Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tundra Drivers Make History. Break NASCAR Record

“It’s great to be a part of this Toyota winning streak in the Truck Series,” says Jones, who guided his Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) No. 51 Toyota Care Tundra to victory lane at the Phoenix one-mile oval, a win that made him the youngest race-winner in series history.  “Back in Phoenix last year, we were able to really get that streak going and carry it all the way through this year and it’s pretty awesome – especially for Toyota and everyone involved.”
In addition, the now 18-year-old Jones registered a win at Iowa Speedway on July 11, while Wallace picked up a first-place trophy at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 14.
“It just shows what Toyota carries each and every weekend to the race track,” said the 20-year-old Wallace, who became the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR national series race in more than 50 years when he drove his KBM Tundra to victory lane at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway last October.  “To be able to go out and compete for Toyota is completely an honor and pretty much the backbone of my career ever since 2009.  To be a part of the win streak that we carried since November of last year is special.  It’s really, really an honor to be a part of that -- and for me to be able to continue the streak at St. Louis and again on the dirt at Eldora.  It’s really cool to see that Toyota is making a huge statement throughout the Truck Series, and to be a part of that is a lot of fun.  Toyota has been strong all year.”
Jones’ team owner, Kyle Busch, ended the 2013 season with a win in the series season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch also won all five Truck Series races he’s competed in this season: Daytona International Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway.
While KBM drivers earned 10 of the 12 wins during the run, fellow Tundra team ThorSport Racing driver (and 2013 series champion) Matt Crafton took the top spot at Martinsville Speedway on March 30 and Texas Motor Speedway on June 6.
“It’s been amazing what all the Toyota teams have accomplished with this streak of wins,” said Crafton.  “I’m really proud to have been a part of a couple of the victories along the way.  It’s an impressive record that probably won’t be topped or matched for a long, long time.  It definitely showcases the support of TRD and the dedication that Toyota has to the Truck Series.”
The previous mark for consecutive wins in the NCWTS was eight – set by Chevrolet in 1995 and tied by Dodge in 2001.
Toyota began competing in the Truck Series with the Tundra in 2004.  In more than 10 years of competition in the series, Tundra drivers have registered 122 victories and 96 pole positions. Toyota also has claimed six manufacturer’s championships (2006-10 and 2013) and driver’s championships for Todd Bodine (2006 and 2010), Johnny Benson (2008) and Crafton (2013).
Although the winning streak came to an end at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway in early August, Tundra drivers look to start a new streak – and break their own record – when the series returns to action at the Michigan International Speedway two-mile oval this weekend. Truck on!
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Do A Double Take with Second Stunning Toyota FT-1 Sports Car Concept

Proof that its beauty lies on the inside and out, Toyota revealed today a second interior styling and exterior color for an upscale interpretation of its sensational FT-1 sports car concept. Developed by Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, California, the concept vehicle’s graphite exterior paint and light, saddle-colored leather went on display for the first time at the Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival gala held on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
The original FT-1 concept ignited sports car enthusiasts and the automotive world with its January debut at the North American International Auto Show. Labeled the spiritual pace car for the new direction of Toyota Global Design, the muscular, curved exterior builds on Toyota’s rich sports coupe heritage dating back to the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2 and most recently Scion FR-S. That first vehicle stunned in a bold red, while this second FT-1 impresses with sophisticated graphite. Both share the deeply sculpted intakes and outlets that support its track-ready nature and the dramatic lines seemingly shaped by the wind. It’s a look that gets the heart racing.
The color of the upscale leather changes between the first and second FT-1 vehicles, and the visual difference is striking. The first car was dominated by bold, masculine black that keeps the driver focused on the road, while red painted edges and raw metals provide intriguing accents. In the second, the natural leather on the seat is supple with an all-natural grain, giving it an authentic appeal. The painted edges that are red in the first concept are now subtly blended brown in the second. The intention is to bring in a more sophisticated feel and authenticity through color choice, showcasing the versatility of the FT-1 sports car concept. Enthusiasts who desire a more pure high-performance experience might choose the black-red pairing, while others may desire the premium, athletic feel of the saddle leather.
“From the start of the FT-1 project, we wanted the driver to have a feeling of flow while at the wheel – to be able to focus on the road and nothing else,” said Sellene Lee, the Calty creative designer who proposed both color concepts. “In the color studio we help create the atmosphere of the vehicle, and our aim was to ensure everything supported the driver through efficient choices. The saddle leather maintains that same ‘in the zone’ driving intention, while bringing in a more premium feeling.”

