It's only a matter of time until the new Yaris is introduced in Europe, as the new model is already on sale in Japan, and Toyota has filed a patent with those designs indicating how the new Yaris TS will look like. As you can clearly see, there is a full body kit, while the rear lights look the same as the ones in the JDM RS version.
Lexus Europe has released full details about the LFA Nürburgring package (earlier post), which is only available in Matte Black, Black, White or Orange exterior colours. There are also only three set of interior colour schemes - Black and Red, Black and Purple, and all Black. The nice thing is that the package features a carbon fibre centre console and door trims, along with carbon fibre bucket seats trimmed in Alcantara.
Nürburgring Package is offered as an option on a maximum of 50 cars – just 10 per cent of the total LFA production run – for a $70,000 premium. These versions will be crafted during 2012, the second full year of LFA production.
To improve track driving even further, the aerodynamic performance of the LFA with the Nürburgring package will be modified through revisions and additions to several key carbon fibre reinforced plastic components. Combining to offer improved high speed downforce, these modifications include a larger front spoiler, fin-type side spoilers, canard fin, and a fixed rear wing.
Maximum power will be boosted by 10PS to over 570PS. This will ensure that the LFA maintains its acceleration time of 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds and a 325km/h maximum speed, despite the additional drag created by increased downforce. The gear shift time will be 0.15 seconds.
In terms of handling modifications, the Nürburgring package LFA will include a sports tuned suspension, a vehicle height reduction of 10mm, exclusive mesh-type wheels and dedicated, high-grip tyres.
According to BC, Infiniti (aka Nissan Premium Factory) will launch a mighty sports car in 2013 - 2014. Power is likely to come from either a Mercedes-Benz V8 engine, or Nissan's twin turbo VQ37VHR 3.7L engine. The power from the petrol engine should be around 440 ps, which will be boosted with an additional power of 160 ps from the electric drive system, thus giving a total of 600 ps!
Below there is an interesting article about CT 200h's dynamic dampers.
Why CT 200h Chief Engineer Sam Sadakata thought long and hard about one key feature: dynamic dampers.
OBVIOUSLY, HE THOUGHT about size. Obviously, he thought about the hybrid drive. And obviously, he thought about what kind of driver would be itching to own a Lexus CT 200h when it hits dealerships in a few weeks.
But not so obviously, at least until you get a chance to grab a test drive, is that the vehicle’s chief engineer, “Sam” Sadakata, spent a great deal of time thinking about suspension—or, more precisely, how to keep it in check.
By now, you may have heard about the CT 200h’s version of a selectable driving mode system, which allows you to switch the vehicle between Normal, Eco, and EV modes (aka the “blue light” modes), as well as Sport Mode for the accelerator-inclined—this is the “red light” mode that basically allows the driver to fully capitalize on the CT 200h’s combination of zero-rpm torque and ability to zip around like a jack rabbit.
The sporting proposition is partially the doing of a feature Sadakata and his team spent long hours perfecting: a new kind of suspension damper system that’s key to what Sadakata calls the “fun to drive” aspect of his little luxury hybrid.
The relationship between body rigidity and handling is simple and direct. The more rigid a vehicle’s body, the easier it is to control the unwanted variables of suspension and wheel deflection caused by body flex, or the vehicle’s tendency to lean and sway when you attempt to turn it on a dime.
“So as part of the process of delivering a bit of driving fun, we naturally started off by working on increasing body rigidity,” says Sadakata. “But we ran into difficulties.”
As already reported, the next-gen Toyota Crown comes next year. BC claims that it should be launched in December 2012 and it will be powered by a 3.5L V6 engine. A power output of 320 ps is expected, while the maximum torque should be 39.5 kgm. Power will be transmitted to the rear wheels and the fuel efficiency should be around 11.0 km/L.
The hybrid version, which will manage a fuel efficiency of 22.0 km/L, will be fitted with a 2.5L straight four engine, while an advanced version of the THS will be used. In terms of dimensions, the new model is expected to measure 4,820 x 1,780 x 1,460 mm (length x width x height). Prices should range between ¥ 3,000,000 and ¥ 5,000,000.
The next-gen Nissan Teana (aka Maxima) should arrive in 2013 and according to BC, it will be a hybrid with power coming from a 2.5L engine. The power output of the engine will be 150 ps (20.0 kgm of torque) and the fuel efficiency is estimated to be 25.0 km/L.
The Tiida (aka Versa) successor will be launched this year, and according to BC it will be launched in October. As already reported, there is going to be a spicy version (GT?) powered by the 1.6L turbocharged engine (MR16DET), and it will be launched one year later.
Almost one month ago, similarly to the next-gen Auris, it was reported that the next-gen Corolla will make its debut in June 2011. This info was claimed by BC, which now has changed the date and according to the latest report, it should be launched in February 2012.
The hybrid version will be powered by the usual 1.8L engine and the fuel efficiency, under the 10.15 mode, should be 30.0 km/L. In terms of dimensions, the new Corolla is expected to measure 4,430 x 1,695 x 1,450 mm (length x width x height). Prices for the hybrid version, in Japan, should range between ¥ 1,900,000 and ¥ 2,200,00.
Almost one month ago, it was reported that the next-gen Toyota Auris is expected to be launched in May this year. Well, it seems that Best Car has some more info now, as the launch date mentioned is May 2012!
