November, 2010 browsing by month



Monday, November 29th, 2010

Your Next Toyota May Be A Virtual Rolling WI-Fi Smart Phone Thanks To Up-Coming Technology!


Alcatel-Lucent, through a consortium called the ng Connect Program, launched the LTE Connected Car concept to demonstrate in-vehicle broadband connectivity based on 4G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile access technology. It said the LTE Connected Car, which is based on an operating system from QNX Software, enables a variety of mobile applications and services not possible with current wireless technologies.

The firm described its concept vehicle as “a virtual smartphone on wheels.” It said it combined an LTE broadband radio link, which brings cloud-based multimedia services into the car, with an in-vehicle WiFi environment that supports integration with traditional home-based services. Combined, these capabilities enable this networked concept vehicle to offer a wide range of navigation, personal security, vehicle wellness, and infotainment services to drivers and passengers.

The LTE Connected Car offers independently operated touchscreens and software that provide access to multiple applications and forms of content. The prototype system supports the creation of interactive connected experiences that can be tailored to the individual preferences and requirements of drivers and passengers. 

Applications and content include:

  • Video on demand – an endless catalog of video content, including movies, recorded TV programs and user-generated content. New content can be rented or purchased in-car for media playback there or paused and finished at home.
  • Gaming – multi-player games played within the vehicle, in other cars or with players anywhere in the world.
  • Audio Library –an endless music catalog is accessible from the cloud.
  • Home control – direct connection from the concept car to home automation and security systems to manage climate control systems, lighting, etc.  or monitor home or business IP security cameras with streaming video feeds.
  • Enhanced communications services – calls and messaging services with a hands-free experience and access to social networks available to anyone in the car.
  • eCommerce – Web browsing and access to one of the concept’s many applications to buy right from the car.
  • Wi-Fi hotspot –in-car Wi-Fi network for full utilization of all Wi-Fi enabled in-car devices and connectivity to the cloud via LTE.
  • Advanced Navigation – the convenience of immediate, real-time GPS updates with point-of-interest overlay and integrated location-based services.
  • Enhanced safety, convenience and security – always-on LTE connectivity for real-time traffic, weather and road condition alerts to help improve driver safety in addition to the convenience of proactive vehicle health monitoring including maintenance scheduling, security monitoring and theft protection.
  • Road and vehicle monitoring – The concept vehicle becomes the sensor; a single platform for the collection and interactivity of vehicle status, location and road conditions that can be shared with other drivers.

Firms collaborating on the LTE Connected Car, in addition to Alcatel-Lucent and QNX Software Systems, are  Atlantic Records, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., chumby, and Kabillion.


Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Toyota Tundra and Tacoma trucks are meeting new towing standard guidelines early.tundra towing trailer

The Society of Automotive Engineers decided a few years ago to form a task force to determine which procedures and regulations should be instituted to make sure each automaker gives the consumer the most accurate — and comparable — tow rating.

The idea is to make sure each manufacturer uses the same testing procedures so the consumer can get the best and most accurate information. To date, there is only a proposed standard, called J2807, that is still in formal deliberations; however, there is something of a “gentlemen’s agreement” among all manufacturures that the 2013 model year will be the target date to have these processes and procedures in place across the board.

Toyota is adopting these guidelines early. All of its 2011 models already comply with J2807. Of note, many of the new tow ratings on identically equipped vehicles from the previous year have gone down.tow chart

This is largely because the new SAE procedures are quite thorough and exhausting, and they include a rather challenging handling requirement that many automakers had not considered. The end result for truck buyers is that from one year to the next, they might see some changes in the maximum tow ratings of their favorite pickups (usually down, but possibly in some cases up). And it may not mean the vehicle has changed in any way, just that it is being tested more thoroughly than before.

Truck enthusiasts who keep a pulse on Truck Towing Capacities may be familiar with the wars over maximum towing capacity that have heated up over the past 10 years in the half-ton and heavy-duty arenas. Ford, GM and Ram have magically upped their rating numbers at different points with seemingly little or no changes to a specific frame or suspension. Also, they’ve all been guilty of using their maximum towing numbers — which typically relate to a very specific low-volume vehicle — to gain some type of advertising advantage when every knowledgeable truck enthusiast knew the numbers applied only to a specific model and not across the lineup.

