While other automakers are moving on from the idea of hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles, Toyota is ramping up production and unleashing a fleet of hydrogen-fuel cell trucks on LA and Long Beach. The trucks are a part of a test program by Toyota verifying whether or not the trucks are rugged enough and cut out to the performance tasks required of a commercial truck that’s put through hard use on a daily basis.
Serious Performance Machines
These commercial-grade trucks from Toyota are designed to stand up to the toughest tasks, and they’re engineered for serious hauling. They each come packed with 670 HP thanks to two Mirai fuel stacks. The trucks utilize a 12 kWh battery as well as an impressive set of motors to generate a whopping 1,325 lbs.-ft. of torque giving them a gross weight capacity of up to 80,000 lbs. for serious hauling.
Why Commercial Vehicles May Benefit more from Hydrogen
Vehicles like the Mirai haven’t taken off in a huge way yet because there is a lack of refueling stations and it’s tough keeping up with the supply necessary to keep the vehicles fueled up. That’s not as much of an issue for commercial vehicles though. Most commercial vehicles have a larger driving range, and they can rely on centralized refueling stations. Commercial vehicles that follow specific routes regularly can keep fueled much more easily even though the stations are limited.
This is good news for Mirai owners and hydrogen-fuel cell proponents, because if Toyota can create good long-term commercial hydrogen-electric trucks, the automaker will refine the technology over time and all those enhancements will be passed onto future versions of the Mirai and other consumer-level hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles as well.
Toyota is starting small with its commercial truck fleet, with lots of short start and stop trips, but the automaker plans to expand its range and take vehicles further and further away over time to really test the long-hauling capabilities of its commercial fleet.
New technologies like electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are quickly becoming more and more advanced and they’re sure to take on a whole new role in the economy in the coming years. Consumers are pushing for these vehicles and governments are making alternative fuel options a priority that makes switching away from fossil fuels an important move for everyone.
The Golf Type R hot hatch is a pretty unique product because it’s a performance car that’s based on a pretty basic model from Volkswagen. It’s not the typical candidate for a performance vehicle. According to Volkswagen the automaker plans on following in the footsteps of the Golf with models like it’s new T-Roc as well as the Tiguan. That means that you can expect some fun performance variations of other Volkswagen vehicles in the future.
Serious Driving Power
There’s no information about how much power you can expect from a R-type Tiguan, but it’s safe to say it will be at least 300 horses and probably more. That’s something to get excited about and that’s a level that you can really enjoy if you get out on the open road and really stomp down on the pedal. Other vehicles won’t offer that much power from Volkswagen, and that’s why VW is probably going to sell a lot of Tiguans in the future. Volkswagen owners will be able to get the power they are looking for, without switching brands to someone they might not trust as much.
The Tiguan R Would Have Serious Potential
The Golf R has over 300 HP and it’s likely that the Tiguan would at least match that level of power and probably offer even more power than that. That means you can expect some serious acceleration times in this little powerhouse of a vehicle. If you’re looking for a serious performer, it might be worth waiting for the Tiguan R to come out from Volkswagen. There is no clear timeline about when this vehicle is going to be released to the public, but the belief is that it will be available pretty soon. If you are interested in performance vehicles, the Tiguan and T-Roc vehicles will both be worth watching closely, and you could end up with your new favorite vehicle.
Compared to more expensive performance vehicles like the ones offered by Audi, Porsche, Lexus, Mercedes and Bentley, these vehicles should be pretty affordable but still pack in the power to make them fun to drive around, and that’s why they’re worth looking at.
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
If you’re on the market for a stylish coupe to drive around it’s hard to pass up an offering like the Volkswagen Arteon. It’s one of the most stylish vehicles that Volkswagen has produced to date, and it offers excellent performance and safety on top of the nice looks too. Of course you’ll pay for the style and the safety of the vehicle, and the Arteon is by no means a cheap Volkswagen, but it makes sense for buyers looking for a more luxurious and stylish ride.
Quality Safety Features
One cool feature on the Arteon is a self-driving mode that can handle driving around at speeds up to 37 MPH. Sure you won’t be able to use it to pilot yourself down the highway, but the car can help with stop and go traffic and other slower situations that you don’t want to deal with all on your own.
The car also comes with a few emergency safety features to help keep drivers out of trouble. The first feature detects when a driver may be falling asleep and starts to try and wake the driver up with vibrations, beeps and light swerves, and if all that fails to rouse the driver, the vehicle will actually pull itself over and sit on the side of the road with the lights flashing. This is an important safety feature that should help cut down on the number of accidents that occur every year from sleeping drivers.
