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You are currently browsing the Toyota of Tampa Bay Newsletter archives for January, 2015 .

Archive for January, 2015

Toyota Unwraps Front Fascia of 2016 Tacoma Ahead of Detroit Auto Show

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Truck enthusiasts got their first glimpse at the front of the much-anticipated 2016 Toyota Tacoma through a photo that was released by Toyota.

The photo is the second teaser image released by Toyota for the pickup truck, which will be unveiled on Jan. 12 at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

The hazy picture of the 2016 Tacoma’s face features a grille with a trapezoid shape and narrower headlights infused with LEDs. The teaser picture also reveals a sculpted hood, extended fender flares and a chrome trim.

The first teaser photo showed the rear of the pickup truck, revealing that it will have vertical tail lights, a rear bumper with the same color as the vehicle’s body and a uniquely-shaped tailgate adorned with the Tacoma lettering.

The design of the 2016 Tacoma appears to be inspired by the Toyota 4Runner SUV, but for the entire look of the pickup, consumers will just have to wait until it is officially revealed in January.

The price and technical specs of the vehicle have not yet been officially revealed, but Toyota has promised that the pickup truck will “once again set the benchmark for midsize pickup performance.” Toyota added that the 2016 Tacoma will feature new and rugged technology that will give the vehicle much better off-road capabilities compared to previous models.

Previous rumors on the vehicle suggest that there will no longer be four-speed or five-speed automatic transmission options for the 2016 Tacoma, instead only offering either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic versions. The current 2.7-liter inline-four and 4.0-liter V6 engine of the Tacoma will also likely be upgraded for increased fuel efficiency.


Posted in Automotive News |

2015 Toyota Highlander is the safest crossover in its class

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The 2015 Toyota Highlander is the only IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rated 3-row SUV in its market segment.

Heading into 2015, the Toyota Highlander is the only 3-row affordable mid-size SUV has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) rating. The Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, and Nissan Pathfinder do not measure up.

2015 Highlander Top Safety Pick+

For 2015 IIHS toughened its safety standards. Vehicles that earn the highest safety rating in America must now not only do well on the old-school crash tests, but also must rate Acceptable or better on the small frontal overlap crash test. That qualification excludes the Honda Pilot, which in IIHS testing performed poorly. IIHS spokesperson David Zuby said of the Pilot “The Honda Pilot was the worse performing mid-size SUV in this group.”

These qualifications are still not enough to earn the TSP+ rating. For that, a vehicle must also be available with either Advanced or Superior forward crash prevention. The Highlander is, and this is what separates it from the remaining affordable 8-passenger, mid-sized SUVs in the class.


Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota offers royalty-free hydrogen fuel cell patents to the world

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Toyota will provide its patents to other automakers at no cost to spur hydrogen vehicle adoption.

Today, at the Consumer Electronics show, Toyota announced that it will share its patents for fuel cells, high-pressure hydrogen storage and fuel cell fueling systems at no cost to other automakers. This means that those automakers that wish to build fuel cell electric vehicles, which can be as much as three-times more impactful in meeting California Air Resources Board (CARB) mandates, now have it easy.

Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Like Honda and Hyundai, Toyota has long been working on a marketable fuel cell vehicle. Part of the motivation for this, if not all, was that California and other aligned states have mandated that all automakers sell vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions. Interestingly, the CARB plan favors hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) over battery electric vehicles (BEVs). This is primarily due to FCEVs much longer distances between re-fueling and the much faster rate of refueling they provide. One can debate the logic in moving away from BEVs, but what cannot be debated is that the CARB plan puts BEVs at a disadvantage due to their slow-to-charge and relatively short range batteries.

Toyota ‘s Royalty-Free Patent Offer

Toyota will allow other “competing” automakers to use it 1,970 patents related to fuel cells and its 3,350 fuel cell patents related to electronic control of fuel cell systems. The automakers can use the patents at no cost for five years. Toyota has requested an in-kind allowance to use other automakers fuel cell patents, but has not made it a requirement. In addition, Toyota is allowing automotive suppliers and those that build hydrogen refueling stations royalty free patent usage. Toyota is even going so far as to offer those that want to use the patents for mass-transit (buses) and industrial uses like forklifts the free patent usage.


Posted in Automotive News |

2015 Toyota Prius V gets updated looks and content

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The Toyota Prius V is the most utilitarian member of the Prii family with a big jump in cargo space over the rest but maintaining the great fuel economy. For the 2015 model year, the company is giving the wagon an update with a big shift in front end styling and upgraded taillights to go with the revised look. Inside, customers also get a little new technology, as well.

The biggest change up front is the reshaped headlights and new bumper that look almost identical to the recent restyling of the Prius + in Europe. Though, the latest parts might be a little polarizing and almost make the wagon look like it has gills at each corner. The top level Prius V Five trim also adds integrated foglights to the design and headlights with LEDs for the high and low beams. Toyota is offering three additional colors too: Attitude Black Metallic, Absolutely Red and Toasted Walnut Pearl.

Inside, drivers can get a new, eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat on some models, and there’s now a 4.2-inch TFT screen situated between the gauges on the Three trim level and higher to display information like fuel economy, navigation instructions, climate control settings and more. The upper versions also get Toyota’s latest Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch high-res touchscreen with navigation. Finally, the Advanced Technology Package on the Five trim now includes Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beams.


Posted in Automotive News |

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