Posts Tagged ‘gt86’

The Toyota GT86 Is Getting a Little Brother

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

2014 Toyota GT86

Last week, we got our first look at the facelifted 2016 Toyota GT86 sports coupe. This weekend, we learned that this isn’t the only piece of GT86/FR-S related news Toyota’s been hiding… Apparently, Toyota is currently developing a compact sports car that would slot below their joint venture coupe.

The news comes from Australian automotive blog Motoring, who apparently first heard the news from “a source close to Toyota”. They say that the new compact sports car will be a two-door rear-wheel-drive coupe that will have a starting price of about $20,000. It will run on a 132 horsepower 1.5L petrol engine and come in under 1,000 kg.

Toyota Sports 800

Motoring also says that the car will compete with the new Mazda MX-5, but let’s be real… Given Toyota and Mazda’s recently expanded partnership, we all know that this is going to be a Miata-based vehicle. In fact, we’d say there’s a decent chance it will be built on the same platform and use a SkyActiv-inspired engine too. The rumor right now is that the engine will be a modified direct-injection version of the 1.5L four-cylinder Toyota uses in some international Corolla models (2NR-FKE), but we’re not convinced.

Even if the new sub-GT86 coupe is largely built on Mazda components, the car will still be inspired by an old Toyota model. Toyota’s source said, “The new coupe’s exterior look was inspired by the Toyota Sports 800 (pictured above) of 1965, but reinterpreted for the 21st Century.” The source also said that the new coupe is codenamed 69DZ, if that tells you anything. Aesthetically, it’ll be based on the Toyota 86 Cb Concept from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show (below).

2013 Toyota 86 Cb Concept

The new baby coupe will serve as an entry-level offer to Toyota sports car lineup. Other rumors say that Toyota plans to develop another larger coupe that will slot above the GT86/FR-S, which would give them three solid sports car offers. As the cheapest of the bunch, the 69DZ will have a heavy emphasis on fun, agile driving, and not as much on interior quality. We hope that Toyota opts for a simple two-seat coupe for the superior cabin space, but empirical evidence points to a cramped 2+2 seating arrangement.

That being said, Toyota is taking extreme measures to make sure the mini-86 kicks butt on the road… Apparently they’ve enlisted the help of World Rally Championship racer Tommi Makinen to test and develop the new sports coupe. With that kind of real on-track experience behind the project, we sincerely hope that this new sports car will go from prototype to production before the end of the year. It’s certainly possible; Motoring’s source said, “Designers have a final prototype that could very well go into production as is.”

Here’s to hoping!

2016 Scion FR-S Gets Upgraded Interior & Tech.

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

After Scion added two new cars to their lineup for the first time in years at the 2015 New York Auto Show, we’ve been anxiously waiting to see what the youth-targeted marque would do with their most iconic vehicle for the 2016 model year. Today, Scion released official details for their 2016 Scion FR-S sports coupe.

2016 Scion FR-S

Let’s start with the exterior. No body modifications have been made to the FR-S for 2016, but Scion will offer the coupe in two new colors – Ablaze Red (pictured) or Oceanic Blue. Remember, the coupe has only been on the market since 2013; Toyota hasn’t yet seen fit to make any body modifications to either their 86 or FR-S offerings in any market. The powertrain will stay the same too – it’s a 2.0L four-cylinder with 200 hp.

2016 Scion FR-S interior

The interior is where things start getting really exciting. Scion wanted to improve the premium feel of the coupe’s cabin, so they made a number of interior upgrades. They’ve added new silver accents throughout the center console and dashboard, along with the steering wheel and door grips. Scion has also added in a higher quality audio system as the standard option, along with a crisp 7-inch touchscreen and voice recognition technology.

2016 Scion FR-S rear

Scion also says that they’ve added a rear-view backup camera to the coupe for “added safety, comfort and convenience.” Of course, we all know that this is 2015… Backup cameras are required now. Still, we appreciate the sentiment.

With all the new technology, it’s no surprise that the 2016 model year will get a slight price increase of $405. That means the six-speed manual now starts at $25,305. The six-speed sequential automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters starts at $26,405. And don’t forget the $770 destination fee.