The car also comes with what Volkswagen is calling rear-end crash protection. The system aligns seatbelts with the seats for a safe impact. It opens up the windows in the vehicle slightly to allow the airbags to open fully and effectively. The system also pops on the hazard lights so everyone knows to steer clear of the vehicle.
The Change is Mostly for Style
Volkswagen executives admit that not too many of the changes while going from the Volkswagen CC to the Arteon were functional changes and the biggest reason the car underwent the transformation from one model to the other was for stylistic appeal. The Arteon is a beautiful car inside and out, and shows off some excellent design cues that you would normally only find in luxury brand vehicles. It certainly looks like a luxury car and many people will be surprised to find out that it’s actually a Volkswagen. The seats are plush and comfortable, the front dash is stylistic with a nice clean look and just the right amount of curve over the steering wheel to really help bring the whole look together. Overall the Arteon is an impressive vehicle just going off of looks, and that’s what is going to sell it above all else.
The Arteon should be priced at a similar level to the Volkswagen CC models starting at 38,000 and moving upwards from there. That gives it close to luxury brand pricing, which some people will find a bit confusing given that it’s a Volkswagen, but you’re getting a lot for your money.
Ultimately we believe that buyers will overlook the Volkswagen tag and pick up the Arteon because of its looks. That’s how nice looking of a vehicle it is, and looks really matter in the case of a car like this.
There’s always so much criticism about the way that Toyota cars look and function, but in reality Toyota is doing better than all the other automakers out there, at least according to new market research that just came out. According to the annual Brandz report Toyota is the most valuable auto brand out there today. That’s saying something coming from the company that has been evaluating the top 100 brands for years.
A Very Strong Valuation
Toyota managed to obtain a brand valuation of $28.7 million from Brandz this year, that’s stronger than many other brands on the market today, and puts it firmly into the first place position out of all the other automakers. That means that Toyota was able to beat out guys like BMW and Honda.
Reliability and Resale Value
Toyota has been able to maintain a top valuation over the long term thanks to its reputation for building reliable cars that hold their value. That’s something that most auto buyers are interested in, and it’s one of the main reasons that Toyota vehicles continue to sell so well. With that said, Toyota is not one of the fastest growing auto brands on the market today, and is actually shrinking a bit. In order to deal with the shrinking problem Toyota will have to innovate more than it is already.
Bolster Itself through Innovation
In order to foster growth and maintain its top spot into the future Toyota is hard at work on innovations that will help it stand out in a market filling up with automakers that are working on the future. Toyota is hard at work innovating with alternative fuels like hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles, as well as working toward autonomous vehicles that are going to play a big part on the market in the years to come. Toyota isn’t just known for reliability, it’s also known as an innovator as one of the first automakers to create widespread hybrid electric vehicles through the Prius, and the auto giant is working hard to do the same thing with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the other tech advancements that it’s working toward. Sure it’s tough for a company like Toyota to match the double digit growth that Tesla is enjoying, but at the end of the day Toyota is still at the top, and there are a lot of very good reasons for that.
For decades flying cars have just been the stuff of legend, until some manufacturers began coming out with the massive plane-car hybrids they are dubbing flying cars. While their creations are pretty cool, and definitely a proof of concept, it’s hard to consider them as a finished unit that’s worthy of any real excitement for the everyday consumer. That’s where automaker Toyota comes into play. The car company is planning a drone-car hybrid product release in 2018, and they want a working model in time to light the flame during the Tokyo Olympics that year.
How the Car would Work
While we don’t have all the details of the vehicle, Toyota has hired a firm called Cartivator to work on the project and develop a vehicle that relies on jet propelled tech to fly around in a way that’s similar to how drones move around. The vehicle would rely on a series of rotors to lift it up, and fly around. No doubt this technology will be used in a way that’s similar to helicopters today, but it could be just the tech that’s needed to create more wide-scale air transportation for more people.
A Capable Little Machine
The flying car would be just 9.5 feet by 4.3 feet in size and could achieve heights of about 33 feet in the air. The car is expected to attain speeds of up to 62 MPH while up in the air, making it a very capable way to move around a crowded city where streets are covered below.
There’s no guarantee that Toyota will have this tech ready by next year like the automaker is hoping, but with such heavy emphasis on the technology and other companies working ont eh same project it seems likely that the release will happen near the deadline, even if it is a bit late.
