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How to make your own Toyota GT86

Toyota GT86 model

With its newly-launched kit, Toyota says you’ll simply require access to a colour printer, some paper glue and a pair of scissors to create your very own GT86.

We’d add a ‘sticky-out tongue‘ and some choice words to the list.

In fairness, creating your own paper Toyota GT86 doesn’t look too taxing. Toyota claims the car should be finished within an hour, so with six designs available, your children should be kept occupied for most of the working day.

There’s also the potential to host your own one-make race series, although we’d recommend keeping these cars away from the skirting boards. Paper isn’t known for its structural rigidity and we doubt these cars would pass the Euro NCAP safety test.

Paper chase

Toyota GT86 paper model

The six designs were originally created for the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed to commemorate 50 years of Toyota in the UK.

We’re featuring the Yatabe Speed Trial Toyota 2000GT design, complete with yellow paintwork, dark green bonnet and prominent Esso sponsorship.

Other liveries include the Shelby Toyota 2000GT, Ove Andersson’s Toyota Celica 1600GT, IMSA GTU Toyota Celica, Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four and Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra.

Big kids with big hands are advised to print them on A3 paper, but A4 will be fine if your working-from-home printer isn’t up to scratch. You’re advised to separate each of the three main sections and each of the four tyres from the grey background.

Paper cut

Toyota GT86 cut-out template

Fold and glue all of the tabs so that they adhere to the underside of the adjacent panel. Toyota says the finished article ”should resemble a Toyota GT86“, with a strong emphasis on the word ‘should’.

If your last attempt at a build-your-own paper car involved sticky back plastic and John Noakes, some child supervision might be required.

One thing’s for certain: an armchair critic will pipe up with some nonsense about the paper Toyota GT86 needing more power. 

Proud of your efforts? Be sure to share them with Toyota GB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Download the designs here: 

Yatabe Speed Trial Toyota GT86

Shelby Toyota 2000GT

Ove Andersson’s Toyota Celica 1600GT

IMSA GTU Toyota Celica

Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four

Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra

 

Toyota gives American Supras more muscle

Toyota Supra gets power boost

Less than a year into the Supra’s life, Toyota has chosen to deploy a more powerful version, albeit only in America. New 2021 model year cars will get a substantial boost, up from 335hp to 382hp.

These upgrades come from a new dual-branch exhaust manifold, with six ports instead of two. This helps with heat management, while a new piston design reduces the compression ratio from 11:1 to 10.2:1. In terms of performance, the Supra should now be in the three-second club to 60mph, making the sprint in 3.9 seconds – down from 4.1.

Toyota Supra gets power boost

To handle the extra power, the flagship is getting some chassis bracing, from the strut towers to the radiator support. The dampers have also been retuned, as has the electric power steering. For 2021, Americans will be offered a total of 1,000 A91 Edition Supras.

Like the initial 1,500 MkV Launch Editions, the A91 gets an exclusive ‘Refraction’ paint. On the inside, along with some exclusive colour options for the A91, the Supra loses the base model 6.5 inch screen, with the 8.8-inch system becoming standard.

Toyota Supra gets power boost

Lastly, and perhaps the biggest change, is the addition of the four-cylinder option. The 2.0-litre 255hp model is being pitched as the lighter, more direct, driver-focused model. With less weight out front, it should be more manoeuvrable. The four-pot car is more than 90 kilograms lighter than the 3.0-litre. That’s a fairly stout passenger’s worth of weight.

We suspect the power upgrade for the 3.0 is to help differentiate it in terms of performance and value, from the new entry-level four-cylinder model. The new 382hp car extends the power gap, from 80hp to just under 130hp. We expect this boost to be the first of many upgrades for the Supra.

F1 world champion Alonso tests the Toyota GR Yaris

Fernando Alonso drives the new Toyota Yaris GR

Double F1 world champion and Le Mans-winner Fernando Alonso has been testing Toyota’s latest high-performance hot hatchback. Alonso gave his opinion on the new Toyota GR Yaris after a few laps of the Estoril circuit in Portugal.

The GR Yaris is a modern-day homologation special, complete with wide wheelarches, more than 250hp and four-wheel drive.

Alonso isn’t just any Le Mans-winner, either. His victory was at the wheel of Toyota’s TSO50 LMP1 car, finally cementing the marque’s name in the history of the famous endurance race.

