Toyota

Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Who says electric cars have to be boring? Toyota's Prius may be poster child for the eco-pious, but its i-ROAD tilting trike shows there's still potential for madness in the EV. SlashGear is no stranger to the i-ROAD, and in fact we've driven earlier prototypes over in Japan before now. They're less commonly found in the US, however, but Makoto Morita, Grand Master of the Product Planning Division and lead of the i-ROAD project brought a handful with him to test the waters among potential American drivers.

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Toyota recalls Avalon sedans due to potential fires

Toyota recalls Avalon sedans due to potential fires

As the first month of 2015 nears its end, Toyota has slipped in a recall of its own, this one being over the same potential risk we've seen cited in other recent recalls: fires. In this case, some 2011 and 2012 model year Avalons located in the US will be recalled. The reason revolves around the subwoofer's wires in particular, which could end up shorting out in certain situations, cause the unit to overheat, and then possibly catch on fire.

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Toyota looks beyond bigger batteries for EV range boost

Toyota looks beyond bigger batteries for EV range boost

Electric and hybrid cars may be waiting on improved battery technology to squash driver range anxiety, but Toyota believes it may have a wildcard in the meantime. The company is rolling out two new prototypes for real-world testing in Japan, each switching in new silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors that could take a big bite out of the 20-percent of electrical power loss traditional components are responsible for. The technology in the two vehicles - a Toyota Camry and a fuel cell bus - could end up in production cars sooner rather than later, Toyota promises.

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Toyota’s hydrogen car blasts 2015 goal in first month

Toyota’s hydrogen car blasts 2015 goal in first month

Toyota is already calling the 2016 Mirai fuel-cell car a success, announcing unexpectedly high preorders in Japan, and warning that as a result some drivers may have to wait longer for delivery. 1,500 orders have been placed in the country in the first month alone, far exceeding Toyota's initial goal to sell around 400 cars before the end of the year. The impressive milestone comes while Mirai sales are still limited to a single country, as the hydrogen-powered sedan isn't expected to arrive in the US and select European countries until later in 2015, and pre-orders are not yet being accepted.

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Toyota, Oculus bringing VR driving simulator for teens

Toyota, Oculus bringing VR driving simulator for teens

Toyota and Oculus are teaming up to make driving safer — for teens. The joint venture bring a Toyota-branded driving simulator for Toyota’s TeenDrive365 program to the VR headset, which puts those learning to drive behind the wheel of a real car (stationary, of course), but uses VR to immerse them in a driving environment. In being behind the wheel of a real car with virtual distractions and difficult situations, the hope is that teens will be more comfortable behind the wheel when they do venture onto the real road.

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This is the 2016 Toyota Tacoma

This is the 2016 Toyota Tacoma

Toyota isn't due to officially reveal the new 2016 Tacoma until next week at the Detroit Auto Show, but the hotly-anticipated truck has already broken cover. One of the more popular models in the Japanese company's range, the Tacoma has been set a not-inconsiderable challenge for the new model year, taking on award-winning mid-range rivals like Chevrolet's 2015 Colorado and, according to reports last year, focusing to no small degree on building appeal in the image-centric California market. Although we're yet to see the full line-up, first impressions are certainly positive.

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Toyota shares fuel-cell patent portfolio to drive hydrogen

Toyota shares fuel-cell patent portfolio to drive hydrogen

Toyota has thrown open its fuel-cell patent portfolio, offering royalty-free access to almost 6,000 patents used its Mirai car, in the hope of driving adoption of the technology. "At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen," SVP of automotive operations Bob Carter said of the CES 2015 announcement, which will cover not only other car companies looking to add fuel-cell vehicles to their fleets, but to infrastructure and parts specialists, and even firms looking to leverage hydrogen power for busses and industrial equipment.

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Is Lexus next on the fuel-cell bandwagon?

Is Lexus next on the fuel-cell bandwagon?

Lexus is reportedly eyeing Toyota's fuel-cell powertrain, planning a new flagship version of its LS luxury sedan that would run on hydrogen not gasoline. Currently, the Lexus four-door range is topped by the LS 600h L, a long-wheelbase hybrid pairing a 6.0-liter gas engine and an electric drive system, which conveniently makes for a quieter limo and a good example of how parent company's hybrid strategy makes sense for more than just the Prius. However, according to new leaks, it's the propulsion system inside the Toyota Mirai which has now caught Lexus' eye.

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Toyota Tacoma revamp to debut at 2015 Detroit auto show

Toyota Tacoma revamp to debut at 2015 Detroit auto show

The Toyota Tacoma is in for a reboot, according to Bloomberg, which reports the auto maker will be introducing an "all-new version" of its mid-sized pickup truck in 2015. According to Toyota's Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter, the company will be officially debuting the upcoming model at the International Auto Show in Detroit in January. This will position the company to compete with Chevy's 2015 Colorado and other mid-sized trucks competing for consumer favor.

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2015 Toyota Sienna minivans recalled over assist grips

2015 Toyota Sienna minivans recalled over assist grips

News of another Toyota recall has surfaced, this time revolving around the 2015 Sienna minivan. Says the auto maker, which announced that it will be recalling the cars on Wednesday, certain 2015 Sienna Minivans are being recalled due to potential issues with the overhead assist grips on the right and left sides of the second row. Those with affected models will be notified by Toyota in the near future, and will be able to have the grips serviced at their local dealership.

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