Toyota Gives Us a Fresh Look at the FT-1 Concept at Pebble Beach

FT-1 Concept at Pebble BeachWe all fell in love with the dramatic Toyota FT-1 Concept when it was first displayed at the Detroit International Auto Show in January. Now, Toyota is showing the FT-1 Concept at Pebble Beach in a whole new way.

This time around instead of a sporty red paint job and black interior, the FT-1 is dressed in a gunmetal paintjob with saddle-leather upholstery.

“From the start of the FT-1 project, we wanted the driver to have a feeling of flow while at the wheel, to be able to focus on the road and nothing else,” said Sellene Lee, a creative designer at Toyota’s Newport Beach Calty design studio, in a statement. “Our aim was to ensure everything supported the driver through efficient choices. The saddle leather maintains that same ‘in-the-zone’ driving intention, while bringing in a more premium feeling.”

With a second iteration of the concept now in the books, it makes it seem more and more likely that Toyota will bring this amazing concept into production.

Which version of the FT-1 Concept do you prefer, sporty red or stunning grey?

Toyota Continues to Sponsor National Veterans Wheelchair Games

For the 15th year in a row, Toyota will sponsor the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. It will also be the fourth year Toyota will be a Sustaining Host Sponsor.

“Toyota is very proud of our 15-year relationship with the Paralyzed Veterans of America,” said Mark Oldenburg, Toyota National Fleet Marketing, Mobility and Strategic Planning Manager, in a statement.  “Toyota is honored to once again be the sustaining sponsor of the 34th annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games and support the brave men and women who serve our country and defend our freedom.”

2014 Toyota RAV4 - National Veterans Wheelchair GamesIn addition to being a sponsor, Toyota will also provide vehicles for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games officials to drive through the week of games. This year, the games are being held in Philadelphia and run through Sunday, August 17. The games include 18 events, including air guns, softball, basketball, hand cycling, bowling, table tennis, and weightlifting.

Here at Route 44 Toyota, we are proud to see Toyota supporting our honored veterans who gave so much to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

Toyota Named Best Retail Manufacturer in July

Best Retail ManufacturerThe goal for every carmaker is to appeal to the largest group of consumers as possible. For Toyota, this doesn’t appear too difficult. The Japanese carmaker was recently named the best retail manufacturer in July after reporting a total sales result of 215,802 vehicles between its three divisions, Toyota, Scion, and Lexus.

With these sales results, the entire Toyota company increased 7.3% from July 2013 on a daily selling rate, while increasing 11.6% on a raw-volume basis. As an individual division, Toyota sold 188,469 vehicles, increasing 6.4% year-over-year.

“Rising consumer confidence, coupled with momentum in the marketplace, boosted auto sales in July,” said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. “Led by an all-time record month for RAV4 and double-digit gains for both Camry and Corolla, Toyota was the number one retail brand.”

Helping Toyota establish itself as the best retail manufacturer in July was the all-new Corolla, which posted an increase of 26%, selling almost 31,000 units. The popular Camry also saw a double-digit increase with 15%, selling nearly 40,000 units.

To see the top models in the top car company, stop in to Route 44 Toyota today!

2015 Toyota Yaris Pricing Announced!

Toyota YarisThe 2015 Toyota Yaris is now being shipped to dealerships countrywide. Toyota has increased pricing by only 2 or 3 percent over the outgoing model, despite a whole slew of upgrades that make the 2015 Yaris one of the most appealing hatchbacks there is.

The 2015 model features more aggressive exterior styling highlighted by a large lower air dam and X-motif front end. It’s got a more rigid chassis sitting on a retuned suspension to make the ride more quiet, comfortable, and responsive.

Inside, the cabin is welcoming, with additional soft-touch materials and plenty of standard equipment, including a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, nine airbags, six speakers, HD Radio with iTunes Tagging, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity and control, and more.

