If you’re not obsessed with Toyota, the name “Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring,” shortened to GRMN, might sound unfamiliar to you. This performance division of Toyota has been restricted solely to Japan for years, never quite making its way into other markets. That time seems to be coming to an end with the upcoming debut of the performance-focused Yaris GRMN. Toyota is bringing this amped-up variant of the popular Toyota Yaris to the Geneva Motor Show for a worldwide introduction.
The lightweight, subcompact hot hatch will be powered by a supercharged 1.8-liter inline-four-cylinder engine that cranks out 205 horsepower, which is more than enough for the little Yaris. The Yaris GRMN will also feature other upgrades such as track-ready brakes, a tuned suspension, and cool wheels. Competitors at the Geneva show include the Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo STI – however, the Yaris beats them when it comes to engine power, so it’s already set to take the world by storm.
Krause Toyota doesn’t have any word on performance specs yet, but we look forward to the information being revealed at the upcoming auto show, when we’ll get a glimpse of the new performance-focused Yaris GRMN with its slick style and sharp graphics. Stay tuned for more info on different models and features for the production version.
At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) held last month in Detroit, Toyota showed off both the production version of the all-new 2018 Camry and the 2018 NASCAR Camry.
2018 NASCAR Camry
The race car version of the Camry bears a lot of resemblance to its showroom counterpart. It also comes with a striking, sharp new design. The car will begin racing this year as Toyota defends its NASCAR Premier Series manufacturer’s championship. Its racing debut will be on February 18th in The Clash at Daytona. Then, it will defend its Daytona 500 title on Sunday, February 26th.
Ed Laukes, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., said, “Reimagining both the Camry race car and its production counterpart has been a tremendous undertaking and our goal has been to maintain parallel design characteristics so our fans can enjoy driving a Camry that closely resembles the one their favorite NASCAR driver races each weekend.”
Toyota and NASCAR
Toyota first entered the NASCAR ranks in 2000 as part of the Goody’s Dash Series. Since then, it has seen a lot of success; Camry drivers have won 95 NASCAR Premier Series races over the past 10 seasons. Toyota won its first driver’s championship in 2015 and its first manufacturer’s championship in 2016.
If you’re anxious to drive something similar to what you see on the track, the production version of the 2018 Toyota Camry will be coming to Krause Toyota later this year.
Toyota has been largely opposed to battery-powered electric cars, instead focusing on developing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, like the Mirai. Now the Japanese automaker is shifting its gaze to mass-market electric cars and their pick to head up the segment is evidence enough to how serious the company is. Akio Toyoda, Toyota CEO, will take the helm of the brand’s electric car division.
The brand’s CEO taking the helm is no laughing matter, especially not for competing automakers. Given Toyota’s track record for developing popular, fuel-efficient cars like the Prius, an electric car could be a game changer.
Toyoda’s involvement should speed up the research and development of the brand’s first electric car. He isn’t new to the world of electric cars, either.
The Toyota CEO helped create a deal with Tesla back in 2010. The brand also invested in Tesla. Tesla, in return, developed an electric powertrain for the RAV4 EV, a model largely developed to meet California’s emissions mandate.
Reports indicate Toyota aims to debut its first mass-market electric car in 2020 in conjunction with the Tokyo Olympics.
We here at Krause Toyota can’t wait to see what comes out of the new electric car division, headed up by none other than Akio Toyoda himself!
One of Toyota’s main goals is to engineer and create new ideas for the vehicles of tomorrow. In fact, Toyota is a recognized leader in automotive innovation and has been issued more patents than any other automaker for the second year in a row.
In 2015, the United State Patent and Trademark Office issued 1,636 patents to Toyota. In addition, over the past eight years, Toyota has been awarded more patents than any other vehicle producer.
The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) tracks patents each year and for 2015, Toyota was the only automaker included in the IPO’s top 20 list. This puts Toyota together with companies like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Google.
“As companies in the automotive industry transform themselves into broader mobility providers, no auto company better demonstrates innovation and technology for the future than Toyota,” said Jeff Makarewicz, senior vice president, Toyota Technical Center (TTC), Toyota’s North American research & development headquarters, in a statement.
Some of Toyota’s most recent patents include technology that helps autonomous vehicles detect and safely react to emergency vehicles, creating artificial skin for use on mannequins during pedestrian safety tests, and creating fabrics that actually clean themselves.
Here at Krause Toyota, we are proud to be part of such an innovative company and can’t wait to see what Toyota has in store for the future.
There is no shortage of brains at Toyota and this is evident by its placement on the MIT Technology Review’s list of the World’s 50 Smartest Companies.
“We’re very grateful to be recognized by MIT…” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America, in a statement. “Toyota’s scientists are committed to innovation and leading the way to a future of mobility that is cleaner, safer, and provides freedom of mobility for all. In the spirit of kaizen, Toyota is committed to improving every day in the service of our customers and society.”
Toyota was ranked 17th on the list and was one of only two automakers to earn a spot. It even ranked higher than global tech giants like Intel, Microsoft, and IBM. To earn a place on the list, editors look at companies that “best combine innovative technology with an effective business model.”