Fernando Alonso drives the new Toyota Yaris GR

So, what does this pro racer, and perhaps the world’s leading authority on fast Toyotas, think of the Yaris GR? 

“This car has the perfect combination of sport and good performance,” Alonso said.

“A very sporty car you can drive every day, exceeding your expectations in every gear change. In every braking point, in every corner, you know it’s a little bit better than you expect.

“Not only the power and the stability, but for me also the brakes, it was a really nice surprise. It is only the first few laps but it is exciting!”

Fernando Alonso drives the new Toyota Yaris GR

LMP1 cars and a fast Yaris aren’t Alonso’s only experiences with hot Toyotas. He’s also taken on the Dakar Rally for Toyota Gazoo Racing, making him well-placed to give feedback on a softer-focus rally-inspired car.

The Yaris GR is intended to homologate Toyota’s 2021 World Rally Car, the hope being for a competitive advantage.

With almost completely new bodywork and a new four-wheel-drive system, the cost of development is likely to be enormous. In spite of this, we reported that the price could be lower than you’d think, given Toyota intends to sell more than 15,000 of them.

Toyota invests £300m in electric air taxi company

Toyota invests in Joby Aviation

Toyota has teamed up with Joby Aviation to develop an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Little information has been released, but Toyota hopes to commercialise the eVTOL, with the aim of delivering “fast, quiet and affordable air transportation”.

An eVTOL combines elements of helicopters and small aeroplanes, offering zero emissions, fast travel and quiet operation. Details of the prototype aircraft and the production plans will be announced at a later date.

Earlier this month, Hyundai and Uber unveiled a ride-sharing air taxi concept at CES 2020. The companies hope to be airborne within three years.

Toyota is the lead investor in Joby Aviation’s $590 million (£452 million) Series C financing. In addition to a $394 million (£302 million) investment, Toyota will also share its expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost control.

Founded in 2009, Joby Aviation is at the forefront of the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market. The Californian company has developed a four passenger aircraft that can fly at speeds of up to 200mph, delivering 150+ miles of flying ranging from a single charge.

‘On land, and now in the sky‘

Toyota logo

Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation president and CEO, said: “Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights on the sky.

“As we take up the challenge of air transportation together with Joby, an innovator in the emerging eVTOL space, we tap the potential to revolutionise future transportation and people’s lives.

“Through this new and exciting endeavour, we hope to deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now in the sky.”

JoeBen Bevirt, Joby Aviation founder and CEO, added: “This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us and for this new industry, from one of the world’s leading automakers.

“Toyota is known globally for the quality and reliability of its products, driven by meticulous attention to detail and manufacturing processes. I am excited to harness Toyota’s engineering and manufacturing prowess to drive us towards our dream of helping a billion people save an hour-plus commuting time every day.”

Wild Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch will be cheaper than you think

Toyota Yaris GR price

A trip to Toyota’s forward-planning Kenshiki Forum was our first chance to get up close with the GR Yaris: the company’s exotic new hot hatch. With an all-new body and four-wheel drive, you’d be forgiven for worrying about how expensive the Yaris will be.

Thankfully, those in the know at Toyota reassured us otherwise.

At its reveal, it was anyone’s guess what the GR Yaris would cost. Predictions started at £40,000 and climbed from there – and for good reason. You could likely fit the body parts the GR shares with the normal Yaris in the boot of a Supra. The lights and badges are pretty much the only bits that carry over unchanged.

Toyota Yaris GR price

Everything else is bespoke – the three-door shell, bumpers, wheelarches, lower roofline and carbon roof. Underneath, the front is familiar Yaris, but at the back, to accommodate both the double-wishbone suspension and the rear driveshafts, it’s effectively a Corolla. 

The GR Yaris won’t be assembled in France alongside its standard siblings. Instead, it’ll be built, largely by hand, at the new GR Production Centre in Motomachi, Japan. A true modern JDM performance hero, and likely to cost plenty as a result?


Before being shuffled out of the room with a GR Yaris on display alongside a body-less chassis, we cornered Robert Tickner, general manager of communications at Toyota Motor Europe, to see if we could get a hint.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask, is there any indication of how much the GR Yaris is going to cost?”

Tickner smiles, but remains coy: “We’re still developing the price point at the moment.”

Toyota Yaris GR price

I press him, citing some of the wild guesses circulating online. He laughs: “I don’t think it’ll be quite that much. If you look at the price in Japan, which was revealed to be around four million yen, that converts to roughly £27,000. It won’t be a million miles away from that.”