The MSRP ranges from $14,825 for the three-door, manual Yaris L to $17,620 for the five-door, automatic Yaris SE. Come give it a spin at Route 44 Toyota!

Wireless Charging for Next-Generation Prius Plug-In Expected in 2016

2013 Toyota Prius C Wireless ChargingThe automotive industry is changing rapidly and fuel sources are becoming more like soda flavors in their variety. Now we’re learning that if you choose to purchase Toyota’s next-generation Prius Plug-in, expected in 2016, you’ll likely have your choice of charging options as well. According to PluginCars.com, the 2016 Prius Plug-in will be available with a wireless charger.

The automaker is working with WiTricity to develop the technology. WiTricity, a company founded out of MIT, focuses on magnetic resonance charging for vehicles and other electric devices. The technology requires less space than today’s chargers and will allow owners “positional freedom” in charging their vehicles.

“If we can bring ease of use and convenience to the user experience, that will accelerate the adoption,” WiTricity CEO Alex Gruzen said. “The goal is to make ownership simple and pleasurable.”

While the 2016 launch date hasn’t been confirmed by Toyota, a spokeswoman told AutoblogGreen that the company “hopes to bring that technology to market in the near future.”

To us at Route 44 Toyota, debuting a wireless charger at the same time the next generation of Prius Plug-ins are introduced only makes sense. We’ll just have to wait and see how quickly the technology can be ready for sale.

Toyota and Nissan Named Top in Fleet Value Awards

Toyota Fleet Value AwardWhen you’re looking to purchase new fleet vehicles for your business, you want to make sure that you’re getting enough bang for your buck. To get that, look no further than Toyota fleet vehicle options. The Japanese carmaker, along with Nissan, was recently named the Top Brand at the Fleet Value Awards.

To decide who was worthy of these top honors, Vincentic, a Michigan-based consulting company, analyzed more than 1,900 vehicle configurations in 24 life cycle cost scenarios. In this analysis, Vincentic examined the depreciation value, fees and taxes, financing, fuel cost, insurance and maintenance cost, opportunity cost, and repairs.

Toyota’s awards come mostly from their passenger vehicles and crossovers, including hybrid winners. For instance, the Toyota Prius c base 5D Hatchback was recognizes as the best compact hybrid and the Yaris CE 3D Hatchback won the subcompact category. In total, Toyota won eight awards.

For a comprehensive list of winners, click here. To see the award-winning fleet vehicles for yourself, stop by Route 44 Toyota today!

Toyota’s Production Fuel Cell Vehicle Makes Its North American Debut

Toyota Fuel Cell VehicleFor a while now we’ve been imagining a vehicle that runs on hydrogen and whose only emissions are water vapor. Even as the technology continued to develop, we had to envision what such a revolutionary vehicle would look like. We don’t have to imagine any longer. Toyota’s production Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) made its North American debut last month at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival.

The FCV displayed at the Aspen Festival was bathed in silver, highlighting the vehicle’s smooth lines and ultra-sleek design. Black accents surrounding the grille and outlining the hood add to its futuristic character.

When the FCV becomes available in the States next summer, it will be sold in California where 19 hydrogen fueling stations will be built as a result of Toyota’s partnership with FirstElement Fuel. The vehicle’s fuel tank will be able to fill in less than five minutes and is expected to provide approximately 300 miles of travel on a single tank.

Stay tuned with us here at Route 44 Toyota for more news on the production FCV’s journey to California’s streets, and hopefully soon, our own as well.

Hurricane Safety for Your Vehicle

Hurricane SafetyWith the summer in full swing the weather can be unpredictable and dangerous. Hurricane season is upon us and we at Route 44 Toyota want to make sure that you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

Hurricanes are nasty disasters that can cause other natural disasters like tornadoes, landslides and floods. We have some great tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this hurricane season.

