LAcarGUY was there with Mike Sullivan driving the Prius Plugin and Kelly Sullivan driving the Fisker Karma! Congresswoman Janice Hahn of California along with California state Senator Fran Pavley, Chris Paine and actor Ed Bedgley Jr. were just a few of the other well known people who drove their personal EV’s in the parade.
With 200+ vehicles participating this years event was the largest-ever plug-in vehicle parade and biggest grassroots EV event, the parade in Santa Monica was mirrored by similar displays in 20 cities across the US.
Organised by not-for-profit EV advocate group Plug-in America, the day saw new and legacy plug-in vehicles from the likes of GM, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Toyota, smart, Ford, Tesla and Coda take part in the flagship parade through downtown Santa Monica.
“Only a few years ago, major automakers were literally crushing electric cars. Today, virtually every auto company in the world is selling or developing a plug-in car, and consumers are snapping up each and every one, stimulating our economy while helping the environment,” said Plug In America co-founder Paul Scott.
You can see all of the pictures we took from the event on out Flickr page, just click this link to take you there.
Ben Cook from LeftLaneNews.com is our guest blogger today, these are his thoughts on the 2012 Toyota Camry.
The Toyota Camry is proof that every so often, nice guys do finish first. An exciting, high-adrenaline machine it is not, but the Camry has managed to be the top selling car in America for 13 of the past 14 years based on a multitude of other, subtler virtues. It has achieved a quiet sort of perfection characterized by comfort, reliability, efficiency and the absence of normal automotive faults like invasive wind noise, awkward suspension movements and undue mechanical faults or failures. For the 2012 model year, Toyota is introducing an all-new Camry that promises to build on all of the traditional Camry virtues; read on for some of the highlights of the new car.
Savings at the Gas Pump
The most significant mechanical changes to the Camry will have a favorable effect on owners’ wallets. The Camry’s four-cylinder engine gains three miles per gallon in both city and highway cycles, climbing to a class-leading 25/35 miles gallon. V-6 Camrys are now capable of hitting the 30 mpg mark on the highway, an impressive feat for a powerful six-cylinder motor, while city mileage is 21 mpg. The efficiency king is the hybrid model, which ekes out 43/39 mpg ratings.
Surprisingly, Toyota managed to decrease the Camry’s fuel consumption without resorting to expensive and complex measures like direct injection and downsized engines. Instead, the company employed simple but effective methods like lower rolling-resistance tires, improved aerodynamics, taller gearing, electric steering and shedding 155 excess pounds.
Looks Better, Feels Better
Outside, the formerly bland Camry now has a more organic shape and more sophisticated surface detailing, features that conspire to give it an understated but handsome look. More substantive changes reside inside, where the rather bulbous dashboard of the outgoing model gives way to a classy design with high-quality, soft touch plastics and elegant stitching. Despite the weight reduction, the Camry’s interior actually grows slightly in head, leg and shoulder room. It is a spacious and comfortable space to spend time.
The Camry’s app-based infotainment system, dubbed “Entune” is the first technology of its kind to hit the mainstream market, allowing drivers to quickly locate almost any conceivable point of interest. OpenTable and movietickets.com provide concierge services at the tap of a button, while Pandora, iheartradio and Siriuis XM crank out the tunes through an impressive optional JBL audio system.
One For the Drivers
Toyota is making a concerted effort to make the 2012 Toyota Camry appeal to those who are looking for a bit of driving pleasure, and the result is the SE model. The SE features stiffer springs and shocks and rigidity-adding steering knuckles, resulting in a crisper sedan with surprisingly precise handling and the most undiluted connection between driver and machine ever seen in a Camry. The SE also includes improved seat bolsters for better support during spirited driving, a cleaner grille and much less chrome than the standard model
Overall, with its increased efficiency, improved looks and newfound focus on driving dynamics, the new Camry is a sure bet to keep satisfying customers and retain its sales title for the foreseeable future.
The New World F.E.S.T (Festival of Eco-Friendly Science and Technology), a large-scale, outdoor eco-festival and exposition that will take place October 7 – 9, 2011, just steps from the sand in Santa Monica.