Truthfully, we were surprised. To look at the Yaris GR, you can’t help but wonder what astronomical costs went into its development – and indeed will go into its manufacture.

“I assume the profit margins will be tight, then?” I follow. “Assuming there is a profit,” Tickner quips.

Toyota Yaris GR price

It seems Toyota doesn’t want to price enthusiasts out of the car. When you consider that it will have 24,000 of them to sell worldwide, that seems sensible. Production isn’t limited, either: 24,000 is just how many they have to produce to homologate the rally car. If they all sell and there’s demand, production will continue.

It’s not unknown for boss Akio Toyoda to let his company take a hit for the sake of a passion project. Indeed, the Yaris GR is another one of his pet projects – not unlike the Lexus LFA supercar, also a loss-leader.

It’s a product of his love of rallying, a crack at a competitive edge for the 2021 WRC season, plus a true homologation special. 

Toyota Yaris GR price

The Yaris GR could be a lot of excitement for your money, then, once prices are announced. Our revised estimate starts with a three…

So when can we expect the actual price to be revealed? Toyota is on a clock with this. “We need to get pricing out and orders in, in time to deliver before the 2021 season,” Tickner says. “We’re looking at no later than May, really.”

2020 Toyota Mirai revealed – sexy first, fuel cell EV second

Toyota Mirai 2020 revealed

The hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai was always a technological flagship, but its appearance left a lot to be desired. It was striking, for sure, but far short of appealing. As well as the advancements going on underneath, the 2020 Toyota Mirai has developed a swagger. We went to the Toyota Kenshiki Forum in Amsterdam for the reveal of the near-production version. Kenshiki means ‘insight’ or ‘creating understanding’. With that, we tried a bit of both with the second iteration of Toyota’s fascinating fuel cell flagship.

So why the sudden change? We don’t see the Prius turning into a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe rival anytime soon. It’s because an image problem is the last thing a car trying to sell a concept needs. Indeed, Matt Harris, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Europe, describes the Mirai as Toyota’s vision of “the longer-term future of electrification”. The 10,000 Mirai units sold globally since 2015 doesn’t scream long-term. The Mirai needs to reach further. 

Toyota Mirai 2020 revealed

So the goal is to make a car that people desire and will enjoy driving. It wants the Mirai to be aspirational, rather than a statement of style martyrdom that the Prius and previous Mirai are so often described as. That it’s a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle isn’t of consequence in this respect. In short, Toyota wants to do for FCEVs, what the Tesla Model S did for conventional EVs – make them desirable and therefore, impossible to ignore. A master-stroke by Toyota, given that the as yet unconfirmed price will inevitably remain steep. This looks much more like a £70,000 car than its predecessor.

“I want customers to say ‘I chose the Mirai not just because it’s an FCEV, but because I simply wanted this car; it just happens to be an FCEV,’“ says the Mirai’s chief engineer, Yoshikazu Tanaka.

Reshaping the Mirai – better looks, longer range and rear-wheel-driveToyota Mirai 2020 revealed

To the end of facilitating the Mirai’s reinvention, the right platform was needed. Under the skin is the new GA-L platform, which has been designed from the outset to take multiple powertrains, including hydrogen. It’s the largest within the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) family, which will be familiar to those who have had a look under the skin of a Lexus LS. Could we see a luxurious hydrogen-powered Lexus at some point? “It’s entirely possible”, we were told.

The platform is the primary enabler of that arresting shape and facilitates more dynamic driving characteristics. In fact, being a close relation to a Lexus platform, the new Mirai is only the second of two Toyotas in the marque’s current lineup – alongside the Supra – to be rear-wheel-drive. While there were no allusions to Toyota’s FCEV cutting shapes and billowing smoke like a Mercedes-AMG, the new Mirai is said to have “a completely new character” in terms of its driving dynamics.

“We have pursued the goal of making a car that customers will feel they want to drive all the time,” Tanaka says of the car’s driving dynamics. 

“A car that has an emotional and attractive design and the kind of dynamic and responsive performance that can bring a smile to the driver’s face.”

Toyota Mirai 2020 revealed

The larger platform has also allowed for improving the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain underneath. It employs fourth-generation Toyota hybrid motor and battery technology, alongside its second-generation fuel cells, for which there are now three tanks. The new Mirai’s range should, says Toyota, exceed the first-generation car’s by 30 percent.

