Toyota Details New 2016 Tacoma Pickup Truck

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Are you as excited about the 2016 Tacoma as we are!? Here at Universal Toyota, we know the value of quality and finesse…which is why Toyota has rebuilt the beloved Tacoma to make it a better, smoother, more efficient way to travel. We can’t wait!

After a slew of photos made it on the web, Toyota finally revealed the new Tacoma at the Detroit Auto Show today.

Toyota says the 2016 Tacoma has been “rebuilt inside and out” featuring an all-new powertrain, updated suspension parts, and new tech features to bring the mid-size truck up to date as it sets out to compete against GM and itsnew Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models.

Beginning with the Tacoma’s frame, Toyota says it added high strength steel to enhance rigidity and overall strength, while ultra-high strength steel was integrated into the body shell using a new hot stamping process to reduce weight.

The truck’s suspension was re-tuned with Toyota claiming that it offers “a smoother on-road ride, while making it even more capable off-road”.

Power comes from a 2.7-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine carried over from the outgoing model and an all-new 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both direct and port fuel injection. Toyota hasn’t given out any performance numbers yet.

Both engines will be linked to a new six-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift, while the bigger V6 will also be available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

On the outside, the new Tacoma has a more contemporary, chiseled appearance, while the interior has been modernized with a brand new dashboard featuring an electronically controlled, dual-zone air-conditioning system and a large touchscreen for the infotainment system.

Other notable features include a new tri-fold hard tonneau cover for securing gear, Blind-spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart key with push-button start and Qi wireless charging.

Camry Chasers Finish Top-10 at Martinsville Short Track

2014 Camping World Truck Martinsville

There isn’t much better than watching a Camry Chaser dominate the competition. *sigh* With the Toyota competitors dishing it out, our lives just get a bit more interesting…especially with the addition of super-fast, super-entertaining races!

Over the weekend at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway, the two Camry Chase drivers in the ‘Eliminator’ round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship playoffs earned top-10 finishes and Tundra driver Darrell Wallace Jr. earned his third victory of the season in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event with a special paint scheme to honor NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott on his Tundra.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)

In Sunday’s NSCS race at Martinsville, Matt Kenseth (sixth), Clint Bowyer (seventh) and Denny Hamlin (eighth) earned top-10 finishes at the half-mile Virginia short track. Kenseth (fourth) and his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Hamlin (fifth) are now in the top-five in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship point standings following the first of three races of the ‘Eliminator’ round.

Kenseth started from the third position and led two laps (of 500), but battled the handling in his JGR No. 20 Camry throughout the race.

“It was a long day,” said Kenseth, following the race. “I’m glad we got that finish even though we’ve got the car all banged up and all the extra stuff going on. At the end of the day I’m glad we got the finish, but it was a rough day. We didn’t run the way we wanted to run today. We still finished respectably with all the stuff that happened. Like I said, we didn’t run great today, but they made some good calls and did the right things at the end and finished strong.”

A late-race caution brought the field to the final restart with five laps remaining in the race. While most of the top competitors made their way to pit road for four fresh tires, a handful of cars stayed on the track to attempt to improve their finishing positions. Hamlin, who spent 68 laps at the front of the field, restarted in the sixth position after his pit stop, but was mired behind slower cars and ultimately finished eighth.

“It’s hard because you’ve got guys that go laps down in the course of the race and get enough lucky dogs and then 50 laps on their tires and they want to stay out,” said Hamlin, following the race. “Just bottle necks the field up and we all got the short end of last restart stick again. We’re running better than what we’re finishing. Other guys like (Ryan) Newman are finishing better than they’re running.”

Camry drivers Kyle Busch (11th) and Cole Whitt (18th) also earned top-20 results at Martinsville.

The Sprint Cup Series returns to action next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Nov. 2.

