Car writers are expected to love wagons with manual transmissions, but most of my love is reserved for the likes of three-on-the-tree-equipped Ford Country Squires and maybe the occasional 4-speed Datsun F-10 Sportwagon. Still, when I run across a Junkyard Find as rare as a second-generation Camry wagon with five-speed, I photograph it.
Here’s one that I spotted last week in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard. (Read More…)
(Update: Specifications for the 2.5-liter engine have been added.)
Dynamic Force. It sounds like the name of a military offensive from the early 2000s, but it’s also the name of Toyota’s next-generation gasoline powerplants.
The automaker has revealed the first of a slew of new engines that should power 60 percent of its vehicles within five years. Oh, and there’s new transmissions and hybrid components to go with them. (Read More…)
Toyota has announced it will expand the development of hybrid technology over the next five years to get ahead of strict global emissions standards.
The automaker plans to increase staff on its hybrid technology development team 30 percent by 2021, setting the goal of 19 emissions-friendly drivetrain components. The fuel-sipping technology could soon find its way into the majority of Toyota vehicles. (Read More…)
I drive a 2010 Toyota Prius. From top to bottom, I’m thoroughly impressed by the technology in this car. And yet this engineering marvel is so easily disabled by its inferior owner leaving a dome light on overnight and draining the 12V battery.
Is there any technical reason cars allow the 12V battery to be drained down beyond the point where the car will start? Who needs that extra 6 hours of dome lighting?
Midsize cars just don’t excite like they used to. North American buyers have happily made the switch to voluminous crossovers and SUVs, turning the once top-ranked segment into a raisin on the vine.
Toyota hopes to change that, announcing that next month’s North American International Auto Show will reveal the next generation of the first midsizer off anyone’s lips — Camry. Perhaps realizing that name recognition and safe styling is no longer a surefire plan for sales dominance, the automaker has scheduled its uber-sensible sedan for an image makeover. (Read More…)
TTAC commenter MatadorX writes:
Sajeev, I wonder if you wouldn’t be able to offer some of your wisdom on the continuing saga of the van.
The new automatic went in and worked perfectly. The engine got fully rebuilt. New crate short block direct from Toyota, heads rebuilt-surfaced/valve job/adjusted/stem seals. Entire engine re-gasketed with Toyota FIPG/OEM gaskets. New pretty much everything else on the front of the car. Wires, plugs, all three O2 sensors (Denso), IAC, Coolant Temp sensor, MAF, resealed injectors, OEM fuel filter. Brand new main TWC catalytic converter. Converted both the exhaust manifolds to 1998 Sienna California emissions spec (integrated warm-up cats), so now the car has a total of THREE catalytic converters.
Broke in the entire setup for 1,000 miles the proper way with varying RPMs, letting off gas to allow rings to seat, and occasional three-quarter throttle bursts, special break in oil for the first 500, then over to Mobil1. Tons of power, smooth, quiet. At idle she is so smooth you can’t even tell the van is on. Checked the entirety of the engine for vacuum leaks — nothing. Compression is strong across the board. Zero blow by.
However, I live in California, and — you guessed it — the van still failed the smog check. (Read More…)
Toyota is pondering using its Gazoo Racing unit as a performance brand for future road cars, not unlike BMW’s M Division and Mercedes-AMG.
The timing couldn’t be better, as it was really starting to seem like Toyota was intentionally trying to make itself the least-exciting brand in the world. The Supra vanished in North America by 1998, the MR2 followed suit after 2005, the underwhelming seventh generation Celica came and went with no replacement, and Toyota Racing Development seemed unhealthily fixated on the off-roading capabilities of the Tacoma.
Thankfully, it looks like the company is finally coming to its senses.
As a parent of two young children, I watch a lot of movies at home. Most of the blockbuster movies I’ve watched this year are remakes. This month alone, I watched Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. All three are part of franchises that died a decade (or more) ago and have been reborn successfully in 2016.
In the same way, inline-six engines have returned to Mercedes-Benz after nearly a 20 year hiatus in North America.
Why are straight six engines making a comeback?
Back in May of this year, TTAC reported the list of changes coming for the 2017 Subaru BRZ and asked if what amounted to a rather modest workover would get consumers excited enough to reverse the sports coupe’s declining sales trend.
Having spent a week acting barely responsible in Subaru’s only two-wheel-drive offering, my belief is no, the BRZ will not buck the trend. After commuting in it, doing school pick up duty and grocery runs — all in a most irresponsible way, revving the little four-cylinder boxer engine to redline again and again — I expect there will be a blip on the sales radar this year. Sadly, I also expect the BRZ (and its Toyota 86 twin) to slowly slip into automotive obscurity.
This terribly depressing thought has mostly to do with declining overall consumer interest in fun, driver-oriented cars, and it does nothing to celebrate what a wildly fun machine this is.
Having endured 12 hard Canadian winters on an island covered in red dirt, this 2004 Toyota Camry is about to enter its thirteenth; its tenth since my father-in-law took ownership.
That red dirt is truly key to the story, because its color comes from Prince Edward Island’s high iron oxide content. Yes, that iron oxide. Rust.
But the Camry, undercoated three times since 2007, is an almost rust-free wonder with nearly 340,000 miles under its belt. (Read More…)
Rust, as Neil Young once said, never sleeps, and neither will Toyota — at least, not until it has fulfilled its 12-year promise to inspect and replace (if necessary) hundreds of thousands of corroded truck frames.
Toyota has agreed to pay up to $3.4 billion to appease owners of several previous-decade truck models who launched a class-action lawsuit against the company. Replacing those severely rusted frames won’t be an easy task, and there could be plenty of vehicles needing a completely new skeleton. (Read More…)
Admit it: you woke up today missing the Toyota Matrix, didn’t you? Could Toyota interest you in a modernized, reincarnated Matrix?
This is it. The Toyota C-HR is roughly an inch shorter than the old Matrix, two-tenths of an inch higher, and about an inch wider than the dearly departed hatchback that we likely wouldn’t call a mere hatchback if it arrived in 2016.
The C-HR is already in production in Sakarya, Turkey, but until the North American production-ready reveal at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show today, there were details unknown.
Now, some of the unknowns are known. (Read More…)