2016 Scion FR-S profile

Honestly, even after the changes to the 2016MY coming in June, the Scion FR-S is headed for a rough year. First-quarter sales were down almost 30% from last year, and it’s hard to believe that a higher price tag is going to positively affect sales, even with a better interior.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2012 Toyota 86 G

2012 Toyota 86

Since the cars are still so new, you won’t find very many GT86 or BRZ coupes up for auction in Japan (the FR-S is a US-only name). But, we managed to dig up this beautiful blazing red 86 G in superb condition.

2012 Toyota 86 rear

Interestingly, the base trim Toyota 86 (as it’s called in Japan) is the RC package, which is a barebones vehicle meant for racing. It’s only once you move to the G trim (the car you see here) that you get all the interior components like air-conditioning, leather upholstery with red stitching, plus the LCD touchscreen display. You also get those slick 16-inch alloys you can see in the images above.

2012 Toyota 86 interior

As we said, this 2012 Toyota 86 auction find is in great shape with a B-grade interior and exterior, and an overall rating of 4.5. For more details, get a full translation of the specs below the auction sheet.

2012 Toyota 86 auction sheet

“Interior B, exterior condition B, first registered October 2012, G model, 6-speed manual, AC, Kenwood SD navigation system with digital TV, rear view reversing camera, keyless entry, original 16 inch AWs, power steering, power windows, ABS, airbag, one owner, seats worn, front windscreen scratched, interior grime, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map”

Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Shown in Chicago

Posted by Stephen On Friday, February 20th, 2015

2016 Toyota Avalon

Since 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon has stood out in Toyota’s lineup as their most refined sedan of any size. Now at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, the Japanese automaker has pulled the wraps off a mid-cycle refresh of their upmarket saloon for the 2016 model year.

2016 Toyota Avalon rear

The exterior updates are easiest to see. Toyota’s added a downturned, extra-wide horizontal grille with a bold chrome outline, while the neighboring slanted turn signals have taken the place of the current model’s bulky fog lights. This fits nicely with the new slanted LED headlights, while the chrome accent lines extending from the Toyota logo above the grille naturally blend into the body lines of the car. All in all, an extremely sporty front fascia, with new dark grey 18-inch alloys to complete the look. The Limited trim will get upgraded Super Chrome alloys instead.

2016 Toyota Avalon tires

Speaking of trims, there will be five trim levels for the 2016 model year, up from the four available in 2015. The new trim is XLE Plus, which slots above the existing base XLE trim. From there it goes XLE Premium, Touring and Limited.

With all that being said, the biggest change to the 2016 Toyota Avalon isn’t to the styling, but to be suspension. Toyota has retuned the Avalon’s underpinnings to “better align with diverse customer preferences.” Practically speaking, this means that every trim of the Avalon except the Touring model gets a softer suspension with a smoother ride. This should better serve the priorities of the average Avalon driver. However, the Touring trim’s tuning will remain a bit stiffer to accommodate the sportier and more rigorous ride.

2016 Toyota Avalon interior

Other than that, the Avalon remains mostly the same. The interior gets some slight styling updates with chrome accents and grey accent stitching. Some trims get new tech options too, like the advanced safety features in the Limited, including automatic high-beams, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and pre-collision warning.

Everything under the hood stays the same with a 3.5L V6 outputting 268 hp being the primary powertrain option. We wouldn’t be surprised if a smaller 2.5L powertrain was confirmed closer to the new model’s production.

Subaru Hints at Plans for Second-Generation BRZ Coupe

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, July 24th, 2014

2014 Subaru BRZ Coupe

You might’ve missed it, but towards the end of June there was a rumor going around that there’d be no second-generation Subaru BRZ. The rumor stemmed from Australian news-site, who quoted the car’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, as saying that Toyota was considering a different partner for the next-generation sports coupe. Their replacement partner would potentially be BMW, if the move went through.

Looking at the stats, Toyota has decent reason to consider adopting a new partner for their GT86/FR-S twins. Autonews reports that since the beginning of 2014, sales of the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 have fallen by almost 25%, while sales of the Subaru BRZ rose by a better-than-nothing 6%.

