What part of the Chevy Avalanche does Toyota want a piece of? We get a glimpse of the Toyota A-BAT concept from the 2008 Detroit auto show.
If you live in Silicon Valley, you dream of the day when you will be rich enough to slum around in a Toyota Prius. Today I got to live the Prius dream. I just hope the gerbils powering the "engine" get a rest tonight.
Hertz screwed up my reservation and so "upgraded" me to a Prius. Having lived in the Valley for a few years, I was used to seeing socially conscious, ecologically smug entrepreneurs driving around in their gerbilmobiles, but this was my first chance to drive one.
It turns out that I wasn't missing a thing.… Read more
Automakers used this year's Detroit auto show to launch a number of significant new cars and model upgrades, featuring the latest in cabin and powertrain tech. Ford and Dodge went head to head with new pickups, and we saw many exciting new sports cars.
Toyota surprised us with a plug-in hybrid Prius on the floor at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The company has resisted the plug-in hybrid movement previously, citing the fact that you don't need to plug in the Prius as a virtue. But there has been quite a bit of interest in plug-in hybrids from individuals and even power companies. Plug-in proponents claim to get 100 mpg by modifying Priuses and recharging the batteries when the cars aren't being used. Toyota seems to have finally given into the plug-in pressure, starting up its own plug-in program and handing over … Read more
Honda's Asimo may be Crave's reigning top-ranked nonviolent robot, but it now has some new, (un)fierce competition from Toyota.
Three big competitors, actually. Toyota demoed all of them during a press event in Tokyo today. CNET News.com has a photo gallery of the robots here.
The most visually impressive is its smooth, eponymous violin-playing robot. According to The Sun, the robot has 17 joints in its arms and hands alone, powered by some serious servomotor action.
Also on display were the Mobina, a wheelchair-like robot equipped with independent suspension for each wheel, and Robina, a three-fingered &… Read more
Volkswagen has four new car architectures planned as part of its revamp, according to reports.
In mid-November Volkswagen announced it would be investing 28.9 billion euros in its automotive division over the next three years. The company said the changes would focus on completely new vehicles as well "successor models and derivatives" for all of its product classes. The investment will include new powertrain technologies and updates to manufacturing plants.
Today it's been reported this will entail the introduction of four completely new base architectures from which Volkswagen will build its new models and updates, according … Read more
The 2008 model year update to the Toyota Highlander Hybrid took the unoriginal path, reflected by model updates across the industry, of making everything bigger. The new Highlander is higher and wider, giving more space inside but also increasing the weight, a counterintuitive design move with a hybrid. On the positive side, the EPA-rated fuel economy hasn't changed, even though the car uses the same power train as in previous years.
To prove that its hydrogen fuel cell drive systems can handle real-world conditions, Toyota took its FCHV, or Fuel Cell Hydrogen Vehicle, down the 2,300 miles of the Alaska Highway. The car they used was on display at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. This car uses the same platform and body as a Toyota Highlander, yet its wheels are turned by electric motors. The electricity is generated from a fuel cell stack that runs off of hydrogen. Toyota has fitted this most recent generation of the FCHV with 10,000 psi hydrogen tanks that give it a range … Read more
We recounted the first part of our trip to the Los Angeles Auto Show previously. Continuing on down the coast towards Santa Barbara, it got darker as the day wore on and, as there was no automatic setting, we had to manually turn on the Highlander Hybrid's headlights. And we were holding around 24mpg, making a gas stop necessary on the way down. It was good mileage for an SUV, but not dramatic. We shifted seats periodically, giving everyone the opportunity to sit in the reclining rear seat.
We had taken Highway 101 down, a more scenic route than … Read more