Toyota Triumphs At 2014 FIA World Endurance Championships

If the success and market domination of the Toyota Prius has not convinced you of Toyota’s prowess in hybrid technology, then maybe the results of the FIA World Endurance Championships will.

2014 FIA World Endurance ChampionshipsThe World Endurance Championships comprises a number of races involving the type of endurance car used at the famous Le Mans race. However, the Le Mans is only one of the races in the championships. Races also play out at tracks in Sao Paolo and Bahrain, for instance.

Toyota took home the trophy in both driver’s category and the manufacturer categories this year. The automaker racked up the necessary points using their Toyota TS040 hybrid, which pumps out 1,000 hp on the track.

Through the trickle-down phenomenon, lessons learned at these kinds of races, where automakers put all of their resources to the test, are then taken back to headquarters to be used in mass-market cars. Toyota’s specific approach is to use a 12-man race team, with about half of the team being replaced and heading home every six months to apply what they’ve learned to production vehicles.

While it may not rate at 1,000 hp, we here at Route 44 Toyota always look forward to the latest generation of the classic Toyota Prius!

Refreshed 2015 Toyota Prius v Features Enhancements across the Board

Restyled for 2015, the Toyota Prius v makes its presence known with enhanced styling, increased cargo space, and improved fuel efficiency.

Refreshed 2015 Toyota Prius vFrom the onset, you can see the updates featured on the Prius v. The vehicle adds a sporty twist on its signature look with a restyled front bumper and grille and offers new, bold exterior colors – Attitude Black Metallic, Absolutely Red, and Toasted Walnut Pearl.

Inside, the refreshed 2015 Toyota Prius v offers so much interior space – 67.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down – that it can technically be classified as a “mid-size station wagon.” With options to flat-fold the front passenger seat and slide the second row seats, it’s easy to make more space for rear passengers or open extra room for cargo.

Adding to these improvements is the Prius v’s ability to travel a generous 44 miles per gallon in the city or 40 mpg on the highway, thanks to its famed Hybrid Synergy Drive® powertrain.

For more information on the refreshed 2015 Prius v, don’t hesitate to contact us at Route 44 Toyota.

New Toyota Crash-Prevention Technology Hopefully Going Mainstream

In the midst of massive recalls from 10 major automotive manufacturers, Toyota is taking steps to insure your safety. By combining radar and camera technology, this auto manufacturer is striving to create safer cars for its consumers.

Toyota Crash Prevention TechnologyStarting next year in Toyota’s biggest markets, the US, Japan, and Europe, the brand will offer two new Toyota crash-prevention technology features, in the hopes of bringing these technologies to the mainstream.

According to Toyota engineer Yukinori Yamada, while both technologies – cameras and radar – are already in use, most automotive companies pick one or the other, and combining both is not a common practice.

Toyota has developed two effective crash-prevention systems for different types of vehicles, one for midsize and high-end cars and the other for compact cars. They differ in where the radar and single-lens video are placed as well as the type of radar as well as being slightly different in price, ranging from between $400-$500.

Toyota also plans to include automatic braking and alerts that help the vehicle to stay in its lane.

We here at Route 44 Toyota are excited about the lengths our company is going to in order to keep you safe in our cars.

And the Winner is….Toyota FCV Technology!

Toyota FCV TechnologyWe here at Route 44 Toyota were glad to see Toyota won the “Best of What’s New” award from Popular Science for its new Fuel-Cell Vehicle (FCV). Conceptual designs like the FCV demonstrate the capability of Toyota researchers and engineers.

The Toyota FCV technology is unique in the way it utilizes hydrogen fuel-cells to generate electricity. You won’t find this all-electric sedan hooked up to a wall socket for hours. By combining hydrogen and oxygen, the FCV is able to harness residual electricity that is created when water forms; ergo, nothing but H2O comes out of the tailpipe.

“For 27 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us − those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what’s possible in the future,” said Cliff Ransom, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science.

According to Toyota, this model has a range of over 300 miles and a refuel time less than five minutes. With those stats, the FCV is looking more and more like the best alternative-energy solution. So long as Toyota continues its partnership with California and other states, hydrogen stations are bound to expand and turn this concept model into a reality.

Next-Generation Prius Shares Parts with TS040 Le Mans Racer

The next-generation Prius will share parts with an unlikely vehicle: Toyota’s very own TS040 Le Mans racer.

Because of the new FIA regulations, the World Endurance Championship in which the TS040 races now has a big emphasis on fuel economy.

Toyota re-engineered its car for the 2014 season to cut fuel consumption by 25 percent and, in the process, used parts from the next-generation Prius, like microchips and microcontrollers.

Next-Generation Prius - Toyota PriusThe Prius is the most famous hybrid nameplate in the world, so it’s no surprise Toyota is using information it has already learned from the production car to build a fuel-efficient, hybrid racecar. And the company also plans on making that learning experience a two-way street: According to Autonews, the Toyota racing team has about a dozen hybrid engineers rotating on six-month stints to take lessons learned at the track back to the production car tech center in Toyota City.

One of these technologies is the four-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain that was developed for the TS040, which may very likely see applications in the next-generation Prius. We look forward to it here at Route 44 Toyota!

Toyota Esquire: A Minivan to be Jealous About

It’s really nothing new – to be jealous of a vehicle found only in foreign markets. But this might be the first time we’ve ever been jealous of a minivan. The new Toyota Esquire, available in Japan, is a minivan unlike anything we’ve seen before. It’s modern and sleek, and combines an upscale interior with a hybrid powertrain option.