Estimates are around the 400-mile mark (650 kilometers), improving on the original’s circa 300-mile range. That’s further than any current or imminent EV, and it can be ‘filled’ in the time it takes to fuel up a petrol car.

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On the inside, it’s a tidy thing. You could almost slap a metallic ‘L’ on the wheel in place of the Toyota badge. The instrument panel wraps around the driver, and there’s an impressive crisp 12.3-inch central display. It’s not quite a Lexus LS, but it isn’t just a poshed-up Prius either.

Practically speaking, it’s a lot bigger. The layout of the new fuel cells means it can now seat five people, rather than the four that the previous car could manage. That said, headroom is a bit of a squeeze. The distance between those elegant 20-inch wheels is roughly 200mm less than a Lexus LS, but 140mm more than the outgoing first-generation car. It’s longer but lower – a proportional win afforded by that new platform.

Toyota Mirai – what’s the point?

Toyota Mirai 2020 revealed

It’s the burning question around this car that, as conventional battery EVs have proliferated, ought to have become more and more difficult to answer. On the contrary – Toyota’s team of executives and engineers at the Kenshiki forum repeatedly defended its case.

Andrea Carlucci, director of product planning and marketing at Toyota Motor Europe, told us that it’s the essential fourth prong in its electric vehicle offering. Toyota considers itself a leader in the field of automotive electrification, having popularised the hybrid and plug-in hybrid formula. Yet as wholesale electrification remains in its infancy, it wants to cover all basis, explore all technologies and balloon its offering of every kind of EV. It appreciates that certain standards of electrification aren’t affordable at all budget levels, and wants to have offerings along as much of the affordability spectrum as possible. 

Toyota Mirai 2020 revealed

Conventional hybrids – like the new Yaris hybrid – are affordable. They’re good for urban motorists. They’re an entry point into the world of electrification right now. Plug-ins – like the new RAV-4 PHEV – offer the flexibility of selectable EV motoring and a combustion engine alongside. Full battery-electric vehicles are good for regulated areas, like emission-controlled cities. Finally, cars like the Mirai are designed for those who are carbon-conscious but still want a large aspirational vehicle and have distances to cover.

Its relevance isn’t in its sales, though. Though Toyota expects to sell more this time around, the car’s transformation isn’t intended to turn it into a volume or profit margin darling. The Mirai is a statement by Toyota. It says that this is a company that isn’t chasing the bottom line. It’s a reminder of Toyota’s standing as a pioneer in alternative fuel vehicles. It’s Toyota’s stamp on the fringes of zero-emission technology. It’s Toyota’s flagship, and with this reinvention, no longer in technology alone.

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Toyota is making parts for the classic Supra again

Toyota GR Heritage reproducing Supra parts

News that Toyota plans to reproduce parts for the previous two generations of Supra will be music to the ears of owners. The marque follows Nissan and Mazda in announcing remanufactured parts support for classic models.

Specifically, parts will be reproduced for the A70 (1986-1993) and A80 (1993-2002) generations of Toyota Supra. These will be sold domestically and in overseas markets, including America and Europe.

Toyota also says the parts will be available to order and pick up from dealerships.

Which classic Supra parts can you buy?Toyota GR Heritage reproducing Supra parts

 

All parts will be going into production in 2020. The part numbers aren’t yet announced, but deliveries could begin next year.

The first batch will include door handles for both the A70 and A80. Propeller shafts, fuel sender gauges, weather strips and front emblems will be available for the A70. For the A80, headlamps and brake boosters will be joining the door handles initially.

If you’re worried that list isn’t exactly exhaustive, fear not. As an owner, you can fill in a form and request the parts you need. Don’t bet on Toyota going all the way and putting the 2JZ twin-turbo straight-six engine back into production, though.

Toyota GR Heritage reproducing Supra parts

‘Tell us about the spare parts you want to see reproduced,’ the Toyota Gazoo Racing website reads.

‘Let us know which parts you require to ensure your beloved vehicle can continue to run. Your feedback will motivate us in our efforts to produce the next batch of reissued parts.’

Toyota will be exhibiting GR Heritage Parts at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Makuhari Messe. You’ll be able to check them out for three days, from 10-12 January.

Toyota reveals plans to build its own city

Toyota's city of the future CES

The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is underway, and now more than ever it’s where car companies go to show off technology, and technology companies go to show off cars. Toyota is going one better this year, proposing its plans for an entire city of the future.