Finally, in an urgent response to the rumor of a Toyota-BMW partnership, Fuji Heavy Industry’s president (FHI owns Subaru), Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, squashed the rumor of Toyota’s move. He said, “If I were to be told that [Toyota switched to BMW], I’d pass out. [The BRZ] is not going to be just one generation.” Emphasis added.

No one can argue that Subaru benefits more from the partnership than Toyota, and we’d wager that even Yoshinaga agrees that they need the help of the world’s largest Japanese automaker to make a next-gen BRZ coupe happen. The volume made possible by the Toyota partnership is just too much to make up. Still, it would be a strange move for Toyota to go through with, especially considering that they own a 20% share in Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries.

No matter whom ends up partnering with whom, there are a few things that we know about the next-gen Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S:

First, it’ll be more powerful. Toyota and Subaru both have heard the pleas from drivers begging for a more powerful engine, and it’s something they plan to include in the next-gen lineup.

Second, it’ll use an alternative powertrain solution, aka. hybrid technology. Tada explains the possibility, saying, “Every 86 enthusiast has been asking question on more power and we are studying now for the answers. Maybe next-generation 86 must have some kind of eco-technology like racing hybrid. We raced at Le Mans with this and that is the reason why we challenge ourselves with this technology.”

In the end, it seems safe to assume that Toyota will remain partnered with the Subaru for the next-generation BRZ/GT86/FR-S sports coupe. Better yet, these preliminary rumors give us confidence that Subaru’s next model will have the power to make full use of its incredible handling, and with a technology suite that keeps the car both modern and fuel-efficient.


Bye-Bye Subaru BRZ STI; Hello BRZ FA-20 by Cosworth

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

FA-20 Power Packages

Ever since the launch of the Subaru BRZ, performance enthusiasts all over the world have been clamoring for an STI-tuned version of the acclaimed sports coupe. The regular BRZ drives like a dream, but with ‘only’ 200hp it just doesn’t give the kind of kick that a true speed junky craves.

Unfortunately, as time goes on it has seemed less and less likely that the Japanese automaker will release an STI model, despite the fervent pleas of their fans. In fact, a few weeks ago an anonymous insider was reported saying that Subaru had no plans whatsoever to develop a BRZ STI. Apparently the WRZ STI is the only car in their lineup that warrants the STI treatment.

You can understand why Subaru and their partner Toyota/Scion would want to leave the BRZ/GT86/FR-S as-is – they’ve said from the beginning that the three coupes were intended to offer excellent handling at an affordable price, which they do. Still, we want more! And it seems that the good folks over at Cosworth have finally heard our cry.

Check out this sweet teaser video Cosworth released of the upcoming Subaru BRZ FA-20 Power Package:

For those of you who don’t know, Cosworth has been involved in F1 racing for decades, supplying their own engines and mechanics to championship race cars as far back as the late ‘60s. Their engines have claimed 176 wins in 50 years, second only to Ferrari. In addition, they offer engineering consultancy, specialized performance electronics and bespoke precision manufacturing to major automakers. Now, they’re turning their attention to the BRZ/GT86 to pick up the slack.

Unfortunately, the teaser video isn’t very specific about what exactly the FA-20 Power Package will include. Still, there are a few obvious additions… For starters, the car in the video clearly has an enormous rear spoiler and a sleek front spoiler to go with it. We can also see indications that Cosworth will incorporate a new performance exhaust system, tune the suspension and upgrade the tires. Best of all, the video clearly spends some time panning around the engine, implying that we’ll see some sort of upgrade on that front; perhaps a turbocharger or something similar. Plus, the FA-20 name actually comes from the 2.0L Boxer engine that Subaru uses in the BRZ – it’s designated as the FA20 engine, derived from the old FB engine line.

Believe it or not, Cosworth actually previewed this FA20 Power Package in November of last year at the LA Motor Show. They called it the Stage 1 Power Package, and in addition to the new performance exhaust system, it also included a completely new ECU. At the time, they had this to say about the FA20 Power Package: “The Cosworth Stage 1 has been designed from the outset to operate as a complete tuning solution with all components working in complete harmony.”