Toyota NSCS Driver Finishing Positions — at Martinsville Speedway
1st, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
6th, MATT KENSETH
7th, CLINT BOWYER
8th, DENNY HAMLIN
11th, KYLE BUSCH
18th, COLE WHITT
26th, MIKE WALLACE
27th, BRIAN VICKERS
29th, ALEX BOWMAN
39th, JJ YELEY
43rd, CLAY ROGERS

Toyota Drivers in NSCS Point Standings — following at Martinsville Speedway*
4th, MATT KENSETH##…4,039 points (5 points behind first-place Jeff Gordon)
5th, DENNY HAMLIN##…4,037 points
9th, KYLE BUSCH…2,230 points
18th, CLINT BOWYER…923 points
22nd, BRIAN VICKERS…847 points
31st, COLE WHITT…494 points
35th, ALEX BOWMAN…387 points
##competing in the ‘Eliminator’ Round of the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship

2014 Toyota NSCS WINS: 2 — Busch (1), California (March 23); Hamlin (1), Talladega (May 4)

Overall Toyota NSCS WINS (since 2007): 65

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Tundra driver Wallace captured the checkered flag in Saturday afternoon’s NCWTS race at Martinsville Speedway driving his Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra with a special paint scheme to honor NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott.

Wallace, who earned his first career NCWTS win at Martinsville a year ago, started from the pole and led four times for a race-high 97 laps (of 200) on the half-mile short track en route to his third victory of the 2014 season and fourth of his career. While every win has meant a lot to Wallace, having a tribute to Scott on his Tundra made this win even sweeter.

“This is a touch sweeter having the tribute truck — the No. 34 Wendell Scott Hall of Fame inductee on our Toyota Tundra — you couldn’t ask for a better weekend,” said Wallace, following the race. “Qualified on the pole, had a great clean race for the most part and we were able to come away with another clock. Having the Wendell Scott family here, having my family here, having my Mom here, my girlfriend here and getting them their first win — this is special. Special for myself, my family, my team, sponsors and everybody involved. The whole sport of NASCAR — this is a big moment and excited to see what the future holds.”

The victory marks the 15th for Toyota this season equaling the most wins in a single season for Tundra drivers dating back to 2010. Wallace’s win was also the 12th Tundra victory at the Virginia short track making Toyota the winningest manufacturer in the NCWTS at the speedway.

Tundra drivers Timothy Peters (second), Matt Crafton (third), Erik Jones (fourth), Johnny Sauter (seventh) and German Quiroga (10th) also earned top-10s Saturday afternoon.

Crafton leads the unofficial NCWTS point standings by 18 points over Ryan Blaney. Tundra drivers Wallace (third), Sauter (fourth), Peters (fifth), Quiroga (sixth) and Jeb Burton (ninth) also rank in the top-10 in the standings with three races remaining in the 2014 season.

The next NCWTS race on the schedule is Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, Oct. 31.

Toyota NCWTS Driver Finishing Positions — at Martinsville Speedway
1st, DARRELL WALLACE JR.
2nd, TIMOTHY PETERS
3rd, MATT CRAFTON
4th, ERIK JONES
7th, JOHNNY SAUTER
10th, GERMAN QUIROGA
12th, JEB BURTON
13th, JOHN H. NEMECHEK
17th, PEYTON SELLERS
33rd, JOHN WES TOWNLEY

Toyota Drivers in NCWTS Point Standings — following Martinsville Speedway*
1st, MATT CRAFTON…716 points
3rd, DARRELL WALLACE JR. 694 points
4th, JOHNNY SAUTER…676 points
5th, TIMOTHY PETERS…639 points
6th, GERMAN QUIROGA…608 points
9th, JEB BURTON…587 points
13th, JOHN WES TOWNLEY…455 points
*unofficial point standings
2014 Toyota NCWTS WINS: 15 — Busch (6) — Daytona (Feb. 21), Kansas (May 9), Charlotte (May16), Dover (May 30), Kentucky (June 26), Chicagoland (Sept. 13); Crafton (2) –Martinsville (March 30), Texas (June 6); Jones (2) — Iowa (July 11), Las Vegas (Sept. 27); Wallace (3) — Gateway (June 14), Eldora (July 23); Martinsville (Oct. 25); Sauter (1) — Michigan (Aug. 16); Peters (1) — Talladega (Oct. 18)

2015 Toyota 4Runner Proves Off-Road Credentials

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The 2015 4Runner may seem like just another SUV, but pay attention folks: it’s an off-roading beast! While the KBB dudes found it beyond awesome for an off road snowy adventure, we here at Universal Toyota know its a luxurious, masterful work of technological, vehicular evolution!

