August, 2011 browsing by month



Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Toyota says the 2012 Toyota Camry is “revolutionary”. We believe the 2012 Toyota Camry is new starting more from the “Inside Out”.

2012 Camry New Inside Out

2012 Camry New Inside Out

Toyota has a tough task addressing new changes to Camry, the top selling car 13 out of the past 14 years. When evaluating the 2012 Toyota Camry it’s helpful to understand where the car is coming from. Camry is a leading seller with significant long lasting appeal and it has been awarded best car awards and most reliable used car awards many many times. Ninety percent of all Camry automobiles sold since 1995 are still on the road today.

The question behind the question is what is the basis of Toyota Camry appeal. Camry has never been a styling magnet. It has never been the fastest, the best-handling, nor the car with all the gadgets in its segment. So what is the Camry appeal? The answer is what Toyota calls QDR; Quality, Durability, and Reliability. QDR is where it has won its loyal fan base and QDR is what can be seen in its routine ranking at the top of the charts that matter to most American motorists: initial quality, durability, and long-term reliability, as well as routinely best-in-class trade-in values. 

So Toyota’s recipe for continuous Camry significance has evolved into making enough outside appearance tweeks to entice a loyal repeat owner base while refining and upgrading Quality, Durability, Reliability, and Economy.

Even though 90% of the 2012 Toyota Camry parts have been “re-engineered”, the Camry continues to ride on the same platform as the outgoing model and you won’t have any trouble knowing the new 2012 model is a Camry.

The profile of the new 2012 Camry is very much like the outgoing model, substituting the current car’s rounded edges with more squared off corners. Other new exterior details include the headlamp corners and slight rear spoiler that were reworked to improve aerodynamics.

Working from the “inside out”, Toyota has engineered more “revolutionary” changes to the interior of the new 2012 Camry rather than the exterior. A new “floating” instrument panel design with detailed stitching that you’d find in a more expensive product has been incorporated into Camry. 

The layout of gauges and controls is a strong point in the new Camry. Toyota engineers have taken great pains to make sure drivers don’t have to take their eyes off the road for very long. Plus, unlike competitive models that have too many switches and dials on their touchscreen monitors, Toyota continues to feature plenty of easy to use knobs and switches for the functions motorists use most often.

The 2012 Camry has a more spacious feel with rear passengers getting an extra 2 inches of legroom comfort and trunk area is increased over the outgoing model. In addition, thanks to more high-strength steel and some creative engineering, the 2012 Toyota Camry is on average 150 to 200 pounds lighter, depending upon model.  This is increasing powertrain gas mileage across the board for the new 2012 Camry.

New Larger 2012 Camry Backseat

New Larger 2012 Camry Backseat

There are three powertrain choices for the 2012 Camry. 

  • The base car is standard with a 2.5-liter inline-four with 178 horsepower and mileage ratings of 25 mpg City, 35 Highway and 28 Combined, according to the EPA.
  • An optional 3.5-liter V-6 provides quite a bit more pep, at 268-hp and ratings on this powertrain at 21/30/25.
  • The single most impressive element of both of these powertrains is the 6-speed automatic transmission.  It is smooth with instant shift quality and is absolutely world-class.
  • The Hybrid powertrain scheduled to account for 11% of new Camry sales for 2012 has undergone extensive updating for 2012, downsizing key systems enough to carve out an additional 2.5 cubic feet of trunk space eliminating a frequent criticism of the previous Camry Hybrid. Mileage, for the LE hybrid model is 43 City, 39 Highway and 41 Combined. The XLE drops slightly to 41/38/40.  The LE provides as much as 650 miles range between fill-ups.There

There is high-tech gadgetry available. A 6.1-inch LCD screen for navigation and other systems is available and a 7-inch upgrade is offered on the Camry XLE.  Niceties like Bluetooth hands-free calling and USB connectivity are standard across the board on all models.

The new 2012 Camry will come with Toyota’s new infotainment system, Entune, which was named best-in-class at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show held in January.  Entune features an easy-to-use voice control, with redundant controls on the steering wheel.  The system links to a variety of smartphone apps, including Pandora Radio and OpenTable, which makes it easy to snag a restaurant reservation.

Safety systems include anti-whiplash seats, 10 standard airbags, larger 4-wheel disk brakes and brake-based systems such as electronic stability control.

Oh, There’s More…Toyota plans to sell 360,000 2012 Camrys in the United States and they have chosen to enhance the 2012 Toyota Camry’s appeal by cutting prices as much as $2,000, depending on the model. 

Look closely at the new 2012 Toyota Camry when it hits the Dealer Showroom in October. Our guess is that it will continue as the Number One Selling Car in America. It’s also our guess that the car will have enough enticement and heritage appeal to overcome any short term style fad itches you might have.

The 2012 Toyota Camry is new from the “Inside Out”  with enough outside appearance tweeks to entice a loyal repeat owner base while refining and upgrading Quality, Durability, Reliability, and Economy.


Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

The 2012 Camry, This is the real car driven off the assembly line today.

2012 Camry The Real Car

2012 Camry The Real Car

The new Camry is much like we showed back in May and dimensionally is very much as it has been for quite a while. There are new entertainment technologies, smarter looking interior appointments, and just enough outer flare to entice.

Selecting your new 2012 Camry will be easier with 36 build configurations, down from some 1200 previously.

