Posts Tagged ‘furia’

Redesigned 2015 Toyota Camry Coming to New York Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Toyota Camry

Toyota has just announced that their best-selling Camry sedan will receive its first major design changes since 2011 for the 2015 model year. Furthermore, we will see those changes in-the-metal at the upcoming 2014 New York Auto Show, where the new sedan will make its official debut.

We first heard rumors about a Camry facelift towards the end of last year when the Corolla and Avalon were seeing their own major changes. Toyota had said that they would be paying “significant attention” to the Camry in 2014, so this isn’t a major surprise. However, while the surprise isn’t major, the redesign is alleged to be.

Apparently, another automotive blog, AutoGuide, has an informant inside Toyota’s Design Research team, and they’ve hinted at some of the specific changes we can expect from next year’s model. But let’s back up a bit first…

Toyota Furia Concept

In January, Toyota’s US Head of Design, Kevin Hunter, readily admitted that the current Camry is, frankly, boring. As such, Toyota told us that the new Camry would be more “emotional” and “impactful” than its current iteration. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’re remembering the Toyota Furia Concept (above), which eventually led to the new Toyota Corolla.

We now know exactly where the new Toyota Camry will take its “emotional” and “impactful” inspiration from – the highly acclaimed Scion FR-S / Toyota GT 86, pictured below:

Toyota GT 86

Since 2011, the Camry’s year-to-year design updates have been limited to new headlights and taillights, or maybe a slightly altered grille on a good year. However, it looks as if the new Camry will be an all-around more aggressive-looking car. And a more competitive car too – AutoGuide’s source specifically claimed that the new Camry will have “much better styling and technology than the Accord.”

Specific aesthetic changes that the informant confirmed include a front-end design reminiscent of the Scion FR-S, featuring a large, low-hanging mesh grille with the iconic Toyota logo situated just above. He also hinted that the rear-end styling will evoke the Lexus ES sedan.

2014 Lexus ES Rear View

 In addition to the numerous exterior changes, the 2015 Toyota Camry will apparently receive extensive interior updates. This is to be expected, since Honda and Nissan have both been able to deliver high-quality, premium interiors in their current iterations of the Accord and Altima. The onus is on Toyota to surpass their competitors with a luxurious and high-tech interior of their own. Early rumors hint at a completely overhauled interior trim, along with new technologies like a customizable thin-film-transistor (TFT) display for the front dash.

Mechanically, the new Camry might not get any new powertrain configurations (we still don’t know one way or another), but it definitely will offer better driving dynamics through a retuned suspension.

The new Camry can’t come soon enough for Toyota, as their 12-year best-selling sedan is in danger of losing its title for the 2014MY. In the first two months of the year, the Camry has actually fallen behind the Nissan Altima in total sales. It seems that drivers are finally tired of the boring-but-reliable Camry, so we’re definitely looking forward to seeing what Toyota can bring to the table to spice up their currently bland sedan.


New Toyota Aygo Teased Ahead of Geneva Motor Show Debut

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

As of yesterday, Toyota has officially confirmed the debut of the 2015 Toyota Aygo for the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next month.

The new Aygo is actually one of three cars jointly developed by PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Toyota, and it’s Toyota’s latest effort at attracting European drivers to their lineup.  The new Aygo aims to do this by moving upmarket, taking on a more luxurious and premium feel both inside and out.

Unfortunately, as with most teasers, Toyota hasn’t provided us with very much information about their newest city car. Other than the teaser image above and the promo video below (which hardly pictures the car at all), we have no other information to go on. However, as you continue reading, we’ll dissect every little bit of info we do have, and then we’ll take a look at some of the hints that can be gleaned from co-developers Peugeot and Citroen.

As you can see, the new Toyota Aygo keeps in line with most of what Toyota’s debuted within the past year, at least from an aesthetic perspective. Compared to the current Aygo, the new model could generally be described as more memorable. It’s got an aggressively large grille, restyled headlights with thin boomerang-style LED lamps, and of course the emphasized Toyota badge.

All in all, its exterior is quite reminiscent of the Toyota Furia Concept we saw about this time last year, albeit in compact city car form. It looks sleek, sporty and modern, all without trying too hard. At least, that’s what we can say from this darkened teaser.

We also have a very slight hint at what the new Toyota Aygo’s interior will look like thanks to the promo video shown above. If you pay close attention, you can see a sketch of the Aygo’s interior.

