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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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 (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.
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!
Toyota gave their flagship sedan, the Avalon, a few touch ups for the 2016 model year. The retouched model debuted at the Chicago Auto Show. The current, fourth generation entered the market in 2012. Designers went mad over how good the model looked in 2012’s redesign and they’ve outdone themselves once again.
The most obvious change is the wider, lower grille and the far narrower upper grille. Turn signals replace the fog lights and the taillights are now LED. Just under that is a chrome rear bumper accent. A light gray interior meshes with gray accent stitching inside.
There are five trims available for 2016: XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited, and Touring. The hybrid comes in three trims: XLE Plus, Premium, and Limited. Dark gray, 18 inch alloy wheels, and advanced safety features, like the lane departure warning system and pre-collision system, come standard on the Touring model.
The standard models (XLE, XLE Plus) feature a premium wood-grain dash, tire pressure monitoring system, and redesigned 17 inch alloy wheels. Toyota has covered their bases on all models for the upcoming model year to ensure customers can ride in style. The 2016 Toyota Avalon hits lots this fall.
The Toyota Motor Corporation now occupies a prestigious place on the Fast Company magazine’s “Most Innovative” list, a list of the 50 most innovative companies in the world. Toyota earned this recognition partly thanks to the new Toyota Mirai, a fuel cell concept that pushes the brand farther into the future, thanks to development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Not only did Toyota make the overall list, they were also named one of the most innovative companies in the automotive industry as well. “Toyota plans to do for fuel cells what its Prius did for hybrids: make them ubiquitous and top of mind for environmentally conscious consumers,” Fast Company wrote. The Mirai will be the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle on the mass market, and it’s a four-door mid-size sedan that can go 300 miles on a full tank and can refuel in five minutes.
You can get the issue of Fast Company featuring Toyota and the Mirai on February 17, so make sure to check that out. Also, come see us here at Capital Toyota to learn more about the new Toyota fuel cell vehicle—and the rest of the lineup as well. You’ll learn just how innovative the Toyota brand was and is, and will continue to be thanks to new vehicles like the Mirai as well.
Toyota is already known as being one of the leaders in the hybrid vehicle segment. Now, the Japanese carmaker is making an effort to better its hybrid vehicles even more by testing new SiC power semiconductor technology. This new technology, which uses silicon carbide for power, could help improve hybrids, extending their range and increasing their power.
The SiC technology is used in the power control units (PCUs) of hybrids and other vehicles with electric powertrains, PCUs are important in electric powertrains, helping transfer the battery power to the powertrain’s electric motors. It is during this movement of electricity that the SiC semiconductor is crucial. Normally, the semiconductor loses 20% of the vehicle’s electricity losses. To better technology will mean an even longer range than Toyota’s current hybrids have.
For more information on Toyota’s hybrid lineup, stop in to Capital Toyota’s showroom today! If you are interested in learning more about the hybrid technology, contact us, too.