Category Archives: Toyota

Toyota Hosts 2017 Prius Prime Reveal at New York Auto Show, Gets Record Fuel Economy

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.

To learn more or to check out the current Toyota models, visit us anytime at Krause Toyota.

Meet the New Toyota C-HR Concept

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.

Toyota C-HR Concept
Toyota C-HR Concept at 2016 CAS

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.

How Hybrids Work: Eco-Friendly Technology Explained

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.

how hybrids work

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.

Toyota Historically Black Colleges and Universities Donations Celebrate MLK Jr.

Toyota Historically Black Colleges and Universities Donations Celebrate MLK Jr.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.

IIHS Gives Toyota Nine Top Safety Pick+ Awards

Toyota and Scion models

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.

Toyota Environmental Plans Aim for Greener Production Methods

Toyota began implementing a ten-year plan to reduce environmental impact as far back as 2010, and as 2015 draws to a close, the company is sitting at a halfway point with five years’ worth of goals left to accomplish. Toyota environmental plans ultimately aim to use more renewable energy and hydrogen-based production methods in a continuous progression towards reducing CO2 emissions.

Toyota has already checked a number of goals off of its self-proclaimed “environmental to-do list.” Some of these include launching a zero emissions vehicle with a range of over 300 miles – accomplished by the Toyota Mirai – as well as other tasks like using landfill gas as an energy source, saving over 54 gallons of water, reusing hybrid batteries, and certifying over 1,000 acres of land to the Wildlife Habitat Council. Future goals include annual global sales for fuel cell vehicles of over 30,000 units, as well as investigating and implementing other forms of renewable energy, such as wind power.

Toyota environmental plans are just a small slice of the company’s true goal – to complete eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from the auto industry as a whole by 2050. It’s a lofty goal, but as Toyota continues to check task after ambitious task off of its to-do list, that dream comes closer and closer to becoming a reality.

Design of Fifth-Generation Toyota Prius Inspired By Lady Gaga

fifth-generation Toyota prius

You wouldn’t believe what goes into the design of a vehicle, especially a vehicle as unique as the Toyota Prius. The story of its latest incarnation saw an initial design that was scrapped and then later, designers reaching for a surprising source of inspiration—Lady Gaga.

Toyota had found that although the Prius was evolving immensely, technologically speaking, people were finding the design less and less “new and sophisticated.” An earlier design by Shunsaku Kodama, the chief designer of the next-generation Toyota Prius, was rejected by his bosses for being “too soft and organic.”

From there, Kodama decided to make the design a bit more “techy,” adding sharp lines. He also wanted some element of “extreme” in his design. More specifically, as he told Automotive News, “As a concept, we were thinking Lady Gaga. We wanted to be more extreme in our design.”

Lady Gaga manages to be both edgy and stylish while delivering solid and quality songwriting. The fifth-generation Toyota Prius looks to do the same thing, although exchanging the songwriting for an efficient and rewarding driving experience. Stop into Krause Toyota Scion to learn more!

Toyota Presents New Models at Tokyo Auto Show

Tokyo Auto Show

Toyota has unveiled some seriously unique models at this year’s Tokyo Auto Show. The three models that drew the most attention include the all-new Prius, the C-HR Concept, and the FCV Plus. Dedicated towards improving fuel economy and reducing emissions, these models have some innovative features.

According to Toyota, the new Prius will have a sleek new style. This hybrid will be made to look more sporty and athletic thanks to a lower center of gravity, contoured lines, and bold colors. Under the hood, an upgraded hybrid system has over 40% thermal efficiency and a large boost in fuel economy.

The Toyota C-HR Concept is a futuristic compact crossover. Setting new standards for urban-friendly SUVs everywhere, this model looks one-of-a-kind. With precision-cut gemstone surfaces, a low grille, and swooping silhouette, you could recognize this model from a mile away. It doesn’t just look pretty, though: the C-HR has lightweight hybrid system that’s both efficient and powerful.

Finally, the FCV is out of this world. The body has a distinct frame structure to convey advanced technology and environmental performance. Plus, under the hood this model has a pressurized hydrogen fuel system, making clean-burning, fast-filling, and renewable energy.

Fourth Generation Prius Debuts in Las Vegas

As of September 8th, Toyota will be revealing the new fourth generation Prius, the hybrid’s first redesign in seven years. The iconic and well-known car – whose name has now been in the mainstream market for over fifteen years – is rumored to be receiving a sharp makeover, a fastback body, and LED headlights.

The new Prius will also be getting all-wheel drive and an estimated 148 HP, in addition to Toyota’s New Global Architecture, which provides the car with enough battery upgrades to raise the Prius’s all electric range from 11 miles to 35. While Toyota has announced that a plug-in hybrid variant will be making an appearance next year, Las Vegas will be meeting the hybrid-only version. The interior has also been completely redesigned, with an infotainment touchscreen, three-spoke steering wheel, and a display screen that allows the driver to track the car’s performance in real time.

Toyota seems optimistic that the car’s new, more aesthetically exciting look could lure in new buyers, while the eco-friendly improvements to the fourth generation Prius will keep the environmentally-conscious fans it already has. We at Krause Toyota are excited for it!

Toyota Mirai Opens for ADAC Rally Deutschland

Toyota has designed a custom version of their Toyota Mirai that opened for the ADAC Rally Deutschland near Trier, Germany. While the Mirai only took a brief spin around the track prior to the actual race as opposed to actually competing, the car, which functions by making use of a fuel cell and electric motor to spin the front wheels, definitely turned some heads.

The Mirai used in the rally, though sporting a few modifications, is mechanically identically to the US Mirai sedans available in California. Due to its low center of gravity and compact size, the car is capable of going from zero to 60 in under ten seconds. Its chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka even expressed his dream to eventually create fuel cell vehicles that will compete in WRC.

The Mirai will unfortunately not be making a reappearance at the World Championship, as Toyota is using a Yaris as its World Rally Car, but Tanaka’s dream creates an image of the future where ADAC Rally Deutschland’s spectators can enjoy all the fun of rally racing without the pollution and fuel emissions of the average modern rally car.