As far as mechanics, we know that the new Toyota Aygo will be built on the same platform as the Peugeot 108 and the Citroen C1, the Aygo’s co-developed twin siblings. It will likely bear the same engine options as the recently unveiled Peugeot 108, which comes with either a 1.0L VTi with ~68 bhp or a 1.2L VTi with ~81 bhp.

As you can see, Toyota definitely has their work cut out for them if they want to legitimately compete with European automakers for European market share. The new Toyota Aygo looks promising, but the Peugeot 108 looks amazing and the next-gen Citroen C1 is sure to be just as appealing. The C1 will debut alongside the Aygo at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March, so stay tuned to see which car really looks better.


The Most Impressive Japanese Cars From the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Even though the Detroit Auto Show will technically be open until next Saturday, January 26, we’ve already seen coverage of every single vehicle that the show has to offer. Monday and Tuesday were for press, yesterday and today are reserved for industry professionals, and then the floors will be opened to the public starting this Saturday.

Naturally, now that we have seen the newest and best vehicles that our favorite Japanese manufacturers have to offer in 2013, the next step is picking out the cream of the crop. Below you will find the top three Japanese cars that made the best first impressions with the press. Even though you or I may not personally agree with each and every one of these picks, these are the most popular Japanese cars of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show:

#1. Toyota Furia Concept

While there is a general wariness that next-gen Corolla will end up a far cry from the spicy Toyota Furia Concept we saw this week, there’s no doubt that Toyota hit this one out of the park. The Furia was everything the brand made it out to be and more; there’s no denying that the carbon-fiber-wearing, LED-touting Furia looks pretty dang sweet.

The looming wariness may be nothing more than the residual impact that decades of “beige” and “tan” have wrought on the Corolla’s image, but still… Toyota’s executives could’ve at least TRIED to assuage our worries. Instead they said nothing more than that “the Corolla Furia Concept is an early indicator of where our compact car design may lead in the future.”

#2. Infiniti Q50 / Lexus IS

Here we have the two Japanese luxury sedans that both made waves at the Detroit Auto Show. If you asked 10 people which one is better and why, you would get 11 different answers. The fact of the matter is that these two vehicles are not targeted towards the same audience, so comparing them is somewhat futile.

Chances are that if you live outside the States, then the Lexus IS will be the more appealing sedan because of a hybrid option that will be available to international buyers. On the other hand, if you have an eye for cool technology, then you will appreciate the completely electric steering featured in the Q50 – there are no mechanical connections between the steering and the wheels. The Lexus IS probably has a more innovative styling, but the Q50 has a superior interior, and the exterior design will definitely appeal to classicists without being too stale.

#3. Nissan Resonance

Last but not least, the Nissan Resonance concept was by far the most compelling new design at the Detroit Auto Show. Again, because this is a concept car we don’t actually know how many of the futuristic elements will make it into the final production model. But, I think that we are all desperately hoping that, if nothing else, the “floating” roof makes it to the streets.

Nissan tells us that, “When the designers were first working on the Resonance, they were inspired by scientific advancements in technology and material innovations.” This would explain the sci-fi inspired holographic center console, as well as the “V-Motion” exterior styling.

Honorable Mention – Honda Urban SUV Concept

Even though several industry insiders weren’t personally impressed by the new Honda concept, coverage of the SUV was on the whole promising. Apparently several top executives from competing manufacturers (cough, BMW, cough) were observed ogling at the Urban SUV concept from afar, trying to figure out how their own models stacked up. That’s got to mean something, and I’m sure Honda is satisfied with their presentation.

Well, with that we will conclude our coverage of the Detroit Auto Show without even once mentioning the new Corvette.

Whoops! Oh well.

With over 50 vehicles on display at the NAIAS, even the four days we’ve spent covering exclusively Japanese cars seems crunched, but hopefully you’re appetite for car-candy has been satisfied. It was the first big auto event of the year, and it was a good one for Japanese car enthusiasts… Now let’s turn our attention forward and watch these concepts turn into production vehicles over the course of 2013!


Japanese Cars from Day 1 of the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Today marks the first day of press access to the first big automotive event of the year – the North American International Auto Show, or more commonly referred to as the Detroit Auto Show.

Many of you have marked your calendars in advance for this important date, but sifting through all of your favorite news sources for updates can be a hassle. So, to make life easier for our fellow Japanese car enthusiasts, this blog will be bringing you daily updates on the latest unveilings of the show. Being that this is a Japanese car blog, we will be specifically covering the Japanese-made vehicles debuting at the NAIAS.

