Official: Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Japan, Toyota

Toyota Sai

Toyota first launched Lexus in the United States back in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2005 that it brought the luxury marque home to roost. But don’t think that Toyota didn’t find a way of selling many of its premium models in the Japanese Domestic Market in the meantime. The Lexus LS was sold as the Toyota Celsion, the ES as the Vista and Camry Prominent, and the SC as the Soarer. (We could go on, but you get the point.)

These days Lexus sells in markets around the world, including Japan, but Toyota still spins off its own versions of Lexus models to sell domestically as well. Like the new Sai, for example. Sharing its platform, hybrid propulsion and much more with the Lexus HS (which you may remember as the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid until it was pulled from the market early last year), the Sai was introduced to Japan at the same time as the HS was rolled out around the world. Now nearly four years on the market, Toyota has given it a bit of a refresh.

Boasting a far more aggressive front end and a restyled rear, the revised Sai features LED headlights, 16-inch alloys and a higher-quality interior in which JDM buyers will find a new center console and trim, along with an optional 10-speaker infotainment system. Toyota also boasts that the new Sai is made of 20-percent Ecological Plastic and recycled resin.

Power still comes from the same 150-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-four and 143-hp electric motor for a combined maximum output of 190 hp. Toyota anticipates selling 2,000 of these every month in Japan. Read all the details in Toyota’s official press release below.

Continue reading Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name

Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name”

Official: Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Japan, Toyota

Toyota Sai

Toyota first launched Lexus in the United States back in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2005 that it brought the luxury marque home to roost. But don’t think that Toyota didn’t find a way of selling many of its premium models in the Japanese Domestic Market in the meantime. The Lexus LS was sold as the Toyota Celsion, the ES as the Vista and Camry Prominent, and the SC as the Soarer. (We could go on, but you get the point.)

These days Lexus sells in markets around the world, including Japan, but Toyota still spins off its own versions of Lexus models to sell domestically as well. Like the new Sai, for example. Sharing its platform, hybrid propulsion and much more with the Lexus HS (which you may remember as the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid until it was pulled from the market early last year), the Sai was introduced to Japan at the same time as the HS was rolled out around the world. Now nearly four years on the market, Toyota has given it a bit of a refresh.

Boasting a far more aggressive front end and a restyled rear, the revised Sai features LED headlights, 16-inch alloys and a higher-quality interior in which JDM buyers will find a new center console and trim, along with an optional 10-speaker infotainment system. Toyota also boasts that the new Sai is made of 20-percent Ecological Plastic and recycled resin.

Power still comes from the same 150-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-four and 143-hp electric motor for a combined maximum output of 190 hp. Toyota anticipates selling 2,000 of these every month in Japan. Read all the details in Toyota’s official press release below.

Continue reading Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name

Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Toyota’s refreshed Sai is a Lexus HS by any other name”

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Filed under: Convertible, Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues”

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Filed under: Convertible, Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues”

Official: Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R zips in on its way to Frankfurt

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Hybrid, Performance, Hatchback, Toyota

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept

Toyota has been known to make some exciting cars over the years, but its hybrids, well… let’s just say a Prius appeals to a different kind of buyer. The TS030 Hybrid LMP1, on the other hand, now that’s more our speed. And at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the Japanese industrial giant will bridge the gap with the concept car you see here. Previewed in bits and pieces along the way, Toyota has now revealed the full details and array of photos of its new Yaris Hybrid-R concept. And what the full picture reveals is a Prius C that’s gone to the gym – or more appropriately, the track.

Powering this little pocket rocket is TMG’s Global Racing Engine: a 1.6-liter inline-four with direct injection and a Garett turbocharger to drive 300 horsepower to the front wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox. A pair of electric motors provide an extra 60 hp to each of the rear wheels for a combined output of 420 hp and through-the-road all-wheel drive. A third 60hp electric motor serves as traction control under acceleration and acts as a generator under braking to feed the TS030-derived super capacitor that boasts a higher power density and faster charge/discharge speed than a traditional battery. The system can provide a 40-horse boost for ten seconds in Road mode, or the full 120hp for five seconds in Track mode.