Six-time national US Open sand sculpting champions Archisand will create a majestic sculpture – live – including an eco-mural featuring the first “Sand-Made Prius” courtesy of Toyota Santa Monica. The vehicle chosen is the new, larger Prius v. Sand sculpting has become a popular art form, and Archisand’s amazing work can be viewed at www.socalsandcastles.com. Toyota Santa Monica us the largest hybrid dealer in America and a longtime award-winning proponent and practitioner of sustainable living.
The New World F.E.S.T is a celebration of eco-friendliness and forward-thinking science. Its mission is to present educational content in a desirable (beachfront) setting and entertaining manner, so that important messages about “a smart future” and “the greening of the planet” are best retained. (www.theneworldfest.com) It features 150 exhibitors and 6 performance stages which offer live music, innovative demonstrations, guest speakers, panel discussions, natural cooking workshops, yoga classes, family entertainment, plus an eco-theater screening environmentally-focused films and documentaries, a ‘spiritual oasis’ with health and wellness products/techniques, futuristic technology, and a remarkable Sustainable Art exhibition with 30 artists showcasing their creative use of repurposed and recycled objects, including many live installations.
This event provides one of the most extensive presentations of Alternative technology vehicles and transportation, infrastructure, renewable energies, energy efficiency and urban planning found worldwide.
There will also be world renowned experts speaking to consumers and professionals about what is possible in todays world and the differences we all can make.
LAcarGUY will be out in force, we will have Volkswagen Santa Monica bringing the Golf TDI, Touareg TDI and the all new 2012 Passat TDI, Lexus Santa Monica will be bringing the Lexus HS 250h and the CT 200h, Toyota Santa Monica is bringing two Prius Hybrid and 5 Prius plug-ins for the ride and drive as well as the 2012 Camry and 2012 Rav 4 and Rav EV on Display. Fisker Santa Monica will have a booth with the Karma on display.
Admission is free, we hope to see you there.
As we all know, Toyota has faced some difficult challenges over the past 18 months. First it was the issue of unintended acceleration which as proven to be false. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not find a vehicle-based cause of those incidents in addition to those causes already addressed by Toyota recalls. Then in March, the disastrous earthquake and tsunami caused a disruption to the entire manufacturing base resulting in shutdowns in plants, a shortage in parts, and in turn, a sharp drop in sales and profits.
As we look beyond the crisis and focus on the climb ahead, Toyota unveils the 2012 Camry as the first of 20 new and refreshed Toyota, Lexus, and Scion models arriving by 2013. Since it debuted way back in 1983, Toyota has since manufactured and sold 15 million Camry models across 100 countries. Even more amazing is that of the Camry models built and sold over the last 15 years, 90 percent are still enduring a daily commute on nearly every corner of the planet.
Over the past two years, the competition, Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen, have unveiled creations that have been designed specifically to lure buyers from the Camry. And in response, Toyota has now revealed its seventh-generation Camry. Although not an all-new iteration, the outcome is the result of a major mid-cycle refresh. Carrying the same dimensions to the 2011 model, the Camry does get a major nose job with a refreshed headlight design with an integrated chrome grill. This gives it a wider appearance without having to actually stretch the actual track width. Another major exterior focus is the considerable aerodynamic designs that have been applied. As such, trims are now built with squared-off aero corners at the front and rear.
The most obvious changes appear in the interior with a more open appearance as a result of adjustments to the A- and B- pillar caps, center console and door control panels. Along with a newly sculpted dash hewn from soft-touch plastic and stitched with a line of contrasting thread for a bit of color.
Under the hood, the powertrains–a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V6, both mated to a six-speed automatic–carry over from its predecessor with slight revisions that result in dramatic improvements in fuel economy. The 268 horsepower V6 model is expected to score EPA ratings of 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which equal the four-cylinder Camry of of a couple years ago and nearly match the Sonata’s 2.0-liter turbo four. The new four-cylinder Camry, meanwhile, jumps to the top of the class with expected 25/35 mpg ratings.
All 2012 Camrys are equipped with a class-leading 10 standard airbags, and like all Toyota models, the Camry will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist. It also features the standard Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. An electronic tire pressure monitoring system is also standard.
The all-new Cary will offer four different model grades to choose from. The entry-level L, value-driven LE, premium XLE and sporty SE grade. The list of standard features are impressive so check out our website for more detail or even better yet, drop by the dealership come this October to experience the vehicle for yourself. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to be one of the first to be notified once the all-new Camry arrives.