Infiniti Q50

We knew that the Infiniti Q50 would be competing for attention with the highly anticipated Lexus IS, so it’s a good thing that Infiniti’s Toyota-owned competitor won’t be debuting their luxury sedan until Day 2… That means the new Infiniti Q50 has a whole day in the spotlight!

The all-new luxury sports sedan will be replacing the Infiniti G37 and will feature a highly aerodynamic exterior design with either a 3.7L V6 with 328hp or a 300hp 3.5L V6 gas engine hybrid-linked with a 67hp electric motor. One of the coolest features of the new sports sedan is a brand-new feature – Active Lane Control – which is capable of reading the road ahead and adjusting the vehicle’s steering based on automatically-perceived changes in road conditions or crosswinds.

Toyota Corolla Furia

Regular readers will know that this writer was hoping the Toyota Furia would be more than a Corolla reboot. So, when Toyota unveiled the Furia today and it was exactly that, you might expect me to be disappointed. However, the expressive innovation and vivid design clear in the real-life Furia have completely washed away any disappointments that last-week-me may have felt.

The new Corolla concept rides lower to the ground, is slightly longer than previous generations, and features a bevy of trend-minded aesthetic tweaks, such as a significantly pronounced grille, an abbreviated front clip, and a steeply raked windshield. Looks like the Corolla will continue being the best-selling vehicle of all time.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan leaf was definitely one of the cars that we were aware of, but not excited about, at the outset of the Detroit Auto Show. However, today Nissan dropped a bomb on us so huge that we felt compelled to write an entire article about this car alone.

The new Nissan LEAF S will be available as cheaply as $18,800 depending on your locale, and every single trim level will be more efficient, cleaner, and have a larger range than any of Nissan’s previous EVs.

Honda Fit-Based Urban SUV

The automotive blogosphere has been murmuring about a Fit-based SUV from Honda for at least the past six months, and today we finally got to see what those murmurings were all about. The new crossover from Honda has been dubbed the Urban SUV Concept, and Honda says that “The Urban SUV Concept is intended to provide the basis for a fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient small SUV with aspirational design, flexible packaging and next-generation connectivity targeting active lifestyle customers.” We know that the Urban SUV will launch in Japan by the end of the year, and in the States by 2014.

Day one of the Detroit Auto Show was a great start for Japanese car manufacturers with a good showing across the field. The least exciting Japanese car of the day was probably the Honda Urban SUV concept, but that’s not to say it won’t be a blazing success when launch-time comes later this year. After all, the same thing was said about the Honda CR-V and it is one of the best-selling SUVs in the American market. Plus, Honda/Acura has more cars waiting to be revealed over the next few days of the Detroit Auto Show, so you’ll want to check back tomorrow for the most up-to-date coverage.


5 Japanese Cars To Watch For At The 2013 Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 12th, 2013

With approximately 50 new vehicle makes and models to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show next week, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to digesting coverage. After all, most of us have jobs and can’t spend every hour from January 14th to January 27th fawning over the automotive industry’s best.

What’s a guy (or gal) to do?

Fortunately, below you will find five of the most highly anticipated Japanese vehicles to set your sights on for the next couple of weeks. These are the ones you’ll want to watch out for:

#1. Toyota Furia Concept

We’ve already written about the Toyota Furia concept, and with good reason… This new design stands out as the single most highly anticipated Japanese vehicle to make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Toyota has been reeling us in – hook, line and sinker – with several different teasers over the past couple weeks, including a fiery promo video that left us with a burning desire to know more.

Speculation has it that the new Furia is going to be a concept for the next generation Corolla (which is due for a reboot), but I’m personally hoping that it is something more exciting.

#2. Lexus IS Sedan

Speaking of Toyota… So far, everything we’ve been exposed to regarding Lexus’ new flagship luxury sedan, the Lexus IS, has felt like a rejuvenating breath of fresh air. It’s nice to see that Lexus is clearly catering to both the luxury aficionado and the high-performance daredevil. Lexus has a new and improved perspective on luxury performance thanks to their two-year stint with the Lexus LFA, and we’re all excited to see what that looks (and feels) like in this new sedan.

#3. Nissan Leaf

Let’s face it, not all of us are going to be edge-of-the-seat-excited about the Nissan Leaf. Not that the vehicle isn’t well-designed or appealing, but it doesn’t have the same spiciness of the Lexus IS or the anticipation behind the Toyota Furia.