That is partly why SAE finally stepped in to try to standardize the testing and rating procedures, making sure a truck-to-truck comparison can be done. Every cab and powertrain combination, including some of the more popular option packages, will need to be tested for ratings. The ultimate benefit is for the consumer, as automakers will be forced to play (or tow) on an equal basis, with more transparency.

In Toyota’s case, the tow rating of most of the vehicles tested went down a proportional amount across the lineup — for Tundra, about 400 pounds. In other cases, especially with midsize and large SUVs, the drop in towing capacity was closer to 100 or 200 pounds.

Here is a brief, but not thorough or exhaustive, description of some of the J2807 testing procedures:

1) A vehicle must be able to pull a trailer of a designated weight (and shape) up a Davis Dam simulation at a minimum speed of 40 mph in ambient temperatures of 101 degrees with the maximum air conditioning turned on at the full fan setting. The run must be done several times, and there must be and no overheating, no puking and no trouble codes.

2) All trailers must adhere to the same specifications as set forth by the J2807 procedures. They must be boxed with a flat face of a specified height and width.

3) On a level road, the vehicle and trailer combination must be able to accelerate from zero to 30 mph in less than 12 seconds, zero to 60 mph in 30 seconds, and run 40-60 mph in less than 18 seconds.

4) A vehicle and trailer must be able to launch a minimum distance of 16 feet from a stop up a 12-percent grade five times in five minutes, measured both in Drive and Reverse.

5) A vehicle and trailer combination must be able to stay in control and in its original lane when panic stopping from 80 mph. In those cases where the combination cannot attain that speed, the vehicle’s upper limit will suffice.

6) The vehicle and trailer combination must be able to perform the necessary low-speed turning circle test with the minimum of understeer or trailer push.

7) For trailers weighing less than 3,000 pounds, the vehicle must be able to stop the combination (without trailer brakes) in 35 feet or less. If the trailer is more than 3,000 pounds, the distance is 80 feet.

8) The parking brake on the towing vehicle must be able to hold the trailer (without trailer brakes) pointed up and down a 12-percent grade.


Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Toyota, the leader in hybrid cars, is building 35 test Rav4 EV, electric vehicles. Consummating their partnership, they are enlisting  the help of Tesla, makers of the Tesla Roadster to Build Rav4

The 35  second-generation RAV4 EVs, are essentially a highly finished test mule that is virtually an unmodified RAV4 chassis married to Tesla’s electric powertrain. Volume production is set to begin in 2012.

Sit inside the RAV4 EV and you could be easily think it is a run-of-the-mill fossil fuel powered RAV4, except for two key differences. The first being an EV-specific instrument cluster, rav EV clusterand Second, a push button-driven drive selector has been lifted straight off the Tesla Roadster.

According to Toyota, the EV nearly matches the optional Rav4 V6’s zero to (60mph) time of 7.2 seconds.

rav4 EV ButtonsThe Range is expected to be a real-world 100 miles between charges.


Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Cargo and Payload Management Control should be a priority for Tundra Owners and truck owners in general.tundra bed

Ever wonder what those cut outs and slots are in the bed of the Tundra?…And what about “headache racks” and why are they so popular with many truck owners? Some like the rugged look but most appreciate the safety factor.


A headache rack is a metal guard mounted at the front of the pickup bed that helps protect the cab and rear window from loose objects. They come in many styles, including tubular cross bars and stout wire mesh. Headache racks serve as a reminder that unrestrained cargo can be dangerous to cab occupants as well as vehicles or pedestrians near the truck.

The Tundra has numerous features to assist in cargo management control. Here’s a quick look:

2-tier loading – This feature is stamped on the inside of the bed. Four horizontal slots–two on each side of the bed–are located on the shelf by the wheelwell. These slots are directly opposite each other and support a length of 2×4 or 2×6 wood cut to the width of the cargo bed. These two pieces of wood now act like crossmembers and can separate cargo from the load floor. For example, PVC pipe can be stored on the floor and a load of 4×8 plywood can go on top of the wood crossmembers with easy access to both.

Bed dividers – Vertical slots–two on each side–are also stamped in the bed sides. These ribs add structural support to the inside of the cargo bed and can be used to divide the bed to help separate different types of cargo. Lengths of 2×8 or 2×10 wood cut to the width of the bed can be inserted into the slots to create partitions. This allows the owner to keep different building materials, such as dirt, rocks and wood chips, separated from each other.

Tie-down loops – D-shaped tie-down loops are anchored at each corner of the bed. These loops are very effective at securing hooks at the end of motorcycle-style tie downs. Some trucks use a bat-wing cleat as a factory tie down.