As you can see, there’s a lot that we still don’t know about the Subaru BRZ FA20 by Cosworth, but there’s one thing we do now – it’s definitely going to come. And that’s a lot more than we could ever say about Subaru’s own BRZ STI.

Scion FR-S Sedan Variant Possibly Set to Launch by 2016

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Since the highly acclaimed Scion FR-S triplets are so popular, it’s no wonder there are so many different rumors about new FR-S-based models. Fortunately, rumors are half the fun of journalism, so we jumped at the chance to look into the latest lead about the Toyota-Subaru sports cars. This one says that we can expect a four-door Scion FR-S sedan by the end of 2016. This is in addition to the FR-S convertible that we’d been promised sometime at the end of this year or beginning of next.

Scion FR-S Coupe

Obviously, the first step in creating a Scion FR-S sedan would be stretching out the coupe. According to Motor Trend, an insider from Toyota estimates that a sedanified FR-S would be 20 inches longer and 4 inches taller while the width would remain the same. Apparently, this is the bare minimum adjustment required for the FR-S to comfortably fit in a back seat without diminishing the sports car’s sleek aesthetic.

But, the size of the FR-S won’t be the only element getting expanded. A bigger car demands a bigger engine, so Toyota is going to upgrade the FR-S sedan with a new turbocharged engine. More specifically, it will be a Subaru-sourced 2.5L BOXER engine with direct-injection and an output of 295hp. The engine will pair up with an eight-speed automatic transmission available only in RWD. Best of all, this new turbocharged engine will also become available in the normal FR-S coupe, perhaps even before the debut of the new sedan.

However, while the turbocharged BOXER will make it into the coupe, the other powertrain option for the Scion FR-S sedan won’t. The second powertrain will use an upgraded Subaru engine with RWD mated with two electric motors on the front wheels. This hybrid system will effectively make the hybrid FR-S into an AWD vehicle.

Toyota FT-86 Open Concept

Unfortunately, this is where we get into the pessimistic part of this article. As your automotive news source of choice, we have to warn you that these rumors are entirely unconfirmed. While we’re likely to see an FR-86 convertible (as seen by the FT-86 Open Concept, above), a sedan variant is completely unfounded outside this rumor. Furthermore, even if it is true, we’re not sure when it will happen, or if the FR-S sedan will be rebadged with Subaru’s and Toyota’s nameplates.

Still, if you’re willing to take an optimistic perspective on this rumor, then there are a couple other tidbits you probably want to know – the FR-S sedan’s projected price and timeline. According to the Toyota insider, the normal FR-S sedan will debut at the beginning of 2016 for around $40,000. This is also when the FR-S coupe will start being offered with the new turbocharged engine. Then, several months later, the hybrid FR-S sedan will launch for an estimated $50,000.

Whether you’re willing to ride the Scion FR-S sedan hype train or not, thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for more Japanese car goodness!

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.

Nissan Confirms Production Models Coming from IDx Concepts

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

As you may recall, last month was a big month for automotive enthusiasts. We had not one, not two, but three separate motor shows to cover all in the final week of November. Obviously, some new cars got glossed over. Two of those cars were Nissan’s new IDx Concepts from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. However, we’re going back to them today because Nissan has just officially confirmed that they will bring both concepts to production.

So, first things first, here are the Nissan IDx Concepts you might’ve missed from last month’s 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

First, the Nissan IDx Freeflow Concept. It’s designed to reflect “the outlook of people who seek natural and tasteful things in every aspect of their daily lives.”

Nissan IDx Freeflow Concept

Next, here’s the Nissan IDx NISMO Concept. This car “exemplifies Nissan’s fresh approach to contemplating car design, and kindles a fire in the hearts of people fond of the good old days of high-performance cars.”

Nissan IDx NISMO Concept

Truth be told, these two concepts came as a surprise to the entirety of the automotive community. Nissan made no mention of the two concepts in any of their press material leading up to the 2013 Tokyo motor show.

Fortunately, we love surprises! And they come so rarely from automakers these days.

As our veteran readers may be able to tell, these two racers are intended to pay homage to the old Datsun 510 racecar. But, they play a more important role than that: Now that they’re confirmed for production, we also know that these coupes will be Nissan’s answer to the dominant Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ triplets.