However, the success or failure of this vehicle could have a very big impact on the future of the automotive industry. We are on the brink of electric vehicles finally becoming a viable market, but if Nissan’s now-lower-priced Leaf can’t do it, then we may still have several years before EVs are truly worth automakers’ time. Maybe that’s being a little dramatic, but there’s no denying that just about every other brand considering expanding their EV market will be keeping tabs on the public’s reception to the Nissan Leaf.

#4. Acura MDX Prototype

Here we go, back to luxury and performance… The way cars were meant to be enjoyed!

Frankly, Acura has done a pretty good job of keeping the details behind the new MDX prototype under wraps. We really don’t know very much about it. However, there are spy-shots available of the MDX being tested specifically against the BMW X5, so we know who Acura is trying to target with this new luxury crossover. Us Japanese car enthusiasts have high hopes that this new prototype will become a solid contender in the segment.

#5. Infiniti Q50

Originally set to make its premier at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the Q50 is instead going to be duking it out with the new Lexus IS for the spotlight at the Detroit Auto Show next week. This is another vehicle that we don’t know a ton about, but it will be interesting to see how well Infiniti’s new luxury sedan will compete with the likes of both the BMW 3-Series AND the Lexus IS. My bet goes to Lexus, but you Nissan fans out there may lean the other way.

If nothing else, the Infiniti Q50 is the first vehicle to take on the “Q” moniker instead of Infiniti’s old “G” naming structure. Why? Who knows… Better parts, new vision, improved technology… But whatever the reason, it’s got to be worth something, right?

Stay tuned next week as the Detroit Auto Show’s doors open to the press on January 14. There should be plenty of auto-eye-candy available for you if you’re interested (who isn’t?), so come back here in a just a few days!


Furious Speculation About the Toyota Furia Concept

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

It seems like every week we hear about a new car that is going to be the best or coolest debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month, but this week’s is something to really get fired up for – The Toyota Furia concept.

Filled with mystery and flair (or should I say flare?), the preview that Toyota released teasing their Furia concept doesn’t leave us with very much. All that Toyota has told us is that the Furia is an “exciting sedan concept” that will make its world debut in Detroit. However, as you continue reading we will dissect every aspect of this video to speculate what this new car or concept might mean for Toyota’s future lineup.

Flames and Fireballs and Explosions, Oh My!

The first and most obvious thing to note is the way in which the Furia concept was presented. The preview is filled with sparks, floating embers, explosions and jets of flame. Since Toyota self-admittedly has a reputation for manufacturing cars that are effective and efficient, but not necessarily exciting, this is clearly meant to be a car that gets your heart pumping.

Looking Beyond the Special Effects

It’s difficult, but if you can look through the fire and brimstone in the preview video you can actually see a few very interesting features. Most notably, the orange Furia concept appears to feature accents of carbon fiber. We can see a carbon fiber rear spoiler as well as a carbon fiber diffuser. We can also see a slick looking honeycomb grille and chrome accents above the headlights.

Now, this use of carbon fiber is especially interesting since we know that Toyota, or at least Lexus, has been dabbling in in-house carbon fiber manufacture for at least the past two years. Granted, that dabbling has been for chassis development, not aesthetic use, but none the less. Either way, there’s no denying that the black carbon fiber looks awesome, especially paired with flaming orange and chrome.

Furiously Speculating About the… Furi-olla?

Since we don’t know anything about the Furia other than that it is a sedan concept, it is quite possible that it is previewing not a new car, but simply a new design. This seems especially likely since in the preview we can see fully functional, normal looking door handles… Not something you usually see in a pure concept car.

If you pay attention, the Furia’s profile at the very end of the video looks somewhat similar to the 2014 Corolla’s profile from spy-shots taken in August of 2012. It would make some sense for the Furia to simply be a Corolla design since it hasn’t been refreshed in over 4 years. However, in this writer’s opinion the Furia is not simply a Corolla re-design; the Corolla spy shots don’t appear to feature a honeycomb grille, and the Furia’s profile looks like it might be longer than the Corolla’s. Furthermore, the preview seems like it could be showing a rare two-door sedan, not a typical four-door like the Corolla.

As much as I hate playing into corporate marketing ploys, the new Furia concept really does have me fired up. Even if it is simply a Corolla design concept, it will be interesting to see how Toyota is going to compete with spicier and more stylish vehicles from its competitors like Honda and Hyundai. However, I’m still hoping for a brand-new vehicle that will add something sporty to Toyota’s lineup. Either way, be sure to tune in to the Detroit Auto Show in January to see for yourself.

Source: Car and Driver