Though based on the three-door Yaris, there’d be no mistaking this for any ordinary econo-hatch. 18-inch TRD alloys with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires pack the wheel wells and a wider grille dominates the front fascia, while black and blue trim contrast sharply with the white bodywork. The rear pillar incorporates a quick-fill competition-spec fuel cap, LED daytime running lights illuminate the way and oversized brakes keep it all under control. The interior boasts Recaro racing buckets in black leather and blue Alcantara. There’s more to digest in the press release below, but the bottom line is that if this is where Toyota is taking its hybrids, we want to climb into the driver’s seat, and we’re looking forward to seeing the concept in the flesh next week.

Continue reading Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R zips in on its way to Frankfurt

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R zips in on its way to Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 03:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R zips in on its way to Frankfurt”

Official: Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R zips in on its way to Frankfurt

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Hybrid, Performance, Hatchback, Toyota

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept

Toyota has been known to make some exciting cars over the years, but its hybrids, well… let’s just say a Prius appeals to a different kind of buyer. The TS030 Hybrid LMP1, on the other hand, now that’s more our speed. And at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, the Japanese industrial giant will bridge the gap with the concept car you see here. Previewed in bits and pieces along the way, Toyota has now revealed the full details and array of photos of its new Yaris Hybrid-R concept. And what the full picture reveals is a Prius C that’s gone to the gym – or more appropriately, the track.

Powering this little pocket rocket is TMG’s Global Racing Engine: a 1.6-liter inline-four with direct injection and a Garett turbocharger to drive 300 horsepower to the front wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox. A pair of electric motors provide an extra 60 hp to each of the rear wheels for a combined output of 420 hp and through-the-road all-wheel drive. A third 60hp electric motor serves as traction control under acceleration and acts as a generator under braking to feed the TS030-derived super capacitor that boasts a higher power density and faster charge/discharge speed than a traditional battery. The system can provide a 40-horse boost for ten seconds in Road mode, or the full 120hp for five seconds in Track mode.

Though based on the three-door Yaris, there’d be no mistaking this for any ordinary econo-hatch. 18-inch TRD alloys with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires pack the wheel wells and a wider grille dominates the front fascia, while black and blue trim contrast sharply with the white bodywork. The rear pillar incorporates a quick-fill competition-spec fuel cap, LED daytime running lights illuminate the way and oversized brakes keep it all under control. The interior boasts Recaro racing buckets in black leather and blue Alcantara. There’s more to digest in the press release below, but the bottom line is that if this is where Toyota is taking its hybrids, we want to climb into the driver’s seat, and we’re looking forward to seeing the concept in the flesh next week.

Continue reading Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R zips in on its way to Frankfurt

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R zips in on its way to Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 03:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R zips in on its way to Frankfurt”

Report: Toyota mulling Cummins diesel for Tundra?

Filed under: Hybrid, Truck, Toyota, Diesel

When Bloomberg spoke to Toyota USA Sales CEO Kazua Ohara recently, we highlighted his comments on the possible return of the Toyota Supra. However, the interview started with Ohara discussing the Tundra, and how it would take time to pinpoint and hone the pickup truck’s brand image in the minds of consumers. That effort could get a boost, with a report in Edmunds saying that Toyota is “evaluating” the addition of a Cummins turbodiesel to the Tundra’s engine options.

The Cummins powerplant is one of two options for the moment, the other being a hybrid powertrain. If the oil-burner got the thumbs-up, Toyota would follow the recent example of Nissan, which announced it would put a Cummins turbodiesel into its 2015 Titan. While the two Japanese companies make a closer comparison since they’re both talking about Cummins applications in light-duty trucks, if it happens, it could be seen as further diluting the once-exclusive tie-up that Ram trucks has had with Cummins even though Ram has used Cummins in its heavy-duty truck.

Toyota hasn’t said when it will decide on which direction to take, but either will be a move for the better in the view of segment watchers; PickupTrucks.com said the first of its top-five fixes for the Tundra would be a better engine, perhaps a diesel-electric hybrid from Toyota’s Hino unit. Cummins told Edmunds it can supply a second manufacturer with the 5.0-liter diesel that Nissan will be using, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it end up in a Toyota or somewhere else.

Toyota mulling Cummins diesel for Tundra? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Sep 2013 14:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Toyota mulling Cummins diesel for Tundra?”

Report: Toyota mulling Cummins diesel for Tundra?

Filed under: Hybrid, Truck, Toyota, Diesel

When Bloomberg spoke to Toyota USA Sales CEO Kazua Ohara recently, we highlighted his comments on the possible return of the Toyota Supra. However, the interview started with Ohara discussing the Tundra, and how it would take time to pinpoint and hone the pickup truck’s brand image in the minds of consumers. That effort could get a boost, with a report in Edmunds saying that Toyota is “evaluating” the addition of a Cummins turbodiesel to the Tundra’s engine options.

