New Toyota Prius Redesign Causes Delays, Promises Bold Look

New Toyota Prius RedesignToyota executives apparently gave the design for the new Toyota Prius a thumbs down last year, when the final concept was proposed, causing a delay in the production of the vehicle.

Production of the Prius wasn’t ultimately approved until last April, when chief engineer Koji Toyoshima redesigned the model, which is why the release date has been pushed to 2015.

Toyota clearly has lofty goals in mind for the new Prius, likely trying to set it apart from its hybrid competition, a category growing faster every year. Regardless, little is currently known about the new Prius, which is only being referred to by a codename: 690A.

Toyota also allegedly plans to differentiate the plug-in variant for the new Prius, currently codenamed 680A. As we get closer to the launch date for upcoming Prius, more details will emerge.

Though we at Cumberland Toyota were disappointed by the delay, we’re glad to hear that the company is putting so much effort into the new Toyota Prius redesign. What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Toyota’s Tips for Safe Traveling This Holiday Season

Tips for safe traveling this holiday seasonLike so many this holiday season, your family will probably be spending a lot of time in the car, traveling to and from school Christmas pageants, busy shopping malls, or Grandma’s house for a delicious feast. Before you get too busy, we at Cumberland Toyota want to take time to discuss the importance of traveling safely. Toyota’s Buckle Up for Life program, created in partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, has a few tips for safe traveling this holiday season.

  1. Be sure to install your child’s car seat properly. In light of recent findings that 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly, it doesn’t hurt to double check to be certain you are among the 25% installing the seat the right way.
  2. Speaking of car seats, check your seat for FAA approval. If you’ll be flying for the holidays, an FAA-approved car seat will actually fit on the plane, keeping your child more securely fastened during the flight.
  3. While it may seem counterintuitive, you should actually take off your son or daughter’s winter coat before buckling the seat belt (which means you may want to consider pre-heating the car). A winter coat can impede the belt’s ability to properly fit your child and decrease its restraining ability in the event of an accident.

For more traveling safety tips, check out Toyota’s press release. Wherever this season may take you, we hope you enjoy the ride.

The Best Way to Transport a Christmas Tree

Transport a Christmas TreeIt’s not truly Christmas without a real tree in your living room. Those assemble-it-yourself fakes don’t evoke the same nostalgic, pine-scented joy that real evergreens do.

Picking out the perfect pine or fir from the local tree lot can be a serious chore (especially if you have a caravan of opinionated kids) but transporting the evergreen home shouldn’t be. If you don’t have a truck or SUV big enough to toss the tree in the back, you wind up hoisting it onto your car roof. To prevent the festive memory from becoming a disaster, here are some suggestions from Esurance.com’s blog.

Make sure you bring the following items when youtransport a Christmas tree: gloves, a tarp or old blanket, and plenty of rope and bungee cords.

After you’ve done the hard part and decided on the right tree, most places will wrap it up for you in netting to subdue all the wily branches. To secure the tree to your car, start by laying the tarp/blanket on the roof. This will protect your car from soaked spots, sticky sap, and unseemly scratches. You can even wrap the tree entirely in the blanket to carry it through the house without dropping needles.

Position the tree so it’s centered on your roof, with the trunk pointing forward (this keeps it stable and prevents wind damage to the limbs). Wrap the cord around the tree multiple times until it’s secured, looping it through your roof rack or doors. Don’t wrap the rope through your open windows because you won’t be able to get in/out of your car! It’s best to open up the doors, wrap, and then close the doors.

Hopefully these instructions will help you bring home the perfect tree without damaging your perfect car from Cumberland Toyota.

Toyota FCV Technology Wins “Best of What’s New” Award

Toyota FCV technologyAs the most common element in the universe, hydrogen just seems to make sense as a fuel source. That’s why engineers down at Toyota have been hard at work on the new Toyota Fuel-Cell Vehicle (FCV). Here at Cumberland Toyota we were pleased to hear the FCV won the prestigious “Best of What’s New” award from Popular Science.

So what is a fuel-cell vehicle anyway? Toyota FCV technology is designed around hydrogen fuel stacks. Through a complex process of catalysts, anodes, never before seen materials, the FCV generates its own electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen.

“For 27 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us − those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what’s possible in the future,” said Cliff Ransom, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science.

What sets the FCV apart from ordinary all-electric cars is both the range and the refill process. The innovative new design can go over 300 miles before refueling. When it does come to that, it takes no more than five minutes, considerably better than most electric-car alternatives (who wants to want a few hours before they can drive again?). The FCV revolutionizes the auto industry by making alternative-energy sources more practical.

Toyota’s TS040 Le Mans Racer Has Parts from the Next-Generation Prius

next-generation PriusWhat goes into a Prius? Gas, car parts, and a whole lot of green technology, we reckon. Everyone knows that. What we didn’t know at Cumberland Toyota, and we’ll be you didn’t either, is that the Prius is also part race car.

No, we’re not kidding. The high-performance TS040 Hybrid Le Mans racer that Toyota built for the 2014 season reportedly uses parts from the next-generation Prius, like microchips and microcontrollers.

And why not? The Prius is possibly the most established hybrid nameplate in the world—it’s gotta be doing something right. For the 2014 season, Toyota cut fuel consumption by 25 percent compared to the TS030 while increasing horsepower to 1,000, up from 750 hp.

The automaker has a dozen hybrid engineers using the Le Mans program as a lab for technologies they can import to production models. The TS040’s four-wheel-drive hybrid system, for example, may have applications in the next Prius. Now that’s something to look forward to!

