マイブログ リスト

2011年1月22日

Toyota FT-86 / Subaru 216A: Debut at 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, sales start in April 2012

President of Fuji Heavy Industries Mori Ikuo, has already confirmed that the Scoobi version will be revealed at the end of 2011 (earlier post), and rumors have suggested that both versions (detailed post) will make their debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

Well, it seems that Mag-X claims the same and according to the report, sales are expected to start in April 2012!

Next Toyota Crown coming next year

The next-gen Toyota Crown (クラウン) is under development and from I could make out of the Japanese text (Mag-X), Toyota is working on a hybrid system for its FR sedan model featuring two clutches. Toyota aims to reduce the price of the hybrid version by ¥ 1,000,000 (the current model costs ¥ 5,400,000), making the hybrid version the leading one in the Crown family.

Of course, the hybrid version will not only have an advanced version of the THS (current system shown above), but also the current V6 engine found in the hybrid will be dropped and a 2.5 L straight four will be used. The new Crown, which will use the new platform of the next-gen Lexus GS, will be launched in September 2012.

Development of new Lexus GS back on track

The development of the new Lexus GS had been frozen last year and thus, the original target of hitting the markets in August this year has been postponed. Toyota was affected by the reliability issues of the Prius (including brakes, engine valve springs etc) and therefore, priority was given in the resolution of the quality problems.

It seems though that Lexus has started again developing the new GS, which is now heading for a launch in August 2012. The new car will be rear wheel drive and according to Mag-X, it will ride on a new platform. In terms of styling, initial reports suggest that the four-lamp design will continue to be present, although there are some concerns as to whether  buyers will get tired of the same theme over three generations.

Lexus wants the new GS to be sporty and to be able to compete with the premium German models, which means that a lot of work has to be done in the interior. Also, there is going to be a new interface for all the electronic toys inside.
 
The new GS will not grow anymore, measuring 4,830 x 1,840 x 1,450 (mm), and the base model is likely to be powered by a 2.5 L V6 engine.

ADAC crash tests Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The first production EV, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, has been crash tested by ADAC in Germany. When performing such a test, passive safety is not the only concern, since EVs use high-current drives with a voltage of 200 to 400 volts, and thus the safety of the electrical systems is also important.

Although it didn't score perfect marks, there was some deformation in the footwell, there were no major problems noted. The i-MiEV went through 64 km/h frontal and rear impacts.

Toyota develops new SUV smaller than RAV4!!!

Toyota is about to make a comeback in the compact SUV segment, as the RAV4 has grown up a lot since the first-gen model. Toyota has been left with a gap at the moment, and the same applies for Suzuki with the Escudo (aka Vitara). It's only Nissan that has an SUV for every need and Toyota wants to catch up with that.

The new compact SUV will be powered by a 2.0 L engine, and it will be also available as a hybrid with the powertrain being based on the 2AR type. Since it's not going to be a hybrid only, I suspect that it will not carry the Prius badge.

The images published by Mag-X are coming from Toyota (!) and they were shown during a design review. The specific design proposal has a panoramic sunroof and overall, it looks very aggressive with all those edges and slim headlights. To be honest, the side view reminds me Audi's Q5.

Of course, pricing will be crucial for the success of the model and the entry level version, powered by the 2.0 L petrol engine, could cost as little as ¥ 1,600,000. The hybrid version will cost more, probably around ¥ 2,400,000. Of course, don't get ready to place an order yet, since it will take a while until it goes into production, which will happen in the summer 2012. The design is still under development and the final decision is expected to be taken later this year. Toyota may show a concept version at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show this year.

New Subaru Legacy coming in 2014

Hmm, it seems that 2014 will be a busy year for the Japanese car manufacturers... According to Mag-X, Subaru is planning to introduce the all-new Legacy in May 2014. Unfortunately, I cannot make much sense out of the text, except from the dimensions, which are (length x width x height) 4,770 x 1,785 x 1,535 (mm).

Lexus SC to be back

The production of the Lexus SC 430 has stopped and Lexus has been left without a sports coupe model in its lineup. Since Lexus faces tough competition in the States, from MB, BMW and Audi, such a model is a vital one.

So, most likely we will see it in 2014, according to Best Car magazine, and as per Lexus' practice, two versions will be available, badged as SC 450h and SC 460. I hope that Lexus will use a different benchmark this time, as BMW did with the new 6 series.

New Supra may not be dead... yet

As with the NSX successor, there have been a lot of rumours during the last few years about a new Supra. Well, there are still rumours coming from Japan that the FT-HS concept, which was a study showing how the new car could look like, may not be the end to this story. After all, Toyota wants to go after Nissan and the new Z, which is coming in 2013 (earlier post), may face some strong competition from Japan...!