The 2015 Toyota 4Runner is still a pretty oldschool vehicle. It may have some electronic aids and modern accouterments, but it’s still basically just body-on-frame ruggedness at a fairly affordable price.

The guys over at KBB took one out on an off-road adventure. They bit off more than they could chew, by going down a snowy hill that was obviously very difficult to climb back again. Yet even so, with some shoveling, it somehow managed to crawl back up and got them safely back.

It’s definitely not the kind of SUV for city dwellers, but for somebody who actually needs the off-road capability, then the 4Runner is a safe bet. Just make sure you fit it with suitable tires, as even the run in the video posted below would have been far less daunting with more specialized rubber.

This is the Face of Toyota’s All-New 2016 Tacoma

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Is anyone else out there excited for the 2016 Tacoma! Here at Universal Toyota we can’t wait to see, drive, and explore in 2016 Tacoma!

After showing the tail of the 2016 Tacoma last week, Toyota has now brought the head of its all-new pickup truck into the spotlight.

The front-end shares some familiar styling traits with the
latest 4Runner SUV, albeit executed in a more rugged fashion.

Official details remain thin and the only thing we know for sure is that the next generation Tacoma will have its world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

“The all-new 2016 Tacoma will be ready to once again set the benchmark for midsize pickup performance,” Toyota said in a statement. “Backed by a heritage of unwavering capability, an unbreakable attitude and new, rugged tech, Tacoma’s off-road prowess is more formidable than ever.”

Toyota i-Road electric three-wheeler gets green light for early production

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Toyota‘s i-Road three-wheeler concept is set to make it off the drawing board and onto the road. Toyota has announced that a limited production run of the fully enclosed, tilting EV will begin shortly, with initial units being transferred to Toyota’s Ha:mo urban transport system trials in Toyota City.

When the i-Road burst onto the scene at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, it felt like one of those design concepts that, although innovative and exciting, would probably disappear as do most of that ilk. But now Toyota has put its money where its mouth is, and is producing a short production run, probably numbering in the hundreds, to add to it’s prototype Ha:mo urban transport system.

The i-Road is an electric personal mobility vehicle with two in-line seats, that leans into the corners like a motorcycle. With only five horsepower, a top speed of 45 km/h (30 mph), and a range of 50 km (30 mi), the i-Road is aimed squarely at an urban transport market.

Toyota is running its Harmonious Mobility Network (Ha:mo for short) in Toyota City, located in Aichi, Japan. Designed as a system to improve urban transportation by combining private car and public transportation, Ha:mo is aimed at making both urban transportation and the urban culture more people- and community friendly.

The Ha:mo RIDE project is a car sharing system using ultracompact electric vehicles that provides transportation to and within the city center; for example, between a train station and a passenger’s workplace. At present the system has ten Toyota COMS personal mobility vehicles and ten ToyotaPAS power assisted bicycles. These are available at four stations where they can be rented and returned after use.

In the planned expansion, these numbers will be increased to 100 of each, with 100 i-Roads being added in early 2014. The number of rental stations will be increased to seventeen, providing service at train stations and major public buildings to facilitate quick turnover of the rentals. A rental fee of 20 yen (about 20 US cents) per minute will also be instituted.

Blue Santa Donations

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Season’s Greetings ladies and gentlemen! This is just a shout out to let everyone know Universal Toyota is the official drop site for Blue Santa donations!

