Take This Powertrain and Use It, Toyota Hopes to Tell Other Automakers

It hasn’t given the plan a green light just yet, but Toyota is seriously considering letting other automakers tap into its engine, transmission and hybrid technology.

The automaker’s powertrain division chief has opened up on his desire to give rivals everything they need to offer customers a cutting-edge, fuel-efficient vehicle. Why should R&D departments muss their hair when they could just buy off-the-shelf gear from Toyota?

Sergio, are you listening?

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Toyota Confirms Production Yaris Hot Hatch as Image Makeover Continues

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s unveiling of the Toyota Gazoo Racing-crafted Yaris Gazoo WRC rally car, Toyota has said a road-going hot hatch for the common man is on the way.

The automaker’s European division let the news slip in Helsinki yesterday, confirming rumors swirling around a possible hot hatch variant of the brand’s staid subcompact.

Still, Toyota left many questions unanswered.

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Go Bold or Go Home, Toyota Says, Tentatively Ditching Its Longstanding Commitment to Boredom

The upcoming Toyota C-HR, which never had a chance to officially wear its former Scion badge, is on a mission.

Toyota is treating its strategically edgy subcompact crossover as something of a canary in the marketplace coal mine, betting on a big consumer response based solely on its styling. The company that built its reputation on staid, reliable, beige cars wants to know what happens when it lets its hair down.

And no, it doesn’t care if you’re offended. Toyota wants to push your buttons, turkey.

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Toyota Reveals the Yaris WRC; Hot Hatch Lovers Dream of What Could Be

As it prepares to return to the World Rally Championship after a 17-year absence, Toyota and its Gazoo racing division just revealed a piece of brain candy for hot hatch lovers.

Making sky-high horsepower from its diminutive four-cylinder, the Toyota Yaris WRC hits the pavement — and dirt and snow — in Monte Carlo next month, but the vehicle itself could spell a less buttoned-down future for the brand.

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Toyota Camry Wagon With Five-Speed
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.
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Toyota Speeds up Hybrid Tech Development as Emission Regulations Loom

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.

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Next-gen Toyota Camry Headed for Detroit, Hopes to Rekindle the Midsize Fire

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.

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Toyota Considers Welcoming Fun Back Into Its Fleet With New Performance Division

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.

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Does Honda Already Know The New CR-V Won't Be America's Best-Selling Crossover In 2017?

Only once in the last nine years, and not once since the Ford Escape scored a victory in 2011, has the Honda CR-V failed to top America’s SUV/crossover sales leaderboard.

At its current pace, 2016 will be the Honda CR-V’s fifth consecutive year as America’s best-selling utility vehicle. Better yet, there’s an all-new Honda CR-V arriving for the 2017 model year. (We’ll post a First Drive Review of that CR-V on November 30th. –Ed.)

But Honda has little intention of ramping up CR-V production growth in 2017 simply to match the Toyota RAV4’s rapid ascent.

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Rusty Frames Leave Toyota on the Hook for Billions

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.

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2004 Toyota Camry LE V6: 340,000-Mile Used Car Review

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.

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2018 Toyota C-HR Revealed, But Don't Call It a Crossover

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.

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Toyota Needs a Certain Model in a Hurry, so Four Guys Are On It

That small-volume, regional roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles? Yeah, it’s just not doing it for Toyota. The automaker has let development of a fully-electric electric vehicle slide, and now it’s time to play catch-up.

But, rather than saddle the development of a non-hydrogen, non-hybrid green vehicle with the weight of a huge corporate bureaucracy, Toyota has chosen a different route in getting that all-important model to market.

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TTAC News Round-up: Audi Used a Defeat Device After VW's Diesel Scandal, but Not on Diesels

Thanks to U.S. regulators and a new consumer advocacy lawsuit, Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal now includes gasoline-powered Audis!

That, Continental still believes in rubber, the NHTSA plans on staying the course after their captain leaves the ship, and Toyota takes a knee on Superbowl LI… after the break!

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America Is Changing In More Ways Than One: Toyota Prius Sales Are At A Five-Year Low

It’s an all-new version of a car that generally finds 140,000 U.S. buyers per year. But the Toyota Prius is quickly fading from the American mainstream.

There’s no doubt that hybrids, in a general sense, are struggling. Combined sales of hybrids and plug-in hybrids are down 6 percent in the United States this year, according to HybridCars.com.