Superhero Inspiration for the Interior
Sellene Lee drew inspiration for the FT-1 interior from the modern, high-tech performance materials used for today’s superhero costumes. A movie poster drew her attention to the modern shift from past heroes’ bright tights and colors to today’s performance fabrics and function. To achieve the FT-1’s advanced-looking, intricately detailed interior, Sellene Lee and the team compared leather thicknesses, grain sizes and textures to find the perfect combination. Raised metal mesh provides ventilation for the seats while lending a more textural, bold effect that beautifully matches with the metal accents. A dimensional embossed pattern on the instrument panel leather brings in a 3-D, technical look.
“From color and trim standpoint in the FT-1, there was a laser-like focus on staying true to function,” said Wendy Lee, studio chief designer at Calty. “This project was very special, as the FT-1 stands apart in its performance-driven, authentic purpose.”
Beyond her superhero performance material concept, Sellene Lee moved away from the typical stitching or piping edge treatment found in many vehicle interiors. The painted red edges on the welded leather and painted brown edges on the second FT-1 were inspired by high-end leather bags she found in an upscale department store. When drivers sit in FT-1, they can feel the difference in materials, textures and color choices that resulted from the team’s work.

Double the Fun in Gran Turismo 6
This September, two new versions of the FT-1 will be available for download virtually inside Gran Turismo 6 (GT6), the latest iteration of the best-selling racing franchise exclusively on PlayStation®3. Like the red FT-1 introduced in January, the graphite FT-1 concept roars onto the Gran Turismo 6 racetrack as a downloadable vehicle for a limited time. Additionally, in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo series, Calty has also designed an ultra high-performance race version of the FT-1 that inside the game is called the FT-1 “Vision GT.” This high-powered version interprets what a full-race FT-1 might achieve on the track. See how the FT-1 Vision GT came to life by watching this video:
The GT6 played an important role in helping key executives (including Toyota President Akio Toyoda) better experience the FT-1 concept prior to building the vehicle. Both virtual versions capture the same excitement, passion and performance the physical FT-1 vehicles inspire in those who see them.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three Reasons You Should Be Driving a Hybrid

You don’t have to be a pious Prius driver (but it sure helps) to enjoy the benefits of hybrid technology.

    3. Help others breathe a little easier. Since 2000, the Prius family of vehicles has saved an estimated 26.5 million tons of CO2 emissions in the U.S.

    2. Save gas. Prius family owners could drive around the earth 4.39 million times with the fuel saved.

    1. Save gas money. Over the last 14 years, the Prius family (compared to an average car) has saved Americans about $5 billion in fuel costs.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Toyota Commits $1 Million to Help the City of Detroit and Secure the Future of the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) announced today that Toyota Motor North America pledged $1 million toward the DIA’s commitment to raise $100 million as part of a “grand bargain” that will help the City of Detroit emerge from bankruptcy, support city pensioners and protect the museum’s art collection for the public.

“Toyota has demonstrated its commitment to Detroit and Michigan by doing its part to secure the DIA’s future while helping Detroit’s retirees,” said Eugene A. Gargaro Jr., DIA board chairman. "We are extremely grateful for Toyota’s generous support and know that it will motivate other donors and help pave the way for a bright future, both for the City of Detroit and the DIA.”

“Detroit and the surrounding areas are vitally important to the automotive community. They deserve our support,” said Simon Nagata, president of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc.  “Together we can find solutions to help Detroit become the healthy and vibrant community that reflects the spirit of its people. This commitment is a way to demonstrate our gratitude to the people who have built this industry and support us every day.”

The grand bargain will provide Detroit’s pensioners more than $800 million from the DIA, local and national foundations and the State of Michigan over a 20-year period. The funds will be directed to a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and then disbursed for city pension payments over the next 20 years. As part of the grand bargain, the City of Detroit will transfer ownership of the DIA’s collection, building and related assets to the private nonprofit corporation that currently operates the museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Inc.