Both coupes are rear wheel drive only, but we don’t know too much more than that. All we know is that, basically, the IDx Freeflow Concept is supposed to be classy while the IDx NISMO Concept is supposed to be cool. Just compare the interiors below to get a feel for what that means:

Here’s the IDx Freeflow Concept’s interior:

IDx Freeflow Concept’s Interior

Notice the denim seats? The clean design? The classic, simple steering wheel? The large clock on the display? All of these elements are in place to create an interior that’s cozy, comfortable and refined.

Meanwhile, here’s the IDx NISMO Concept’s interior:

IDx NISMO Concept’s Interior

Ah, see? Much more energetic. In characteristic NISMO fashion, the interior features a black and red color scheme, complete with the deep bucket seats, a racing-style steering wheel, and a display that’s more focused on monitoring performance than making the driver feel classy. The IDx NISMO is all about cool.

The cars are nearly identical from the exterior (aside from color), except that the IDx NISMO sits a little lower to the ground with a slightly wider wheelbase. It also features a hood scoop, front air intakes, a small spoiler, performance tires, and several other cool track-oriented features. We’re sure there will be powertrain differences too, but we won’t know for sure until sometime next year.

With any luck, we’ll get to see a production model of the IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO Concepts sometime early in 2014… Perhaps the 2014 Detroit Auto Show? Let’s hope. Until then, thanks for reading, and come back soon for more Japanese car goodness.

Toyota May Manufacture a GT-86 Sedan by 2015

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Toyota GT-86 Sedan

For some, the Toyota GT-86 is the only redeeming car in the monumental Japanese brand’s entire lineup. For others, it’s just one more reason why Toyota is such a dominant force in the global automotive industry. No matter how you feel about Toyota, though, chances are you’d like to see more of the co-developed Toyota GT-86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ. Well, according to an anonymous inside source at Toyota, we may be getting more than we bargained for sooner than we’d hoped.

It was just earlier this year at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show that we first saw Toyota’s vision for a convertible Toyota GT-86/Scion FR-S. Unfortunately, word made it through the rumor mill a few weeks ago that progress will be stalled on the development of a soft-top GT-86 for the time being. However, news sources report that a sedan version of the GT-86 coupe may be in the works. Furthermore, the GT-86 sedan may actually make it into dealerships before the convertible version.

Why? I hear you cry. Good question. After all, Ferrari et al take a more traditional coupe -> convertible route, so what’s this coupe -> sedan idea they’ve gotten into their mixed-up heads?

All About the Toyota GT-86 Sedan

According to the reports, the Toyota GT-86 sedan variant will feature a wheelbase that’s about 4 inches longer than the original coupe to account for the extra passenger space in the back. In addition, the sedan may get a reworked grill – one that will apparently evoke a Japanese samurai sword (don’t ask me what that would look like).

As far as powertrain configurations, the sedan will likely keep the 2.0L boxer currently in the original GT-86/FR-S as one option, at least. However, there is rumor that a hybrid version of the Toyota GT-86 sedan may employ the same super-capacitor system that we saw in the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. The Hybrid-R system would enable the sedan to offer 268hp as opposed to the flat 200hp currently available in the regular GT-86 coupe.

For the time being, we have no idea whether or not there will be a sedan iteration made for the Scion FR-S or the Subaru BRZ. And either way, the Toyota insider tells us that we probably won’t see anything in show rooms until early 2015 or even 2016.

What If the GT-86 Sedan is All Made Up?

Sadly, anytime we have a story that stems solely from an anonymous tip, it must be taken into consideration that the report is inaccurate or even made up.

This wouldn’t be the first time that an online automotive news-source “confirmed” a made-up car, either. In fact, in 2010 there was a very similar rumor about a GT-86 sedan which told us that the new iteration would be in show rooms by 2013.

If there is justice in the world, then this time the report of a GT-86 sedan is perfectly true. You can read the story for yourself here. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on its authenticity in the comments below. Either way, the only way to truly verify the authenticity of a GT-86 sedan is for Toyota to make a public statement…  Hopefully they’ll clear the air at one of the remaining motor shows this season.  We’ll definitely let you know as soon as we learn more.