Editors praised Toyota for its new Toyota Research Institute, which will focus on robotics, artificial intelligence, and the future of mobility. Toyota also earned high marks for the release of the hydrogen-powered Mirai along with Toyota’s dedication to building a strong network of hydrogen refueling stations.
Come visit us today at Krause Toyota to see the intelligent Toyota lineup that includes the Prius family, powerful Tundra, and stunning Avalon. Who knows, you might just feel smarter once you start driving one.
At the New York International Auto Show, Toyota wasn’t content to just release a few updated models and ideas. Additionally, the automaker hosted the reveal of the all-new 2017 Prius Prime, previewing an upcoming hybrid vehicle said to get up to 120 mpg.
Compared to the previous Prius model, these fuel economy stats represent an improvement of 26%. And in fact, according to the EPA, the average Prius model already gets about 54 combined mpg, making the Prius Prime that much more astounding.
Additionally, the Prius Prime will be able to drive about 22 miles on a charge alone before it needs to switch to gasoline. Plus, the electricity can be re-charged as quickly as in 5.5 hours with a 120-v outlet.
A Toyota executive said at the reveal that the 22-mile range is enough for about 50% of Americans to get from work to home, without needing to waste even the tiniest bit of gasoline.
Toyota’s next crossover was set to debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, but images were leaked online prior to the official premier. The pictures show the production version of the Toyota C-HR Concept. This vehicle was first shown at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. We at Krause Toyota are excited by the potential production of this thrilling crossover.
The vehicle exterior has bold lines across the body and is built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). This is the same architecture which the new Prius built upon. The crossover also appears to have angular headlamps with a sleek grille, which is similar to the RAV4. The impression is of a futuristic crossover, with a sloping coupe-like roofline, boomerang-shaped LED taillights, and a raised stance.
There will be a gasoline-hybrid powertrain coupled with a Continuously Variable Transmission, although there may be other engine options available at a later date.
Europeans will have first dibs on the new Toyota CH-R. Once on the market, this crossover will be placed below the RAV4 in the Toyota lineup. More details will emerge as time goes on, and hopefully we will see the new CH-R in the states.
Toyota is known for its innovative technologies and eco-friendly designs, including hybrid and alternative-fuel systems. In fact, the Toyota Prius was the first commercially-available hybrid on the market. Nonetheless, hybrid models still might puzzle some drivers.
According to fueleconomy.gov, hybrids combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor system in order to optimize fuel economy and lower emissions. This can also increase performance, and the technology is now used for a range of applications, from power tools to commercial transport.
Most hybrids come with a small gas engine and an electric motor. The motor can be charged by an outlet (plug-in hybrid) or through the gas engine and a generator. The electricity is mostly used to supplement the power of the engine, using it for passing, accelerating, or at low speeds. Energy is stored in a battery system, and can also be generated by Regenerative Braking Technology, a system that uses the friction of the brakes to create energy.
Another cool system is Automatic Start/Shutoff, a system that automatically shuts off the engine when you come to a full stop, and that restarts when the accelerator is pressed. This limits the amount of time you spend idling, essentially getting 0 mpg.
Toyota hybrid models include the Prius, Camry Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, Prius c, and Prius v models. For more info, stop by Krause Toyota.
In recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is continuing its support of several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the US. By providing up to $60,000 in support this year, Toyota was able to fund several scholarships that promote diversity in education.
The schools Toyota is donating to include Bennett College of North Carolina, Tuskegee University in Alabama, South Carolina State University, Wiley College in Texas and North Carolina Central. According to Toyota, the brand has also set aside funds for the Tom Joyner Foundation.
“We’re really excited to work with our new partner Toyota Financial Services,” said Thomas Joyner, Jr., President and CEO of the Foundation. “The support of these scholarships is a really important step in helping these students complete their college education and, in the long run, help sustain these HBCUs.”
In the US, the college graduation rate for black students is only 42%, as opposed to 62% for white students, and lack of financial support is cited as one of the major factors in this disparity. The Toyota Historically Black Colleges and Universities donations are designed to combat this, illustrating one of the many ways the brand gives back to its communities.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, or IIHS, spends year after year testing a variety of different vehicles from many different manufacturers and determining their level of safety. Many cars are granted the prestige of the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ title. This year, the IIHS has given Toyota and the company’s sub-brands Scion and Lexus a total of nine Top Safety Pick+ awards, more than any other company in the auto business.
The IIHS made the criteria for 2016’s Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ categories more difficult to meet, but after Toyota added a pre-collision system to both the Avalon and the RAV4, both vehicles reached the Institute’s standards for a superior rating for front crash prevention. The Scion iA, which also comes standard with a pre-collision system, received an advanced rating. Other vehicles that took home the title include the Toyota Prius v, Toyota Camry, Lexus CT 200h, Lexus ES, Lexus RC, and Lexus NS.
All vehicles from Toyota that earned the Top Safety Pick+ award achieved at least a rating of good in all five crashworthiness tests, in addition to coming equipped with available front collision prevention systems. Toyota’s continued dedication and commitment to safety and quality shines through the acceptance of these awards.