  1. Be Prepared
    • If a hurricane is threatening your area, make sure you leave the area and do it early. It’s hard to think that a hurricane can happen to you, but it can. Make sure you give yourself and loved ones plenty of time to get away safely. Use a hurricane planning guide or map. You can also tune into the radio to help identify the best evacuation route for you.
    • Make sure you keep important documents with you and don’t leave them at home. You’ll want to have your auto and home insurance, title, vehicle registration and other important documents kept in a waterproof bag. If these documents get wet or ruined it could potentially cause issues later on.
    • Make sure you fill your vehicle with gasoline as soon as you can to avoid those long lines at the gas station.
  2. Drive Safely
    • Fuel for your car is important but so are snacks and food for you and anyone else with you. You could be spending more time in your car than you think so bring food to keep everyone fed. Be sure to pack a flashlight, a first-aid kit, cash, credit cards and extra batteries in case you need them.
    • If you see a power line down, DO NOT drive over it under any circumstance.
    • If you see a street that is flooded, avoid it. You do not want to travel down a road that is submerged in water. The underlying currents could carry you and your car away causing your call to stall and keeping you trapped.
  3. Ensure Driving Safety
    • If you are evacuating but only taking one vehicle with you, make sure the other is not sitting in a low-lying area that could easily be flooded. Rising water can seep through and cause a lot of damage to your car, even the interior.
    • If you’re driving through water, drive slow and steadily. If the water is becoming deeper, stop and find an alternate route.
    • If you and your vehicle get trapped in rising water, abandon the vehicle for higher ground. If you cannot get out of the vehicle safely try restarting the vehicle and drive it out. If your vehicle will not start at all, call 911.

Make sure you use these hurricane safety tips when one is heading your way.

Toyota and Uncharted Play Help Brazilian Children Learn with Soccer

Toyota and Uncharted PlayAs the world’s largest soccer tournament, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, takes the world by storm this month, we can’t forget the many needy children who live in the host country of Brazil. Toyota and Uncharted Play haven’t forgotten them and are teaming up to bring an innovative new curriculum to their schools.

The program is centered around Brazil’s favorite sport, soccer, and features an invention called the SOCCKET, which looks and acts like a soccer ball, but has an apparatus that harnesses kinetic energy from play and turns it into real energy. The children will learn what they can do with this captured energy and how to use it for change.

Toyota will be a part of the new curriculum by acting as a case study and showing the students how it develops innovative products based on specific consumers needs.

“At Toyota, we believe strongly in innovation, and how it has the incredible ability to impact our daily lives,” said Dionne Colvin Lovely, national manager of traditional and emerging media at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, in a statement. “The work that Uncharted Play is undertaking in Brazil is a shining example of how an innovative company can greatly affect others, and we are pleased to be collaborating with them on their latest mission.”

Here at Route 44 Toyota, we applaud Toyota for continuing to pursue social change in various part of the world.

Route 44 Toyota is having a Veterans Appreciation BBQ!

Veterans Appreciation BBQ - Homes for Our TroopsIn May, Route 44 Toyota and Route 44 Hyundai raised funds for Homes for Our Troops, a privately funded non-profit organization. Homes for Our Troops is an organization that helps those veterans who have returned home with serious injuries. They assist the veterans and their families by raising awareness, community involvement, building materials, money and professional labor to build a specially adapted home for their family.

The Route 44 Autogroup raised funds in May to help Homes for Our Troops by donating a percentage of their sales and service funds. For every customer that purchased a new or used Toyota or Hyundai in May, they donated $10 to the cause and for every retail customer that went through the service department $1 was donated.

Route 44 Toyota and Hyundai are having a Veterans Appreciation BBQ on Sunday June 22, 2014 to thank the service members and to announce their final total of funds raised. There will be free food, raffles and the event crew from Cat Country 98.1. The event will be held at Route 44 Hyundai and will begin at 1 PM until 3 PM. The amount raised for Homes for Our Troops will be announced around 2 PM. Come out and enjoy the BBQ with us! For more information, please visit our website.

We hope to see you there!