Door Remains Open for Toyota Electric Vehicles

Toyota Electric VehiclesHere in the U.S., Toyota has made it clear that they believe the future of advanced automotive powertrain lies in hydrogen fuel cell technology, not electric battery technology. While Toyota continues to make significant investments in the research and development of fuel cell technology, it appears that the automaker may also be keeping their options open when it comes to electric vehicles.

A recent news release announced that in China, a joint venture will look into electric vehicles, and in Japan, Toyota has made a recent investment in electric vehicle technology.

As it turns out, Toyota has been running an electric-vehicle charging station trial project in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture over the past couple of years and is now planning to expand that program. The expansion will consist of 43 new charging stations in addition to the 104 already present.

Most of the charging stations are located in municipal-owned properties and mountainous locations, where electric vehicle batteries drain the fastest. The trails will be held in Kariya City, Toyota City, Toyohashi City and Nagakute City, and testing will continue through the end of next March.

According to the news release, the tests hope to:

  1. Identify ideal charger locations and operating methods by monitoring usage (charging frequency and duration) for each day and hour at each facility.
  2. Determine whether installing chargers at city-owned facilities near popular driving destinations in hilly and mountainous areas will allay user concerns about running out of battery-charge and also help increase the number of new users.
  3. Install multiple chargers at commercial facilities where usage is heavy and monitoring changes in usage to ascertain the need for energy management measures, such as peak shaving.

As we see it, Toyota is definitely keeping their foot in the door. If this whole electric car thing takes off, Toyota will be prepared with a well-researched and established network of charging stations.

If you’re looking to get inside one of Toyota’s electric vehicles, stop by Cumberland Toyota and check out the RAV4 EV today!

Inspiring American Youth with Community Programs by Toyota

Community Programs by ToyotaIt’s the year 2014, and a popular yet misconceived opinion claims that America’s youth today are apathetic, lazy, and overall indifferent to anything outside of themselves. Toyota wanted to challenge that notion, so they started programs like DoSomething.org and The Hunt to give young people a chance to change the perception through their own actions. Toyota inspired over 99,000 young people to participate, contributing to seven different causes over the course of the summer.

The causes included education, the environment, mental and physical health, and several others. The Hunt program instilled a desire to ignite change in local communities. Both programs were overwhelmingly successful.

“Toyota believes that when good ideas are shared, great things happen.  We are proud to have been a part of the Hunt and inspired to see the ripple effect of social good in communities across the country,” said Latondra Newton, chief corporate social responsibility officer for Toyota Motor North America.

To be part of a company that creates so much good—both through its product line and through its social activism—all you have to do is come see us here at Cumberland Toyota. We’ll get you hooked up with an all-new Toyota vehicle and also tell you more about ways you can join community programs by Toyota.

Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle Set for Auction at Environmental Media Awards

Toyota Fuel Cell VehicleToyota is taking their go green philosophy to the red carpet. The Japanese carmaker partnered with its sister company, Lexus, as the presenting sponsors of the 24th annual Environmental Media Awards. During the awards, Toyota will also make history by being the first major carmaker to give away a fuel cell vehicle to an individual owner.

“Toyota and Lexus are proud to support the broad, positive environmental influence these individuals have through their work,” said Bob Carter, vice president of automotive operations for Toyota. “The influencers at the EMA awards lead not only Hollywood’s conversations about environmental issues, but the country’s, and we’re looking forward to starting the fuel cell conversation.”

The Environmental Media Awards celebrates various individuals within the entertainment industry that promote environmental messages, which makes it the perfect venue to auction of the new Toyota fuel cell vehicle, while also marking Toyota and Lexus’s 14th year as the awards’ sponsors.

While the FCV is set to go on sale in California in late 2015, Cumberland Toyota has plenty of other eco-friendly car options available. Make sure you stop in to our dealership today and see what we have to offer!

The New 2015 Toyota Camry Helps You Locate Stuff

2015 Toyota Camry Toyota has just initiated a new ad campaign in support of the 2015 Toyota Camry.  Historically, the midsize sedan has been promoted based on its “reliability and safety,” according to US Today.  This new campaign highlights something different.  It calls to attention what Ethan Leighton, marketing manager for Camry, says are its “emotional attributes.”

According to Toyota, young people are always searching for something. In one of the new ads, a very hip-looking young woman finds an old, busted hollow-body guitar in a dusty storage unit.  She drives through town, looking for something.  Eventually she arrives at a blues joint.  Backstage, she finds BB King.  We realize that it’s his old guitar.  He shreds a little on her axe,  autographs it and gives it back.  We see her driving away behind the title, “The Bold New Camry.”  In another ad, the owner of a new Camry goes in search of a missing dog.

The moral to these stories? No matter what adventure you find yourself in, the new 2015 Toyota Camry will get you there.

Visit Cumberland Toyota today!

7 Million Sold After First Toyota Prius in 1997

Toyota PriusWhen it comes to hybrid electric vehicles, it’s hard not to say that Toyota is king. First of all, they invented the modern EVs.  It was their hard work and inspired engineering that put the first EV out there, the Toyota Prius, revolutionizing the auto market.  They got the ball rolling and now nearly every major automaker has followed suit.  Years later, they’re still making some of the best electric vehicles out there.  And they are making a lot of them!

They have now sold a total of 7 million hybrids worldwide since the birth of the Prius in 1997. That’s quite a feat, especially when you consider that the cars were only available in Japan for the first three years of their existence.

Bill Fay, vice president of Toyota North America, said that that these total sales numbers were “an incredible accomplishment in little more than 15 years.” At Cumberland Toyota, we have to agree!