But the Toyota Prius — the all-new, fourth-generation version of the sector’s progenitor — is fading at double speed. Despite its newness and its vast objective improvements, Prius sales are down 12 percent this year.

And October was way, way, way worse than that. Much worse.

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Toyota Starts C-HR Production In Turkey - Surging Subcompact CUV Category Gets New Member

Bound for its North American production reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, production of the Toyota C-HR began today in Sakarya, Turkey.

The C-HR becomes the eighth vehicle built by Toyota in Europe and the third model built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey. The C-HR also joins a booming subcompact crossover segment that’s grown nearly 30 percent in the United States this year.

It’s a segment that now produces 3 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s volume, triple its share from just two years ago.

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TTAC News Round-up: You May Only See Ads for the Prius Prime If You'll Actually Buy One

Toyota’s going to market the new Prius Prime with laser-like precision. Is it because they want to embrace cutting-edge advertising methods, or is it because they don’t see it as a vehicle with particularly broad appeal?

That, BMW thinks it might want to keep an unpopular model around for another generation, Volvo issues a voluntary recall on seat belts, and Toyota and Nissan agree that their prospects have looked better in North America… after the break!

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TTAC News Round-Up: Teenage Bandits Steal, and Instantly Wreck, a Pair of Dodge Hellcats

Three Kansas City teenagers took a dream road trip last Friday, only to crash a stolen Dodge Challenger Hellcat and two Charger Hellcat sedans less than a mile down the road.

That, Toyota is finally considering a long-range electric vehicle, Jaguar’s deal with Silverstone goes off-track, and AutoNation is staying put where it is.

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TTAC News Round-Up: Even When Volkswagen Group Wins, It Loses

Volkswagen’s expensive diesel emissions scandal has forced cost cutting on anything that isn’t electric and its rally team is next on the chopping block. Quitting while ahead is ideal but abandoning a program due to financial woes and public shame after a hot streak doesn’t exactly smack of going out on top.

That, Toyota invents a box that allows anyone to use your car, Tesla’s zero-emission credits may soon be worth less, and Ford makes peace with its Canadian autoworkers at the buzzer… after the break!

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As the Marketplace Shifts, Toyota Has a Truck Problem

Cars. They still make ’em, don’t they?

Automakers do, in fact, still produce cars, but they’re the last thing those companies’ bosses want to talk about, and they’re no longer on the top of most buyers’ shopping lists.

For the world’s largest automaker, the U.S. public’s shift towards trucks, SUVs and crossovers presents a problem. Toyota has them, but can’t build enough of them. With the rapidly declining interest in cars threatening its tentative No. 1 standing, Toyota needs to find a way to give buyers what they want.

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TTAC News Round-Up: China Brings Long-Dead German Automaker Back From the Grave

Although it would been cheaper to build elsewhere, the Chinese-resurrected Borgward has opted to return to its hometown of Bremen for its new factory. Not only is the Germany company back after a half-century absence, China is also giving it a proper homecoming.

That, time is running out for Ford as union strike date nears, Toyota invests in a future of needing fewer cars, and Alfa’s Giulia is changing shape… after the break!

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Watch How Automotive Springs Are Made in This Video

Interpretive dance isn’t for everyone, but we can all appreciate the efficient, graceful and damn near artistic manner in which automotive parts are made.

Coil springs already look fun, but after viewing this video of a spring being made for the now-defunct Toyota FJ Cruiser, you’re liable to quit that paper-pushing day job for a shot at doing what this guy does.

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Consumer Reports 5 Most Reliable Vehicles For 2016 Are Mostly Niche Models You Won't Buy

Buick grabbed much of the limelight when Consumer Reports released its 2016 reliability survey results yesterday, earning the best-ever brand ranking of any domestic marque. But atop the leaderboard, Lexus and its Toyota parent brand continued the automaker’s reign.

Not surprisingly, three of the five most reliable vehicles in America are therefore Lexus and Toyota products. With the Lexus GS and Toyota 4Runner, the top 10 list is half-filled with Toyota products. Only one vehicle in the top ten is a domestic, the eighth-ranked Chevrolet Cruze.

They may be reliable, but do Americans actually want these vehicles? We took a look at the five least reliable vehicles in America and realized that, yes, in some cases, Americans do want them. In fact, the vehicles on the least reliable list account for 2.7 percent of the U.S. new vehicle market.

