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!

Toyota Challenges Today’s Youth with Dream Car Art Contest

Toyota Dream Car Art ContestIt is often said that today’s children are the leaders of tomorrow. But, how often do we stop to ask those future leaders how they view tomorrow? Toyota dares to ask once again as it re-launches the Dream Car Art Contest, requesting kids ages four to 15 to draw the car of the future.

“Every year, it’s exciting to see how the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest inspires youth from around the world to design their vision for the future of transportation, and it’s inspiring to see so many also consider how technology can help address larger societal issues facing their generation,” said Mike Groff, Toyota Financial Services president and CEO.

Entries will be accepted through December 13, and nine winners from the US will be selected to win an iPad. Those nine artists will join winners from approximately 80 countries for a chance to become one of the Thirty World Winners who receive a trip to Japan for the final awards ceremony.

You can visit the Toyota Financial Services website for more information on how to enter. Let us at Cumberland Toyota know if you or someone you know will be drawing their dream car!

Improved 2015 Toyota Camry Debuts A New Look

2015 Toyota Camry Debuts A New LookThe new 2015 Toyota Camry stuns with a sleek new look that even sports car enthusiasts can appreciate. Even better, every inch of this model, minus the roof, has been redesigned in some way, making it redefine what it means to be a Camry.

Edmunds reports that “the improved interior and additional features represent a preemptive strike of sorts to prevent the Camry from growing stale in the face of ever-improving competition.” New features include adaptive cruise control and the top-of-the-line safety technology that warns the driver of lane departure. That sure wasn’t included in the previous Camry model.

Along with the inside, the outside is also notably different. Nearly part of the exterior has been changed. The rear now showcases a more rounded look with taillights that stand out. The sides of the vehicle have chrome and black trim that help make the top of the car appear even sleeker. With its consistent, reliable features, it is great news that the Camry now has an equally stylish appearance to match them.

Now that the Camry debuts a new look, debut your new Camry after getting it from Cumberland Toyota!

Toyota Introduces Innovative Mover, the Urban Utility Concept

Urban Utility ConceptFor those innovative students of life who are always on the go, Toyota’s Calty Design Research has created a car for you… if you could even call it that. The Urban Utility concept vehicle, fondly known as U2, offers a completely new way of traveling.

“Toyota saw an opportunity for a new approach to an urban vehicle based on increasing re-urbanization of our cities and urban drivers’ desire for flexibility, fun and maneuverability,” said Kevin Hunter, Calty Design Research president. “Calty keeps a number of projects concealed while exploring ideas and products. Revealing a project like the U2 gives people a window into the constant innovation that happens inside Toyota and our Calty studios and one possible future for urban mobility.”

The vehicle is the size of a compact car with the shape of an SUV and the capability of a cargo van.

Its interior is customizable, and we do mean customizable. The rear of the vehicle includes a tailgate and ramp, enabling large items to be stored and taken along for the ride. It can also turn into a work station complete with desk space and winging side windows to open for business.

As Toyota introduces the concept this month, we at Cumberland Toyota are interested to see the public’s reaction to the unique mover. We hope to see a vehicle closely based on the concept come to production soon. What are your initial thoughts?

Toyota Leans Away From Driverless Cars, Toward Safety

Toyota says no to driverless carsWhile everyone seems to be developing driverless cars, Toyota has announced that they are leaning away from driverless cars as a future for their vehicles. Rather, Toyota plans to focus on making their vehicles safer for people in the driver’s and passenger seats.

According to Seigo Kuzumaki, Toyota’s deputy chief safety technology officer, “Toyota’s main objective is safety, so it will not be developing a driverless car.” Kuzumaki does not think the driverless technology is something that will be a marketable product to a wide range of people.

In addition, Toyota does not think driverless technology is ready to hit the roads. Ken Koibuchi, head of Toyota’s intelligent vehicle division, said, “At this moment, it is difficult to realize the driverless car safety. To realize driverless car at this moment, we need a very rich infrastructure.”

Until such a time as the entire structure of roads changes, Toyota will continue making vehicles that are safe for people to drive. You can find these great, safe vehicles at Cumberland Toyota.