Toyota Supports Teen Driving Safety with New Oculus Rift Simulator

January, as you may or may not know, is Teen Driving Awareness Month. Toyota has come up with a way to support that initiative’s efforts in a fun and engaging way—thanks to a new driving simulator with Oculus Rift virtual reality technology. It’s the first time the Oculus Rift technology has been used to support driving safety—and it’s a really fun way to educate the public on a very important and serious topic: safe driving.

Teen Driving Safety - Toyota RAV4All you need to use the simulator is a stationary Toyota vehicle and the Oculus Rift headset. Get behind the wheel, put it on, and become immersed in an amazingly detailed busy city street scene. The simulator, part of the TeenDrive365 initiative, can be used both by teens and parents alike. You’ll be faced with challenges in the simulator and must retain your focus on the road—or face the consequences.

Hopefully, this exciting new Toyota initiative, fun as it is, will help sober people up when it comes to driving safety. During this Teen Driving Awareness Month, even if you don’t have access to a simulator, think of some ways to be safer out there on the roads. Here’s an idea: come see us at Route 44 Toyota to get a safe, practical new vehicle for your teen today.

2015 Toyota Camry Sales Outshine Competition

2015 Toyota Camry SalesWhen a carmaker introduces a newly redesigned car model, it’s likely they expect to see some form of sales increase. For the newly revamped 2015 Toyota Camry, this was a significant one. In the 2015 model’s first month on the market, the Camry made itself known as the top-selling car in its segment.

In December alone, 2015 Toyota Camry sales combined with the sales of the older 2014 model to record 31,618 Camrys sold. For the entire year of 2014, Toyota sold 428,606 Camrys in the North American market, establishing itself as the leader in the mid-size sedan segment. The second-place rival was the Honda Accord, which only sold 388,374 units.

The 2015 Toyota Camry even came out on top in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash testing. Out of its class, the Camry was the only top-selling mid-size sedan to receive the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. This makes it not only the most popular sedan, but the safest, too.

To see the 2015 Toyota Camry for yourself, stop in to Route 44 Toyota today!

Toyota Earns 12 Top Safety Pick Awards

12 Top Safety Pick AwardsThis year, Toyota gets to start 2015 with 12 Top Safety Pick awards on the shelf—more than any other automaker. These awards are given out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and recognize the safest new vehicles in the country.

Eight of the 12 awards are actually Top Safety Pick+ ratings—the highest safety recognition given out by the IIHS—for the Lexus CT, Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius v, Lexus RC, Toyota Highlander, Lexus NX, and Toyota Sienna. The Sienna is the only minivan to earn this recognition.

The remaining four Top Safety Picks include the Scion FR-S, Scion tC, Toyota Avalon, and Toyota RAV4.

“At Toyota, our focus remains on the safety and peace of mind of our customers,” said Dino Triantafyllos, Toyota’s North American Chief Quality Officer, in a statement. “We’re pleased the IIHS has recognized the strong and improved safety performance of our vehicles in a range of crash tests.”

If you’re looking for a safe vehicle, take a look at the safety-awarded Toyota lineup available today at Route 44 Toyota.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Teaser Image Shows Off Modern Flair

Toyota has leaked another teaser image of the upcoming 2016 Toyota Tacoma, the new model finally set to give the Tacoma – which has only been granted one generation change in about 20 years – a serious upgrade.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Teaser ImageThe picture, which contains a look at half of the vehicle’s front fascia, is still slightly obscured by atmospheric smoke. However, one can clearly see the grille, one headlight, and much of the design in the image.

It appears that the 2016 Tacoma keeps much in common with its predecessor, merely updating the classic Tacoma design with stylish and bold details. The new model also seems to channel a sharper, thinner look.

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma will debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in January; so thankfully, we will not have much longer to wait before the full vehicle is revealed to the public.

Until then, all we have to go on is this 2016 Toyota Tacoma teaser image. As you wait for more, head on down to Route 44 Toyota to see what available Toyota models we have in stock.

Toyota Salvation Army Teamwork Puts Dinner on the Table

Toyota Salvation Army TeamworkA generous group of people from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi came together to gather both items and money for local families in need, through the local Salvation Army, truly embracing the season of giving.

TMMM is a large Toyota manufacturing facility in Mississippi – one that has set an example for Toyota facilities across the country.

This particular branch donated nearly 400 toy items as well as $10,000 and 13,000 meals for Salvation Army clients. In fact, Toyota Mississippi has donated over $30,000 since 2012 as part of the holiday feeding program.

These are the kind of programs that truly help local families during a desperate time of year, and the employees of Toyota Mississippi really pulled together with Toyota spirit to help out others.

It’s the little things that count, especially when it comes to holiday generosity. We at Route 44 Toyota are inspired by this Toyota Salvation Army teamwork and applaud them on their efforts.

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!