Deck Rail – This available feature is the ultimate tie-down system. This innovative utility uses C-channel brackets mounted inside the bed rails and along the header rail behind the cab. Large tie-down cleats can be positioned and tightened anywhere along the rails. The system comes with four cleats but additional cleats can be purchased for specific cargo needs.

The aftermarket offers numerous innovative cargo-control accessories that will help a wide range of customer needs. Some of the more popular items, like tie-down straps and spider nets, are strong sellers in the parts department. Other useful items include bungee cords, canvas or plastic wraps (to protect against weather) and even bed-mounted tool boxes. Check out TruckCruisin for more great stuff.

Of course, a locking hard tonneau cover is one of the best ways to secure cargo if the load isn’t bulky or oversized.


Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Toyota is aiming to sell 50,000 plug-in hybrid cars, probably Prius,  each year in the U.S., Japan and Europe beginning in 2012, for about $36,000 each.plug-in_prius-299x161

Toyota Motor Corp. Executives say the automaker is also planning to sell an electric vehicle in 2012 in the U.S. and possibly in Japan, Europe and China.

Hybrids switch between a gasoline engine and an electric motor and Toyota’s Prius is a top seller. Why Plug-In? A plug-in hybrid version is cleaner than a regular hybrid because it travels longer as a zero-emission electric vehicle. Electric vehicles will be mainly for short commutes for some time and gasoline-electric hybrids will remain the standard for green cars because drivers won’t have to worry about running out of electricity on the road.


Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Toyota 2011 Corolla goes on sale in December 2010 with competitors everywhere in the compact-car segment. Chevrolet Cruze, upcoming Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, and Ford Focus,… Toyota’s top-selling Corolla is facing challenges to its leadership from all sides. My bet is that it continues to prevail.2011 Corolla

To keep the Corolla competitive, Toyota is updating the car’s exterior looks and adding safety features,… it has decided to delete the more powerful powertrain as well as streamline and remove trim offerings.

The current Corolla has been on the market for nearly three years. Since then Toyota has changed its brand’s trademark design cues, many which are now featured on the 2011 Corolla. The Corolla gets a new front bumper, grille, lower intake design, headlights, trunklid, rear bumper and taillamps. Overall, the look is more aggressive than its predecessor.

The S trim adds a front spoiler, rocker panels and a rear spoiler. This is the trim pictured above.

Of course, every 2011 Corolla comes with Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes electronic stability control and traction control, ABS, electronic brake force distribution, and brake assist, all working to keep Corolla on it’s intended path. In addition, a brake-override system and tire pressure monitoring system are added to the safety suite this year. They weren’t available on the 2010 model.

The 2011 Corolla comes equipped only with a base 132-horsepower four-cylinder with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The high-end 2.4-liter four-cylinder and five-speed automatic transmission are no longer available.

Toyota says fuel economy should come in at an estimated 28/35 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and 26/34 mpg city/highway with the automatic. That would be an improvement of 2 mpgs city for the manual transmission and the same mileage for the existing 1.8-liter automatic model.

There aren’t a lot of changes for the inside of the Corolla. The S trim gets a new flat-bottomed steering wheel and there are also new seat colors and patterns available.

The 2011 Corolla will be available in Standard, LE and S trims. The XLE and XRS trims are gone.

Every Corolla comes standard with 15-inch wheels, air conditioning with filtration, daytime running lights, power mirrors and 36 months/36,000 miles free basic maintenance. The LE trim adds power windows and locks, keyless entry, a six-speaker audio system with an MP3 jack, and heated side mirrors. The S trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a sport trim appearance, sport bucket seats, chrome exhaust, and six- and four-way adjustable front passenger seats.

A moonroof, USB port, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity are optional.  Toyota has yet to announce pricing on the new Corolla, which will go on sale in December 2010.

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla


Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

A Florida truck dealership is running a special promotion, offering a free AK-47 Gun with the purchase of a used truck…

The general sales manager said the promotion will run until the end of the month, November.truck and gun Anyone who purchases a truck will receive a $400 voucher to a local gun store. Customers will have to go through the application process and qualify under state and federal laws. Any buyers who don’t want a gun will be given cash.

Of course the promotion is controversial, but the dealership believes it will bring in business — plus it’s already working. At the close of business Thursday, the business had 47 appointments scheduled for Friday…15 times normal.

