Wed, 23 Jan 2013 17:50:00 EST
Mitsubishi Mirage, Toyota thinks of beefing up US production, Marchionne on Alfa, Dart and minivans, Ford Atlas concept, Honda Gear concept
Thu, 06 Feb 2014 14:17:00 EST
Episode #317 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Jeff Ross and Michael Harley bookend the other podcast topics with a pair from the Montreal Auto Show, the Mitsubishi Mirage and Honda Gear concept, and in between we talk about Toyota building all its US-market cars stateside, Hyundai building a Nurburgring test facility, Sergio Marchionne's latest words about Alfa Romeo, Dodge Dart powertrains and the future of Chrysler vans. Some chatter about the Ford Atlas concept finishes up the meat of the 'cast and then we wrap with your questions. For those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Keep reading for our Q&A module for you to scroll through and follow along, too. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #317:
To the general public, Toyota is often thought of as a maker of bland but dependable cars, crossovers and SUVs that get their owners and a whole herd of whatever from Point A to Point B. Generally speaking, they're fuel efficient, comfortable and affordable. What the general public may not realize, however, is that Toyota enjoys a very strong history of going off road, too. The legendary Land Cruiser arguably established the trend, helping explore remote parts of the globe, while various guerilla warfare outfits and world military branches have unwittingly joined up with the boys from Top Gear to help cement the Hilux pickup's reputation for invincible performance. Now, though, Toyota is launching a new line of trucks and SUVs in the US that are even more explicitly targeted at hitting the trails. Meet the TRD Pro Series.
Tue, 25 Jun 2013 00:01:00 EST
Featuring the 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra, each Pro Series vehicle features TRD-tuned springs with Bilstein shocks, a TRD front skid plate, a TRD shifter, black wheels, branded floor mats and a "TOYOTA" grille badge, the latter of which harkens back to classic models. TRD Pro Series vehicles will be offered in the new Inferno paint color shown above, as well as Black and Super White.
The Tundra benefits from softer TRD springs that also provide a two-inch lift and a better ride in the rough, while the truck itself rides on 18-inch wheels with Michelin ORP tires. Each truck gains an extra two inches of wheel travel in front and 1.25 inches in back, while a TRD dual exhaust should generate a nicer sound than the trucks's standard V8 engine. Finally, a unique interior with red contrast stitching freshen up the cabin. We wouldn't go so far as to call this a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor fighter - far from it, in fact - but it's a bit more off-road oriented than your average pickup.
With July 4th just around the corner, what better time could there be for Cars.com to announce that the Ford F-150 is the Most American car of 2013? This may be especially true since it was the Toyota Camry, a car produced by a company based in Japan, that had held the top spot from 2009 to 2012.
Cars.com compiles its Most American list by considering the amount of parts each vehicle uses that come from America, where it's final assembly takes place and how many units per year are sold. "While the assembly point and domestic parts content of the F-150 didn't change from 2012-2013, vehicle sales are responsible for bumping the F-150 to the top spot," according to Patrick Olsen, Editor-in-Chief of Cars.com.
As far as automakers go (as opposed to individual models), Toyota retains the top spot it held in 2012, with General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and Honda (in that order) rounding out the list. The motivation behind this list each year, according to Olsen, is "to help car shoppers understand that 'American-Made' extends beyond just the Detroit three" and because "a study we conducted in 2012 indicated that 25 percent of shoppers surveyed preferred to buy American."