It’s a radical vision for flying cars and the tech Toyota is pursuing is something that many other companies are working on in one way or another as well. Many companies are looking into transport drones for mailing purposes, or for medical transport, and eventually that flying vehicles could be an everyday part of life for the average person. This is just the first step toward that new world, and it’s a pretty exciting one.
Still to this day the Porsche 911 is made mostly by hand, and it’s that attention to detail that creates such a high-quality product. Yesterday was a historic occasion, Porsche produced its one millionth 911 car and it just rolled off the production line. Porsche has been putting out the 911 sports car since 1963, and it finally hit a historic figure that rarely comes for exotic sports cars. The one millionth vehicle produced and it’s not so different than the original produced back in 1963. Sure there’s more tech crammed inside, the engine is significantly more powerful and advanced than before, but the makeup of the car itself remains the same. It’s a rear-engined sports car meant to go fast and offer excellent handling mechanics.
Irish Green Nostalgia
The one millionth 911 sports car was given the same Irish green paint job as the original 1963 model for nostalgia’s sake. The car also comes equipped with a steering wheel that’s partially made up of wood, and the dials are chrome capped just like the originals were. Overall 911 number 1 million looks very different from the original, but Porsche went the extra mile to tie the two together with décor.
The Power Gap
In terms of power and performance the 911 has come a long-long way. Consider this, the original 1963 model offered just 128 HP from its air-cooled engine. The current base model 911 Carrera offers 370 HP and they get much more powerful from there. The high-powered 911 Turbo S can go from 0 to 62 in just 2.9 seconds, a feat that likely seemed all but impossible back in 1963. The original 911 does the same thing in 8.5 seconds, something more akin to a modern-day family sedan.
Not for Sale
If you’re hoping for a chance to bid on the millionth Porsche 911, you’ll be sadly disappointed. No collector will have the opportunity to own the vehicle. Instead it’s going to take a tour of modern racing locations around the world, and it will be retired at the Porsche museum when it’s finished making its trip.
Few performance sports cars hit the one million production car mark, and that’s a real testament to the Porsche 911 and its longevity.
The new Lexus RC coupe is a stylish performer from Lexus, and it’s a good entry-level luxury vehicle for buyers interested in the finer things in life, without taking out a second mortgage. The coupe comes in many power levels, but each one is outfitted with the same style and high quality materials that set this luxury coupe apart from the competition.
Choose the Engine for You
The Lexus RC coupe comes with a good selection of engine options to choose from. It’s possible to get a turbocharged four-cylinder, two different V-6 engines or a V-8 depending on the model RC that you decide on. The car features rear wheel drive as standard, but it can be outfitted with all-wheel drive on many of its models. With so many different power options, it’s simple to achieve just the right level of power that you’re looking for.
It offers All Wheel Drive
If nothing else sells you on the Lexus RC coupe, the fact that it’s available with all-wheel drive could get some people excited. After all, there’s a short list of luxury coupes that are designed to do well in the snow, and the RC is one of them, provided that you opt for the V6 model with all-wheel drive.
With luxury coupes coming in at $60,000 to $100,000 from many automakers, the starting price of $40,945 from the RC200t seems very reasonable and even the higher trim level versions of the coupe are pretty affordable coming in at mid 40’s. Of course the V8 powered RC F is a whole new story with a price tag of $63,755, but that’s still more affordable than the Mercedes C63 AMG that stickers for $3,000 more.
Upscale Interior Furnishings
When you climb inside the 2017 Lexus RC you might be convinced that you’re climbing into the cockpit of a luxurious jet. The seats are contoured for maximum comfort, the gauges and media screen are recessed back into the dash, creating an orderly and segmented layout. A mix of soft touch materials and neutral tones come together to create an upscale feel in the RC, making even the low trim levels feel far more expensive than they really are.
Room to Stretch up Front
Luxury coupes aren’t known for space, and I’m not going to lie and say that the RC offers the space of a minivan within, but it does offer a bit more wiggle room than many other vehicles in the same category. Take the BMW 2 for instance. There’s 5 more inches in the cabin than that car has to offer. There’s even 3 more inches than the BMW 4 series, giving passengers just that little bit of extra space for comfort. That’s not to say that the space is well distributed, because there’s less legroom for rear passengers in the RC than there are in those vehicles listed up above. What that means is that any rear passengers will hate you, but you’ll be incredibly comfortable up front while driving around in the Lexus RC.