The Cummins powerplant is one of two options for the moment, the other being a hybrid powertrain. If the oil-burner got the thumbs-up, Toyota would follow the recent example of Nissan, which announced it would put a Cummins turbodiesel into its 2015 Titan. While the two Japanese companies make a closer comparison since they’re both talking about Cummins applications in light-duty trucks, if it happens, it could be seen as further diluting the once-exclusive tie-up that Ram trucks has had with Cummins even though Ram has used Cummins in its heavy-duty truck.

Toyota hasn’t said when it will decide on which direction to take, but either will be a move for the better in the view of segment watchers; PickupTrucks.com said the first of its top-five fixes for the Tundra would be a better engine, perhaps a diesel-electric hybrid from Toyota’s Hino unit. Cummins told Edmunds it can supply a second manufacturer with the 5.0-liter diesel that Nissan will be using, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it end up in a Toyota or somewhere else.

Toyota mulling Cummins diesel for Tundra? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Sep 2013 14:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Toyota mulling Cummins diesel for Tundra?”

Official: Toyota drops detail about 414-hp Hybrid-R concept powertrain

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Hybrid, Technology, Hatchback, Toyota, Racing

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept has been teased already, offering up little glimpses and details of the Frankfurt-bound vehicle. And while those few, shadowy shots have been great, we’ve really wanted to know how this hatchback would deliver its promised 400-plus horsepower. Under hood sits a 1.6-liter, race-derived, direct-injection, turbocharged four-cylinder that powers the front wheels. Sounds peachy, but with 414 horsepower splashed across the page, we’re going to need something more than a 1.6-liter, turbo four.

A supercapacitor, developed from the Toyota TS030 Hybrid Le Mans racer sits in place of a hybrid’s traditional battery packs. The benefit, according to Toyota, is that power can be more rapidly absorbed and discharged than in a traditional battery system, like nickel metal-hydride.

The gas engine is joined by a trio of 60-horsepower electric motors. Two of the them power the rear wheels, while the third sits between the engine and the six-speed, sequential gearbox. Developing the same amount of power as the rear-axle motors, this centrally located motor channels power to the race-derived supercapacitor during braking, and ships extra grunt to the rear wheels under acceleration when the front wheels start to lose grip. Besides the distributive power of the central motor, the rear electric motors can adjust the amount of torque flowing to each wheel, much like a differential.

Take a look below for the full press release from Toyota, and then be sure to check back when the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept makes its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Continue reading Toyota drops detail about 414-hp Hybrid-R concept powertrain

Toyota drops detail about 414-hp Hybrid-R concept powertrain originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 19:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Toyota drops detail about 414-hp Hybrid-R concept powertrain”

Report: Toyota again hints that a new Supra is under development [w/video]

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Videos, Toyota

Now that the NSX is on its way back, the list of sports car revivals most yearned for by US enthusiasts is probably down to the Mazda RX-7, Nissan 240SX, Lotus Elise and Toyota Supra. There’s been a lot of talk about that last one over the past year especially, with rumors of an all-wheel-drive coupe utilizing a CVT last May, a Toyota engineer declaring he was instructed to develop a new Supra in November (and another MR2 in case you’re wondering), a tie-up with BMW in January of this year that highlighted a “mid-size sports vehicle” and the incoming company chairman saying he wants something “comparable” to the Supra just two months ago. Oh, and there was Toyota UK going on a public stroll down Supra History Lane last month.

This week, Bloomberg spoke to Toyota USA Sales CEO Kazuo Ohara on a variety of topics, from pickup trucks to US hybrid sales to the value of the yen, then opened up the Supra issue in the last 40 seconds. While making sure to start his answer with the fact that nothing is confirmed, Ohara’s reply to the resurrection of the coupe was “We have several options… and a kind of Supra successor is one of the options we have.” That doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, but Ohara’s last line was, “In the future we can give you better news.” We don’t know if “better news” means confirmation of a Supra, or the announcement that they’ve confirmed something at all. So if you thought you could get off the edge of your seat, well, not just yet.

You can watch the complete Bloomberg interview below.

Continue reading Toyota again hints that a new Supra is under development [w/video]

Toyota again hints that a new Supra is under development [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Toyota again hints that a new Supra is under development [w/video]”