Universal Toyota and the SAPD have teamed up to help make this holiday season a more joyful one for the kids in need here in San Antonio. We will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped children’s toys in our New Car Showroom until December 16th, 2014.

Please assist us in gathering goodies for San Antonio’s kiddos! Any donation, no matter how big or small, will be incredibly appreciated!

Seriously, This 2015 Toyota Camry is The Ultimate Sleeper

Well ladies and gentlemen, it  appears looks really ARE deceiving! Check out the 2015 Camry Sleeper!

Well ladies and gentlemen, it appears looks really ARE deceiving! Check out the 2015 Camry Sleeper!

Whaaaat!? A quarter mile run in 9.8 seconds! The 2015 Camry Sleeper is going to be a force to be reckoned with!

Can you think of any better car to create a sleeper than the Toyota Camry? Okay, perhaps the N.A. VW Passat too, but that’s beside the point, which in this case, is an 850+HP, V8-powered 2015 Camry.

Built in just 11 weeks, Toyota calls it the 2015 Camry Sleeper and it was presented today at the 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

It’s a purpose-built dragster featuring a 5.8-liter V8 engine sourced from the Toyota Tundra aided by a TRD supercharger and a wet nitrous system putting out more than 850 horsepower.

That said, the only real thing it has in common with your typical 2015 Camry is the exterior shell that was dropped on a full tube-frame racing chassis.

Power is directed to the asphalt via chunky DOT 335/30/18 drag racing with Toyota expecting the car to complete the quarter mile run in 9.8 seconds.

2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro First Test

“You should drive in four-wheel drive for at least 10 miles (16 km) each month. This will assure that the front-drive components are lubricated.” Sure thing, whoever was responsible for wording these instructions in the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro’s owner’s manual. (It’s the same setting where …

Read More at Motor Trend

Toyota reveals a SpongeBob themed Sienna

Check out this really cool Spongebob themed 2015 Toyota Sienna! It has a lot of neat features such as being able to blow bubbles! If you want to check out a Sienna for yourself, head over to our dealership and we would be happy to show you the latest model!

The Japanese carmaker has joined hand with Nickelodeon to create a one-off SpongeBob concept for the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Toyota and Nickelodeon had teamed up earlier to create a unique SpongeBob SquarePants themed Highlander. The Japanese carmaker has once again collaborated with the latter, but this time to promote the 2015 Toyota Sienna and the upcoming American 2D animated movie – The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.

Read More at Zigwheels

New Toyota Mirai: The Fuel Cell Car You Can Buy

New-Toyota-Mirai-100  While everyone else was hinting at their fuel-cell future at the LA Auto Show, Toyota was two steps ahead revealing its production Mirai that will go on sale next year.

Hydrogen-powered cars are gaining momentum with Toyota hoping that it can replicate the success of its Prius in the near future – not necessarily with the Mirai that will be the brand’s second most expensive car in the USA after the Land Cruiser, but with the following generations.

They have to start somewhere and the Mirai that will be offered for sale with a base MSRP of $57,500, not including any federal incentives of up to $13,000 that may or may not be available next year, plus three years of free hydrogen fuel, or a $499 monthly lease for 3 years, is a good place to kick off the initiative.

It makes sense only as long as you see the broader picture and how this technology, which emits nothing but water vapor, can dramatically alter our transportation future.

The Mirai’s fuel cell stack system combines hydrogen gas from tanks with oxygen to produce electricity that powers a 113kW (152hp) electric motor driving the front wheels. The tanks can be refueled in about five minutes offering a range of up to 300 miles or 483 km.

Toyota is also heavily investing in hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

“Toyota’s vision of a hydrogen society is not just about building a great car, but ensuring accessible, reliable and convenient refueling for our customers,” said Toyota North America boss Jim Lentz. “I am happy to announce that this vision will expand beyond the borders of California and give customers the opportunity to join the fuel cell movement.”

California will be the first state to get the Mirai in fall of 2015, with Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island to follow, as Toyota expands its hydrogen stations.