Toyota Mirai Made First-Ever Hydrogen-Powered Pace Car

Hydrogen-Powered Pace Car

Toyota took its groundbreaking hydrogen fuel cell technology to an unexpected place—the racetrack. The Japanese carmaker’s fuel cell vehicle, known as the Toyota Mirai, recently debuted as the pace car of the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. This race occurred earlier this month at the Richmond International Raceway and allowed Toyota to show off its eco-friendly vehicle that emits only water out of its tailpipe.

“Having a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle pace the Toyota Owners 400 is a historic moment for both Toyota and NASCAR and we’re proud it’s the Toyota Mirai,” said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance, and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “ Bringing the Mirai to Richmond to pace this important race is another way for Toyota to showcase our innovation and environmental leadership.”

To become a pace car for the Toyota Owners 400, the Mirai had to undergo testing by NASCAR at the racetrack. It had to meet specific performance requirements to pace the 400-mile NSCS race, which it did with ease. This Mirai is the first-ever hydrogen-powered pace car used by NASCAR, setting a new milestone in history.

To learn more about the fuel-efficient, no-emissions Mirai, contact Capital Toyota today!

Toyota Supports STEM across the Country

All across the country, students of all ages are learning the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). To make sure these students get the best education they can, Toyota supports STEM programs and just announced $1.9 million in grants for those programs.

Toyota Supports STEM

These grants will support programs from New York to California and many states in between. Some of the programs include the Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy, which will receive a $100,000 grant to help teach K-12 students about clean energy, design, engineering, project management, and construction. Another $50,000 grant will go to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts to expand the Girls Building Self-eSTeEM program for K-12 girls.

“We know that the future of our society will be built on increasingly sophisticated technological expertise and innovative problem solving,” said Michael Rouse, Toyota USA Foundation President, in a statement. “That’s why Toyota USA Foundation is proud to support these nonprofits, who are creating exciting opportunities to train and inspire the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Here at Capital Toyota, we are proud to be a part of such a great company that works so hard to support and build up the next generation.

National Car Care Month: General Car Maintenance Tips to Start the Season

car maintenance tips

Spring is finally here, and though it may seem that the upcoming months are some of the safest of the year, especially compared to this year’s harsh winter, it’s important to remember that spring has its own challenges.

And although we’ve shared a few of our top tips last month, we thought we’d share a few more spring car maintenance tips in honor of National Car Care Month:

  • Schedule an overall check-up to make sure that nothing was damaged by harsh weather and that all fluid levels are as they should be.
  • Check the tire pressure, an important task that should be completed frequently; always consult the vehicle owner’s manual for details.
  • Evaluate the suspension and wheel alignment, as winter weather frequently causes imbalances and uneven wear on tires.
  • Lastly, give your car a good clean – inside and out – in honor of spring cleaning. Who knows what has accumulated under those seats.

Do you have any spring maintenance tips we have forgotten about? Let us know in the comments, and have a safe spring from all of us at Capital Toyota Scion!

Toyota FT-1 Concept Gets Updates For The New York Auto Show

We lost the Toyota Supra sometime ago, its departure evoking more than a few tears from Toyota enthusiasts and performance fans at large. Some recent clues indicate that Toyota may indeed soon make a performance car again.

The Toyota FT-1 concept rolled into Detroit at the auto show there last year. The chatter started immediately, “Is this it?  Are our days of waiting over?” Reactions were strong. Toyota received a lot of feedback on the design of the FT-1 concept from enthusiasts and designers.

Toyota FT-1 Concept

You take one look at the FT-1 and think fast. Aerodynamic as all get-out, it’s got large, prominent alloy-wheels, a long, sculpted hood and a read-end that somehow calls to mind the rear of a jet.

Since Detroit, Toyota has been showing the concept off at various auto shows. The very interesting thing to note is that Toyota “has slightly updated the styling of the FT-1 to bring it more in line with what potential buyers want to see,” according to New York Daily Business. Now, why would they care enough to update the design if the Toyota FT-1 concept wasn’t clearly meant for production? Our thoughts exactly.

For more updates on the FT-1 concept, stay tuned with us here at Capital Toyota.

Toyota Adds New Toyota Safety Sense System to RAV4 Hybrid

So far, April is showering exciting new vehicles and breakthrough technology. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SUV, the first ever, was revealed at the New York International Auto Show earlier this month along with its low-cost automated braking system. The RAV4 Hybrid will be the first to offer the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) system in which the automated pre-collision braking tech is offered for a price far lower than comparable technology provided by competitors.Toyota Safety Sense System

At Toyota, the goal is to equip the majority of drivers with the latest safety technology in order to create a safer driving atmosphere where injuries and fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents are eliminated.

The TSS system works over a range of speeds to eliminate common motor vehicle accidents by preventing or lessening the impact of rear crashes, keeping drivers in their own lanes, and increasing road safety at night.

“Taking high-level driver assist to the next level, the safety packages will be offered as a very-low-cost option and will be systematically introduced across nearly all U.S. Toyota and Lexus models and trim levels, top-to-bottom, by the end of 2017,” said Toyota Motor North America CEO, Jim Lentz. “Pushing these systems across our lineup, as quickly as possible, can help protect people in the event of a crash. More importantly it will help prevent some crashed from ever happening in the first place.”

For more information on the all-new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the widely affordable TSS system, you know who to call — your friends at Capital Toyota.