The spicy version, probably badged as GT, is still on the cards but this time, BC claims that power will come from a 1.8L turbocharged engine instead of the 1.5L turbocharged one claimed before. The 1.8L engine should deliver 204 ps and 25.5 kgm of torque, while the estimated fuel efficiency is 13.0 km/L. Prices are expected to range between ¥ 2,700, 000 and ¥ 2,800,000.
In early December, Mag-X reported (earlier post) that the next-gen Toyota Camry will be available as hybrid, at least in Japan, and a launch date in July 2011 was mentioned.
Now it's time for the latest info as published by Japanese Best Car, which confirms that it will be available as a hybrid only. Power will come from a 2.4L petrol engine with a power output of 150 ps and 19.1 kgm of torque. Those figures don't include the output of the electric motor. The fuel efficiency (10.15 mode) is expected to be 20.0 km/L and the launch date claimed is October 2011. The new Camry will measure 4,830 x 1,820 x 1,480 mm (length x width x height). Prices will range between ¥ 2,700,00 and ¥ 3,000,000.
According to the BC Super Scoop Special issue, Toyota is working on a low budget FR sports car, which will compete with Mazda's new MX-5! It is not the first time I come across with this info, but now there are at least some number claimed...
So, BC claims that the new car should make its debut in 2013 and it will cost around ¥ 1,500,000. The engine will displace 1.5L delivering 105 ps and 14.4 kgm of torque. Power will be transmitted via a manual gearbox to the rear wheels and it should manage a fuel efficiency of 16.0 km/L. Total length is claimed to be 3,570 mm. Hmm, not impressed yet? Well, the total weight should be around 900 kg!!!
The new Suzuki Swift Sport, according to the latest rumours coming from Japan, will be powered by a 1.6L engine producing 125 ps and 15.1 kgm of torque. This is lower than the previous report, which suggested that it will get 135 ps. In terms of fuel efficiency, under the 10.15 mode, it is expected to achieve 18.0 km/L. The new Swift Sport should be launched in October 2011 and it is expected to cost around ¥ 1,700,000.
According to Nikkei, Toyota will start selling home EV chargers for EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012. Group firms Toyota Home and Toyota Industries Corp. will jointly develop the charger and will market it under the Toyota Home brand, through the sales channels of Toyota Home and its affiliate, Misawa Homes Co., according to the report.
The companies will produce two charger types, with one designed to extend from the exterior wall of a home and the other made for installation in a garage. The chargers will be compatible with non-Toyota cars, and will be priced between several tens of thousands of yen to 200,000 yen, including installation costs.
In 2012, Toyota expects to sell a total of 50,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles in Japan, the US and Europe, in addition to several thousand electric cars. It expects its sales of home battery chargers to reach 20,000 to 30,000 units during this period. The Japanese government wants 2 million regular EV battery chargers and 5,000 high-speed chargers to be installed across the nation by 2020.
Lexus seems to be very busy developing its new lineup, since the LS will be also replaced with a new model in 2013. The current model is a really good car, but it lacks character in my opinion. Well, this may be about to change judging by this rendering. So, BC claims that the all-new LS 600h, which will continue to be the top of the line version, will be powered by a 5.0L V8 engine delivering 400 ps and 55.0 kgm of torque. Oh, then we've got the electric motor! Fuel efficiency should be around 15.0 km/L, which doesn't seem a lot at first glance, but we are talking about a big car.
Following the post regarding the all-new Lexus IS (earlier post), now it's time for some info about the new IS-F, which is expected to be launched in April 2012, according to Japanese Best Car (Super Scoop Special issue). Power should come from a 5.0L V8 engine with a power output of 423 ps and 51.5 kgm of torque. Now if that's true, then we are talking about some serious fun! Just for the record, BC claims now that the same engine will power the all-new GS-F (earlier post), but in this case, power will be up to 465 ps.
We know that development of the NSX successor is back on track (earlier post), but this doesn't really mean that the new NSX will have the same philosophy as the old one did. Anyway, the latest BC's speculations have been published a while back (earlier post) and now, it's time for a new rendering!
BC claims that power will come from a 3.5L V6 engine plus the under-development hybrid system designed for mid-large size vehicles. Total power output should be around 500 PS and it will still be able to achieve a fuel efficiency of 20.0 km/L (10.15 mode). Expect it to be launched in 2013 - 2014.
Lexus announced the launch of the 2011 IS 350C F Sport Special Edition, which will arrive at the dealerships in the US later this month. Only 175 will be built and as you can easily understand, those special IS 350Cs will feature F Sport equipment, as well as interior badging and red stitching. The retail price is $55,120 and the special equipment includes the following:
19-inch forged alloy wheels with dark graphite finish and Michelin Pilot Sport 225/35ZR19 tires in the front and 255/35ZR19 tires in the rear;
Shock set developed in cooperation with Bilstein;
Lowering springs that reduce the ride height approximately one-inch in the front and rear resulting in a more aggressive appearance and lower center of gravity;
Sway bar set that helps reduce body roll and provide flatter cornering;
Bi-Xenon High Intensity Headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights
The 9th-gen USDM Honda Civic has been revealed and I am afraid there are no pleasant surprises... Honda claims that the new-gen Civic shares practically nothing with the previous model!
The petrol version will be powered by a 1.8L i-VTEC engine, with a power output of 140 hp, while the hybrid version will be powered by a 1.5L engine coupled to a CVT gearbox. An Li-Ion battery will be used for the first time in a Honda vehicle and the total power output is 110 hp. The sporty Si model will get a new 2.4L engine with 200 hp.