It’s a perfect Veterans Day promotion. “We started on Veterans Day, saying, ‘Hey, so many have given so much for this right,'” sales management said.

“An AK-47 is a very dangerous weapon,” one veteran said. He’d rather they give customers a free flag with a pole to put up in their yard. “That would be a lot more supportive for our country and our veterans,” the gentleman said.

 The dealer said they are thinking about extending the promotion to the end of the year.

In another developmental trend, A growing number of Mexicans — including many from the middle class — are driving congested mexican streets in Bulletproof cars… equipped with pepper spray and 120 decibel alarms and see bulletproofing their vehicles as a necessity and not a luxury. Many Mexican  drivers see themselves as a target of kidnappers and thieves in a country that has an “alarming” rate of carjackings and ransom abductions. In Mexico these days, “everyone’s a target,” says the owner of  a vehicle armor company. The typical customer these days, says the owner, “is a regular guy that works, maybe he has a small business and he’s been approached by criminals to steal his car.” “You’ll see  Toyotas, Hondas, small SUVs … pickups, and others coming in for bulletproofing.”

Extortion is now commonplace in some regions of Mexico. Kidnapping has soared by more than 300% over the past five years and since December 2006, more than 28,000 Mexicans have died in killings blamed on drug-cartel violence.

 The violence has sparked a jump in bulletproofing, marking an annual growth rate of 10% in recent years with a market valued at 80 million per year and growing. Is This A Trend Heading To The United States Soon? 


Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Toyota Ting My Auto with TheftAlert, provides the invaluable peace of mind you need while loved ones are on the road. Ting My Auto allows you to precisely Track, Locate, and Protect your vehicle and precious cargo with road, aerial, and bird’s eye views.Teen-Driving-Safety

With this valuable exciting new Toyota feature You’ll receive real-time alerts, with instant notification via text or email of your vehicle’s activities, speed, geographical boundaries, low battery alerts and more.

You’re also protected with TheftAlert,  state-of-the-art stolen vehicle recovery feature. Having your vehicle armed with TheftAlert, allows immediate contact to the appropriate authorities with valuable information for tracking and locating your vehicle.


  • trakSMS™
  • Vehicle History Reporting
  • Driver Behavior Modification,Max Speed Set
  • Real-Time Alert Notification
  • Real-Time Location
  • Real-Time Speeds
  • Real-Time Direction
  • Aerial Photos
  • Street Level Mapping
  • Speed Notification
  • Set Geofence(s)
  • Geofence Violation Notification
  • Customer Can Operate System
  • Can Operate From Mobile Phone
  • Nationwide Stolen Vehicle Recovery

Toyota Number One As Sales Increase

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) today reported October sales of 145,474 vehicles, a decrease of 0.9 percent from the same period last year on a daily selling basis (DSR).  On a raw volume basis, graph-going-up-300x299unadjusted for the 27 selling days in October 2010 compared to the 28 days in October 2009, TMS sales were down 4.4 percent from last October. However, year-to-date, TMS sales were up 1.4 percent on a DSR basis.

Toyota remains the industry’s retail sales champ, selling more new cars and trucks to individual consumers than any other brand.  In addition, Camry retains its position as the No. 1 selling passenger car again. The new Highlander and Scion tC models are off to strong starts, up 50 and 112 percent, respectively, for the month.  

October 2010 marks the first time in many months that sales growth was faster on the retail side than the fleet side, and truck sales topped 52 percent of the industry total, the highest level in a long time. Both these indicators point to stability in the retail market and that is a good sign for the industry.


Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Trucks outsold cars by the highest margin in nearly five years in October, a sign the economy may be starting to improve. The truck segment includes pickups, SUVs, minivans, and smaller SUVs. Thishappy trucker category also known as light-duty trucks, made up 54 percent of all new U.S. vehicle sales last month, compared with 46 percent for cars, according to industry tracker J.D. Power and Associates. It’s the biggest difference since December 2005, when trucks accounted for 56 percent of sales.

Strong truck sales can mean people are willing to spend money again. Small business owners may feel comfortable enough to buy a new pickup truck or delivery van for their company; and regular folks may be confident enough in their jobs and finances to take on beefy SUV payments.

The trends behind the stronger truck sales demonstrate that people are spending more. Personal savings rates are coming down. The most recent figures show the rate has decreased from a yearly high of 6.4 percent in June to 5.3 percent in September. Also, gasoline is still affordable, for now.