Lexus has long been a vehicle that focuses more on luxury features and comfort than it does performance. Lexus vehicles aren’t the first choice or even the third choice for most tuners or race track fanatics, but that could all be changing in the future. There hasn’t been an official announcement saying that Lexus is going to release a powerful track car, but there was a patent filed that indicates it’s possible. The LS-FC concept was shown off at the New York Auto Show last month, and that hints at a more performance focused Lexus, but it was the LS-F concept name patent filed by Lexus that showed the possibility for something more.
The LS-F seems like an unlikely release in the near future because Lexus already claimed that they were not going to come out with a LC-F vehicle, which would be the more obvious performance car, but that doesn’t mean that an LS-F is off the table either. There are some good reasons for making a high-performance variant of the LS before the LC, the most obvious of which is that it would be more affordable. Performance enthusiasts don’t mind spending more for their vehicles, but they don’t want to spend top-end prices either. Mid-range performance vehicles like the lower AMG variants are selling at high numbers, and this could be exactly what Lexus is trying to achieve as well. By tuning up its LS variant, buyers could pick up an affordable track-worthy vehicle to play with, and that could be just the thing to get Lexus recognized as a serious performance brand.
It Could Mean a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Variant Instead
While it’s possible that the LS sedan could receive a major performance variant, it’s also possible that the LS-F vehicle could actually be for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. If that’s the case it would be the first hydrogen-powered luxury sedan, and it could be another major step in the right direction for Toyota while trying to get the tech out there and increase its popularity. If that’s the case it could be just the thing needed to increase widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cells.
Either way, it seems likely that Lexus is putting out a variant of its LS sedan, and that variant could be something pretty exciting if we’re interpreting the patent information properly. It’s also possible that Toyota is just covering itself and that no variation will be released for the LS at all. That’s why enthusiasts are encouraged to keep an eye over Lexus during the next few months to see what they are really up to.
If you’re like many people shopping around for a hybrid car, you have to decide whether the Prius Prime or the standard Prius is the right vehicle for you. Both options offer some benefits and have some downsides. Ultimately, the one that’s best for you depends on what your priorities are and what you want out of a vehicle. That’s why we’re going to break down the differences between the two vehicles so you can make the decision for yourself.
If you value storage space and you frequently fill up the trunk of your vehicle currently, you probably won’t want to go for the Prius Prime, that is unless you can use the back seat of the vehicle for your storage needs. That’s because the Prius Prime has little trunk space. Toyota shoved all the batteries necessary for the extended full-electric driving range into the trunk of the vehicle, so it’s very shallow.
If you value fuel efficiency above all else, the Prius Prime is likely the vehicle for you. It comes equipped with battery packs that allow you to get up to 25 miles on a single charge before you start burning up gas at all. That means that you can charge up your car, head out on the trip and kick in the full-electric driving power whenever you hit a city portion of your trip. You can get over 100 MPG when using the full-electric mode to drive, and you’ll likely get over 70 or 80 MPG combined by the end of your trip if you aren’t travelling too far away. That’s a pretty big increase over the 50 to 60 MPG that you could expect from the standard Prius.
Neither Prius is known for very sporty handling, but the Prius Prime is even worse when it comes to driving mechanics. That’s because the batteries add around 300 pounds to the back of the vehicle and give it a heavy weighted feeling. This is especially obvious when going around corners and you’ll have a somewhat uninspired driving experience when taking the Prius Prime out for a spin. If driving mechanics are most important to you, the Prime is likely not the option for you, and the standard Prius is going to offer a slightly more satisfying experience overall.
Streamlined Media System
If you want a nice streamlined tech setup, the Prius is ahead of the Prius Prime. That’s because the new system used in the Prime is a bit overcomplicated and it can be difficult to learn to use. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get the hang of things, it just means you’ll have to spend some extra time mastering the features than you would have to if you were learning on the standard Prius. If you don’t mind taking the time, the media system works well, you’ll just be a bit more overwhelmed when starting out.
Tech and Features
If tech and features are important to you, the standard Prius Prime comes packed with quite a bit more than the standard Prius. You’ll enjoy a powerful adaptive cruise setup that works all the way down to start and stop traffic. The car also comes with parallel parking assist making it a bit easier to get into those tight spaces will parking in the city.
Overall both vehicles have a lot to offer. The Prius Prime offers more efficiency and more tech. The standard Prius offers more storage space, slightly better performance and a simpler tech experience. Both are highly efficient, but it’s up to you which one is the right fit for your needs.