When it comes to the five most reliable vehicles in Consumer Reports’ survey, less than 1 percent of the market’s buying habits are represented.

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TTAC News Round-up: Ford Is Building Cars in Mexico Because You Won't Buy Them

Public disdain for small cars means Ford is going to take U.S. production behind the barn and shoot it.

That, Toyota practices good corporate citizenry, Honda worries it can’t build enough CR-Vs, and BMW Films returns with a new action-drenched short starring Clive Owen and the new 5 Series… after the break!

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Toyota Mulling a Hot Hatch, But Is the Yaris the Right Choice?

Toyota doesn’t immediately spring to mind when a buyer thinks of driving excitement. Far from it, in fact.

While the brand carries an enviable reputation of reliability, strong resale value and general popularity, it suffers in the performance and youthful appeal department. That could change, with Auto Express reporting that Toyota could build on its return to the World Rally Championship with a production hot hatch.

Volkswagen Golf R, Honda Civic Type R, Ford Focus RS…Toyota Yaris?

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Is Toyota's FT-4X an FJ Cruiser for a New Generation?

The departed Toyota FJ Cruiser was a vehicle of contrasts, depending on who you talked to. Too big, or not big enough. Too refined, or too often used as a grocery getter. Too retro, or not retro enough.

An homage to its long-dead predecessor, the retro SUV defined “niche vehicle,” and it sold like one too. Not in huge numbers, but in consistent ones. When Toyota phased it out of the North American market after 2014, it left a vacuum that went unnoticed by most.

Is Toyota now planning to fill that void?

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Ready to Sail: Here's Your Japanese Class of 1992 Eligible for Import

Since the 1980s, draconian federal importation laws have meant enthusiasts in the United States must wait a full 25 years before some of their favorite brand’s models are legal on these shores. And every year, groups of enthusiasts take to the internet to contemplate what cars will be available for importation with the turn of the new year. The arrival of each new calendar year then becomes a celebration of the past, a revisit of forsaken models, a festival of other-market obscurity.

The Land of the Rising Sun is becoming more than just a source for tuners looking for their next drift car. That’s right, Japanese cars are now collectible.

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As Battle for Mosul Begins, Ambassador Want to Know How ISIS Got So Many Toyotas

The long-awaited battle to retake the northern Iraq city of Mosul — an ISIS stronghold for the past two years — began this morning, with Allied forces supporting the Iraqi Army troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in their quest against the Islamic State.

One player has a heavy presence on both sides of the battle, and it isn’t a person or organization. It’s the Toyota Hilux, the go-to vehicle for terrorists and allies in the war-torn region. So numerous is the do-anything pickup, that the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. questions how so many Toyotas could find their way into ISIS hands.

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TTAC News Roundup: BMW Hunts a Tinderbox, Mercedes-Benz Wants to Stop Possibly Microwaving Cats, Toyota Taps Texans, and Hondas Are on a Roll
There’s a single BMW X3 out there that could burst into flames at any moment.That, Mercedes-Benz offers EV charging with no wires or plugs, Toyota pours staff into Texas, and Honda wants its Civics to stand still … after the break!
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Green Car, Black Eye: Toyota Prius Recall Targets Potentially Deadly Brake Issue

Toyota shoehorned a lot of cutting-edge technology into the current-generation Prius, but the fuel-sipping vehicle has a low-tech Achilles Heel.

The automaker is recalling 340,000 2016 and 2017 Prius models to fix a potentially deadly parking brake problem, the Associated Press reports (via USA Today). In the Prius, it could lead to “sudden acceleration” of a different kind.

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Toyota and Suzuki, Scared of Falling Behind, Eye Partnership

This could be the start of a beautiful business partnership.

After its romance with Volkswagen AG ended in a bitter breakup last year, Suzuki is considering hopping into bed with the world’s largest automaker.

Toyota and Suzuki issued a joint press release today announcing their intention to get together and see where it goes.

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Toyota Climbs Ladder of Most Valuable Brands, Tesla Cracks the Top 100

Interbrand released its annual list of the world’s top 100 brands, a ranking that now contains an independent automaker.

