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!

Calling All Young Artists for the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest

Toyota Dream Car Art contestThis year’s Toyota Dream Car Art Contest has officially begun! Tell all the kids you know between the ages of four and 15 that Toyota wants to see their drawings of the car of the future.

“Every year, it’s exciting to see how the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest inspires youth from around the world to design their vision for the future of transportation, and it’s inspiring to see so many also consider how technology can help address larger societal issues facing their generation,” said Mike Groff, Toyota Financial Services president and CEO.

Drawing submissions will be accepted through Dec. 13.

During the spring of 2015, nine winners will be chosen from the many U.S. applicants to win an iPad and advance to the World Contest, along with participants from about 80 countries. Thirty World Winners will then be chosen to receive a trip to Japan for the final awards ceremony.

Last year, a total of three young artists from the U.S. were chosen to journey to Japan. This year, it could be you or someone you know. Let us at Route 44 Toyota know if you submit your dream car drawing so we can be rooting for you or your child!

The Toyota C-HR Hybrid Crossover Coupe Is Ultramodern and Ultra-Stylish

Images of the Toyota C-HR hybrid crossover coupe concept have been leaked, and the look of the vehicle nothing short of exquisite. The C-HR looks like a normal coupe would, sleek and streamlined, but its size is where the crossover part comes in. This is what makes the car so unique – it looks like one car but functions like another. It is like getting two cars for the price of one!

ToyotaAuto Blog noted the concept’s “angular styling,” praising the car as being “far sportier than a RAV4, and [looking] closer to how we’d imagine the next-generation Scion.” The car also includes some very advanced features, like the roof that looks like a continuation of the front windshield, headlights that are surrounded by additional rings of lights, and door handles that “disappear” when not in use.

We are definitely looking forward to hearing more this week as the Paris Auto Show gets underway. To learn more about the C-HR and other big announcements from Paris, stay tuned to Route 44 Toyota!

Fall Driving Tips from Route 44 Toyota!

fall driving tipsFall is officially here which means the weather is changing and so are driving conditions. To help keep your Toyota like new this fall, we wanted to give you some fall driving tips!

  • Back-To-School Traffic – More cars and buses will be on the road since the kids are back in school. Drivers should watch out for increased pedestrian traffic in the morning and afternoon as kids are walking to and from their neighborhood bus stops. Boston University is also back which means the college kids will be around town as well.
  • Rain – The first rain in a few weeks can be dangerous. Instead of washing away the dust and oil that has been accumulating, it creates water pools. This can make the pavement extremely slippery and dangerous for driving. Increase your distance between cars and decrease your speed!
  • Fog – Cold fall mornings often lead to fog which limits your driving visibility and perception of distance. Make sure you keep your low beam headlights on when it is foggy. Your low beams will allow you to see down the road as opposed to high beams which bounce off of the fog and create a glare for you driving. Slow down when you’re driving in fog and make sure you have plenty of distance from the car in front of you.
  • Leaves – Leaves fall onto the roads and make them slick. They can also hide the traffic lines and other pavement markings making it difficult to see where to go. Be careful when driving because leaves can cover potholes making it difficult to see them.
  • Sun Glare – Fall is a bad time for sun glare on the roads. Sun glare can impair your sight for seconds after exposure making it hard to see oncoming traffic, pedestrians, or the car in front of you. Sun glare can also occur when the sun is setting behind you and bounce off of your rearview mirror.

Take these fall driving tips into consideration before you hit the road this fall! If your Toyota needs tuned up, come see our service department!

The Family Favorite Camry gets a Refined Makeover

New 2015 CamryIt is no secret that the Toyota Camry is popular, considering you cannot go anywhere without seeing at least one. What is it about the Camry that makes it a family favorite? Traditionally it hasn’t had a sporty exterior, but its sturdiness and reliability has made the car undeniably safe. Safety is the number one feature important to all car buyers, and especially families, so it’s not surprising that this is the car America trusts most.

The new 2015 Camry model, due out at the end of this month, has debuted a trendier look, while still keeping the features that make it a Camry. The Motley Fool reports that Toyota has said that “from now on, people won’t just be talking about all that technology, safety, and quality engineering. They’ll be too busy asking ‘Who was that?’” The exterior of the 2015 definitely does not scream Camry, making it a stunning contender with other stylish midsized sedans.

Toyota has added even more safety features for this generation: lane departure alert, a pre-collision system and a blind spot monitor ensure that the new 2015 Camry is no doubt a safe choice for your family. Get yours at Route 44 Toyota!