Toyota Sienna - Japan Has the Toyota EsquireAutoblog.com reports that the Esquire is smaller than our Sienna, but still boasts plush leather seating for seven or eight passengers. Outside, a massive chrome grille and a unique ‘Esquire’ emblem distinguish the minivan.

Buyers can choose a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, which puts out 150 horsepower and 142 pound-feet of torque and features a CVT automatic, with the option for all-wheel drive. In addition, an Esquire hybrid will also be available, which features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to kick out 134 horsepower.

Think minivan-turned-limousine, and you’re on the right track. The Esquire was designed with wealthy Japanese businessmen in mind – big enough and luxurious enough to take their colleagues out for a night on the town. Prices range from 2.6 million yen ($24,000) to 3.2 million yen ($30,000).

No word if the Esquire will ever make it to U.S. soil, but here at Route 44 Toyota, we won’t be holding our breath waiting for it. With minivans constantly threatened by crossovers, there hardly seems to be a place for another minivan in the market. But who are we to make assumptions?

Toyota Instills Social Activism in America’s Youth with DoSomthing.org and The Hunt

ToyotaWhenever you hear the term “kids these days,” it’s almost inevitable that some sort of criticism or insult is soon to follow. Toyota, however, got tired of hearing people complain about young people in America today, so they started two different programs designed to inspire social activism in today’s youth. The programs allow young people to reclaim their reputation while making a huge difference in the world.

The two programs, both of which ran this summer, were DoSomthing.org and The Hunt. DoSomething.org ran for a week and challenged participants to contribute to a great cause each day for a week. The challenges were created by 13-25 year olds this year. The Hunt, meanwhile, challenged American youth to work towards change in their own local communities,

“Toyota believes that when good ideas are shared, great things happen.  We are proud to have been a part of the Hunt and inspired to see the ripple effect of social good in communities across the country,” said Latondra Newton, chief corporate social responsibility officer for Toyota Motor North America. That ripple effect extends even to us here at Route 44 Toyota—and to all our customers. Come see us today!

Toyota Sold 7 Million Hybrids to Establish Self as Global Hybrid Leader

Toyota is considered one of the pioneers of alternative fuel, making the hybrid powertrain a popular option with its Prius lineup and, more recently, introducing its new fuel cell vehicle, which will go on sale later this year. Now, the Japanese carmaker has truly made its mark on the world of alternative fuel with the announcement that Toyota sold 7 million hybrid units over the past fourteen years, making it a global hybrid leader in the car industry.

Toyota sold 7 Million Hybrids - Toyota Camry Hybrid“Hitting the 7 million mark represents our customers’ recognition of the benefits of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “The appeal of excellent fuel economy, driving dynamics, and the quality of our vehicles combined with our dealers’ dedication to customer service makes Toyota the undeniable leader in hybrid technology.”

Including a variety of new hybrid vehicles this year, Toyota is set to introduce 15 new hybrid vehicles through 2015, both under the Toyota brand name and the Lexus brand name. Currently, the hybrid carmaker sells 27 hybrid cars around the world.

Interested in seeing the global hybrid leader’s hybrid lineup? Stop in to Route 44 Toyota today and see just what hybrid technology has to offer you!

Looking for a First Car? New Camry Is Youthful and Bold!

Toyota has released new ads depicting the 2015 Toyota Camry, and the long-running model looks bolder than ever. The fresh look will no doubt attract families, but it should also appeal to a youthful crowd of customers who are shopping for their first car. The ads include less middle-aged couples and more younger and trendier actors, in order to appeal to youthful buyers. 2015 Toyota Camry - First Car

USA Today writes that “With the dramatically restyl[ed] Camry — even though it’s still considered a midcycle refresh rather than a whole new car — Toyota is trying to take a younger slant.” In one commercial, a woman buys a guitar at a flea market and then goes looking for the first owner of the instrument, who ends up being blues musician B.B King.

The print ad similarly is about trying to find a dog that has gone missing. Both ads target the viewer’s emotions, and everyone can relate to the situations. This shows how Camry is advertising the experiences you can have in your new car, rather than just plugging the vehicle itself. If you’re looking for a reliable and fun first car, why not test drive the new 2015 Toyota Camry at Route 44 Toyota?

Toyota RAV4 EV Reaches End Of Production

The last Toyota Rav4 EV unit has been produced.  Production was a limited run, sold only in some markets in California.  All 2,600 units have now been assembled and shipped.

Toyota RAV4 EVArguably one of the most exciting and advanced EVs out there, the RAV4 EV was the love child of Toyota and Tesla motors. The SUV is essentially a Toyota vehicle with a Tesla designed and produced electric powertrain.

The Tesla engine is a very powerful electric motor at that, powered by a 41.8 kWh battery pack.  The RAV4 EV has a range of 120 miles, and it comes with two driver-selected modes: Normal and Sports.  For being an electrically-powered vehicle, it has some serious get-up-and-go.  Throw it in Sports Mode, and with the help of 273 lb-ft of torque, you’ll see the Toyota RAV4 EV hit 60 mph after seven seconds.

At the moment, the RAV4 EV is the only all-electric vehicle Toyota is offering.  But the way the market is going, it’s likely not going to be its last. Visit Route 44 Toyota today to check out some of the great Toyota models that are still in production!