While Toyota climbs one spot to the No. 5 position (the highest of all automakers), Tesla has muscled its way onto the field, slotting at No. 100. Volkswagen continues the brand value descent it began last year, falling from No. 35 to No. 40 and posting a value decline of 9 percent.

There’s grim news for GM, as none of its brands made the list this year.

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Branching Out, Toyota Will Now Sell You a Robotic Friend

On the surface, it seems creepy and/or pathetic, but it could be a healthy new revenue stream for Toyota.

The automaker plans to begin offering a small, talking robot to Japanese customers this winter — a strategic product for an aging population with a low birthrate, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Kirobo Mini is designed to replace family members you don’t have, which might explain why it will criticize your driving habits.

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Toyota C-HR Powertrain Details Revealed in Paris

Toyota first showed off its funky C-HR small crossover at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, but it waited until Paris to reveal the model’s powertrain lineup.

Unlike its Nissan Juke competitor, don’t expect a high-performance C-HR when the model bows in 2017. At least, not just yet.

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Toyota's Future Prius Hybrids Could Be Plug-in Only

Toyota invested plenty of time, money and effort into making its plug-in Prius Prime stand out from its lesser hybrids, and the result may have convinced the company to change its future plans.

According to Autoblog, the automaker now has doubts about keeping the regular Prius as a standalone, hybrid-only model beneath the plug-in version. With conventional hybrid sales faltering, and the Prius Prime looming over the model line, attempting to improve the technology could be pointless.

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With 30 Extra Horses, 2017 Toyota Sienna Becomes America's Most Powerful Minivan

Updated for 2015 with a revised interior, an invisible facelift, and improved LATCH access, the 2015 Toyota Sienna was nevertheless mechanically identical to the Sienna of 2011-2014. The Toyota Sienna was America’s best-selling minivan in calendar year 2015.

For model year 2017, the Sienna remains visually identical and continues on the third-generation platform, but Toyota is installing the Tacoma’s direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 underhood and linking it to a new eight-speed automatic.

With a 30-horsepower jump to 293, the 2017 Toyota Sienna is now the most powerful minivan on sale.

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Toyota to Boost Tacoma Production as Midsize Sales Lead Slips

The Toyota Tacoma entered the year in an enviable position. Soaking up nearly half of all sales in the growing midsize pickup segment, the venerable nameplate’s spot on top of podium seemed unshakable.

Eight months later, Toyota seems spooked. The Tacoma’s market share is eroding, down to 38 percent of the midsize segment in August as its competitors surge. To stay ahead, the automaker plans to send a bundle of cash south of the border to boost production, Automotive News reports.

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It Didn't Take Five Years: The Toyota RAV4 Outsold The Toyota Camry In August 2016

Will the Toyota RAV4 outsell Toyota’s long-running best-selling car, the Toyota Camry, within the next five years? Nine months ago, Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. boss, Bob Carter, said, “I’ll bet you lunch that will happen.”

It didn’t take five years.

To be fair, Carter wasn’t referring to a single month’s results. Indeed, through the first two-thirds of 2016, the Camry produced nearly 36,000 more U.S. sales — about one month’s worth — than the RAV4.

But in August 2016, for the first time in Toyota’s U.S. history, the Toyota RAV4 was more popular than the Toyota Camry. And the RAV4 was by no means the only vehicle to outsell the most popular car in America.

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Toyota Engineers Are Rallying a Corolla IM in the Backwoods

A group of Toyota engineers clearly had time to kill this summer, but at least they spent it with one of their products.

For whatever reason, members of the automaker’s Michigan research and design team took a stock Corolla iM (formerly the Scion iM) and entered it into a rally, possibly just to see what would happen. Then they entered it into another.

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Toyota 86 Gets a Price Bump for 2017, as More Manuals Disappear From Our Streets

Toyota has released 2017 prices for some of its small cars, and it looks like a name change (and modest power increase) tacked a slight premium onto the Toyota 86, formerly the Scion FR-S.

A sign of our automated times, it looks like the manual transmission’s days could be numbered in the Corolla lineup.

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It's Not Easy Being #1: Camry Incentives Rise High as Toyota Chases 15th Consecutive Year on Top

The Toyota Camry began a streak of 14 consecutive years as America’s best-selling car in 2002. Holding that number one position isn’t easy.

Toyota does not merely need the Camry to continue to live up to its reputation for reliability, and subsequently incite demand. Toyota also requires massive production capacity and a pricing scheme that matches production capacity to demand.

