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Toyota unveiled the third generation of its Highlander Hybrid mid-sized crossover at the 2013 LA Auto Show. The new car certainly is a looker, which is carried through the interior of the vehicle, but under the hood, things are a little familiar.
Crossovers are all about fuel efficiency and family functionality. They blend attributes of cars with traits of traditional SUVs to create vehicles that are neither fish nor fowl; they’re the undecided voter of the automotive world, essentially the state of Ohio. Is it going red? Will it be blue? One thing’s certain; it’ll never go to the Green Party.
A mini road course based on the Monopoly board game will be set up, which will take up 30,000 square feet of space. Professional drivers will take auto show visitors on a ride through an eco-friendly course inspired by the Monopoly game board. And don’t worry about being stuck with the lame shoe game piece – you’ll be driven along the course in either a Prius V wagon, a Camry Hybrid or a Highlander Hybrid. Along the way, players will learn about the features of Toyota hybrid vehicles, as well as take in iconic Monopoly landmarks and meet the Mr. Monopoly character.
“By incorporating design elements from the game into the Toyota Hybrid MONOPOLY Ride Experience, we are able to present the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive experience in a fun and unexpected way,” said Keith Dahl, Toyota’s National Engagement Marketing Manager. “This exhibit really gives fans of the game an innovative way to interact with our hybrid models.”
The 2012 Chicago Auto Show takes place February 8 to 19, and if you get a chance to go, it sounds like it’ll be worth your time to drop by Toyota’s game display.
Toyota has announced the pricing for its 2012 Highlander and FJ Cruiser models while a price increase has been put into effect for the 2011 Land Cruiser. For 2012, the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid will see no new features and as a result, the MSRP will remain the same as its 2011 counterparts. The base MSRP for the gas Highlander will start at $28,090 while the high-end Limited V6 with a five-speed automatic starts at $37,045. Highland Hybrid prices will start at $38,140 for the Base 4WD and go up to $43,795 for the Limited 4WD.
The FJ Cruiser, which is also virtually unchanged for 2012, will have an MSRP ranging from $25,990 for the 4×2 with five-speed automatic transmission to the 4×4 V6 automatic with an MSRP of $27,580. The FJ Cruiser does feature a 0.7-percent increase of $200. The 2011 Land Cruiser also gets a $200 price increase, with an MSRP of $69,120.
The prices for the 2012 gas Highlander, FJ Cruiser and 2011 Land Cruiser will become effective starting with August’s production models while the 2012 Highlander Hybrid prices began with July 20th’s production.
Toyota has now expanded its internal investigation over braking issues to cover all hybrid models says a report by the Wall Street Journal. Toyota has already admitted that there was a braking problem with its 2010 Prius model, and according to Japan’s Nikkei News, Toyota is preparing to issue a recall for 270,000 Prius models from the 2010 model year.
Toyota has admitted it knew of a problem that caused a brief loss of braking during the transition from the car’s regenerative braking to its traditional friction braking. Toyota refers to this as “slight unresponsiveness” and says it usually lasts less than a second. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as Japanese authorities have registered over 100 complaints about the car’s brake system, where owners say they experienced a brief loss of braking capability when traveling over bumpy or icy roads. Toyota has said the issue has been solved on all models produced since late January but no recall has been ordered for models built before that time.
The 2010 Prius model was not covered under the previous recall of 2.3 million vehicles for sticking accelerators or “unintended acceleration.” Those recalled vehicles use a brake assembly by Indiana-based CTS Corp, while the 2010 Prius and other hybrid Toyota products use a brake system developed by Denso.
Additional Toyota hybrid models that will now come under investigation include the Highlander hybrid and Camry hybrid. It is not year clear if the investigation will also cover Lexus hybrid models.
With the Prius recall reportedly coming, can recalls for all Toyota hybrids be far behind?
See more Toyota recall news here: Toyota Recall News Hub
[Source: Wall Street Journal]