October 05, 2005

Clever car can improve your mood

Having a bad day? Your car could help put you in a better mood.

Japanese car maker Toyota is working with Stanford University in the U.S. and Edinburgh-based company Affective Media to create the car that can read your feelings.

Toyota has already unveiled a prototype of its Pod concept car, which has headlights that fade from bright to dull and change color to indicate happy, sad or angry moods, depending on how the driver inside is feeling.

The Pod was pitched as a way for drivers to communicate with each other, in an effort to prevent road rage. Lack of communication between drivers on roads is commonly believed to be a cause of road rage.

06:00 AM in Toyota | Permalink

May 11, 2005

2005 Toyota 4Runner

The 2005 Toyota 4Runner is a 4-door, up to 7-passenger sport-utility, available in 12 trims, ranging from the SR5 4X2 V6 to the Limited 4X4 V8.

Upon introduction, the SR5 4X2 V6 is equipped with a standard 4.0-liter, V6, 245-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city and 22-mpg on the highway. The Limited 4X4 V8 is equipped with a standard 4.7-liter, V8, 270-horsepower engine that achieves 15-mpg in the city and 19-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims.

The 2005 Toyota 4Runner is a carryover from 2004.

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06:39 AM in Toyota | Permalink

April 01, 2005

New Concept From Scion

The newest Toyota division shows off its latest concept vehicle here in New York.

Just three years after the introduction of the Scion brand, the youth-oriented division of Toyota debuts an all-new concept called the t2B.

Designed at Toyota's Calty Design Studio in Newport Beach, the t2B is purely a design exercise, according to Jim Farley, vice president of Scion at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. However, the two concepts that launched the Scion brand back in 2002 were very close to the production models that followed.

The t2B features an aggressive-looking front end and a somewhat boxy form, similar to the current Scion xB. However, this concept is much more shapely, with side windows that wrap around the front of the vehicle. A large rear window is featured as well, which Scion says is part of a design theme called "demado," which is Japanese for bay window.

The wedge-shaped roof allows for the aggressive exterior while retaining a roomy interior. There are no door handles to mar the smooth lines, and a large power sliding door allows easy access from the passenger side to both the front and rear seats. On the driver's side are two rear-hinged "suicide" doors.

The interior evokes a "lounge-like atmosphere." In the ceiling are two clear panels running the length of the vehicle. Passengers would have access to movies, games or music via Internet download, and the movies can be shown on the rear glass via a ceiling-mounted projector. This effectively turns the car into an entertainment center. Of course, Farley noted, these features would be used when the vehicle is parked.

Built on an all-new Toyota platform, the t2B comes gets power from a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine.

Scion designers had plenty of other ideas, showing two models of other possibilities for this new platform in New York. The one-quarter scale models feature fastback and pickup designs.

All three Scion models currently for sale in the U.S. also began as auto show concepts that quickly made their way into production. It's a fairly safe bet that this successful brand will eventually launch another new model based on this t2B design study.

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06:09 AM in Toyota | Permalink

November 19, 2004

Jordan announces Toyota deal

Jordan Grand Prix has concluded an agreement with Toyota Motorsport GmbH for a supply of engines in the 2005 Formula 1 World Championship season. The one-year deal enables Jordan to purchase 2005-spec Toyota RVX-05 engines at an affordable price.

"Toyota is to be commended," said Eddie Jordan. "Not only have they been fantastic to Jordan by agreeing this deal at such short notice, but they have also done the magnanimous thing for the sport by putting Formula One above their own exclusivity. A supply of Toyota engines is an enormous boost for Jordan and I am very excited about putting together our 2005 package in the coming weeks and months. This announcement, along with others coming shortly, will revive the fortunes of Jordan Grand Prix and at the same time I hope we can help Toyota in the battle for World Championship honours."

06:03 AM in Toyota | Permalink

November 18, 2004

Toyota Prius Voted European Car of Year

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid has been voted 2005 European Car of the Year, Japan's top auto maker said Monday, after the fuel-sipping sedan picked up the corresponding title in North America in January.

Since its launch in early 2004, sales of the second-generation gasoline-electric Prius, which is in short supply all over the world, are expected to reach 8,500 units in Europe this year, the world's second-biggest auto maker said.

Toyota is forecasting a near-doubling in European sales of the Prius -- which became the world's first mass-marketed gasoline-electric hybrid car to hit the streets in 1997 -- to 15,000 units next year.


06:01 AM in Toyota | Permalink