Demand in the United States for conventional midsize cars, however, is falling quickly. Year-to-date, overall midsize car volume is down 8 percent. In July 2016, midsize car sales fell 15 percent.

With a 2016 Camry now attempting to leave dealer lots as a five-year-old car, more than two years since its last refresh, Toyota’s desire for the Camry to maintain its high-volume nature and best-selling posture is now matched by a significant uptick in Camry incentives.

Toyota is now discounting Camrys 27-percent more than just one year ago, with an average incentive spend per Camry of $3,760 in July.

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Toyota Tacoma Production Is Maxed Out As The Midsize Pickup Truck Category Rapidly Expands

America’s midsize pickup truck segment grew 19 percent in the first seven months of 2016. But as demand for midsize pickups expands throughout the remainder of 2016, it’s increasingly unlikely that the Toyota Tacoma will be able to make the most of the heightened interest.

Tacoma inventory has been tight for months, requiring Toyota to take full advantage of very specific modifications put in place at the San Antonio, Texas, and Baja California, Mexico, production lines a number of years ago.

No longer does a Tacoma roll off the San Antonio line every 65 seconds — it now takes only 60 seconds. There’s even a Saturday shift that drives the San Antonio plant up to 123-percent capacity.

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Michigan Man Sues Toyota Over Prius Plug-in's Awful Range

The short-lived Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid was never a popular vehicle, and the subject of one man’s lawsuit could answer why.

A suit filed against Toyota in an eastern Michigan court claims the plaintiff’s 2012 Prius Plug-in didn’t come close to offering the meager advertised range of the upgraded hybrid, CarComplaints reports.

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Not Ready for Prime Time? Toyota Delays Prius Plug-in Launch

Toyota has pushed back the launch dates of its next-generation Prius plug-in hybrid, spelling a black Christmas for environmentally conscious motorists.

According to Reuters, the model — known as the Prius Prime in the U.S. — won’t bow this fall in Japan, and production will be cut back to match reduced demand. It’s not a great start for a model the automaker clearly worked hard on.

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U.S. Military Goes A-Team, Orders Covertly Armored Toyotas for Testing

Toyota SUVs and pickups are popular with insurgents in overseas conflict zones, so why shouldn’t the U.S. military kick the tires on some?

The U.S. Special Operations Command just placed an order for up to 556 vehicles outfitted for “unconventional warfare” use, most of them Toyota Land Cruisers, Military Aerospace reports.

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Original Hybrid Batteries Still Charged Up 15 Years Later

Many industry reporters and enthusiasts attached stigma to early mass market hybrids because of the unknown reliability of their batteries. Potential owners worried that a failed battery would stick them with an expensive, out-of-warranty repair bill.

The first generation of hybrid vehicles hit the streets right around the turn of the century, right at the same time the domestic market was in love with SUVs. Anecdotes abounded about how dangerous and expensive hybrids would be to fix and maintain. Now that they’ve been on the road for over a decade, data shows — for the most part — there was no reason to fear these electrified fuel sippers.

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Massive Airstrike Leaves ISIS With About 120 Fewer Toyota Pickups

It’s a well-known fact that Islamic State fighters enjoy using hardy Toyota pickups in their pursuit of cleansing the Middle East of people even slightly different from themselves, but they’ll need to restock after last week.

Recent Allied military advances, including a huge, weeks-long push that liberated the Iraqi city of Fallujah, have ISIS on the run, and the U.S. Air Force’s best aerial hardware just caught a huge number of their vehicles making a break for it.

The results, as Defense Department video of the strike shows, wasn’t pretty — for the insurgents or their trucks.

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Toyota Recalls a Massive Number of Vehicles for a Very Ironic Problem (and an Airbag Defect)

Toyota will recall a total of 3.37 million vehicles to resolve two safety-related issues, one of which involves an environmental control that can quickly become very bad for the environment.

The largest of the two recalls concerns faulty side curtain airbags that could partially inflate without warning, according to the Associated Press. The issue isn’t related to the Takata airbag recall — rather, the problem stems from small cracks in some driver and passenger side airbag inflators, which can widen over time and lead to the partial inflation of the side curtain.