Moreover, this isn’t just a concept. Toyota is going to build what it calls the ‘Woven City’ at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan.

The plan is for it to be a prototype for new cities. The 175-acre site will be a fully connected hydrogen-powered ecosystem, and a safe haven for the prototyping and testing of future technologies. Examples include autonomous mobility, robotics, smart homes, and artificial intelligence (AI).

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Toyota wants to move 2,000 people in initially. These will include Toyota employees, families, retirees, retailers, scientists and industry partners. They’ll be able to enjoy robots in their homes, AI to monitor their health and fully-autonomous zero-emissions transport. Tropes of traditional cities will follow, including parks and areas for people to gather socially.

“Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the city’s infrastructure,” said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Toyota's city of the future CES

“With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology… in both the virtual and the physical realms… maximising its potential.”

“We welcome all those inspired to improve the way we live in the future, to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all.”

The city is being designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. His previous efforts include Google’s Mountain View and London headquarters locations, as well as Lego House in Denmark. Toyota expects ground to be broken for the ‘Woven City’ in 2021.

2020 Toyota race at Silverstone is open to all

Toyota Parallel Pomeroy Trophy

Entries are now open for the 2020 Toyota Parallel Pomeroy Trophy at Silverstone.

Toyotas of all shapes, sizes and ages are invited to attend to the event. Everyone has a chance of driving home in a blaze of glory.

In theory, an ageing Avensis or Camry could upstage a Supra or GT86. Rising Starlets should form an orderly queue…

Entrants must complete the same series of driving tests, but the results are calculated taking factors such as the car’s age and engine size into account.

As a result, a Toyota iQ scooped the Parallel Pomeroy Trophy in 2019. The tiny city car finished ahead of a Toyota Celica GT-Four and a Yaris GRMN in second and third place.

All cars must be road-legal, while all participants must hold a valid UK driving licence. Entries cost £30, with proceeds donated to Guide Dogs for the Blind.

‘There’s no other manufacturer event like it’

Toyota Parallel Pomeroy Trophy 2020

Scott Brownlee, head of press and social at Toyota GB, said: “Last year’s event proved a hugely popular success, with all kinds of Toyotas in action.

“This year we’re ready to welcome even more owners to join in the fun and celebrate the amazing variety of Toyota models from across the years. There’s no other manufacturer event like it and we’re keen to see as many cars as possible taking part.”

Next year’s event will take place on 15 February 2020 at the Silverstone circuit in Northampton. In addition to the competition, drivers will be invited to take to the circuit in a special parade lap.

More information, event regulations and downloadable entry forms can be found on the Vintage Sports Car Club (VSCC) website.

Toyota connects windscreen wipers to weather channel

Connected windscreen wipers

Your car’s windscreen wipers could soon be used to deliver more accurate weather forecasts.

Using data from connected cars, meteorologists could pinpoint localised weather conditions, helping to create a broader picture across the entire country.

This could be used to warn drivers of hazardous conditions and to enable weather-related speed restrictions to improve road safety.

In Japan, a project between Toyota and Weathernews involves the monitoring of windscreen wipers used in connected cars.

“It’s a brilliantly simple idea,” claims Toyota. Drivers activate their wipers in response to rain, and the speed of the wipe tends to correspond with the severity of the downpour.

A couple of cars using their wipers could be a case of screen washing. If numerous people activate their wipers, the reason is likely to be meteorological.

Toyota windscreen wiper

Toyota says standard rain cloud radar systems cannot always detect light showers, so its connected vehicles have the potential to identify weather that might otherwise go undetected.

Working in conjunction with the existing Weathernews observation network, which is spread across 13,000 locations, the connected wipers add another layer of information.

Used correctly, this data could reduce accidents and prepare drivers for deteriorating conditions. In Japan, there are four times as many motorway accidents in the rain as there are on sunny days.

The connected wipers can also communicate in other ways. Nearly all Toyota passenger cars launched since 2018 are equipped with an on-board data communication module.

Using Car2Car technology, cars can warn other cars about weather and hazardous driving conditions.

Say, for example, a number of cars detect ice on a bend. This information can be relayed to the cars approaching the corner, preparing the driver for danger.

Similarly, if a number of connected cars are queuing in traffic, the data can be used to divert other motorists away from the congestion.

Smart windscreen wipers won’t be able to improve the weather, but they might tell you when you need to pack an umbrella.