Despite earthquakes, tsunamis, recalls with false accusations, parts shortages, and a current recession Toyota Camry has continued to be the best selling car for nine years including 2011. The new 2012 Camry with a distinguished history of quality, reliability, and value is expected to continued the distinction.

There are 6.8 million Toyota Camry automobiles on the road today and 90% of all Camrys built since 1995 are still going strong.

We’ll have more on the 2012 Camry. It hits Dealer showrooms in October and most of the models will have a lower sticker price than their 2011 counterparts.

It gets even better. The new 2012 Camry will be the Host Pace Car for the 2012 Daytona Five Hundred coming up in February!

2012 Camry Flys By

2012 Camry Flys By


Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Toyota and Ford are planning to jointly develop a gas-electric hybrid engine for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.



This will be a project to watch and keep an eye on as it unfolds. The companies have agreed to share development costs to make the technology more affordable for customers and bring it to market faster. Many details have yet to be worked out, but both said their vehicles would remain unique even if they share the same drive systems.

The deal will help both companies meet more stringent fuel economy and pollution standards in the U.S. and elsewhere, while at the same time keeping larger vehicles viable if gas prices continue to rise.

The companies aren’t sure yet what kind of gas mileage the platform will get, but they know that hybrid trucks would help automakers meet U.S. fuel economy standards that require new vehicles to average 56.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Trucks will have lower mileage targets, but still being part of the mix would have to improve to meet the standards.

Both companies are targeting pickup trucks, which for both are big sellers. Ford’s F-Series pickup is a top-selling vehicle in the U.S., and Toyota is building quite a reliable brand in the full-sized pickup market with Tundra.

Both companies now sell thousands of hybrid cars and Prius is the world leader in hybrid sales. For trucks though, they’ll have to develop a different system platform with enough power to haul and tow heavy loads.

It is conceivable that the trucks could have the same engine and transmission, but at the same time have strong differences unique to the brand.

It will take a year for the companies to figure out who will do what research. After that, they would sign a definitive agreement that would lay out timelines to develop the technology. It will take at least two or three years after that to develop a platform system. Toyota and Ford  hope to bring high mileage Hybrid trucks to market this decade.


Sunday, August 21st, 2011

A few articles back I mentioned that Toyota has had the kind of strife lately that would cause most companies to shut down or scream for a bailout from somewhere. But instead, Toyota is getting into the toy business with ToyToyota. Sooner or later you had to figure that Toyota, a company with toy in its name would get into the toy business. The first product is technologically sophisticated, an iPhone App for Kids called Backseat Driver.


The game is intended for young kids, and through the built in social layer with Twitter, players can earn points, share their high point scores, and compete with others via the game’s online ranking system. Players can use those accumulated points to customize their game rides. Backseat Driver acclimates kids to the world of technology that we now live in and perhaps Toyota is also raising the next generation for Pimp My Ride. Just kidding.

Backseat Driver in summary engaging the handset’s GPS and accelerometer to match game play with the direction and speed of the real-world car that the player is sitting in. It works like this; using the phone’s GPS, the app lets kids drive a Mama Car that follows the same route driven by their parent, while a Papa Car ahead poops little cartoon prizes that kids collect. Kids that collect enough prizes can customize their car with sparkly paint and then share their successes on Twitter. Come to think of it, things kinda roll that way for the parents too… But back to the game app, those goodies are matched to nearby landmarks in the real world. So, for example, if dad drives by a burger joint, the player may be able to roll over a hamburger and gain some points.

FOR KIDS…OR IS IT?                                       

Toyota Backseat Driver is a clever teaching aid. I wonder though if perhaps Toyota is going after the wrong market segment. Most studies show that older adults suffer from technophobia or a fear of technology. After all Mom, Dad, Granny, and Aunt Sally can’t work their TV, can’t figure out the remote control, instead of turning on the computer they end up blowing up the hard drive, and they all forgot their email address. Seems to me like a good application for Backseat Driver to the Rescue.


Just think about it. It might go like this; put Granny in the backseat working Backseat Driver and you take her on a road trip. She begins getting into the game snapping up little prizes and starts up a little game rivalry with arch enemy Aunt Martha. You’re driving along, Granny’s in the back seat working up a sweat with Backseat Driver when you round the bend and approach a Burger King. All of a sudden Papa Car ahead poops a Whopper and Granny takes a dive across the backseat of the car nearly causing it to flip but she lands just in time to scoop up the Whopper prize, take the lead in the game over Aunt Martha, and then send Martha a tweet.

Granny tweets Aunt Martha and says, Martha I’ve taken the lead and that’s just what you deserve for snaking my date 55 years ago you Twit!

OMG, Technology, You’ve just got to love it….




Friday, August 5th, 2011

A Tesla built electric powered Toyota Rav4 will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc. (TMMC) in Woodstock, Ontario beginning in 2012.2012 Electric Rav4 A joint development team has agreed that building the vehicle at the Woodstock plant on the same line as the gasoline-powered RAV4 will streamline and simplify the production process and guarantee the highest level of quality control. Officials stated that this is a great example of Toyota’s determination to collaborate with companies with leading edge technology.

Toyota will pay Tesla approximately $100 million to supply the electric powertrain, which includes the battery, motor, gear box and power electronics for the electric Rav4 or RAV4 EV. Tesla will build the electric powertrains at its production facility in Palo Alto, California and then ship them to TMMC for final assembly into the vehicle.
The RAV4 EV will be sold at U.S. Toyota dealers through Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS). Details including pricing, volume and regional distribution will be determined and announced at a later time.