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Toyota Tundra Pro Runner Off-Road Review - Japanese Raptor With a Warranty

Do you yearn to feel your truck lunge forward under moderate throttle, the hood heaving up before you? Do you ache for that gentle linear pre-runner sway into every corner? Does your current rig sport a sticker with Calvin maliciously relieving himself on a Blue Oval? If so, Dealer Services International’s Tundra Pro Runner may be the truck for you.

The Raptor is said to have no real peers. And while that is strictly true, this Toyota makes a compelling argument to look hither. But it’s not the truck’s canyon-absorbing wheel travel, miraculous hydraulic bump stops, or bad-ass 18-inch black aluminum wheels in 35-inch rubber that make this Tundra exceptional. What makes this a viable Raptor alternative is that you can buy one right off a Toyota showroom floor today. No lapse in warranty coverage, no payload penalty, and no need to max out your credit card for the modifications.

The Pro Runner gives Raptor drivers more than one reason to check their rearview mirror.

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Ford C-Max Vs. Toyota Prius: Ford Wins, But Nobody Heeds My C-Max Recommendation

The overwhelming majority of mileage I accumulated in manufacturer-supplied test cars in May was spent in direct hybrid rivals from Ford and Toyota.

The 2016 Ford C-Max SE, Ford’s base model, visited for one week. Then following a stretch in the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R, a base version of Toyota’s new, fourth-generation Prius was dropped off for an extended stretch.

I’ll take the C-Max, thanks.

Scratch that. I’ll take the Golf R.

But if left to choose between the dedicated hybrids from Ford and Toyota, the C-Max is the one I’d have. So why do car buyers plug their ears when they hear such a recommendation?

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2016 Toyota RAV4 AWD Review - Competent Guy Gets the Reward
“Competent” — it’s one of the least sexy words in the dictionary. Hell, the word “dictionary” is arguably sexier. You’ll find the term next to “cardigan” and “financial adviser,” which are probably familiar words for someone known to be competent.Competent Guy is that dude in the office who doesn’t cause you any grief. He never fails to complete a task, doesn’t cause any drama, and avoids pissing everyone off. He’s the reliable friend people ask to help them move. It’s guys like this who keep an operation humming along, and their reward is being able to put down roots, grow old, and enjoy the spoils that come from being a respectable member of society.The Toyota RAV4 is the Lucy fossil of crossover SUVs, and it didn’t get there by making a bad impression. No nameplate reaches 22 years of age by frustrating owners, and you don’t become (and stay) the top-selling crossover by being hard to live with. For volume-hungry automakers, the RAV4 (aka. Competent Guy) is a rolling how-to guide for sales success — do the basics well, avoid controversy, don’t offend with styling, and make a good enough impression during the test drive that buyers take it home after the date.It’s after the vows are exchanged that Competent Guy starts to show off his quirks.
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Toyota to America: Sorry, No Solar Prius Roof for You

Hybrid fans looking to harvest free solar power as they drive (or park) won’t get that ability when the Toyota Prius Prime arrives in the U.S. this fall.

The automaker announced that European and Japanese buyers will get a solar roof version of the plug-in sedan, but Stateside customers will have to wait, Automotive News reports. Toyota faces an engineering and regulatory hurdle in the U.S. — America has stricter crash regulations, and its engineers haven’t been able to create a solar panel mount that doesn’t shatter during rollovers.

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95% Of Pickup Truck Buyers Agree With Dan Neil: Toyota Tundra Not The Most Technically Advanced Truck

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Dan Neil fairly torched the 2016 Toyota Tundra CrewMax in a recent review for The Wall Street Journal’s Rumble Seat.

“It is not the strongest, the swiftest and definitely not the most fuel efficient,” Neil wrote in a particularly stinging paragraph which began by Neil calling the Tundra, “not the most technically advanced truck on the market.”

The Tundra faithful, not particularly numerous at the best of times relative to rival Detroit nameplates, is an ever more compact group of individuals. With each passing month, America’s truck buyers make increasingly clear that they heartily agree with Dan Neil.

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Toyota Ranks First in Brand Value, Volkswagen Plummets

When it comes to brands that resonate with buyers, no other automaker tops Toyota, according to a recent study.

In its annual ranking, BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands shows the Japanese automaker rising two spots to place 28th out of all companies in 2015. Second and third-place automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz both gained ground in the rankings.