Until then, thanks for reading!

What Toyota and Lexus Brought to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Honestly, we weren’t expecting any surprises from Toyota or Lexus at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.  Both Japanese automakers had already teased just about everything there was to tease about their new concepts – the Lexus LF-NX Concept and the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept. But, we were wrong.

Whether you’ve been keeping up with Frankfurt previews or this is your first time seeing any of these new concepts, keep reading to get the down-low on Toyota’s, and the world’s, first ever hybrid-only motor show stand. And yes, they did that deliberately because hybrids are “no longer niche,” but mainstream. Apparently, Didier Leroy of Toyota Europe predicts that 27% of cars sold in their market during 2013 will be hybrids.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept

First up, we have what is likely one of the most hyped vehicles prior to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Which is odd, because it was our understanding that we weren’t going to see the full Yaris Hybrid-R Concept until the Tokyo Motor Show in November. But, always full of surprises, Toyota made their big debut ahead of time. So, the car you see above is the real-life Toyota Hybrid-R Concept.

The timing is the only surprising thing about the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept, though. Not because the car is boring, but because Toyota already spoiled everything about it…

We already knew that the Yaris-based concept would feature a total output of 420 horsepower.  We knew that the first 300 hp would come from a turbocharged, 1.6L four-cylinder gas engine up front, and that the remaining 120 hp would come from independently controlled 60 hp motors on each rear wheel. Then, another 60 hp motor sits in the middle of the Hybrid-R to collect and send power along to the same supercapacitor that’s found in the Toyota’s TS030 Endurance Championship racecar. We even knew that the super-tuned Yaris would sit on a quartet of 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires.

So, not much new here, but you’ll still enjoy watching Toyota’s official promo video below:

Lexus LF-NX Concept

Next up we have the Lexus LF-NX Concept, made to compete with other compact crossover all-stars like the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA. As with the Yaris Hybrid-R, we already knew a lot of what there is to know about the LF-NX. But, here’s a recap with a couple new tidbits for your enjoyment:

We’ve already talked a lot about the design, so you can make your own opinions about that. Keep in mind, though, that the production model will be MUCH more toned down than the show car above. So, if it’s a little extreme for you as is, that’s alright, it’s purposeful. Instead of focusing on that, let’s go over some newly revealed/rumored technical details.

First up, the Lexus LF-NX will feature a “new variant of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system,” just like we’ve seen in the IS300h, but “tuned for SUV performance.” This fits perfectly with what we already knew, since Toyota trademarked the NX300h moniker at the beginning of 2013. It also makes sense with Lexus’ debut of the new GS 300h alongside the LF-NX in Frankfurt, too (we’re not going to discuss it, though, since it’s an old car with a new powertrain).

The LF-NX compact crossover will definitely be manufactured with FWD, but it may also be available with AWD in some countries. It also seems likely that the LF-NX will be manufactured on the same platform as the new RAV4. If you’d like to learn more about the Lexus LF-NX Concept, check out the premium crossover’s official promo video below:

Confirmation of Toyota GT86 Hybrid

This is where things are getting interesting… Apparently, the folks over at got an exclusive interview with Koei Saga, one of the head honchos of Toyota’s drivetrain engineering division. According to him, a new Toyota GT86 Hybrid may be coming soon. Maybe even closer than you think; he says, “The development work is quite advanced now, so if the green light is given, we are ready to do it.”

Putting the Pieces Together

What’s really interesting about this news of a GT86 Hybrid is that it will be made with a compilation of drivetrain technologies that Toyota has already been used in… Get this… Production passenger cars and pure race-oriented hybrid systems. In other words, it’s very likely that the GT86 will feature powertrain technology nearly identical to that found in the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept! And now everything fits together, right?

All in all, an excellent hybrid-only showing from Toyota and Lexus at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was nice to see the Yaris come early (which means we’ll probably get some new car-candy for Tokyo), the LF-NX lived up to expectations, and the possibility of a new hybrid GT86 is absolutely titillating.

Stay tuned here for more Frankfurt coverage tomorrow, and until then, thanks for reading!