Toyota i-ROAD Steering Leans Into the Fun Factor

Toyota i-ROAD Steering
The Toyota i-ROAD at the Chicago Auto Show

Is this new creation from Toyota a car or a motorcycle? Well, it might just be a little bit of both!

Typically Toyota is not known for motorcycles or scooters, but then again, there is nothing typical about this newly unveiled three-wheeled i-ROAD motorcycle. The concept i-ROAD prototype was recently unveiled at a TED Conference where Toyota allowed people to test drive its vision for the future of mobility.

The Toyota i-ROAD steering uses a single steering wheel in the rear behind the two front drive-tires. The process of turning the vehicle involves the driver initiating the turn with the steering wheel and onboard gyros then adjusting the tilt angle by changing the level of the front two tires. Although it sounds complicated, those who drive it say it is intuitive and fun to drive.

“In the 20 years I’ve been in the car business, this is the most fun, interesting ride dynamic I’ve ever had because of the rear-steer and the active lean system,” says Jason Shulz of Toyota Motor Company Sales U.S.A.

Pricing details have yet to be determined, but the battery driven motor scooter is said to have a purported range of 30 miles with a full-charge from a standard outlet taking just three hours.

Toyota is moving forward, so you better keep up by swinging into Capital Toyota today!

The 2015 Toyota Teacher of the Year Award: Shaping Tomorrow

Honoring the best of the best, Toyota recently gave Kristen Whitaker the Family Teacher of the Year Award. Whitaker, a high school teacher, has been recognized by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) for her efforts engaging kids in education.

According to Toyota, the 2015 Toyota Teacher of the Year Award also came with a $20,000 grant to fund various programs. Whitaker chose a family summer camp designed for low-income minority students and their families.

“The family summer camp Kristen plans is a great example of using the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year grant to employ the latest approaches to intergenerational learning in a program that will appeal to and reach entire families,” said Mike Goss, vice president of external affairs for Toyota.

This is the 19th year for the award, which is given every March. Runner up Donna LaBeaume was also recognized for her work as a virtual pre-kindergarten coach. She received $5,000 grant to help fund her efforts.

Thanks to all of the great teachers out there who make our world a better place!

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Produces 4 Millionth Vehicle

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI) is celebrating a new production milestone after rolling its four millionth vehicle off the assembly line.

The car was a Blizzard Pearl (a fancy term for white) Highlander Hybrid, which in a way represented more than just the plant’s production capabilities, but also the evolution of the Toyota vehicle.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana

When TMMI was first opened, nearly 19 years ago, it was producing Toyota’s first full-size pickup truck—the Tundra. In that time, it also started building the Sequoia full-size SUV and Sienna minivan, before shifting the Tundra’s production over to San Antonio, Texas, and replacing it with the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid midsize SUVs.

Four million vehicles is no small feat. To put that number in perspective, there are about 3,980,000 passenger vehicles registered in Indiana, which means the manufacturing plant has built more cars than are registered in its home state.

Fortunately, not all of those cars stay in the state. Some of those make their way to Capital Toyota for the rest of us to enjoy!

Spring Car Maintenance Tips from Capital Toyota Scion

This winter has been particularly rough, even for those of us here in Tennessee. Wide temperature fluctuations, frost, ice, potholes, dirt, and wind all take their toll on our cars. Luckily, there is an end in sight, and spring is just around the corner. It’s time to say ‘thank you’ to our cars for getting us through the winter, and prepare them for April showers and May flowers.

Here are our spring car maintenance tips.

spring car maintenanceGet a professional checkup. It’s worth your time to have your local shop give your car a once-over. They’ll check everything from the tires to the suspension and alignment, and let you know if anything needs attention.

Check the tires. Check the air pressure and the tread to make sure everything is up to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You can find your car’s recommended tire pressure in your door jam or in the user’s manual. To check the tire tread, check out the penny method, which requires only a penny and a minute of your time. If it’s time to replace your tires, its best to do it sooner rather than later.

Test your battery. Cold weather is especially tough on your battery. Follow these simple steps to find out if it’s time to replace yours (or stop by Capital Toyota).

Replace your windshield wipers. Cold weather can cause the rubber on your wipers to crack. These are easy to replace, just stop by your local auto parts shop to find the correct replacements. Windshield wiper blades that don’t work well can be a major hazard in rainy conditions.

Check Fluid levels. Check the oil, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and antifreeze/coolant.

Give it a good wash. Nothing says spring like a shiny, clean car. Take time to wash, dry and wax the outside, and vacuum, Windex, and wipe down the inside.

 

For help with your vehicle’s maintenance, don’t hesitate to come and see us at Capital Toyota / Scion!

In-Depth Look at How the Toyota Mirai is Made

Toyota has officially released an in-depth look into how the Toyota Mirai is made and we couldn’t be more excited. With the latest release of the fuel cell vehicle, we have been intrigued to see some of the technology behind one of the most highly anticipated new cars on the market.

Production of the fuel cell vehicle will begin at the Motomachi Plant in Toyota City, Japan, which has been producing Toyotas for 56 years. Some of the most popular Toyotas have been created at the Motomachi plant including the RAV4 and Supra.

The small plant will now be in charge of producing the new Mirai and it plans to produce three units of the hydrogen powered sedan each day.

For the in-depth look at how the Toyota Mirai is made checkout some of the videos below! We here at Capital Toyota are super excited for the arrival of the new sedan so stay tuned to find out when it will be arriving!