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Toyota and Mercedes-Benz Dealers Ranked Best for Customer Experience, VW is Dead Last

If you want the best chances of being treated right as a new car buyer, head over to a Toyota or Mercedes-Benz dealer, a new report says.

Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm, ranked 294 companies, including 20 auto dealers, based on satisfaction surveys from 10,000 Americans. While Toyota took the top spot with a 66 percent rating, the report holds bad news for many automakers, and the industry as a whole.

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What Does Toyota Want With a Legged-Robot Company?

You’ve probably seen one of its videos on YouTube. Its creations are nightmare fuel, mixed with a sense of wonder and intrigue. And for one particular automaker, its robotic inventions seem worthy enough to trigger the purchase of a whole company.

It is Boston Dynamics — a company born from the MIT leg lab that’s been developing quadrupedal and bipedal robots since 1992. And Toyota is heavily rumored to be purchasing the company from Google, according to Tech Insider.

Which begs the question: what does a car manufacturer want with a legged-robot company?

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Toyota and Volkswagen to Ride-Sharing Companies: 'Take Our Money!'

Not wanting to be left out of the mobility party, Toyota and Volkswagen recently invested in two ride-sharing companies, becoming the latest automakers to sink cash into the sharing economy.

Toyota invested a rumored $100 million in the ubiquitous ride-sharing company Uber, while Volkswagen, which has to meter out its dough carefully (thanks to a pesky little scandal), dropped $300 million on Uber’s taxi-hailing rival Gett.

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Boxer Match: Toyota 86 Racing Series Kicks Off Down Under

It beats hooning your mom’s Honda Odyssey.

A teenager took the top spot in the first three races of the Toyota 86 Racing Series this past weekend, beating back the 38 entrants in the fledgling event.

Former kart champion Cameron Hill’s win is exactly what Toyota had in mind when it crafted the three-year series. Designed as an entry point for up-and-coming drivers, the series pits up to five professional drivers against a field of amateurs, with training being top of mind. (Though a $125,000 prize pool sweetens the deal).

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Toyota Celebrates 9 Million Hybrids Sold as Hybrid Sales Continue to Decline

It’s easy to understand Toyota’s enthusiasm for selling 9 million hybrids worldwide since 1997. (Well, 9.014 million, but who’s counting?)

After all, have you sold 9.014 million hybrids? Don’t lie. You haven’t.

Toyota’s announcement comes as the world’s largest automaker accepts a challenge (from itself) to bring the total number of hybrid models sold to 15 million by 2020. It will do that by introducing more hybrid versions of its vehicles, then selling — it hopes — 1.5 million of them each year.

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Junkyard Find: 1981 Toyota Corolla SR-5 Liftback

These days, plenty of tuner kids want to get a E70 Corolla and turn it into a sick drift machine … but then reality sets in and they end up commuting to work in a 15-year-old Kia Rio instead. Meanwhile, the abandoned drift-project TE72 wagons become 24 Hours of LeMons cars, if they’re lucky, and the rusty SR-5s just get scrapped once something costing more than $19 breaks.

This ’81 Corolla two-door SR-5 liftback gave its all in the service of its owners, and now it awaits parts buyers in a Denver self-service yard.

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  • Chris P Bacon It would be really nice if car sites like TTAC helped people find way to avoid these prices. It seems like stories like these just say "suck it up and pay the markup". No. In many cases, you don't have to. I just ordered a Wrangler 4xe and got Chrysler Affiliates price. That 1% under invoice. I know this is the price I got because I sat at the computer in the dealer's showroom and build the Jeep. i got Chrysler Affiliate pricing through my employer. Your employer doesn't offer it? Join treadlightly.org. For $100 membership, guess what? You get Chrysler Affiliate pricing! Want a Ford, but think you can't get X-Plan? Think again! Join EAA.org. X-Plan is included with their membership. A dealer in my area is offering Costco members a $1500 incentive. I'm guessing that has something to do with Costco's car buying service, so there must be some value to be found in that program.Will all dealers honor these discount plans? No. Then that's not the dealer you want to work with anyway. Find another place to shop. It would be nice if TTAC (or any car site) did a little leg work to show readers how to actually save on a car purchase.
  • KOKing I car-sat an A32 while its owner was out of the country, and the then whiz-bang VQ motor was great, but the rest of it wasn't any better than a XV10 or XV20. Definitely the start of its downward slide, unfortunately.
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.