Posts from ‘First Look’
Last night Toyota officially unveiled its latest production vehicle, and that vehicle wears one of the company’s earliest model names. The new-for-2023 Toyota Crown is a genre-bending mashup of an SUV and a full-size sedan—its unusual shape combines a SUV-like lower body with a low-and-racy fastback roofline, but unlike other “coupe-style” crossover SUVs, the Crown maintains a traditional rear trunk instead of an SUV-style liftgate. The Crown also comes standard with a gas/electric hybrid powertrain; in fact, Toyota offers a choice of two new hybrid powertrains, both with standard on-demand electronic all-wheel drive.
Tonight, Lexus took the wraps off its all-new 2023 RX crossover SUV. Long the Lexus brand’s best-selling model, the RX kicks off its fifth generation with a fairly ambitious, from-the-ground-up redesign. It’s built on the new GA-K global platform and introduces an evolution of Lexus’s “spindle-grille” design language that results in a burlier front-end appearance. Four new 4-cylinder powertrains will be offered, three of which are gas-electric hybrids (including a forthcoming plug-in-hybrid model). New features include the Lexus Interface Multimedia System, an expanded Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 suite of safety features, available Digital Key smartphone-app access and starting, and two additional trim levels.
Today Toyota unveiled a rally-inspired high-performance version of its Corolla compact car—the 2023 GR Corolla—at an event in Long Beach, California. When it arrives later this year, the GR Corolla will be available in a base Core model. A limited-production Circuit Edition will join it in 2023, and it will be available for the 2023 model year only. The GR branding is used globally to identify Toyota’s sports cars—the letters stand for Gazoo Racing, which is Toyota’s in-house motorsports operation.
Last night, Toyota unveiled an all-new version of the largest SUV in its model lineup. The 2023 Toyota Sequoia has been redesigned from the ground up, inaugurating the model’s third generation and introducing a standard gas/electric hybrid powertrain, a new luxury trim level, and lots of new features.
Today, Cadillac officially unveiled a high-performance version of its Escalade full-size SUV. Cadillac is in the midst of becoming a pure-EV brand—company executives have announced that Cadillac will not be selling any internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicles by the year 2030. Before then, however, the GM luxury division is giving gasoline engines one heck of a send-off by offering some serious high-performance models. The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are ensuring that Caddy’s ICE performance sedans are going out with a bang, and now the Escalade-V looks poised to do the same for the brand’s SUVs.
Today, Toyota officially unveiled the U.S.-market production version of its all-new-for-2023 pure-electric SUV at a press event in Encinitas, California, just ahead of the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. The bZ4x is a compact 5-passenger crossover SUV that kicks off a new sub-brand of Toyota pure-electric vehicles. The “bZ” portion of the name stands for “beyond zero”—in reference to zero emissions—and bZ4X is the first of seven bZ-branded vehicles Toyota plans to introduce globally by 2025. Eight other battery-electric vehicles are planned as well, and counting traditional hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Toyota says they will offer about 70 electrified vehicles in various global markets by 2025.
Mazda unveiled an all-new compact SUV in a virtual presentation this week, just in advance of the 2021 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 represents a noteworthy expansion in focus for the brand—whereas other Mazdas are primarily tuned for on-road driving dynamics, the CX-50 is more overtly aimed at off-road driving and active-lifestyle adventures than any Mazda in recent memory. Mazda says it’s “purpose-built for outdoor enthusiasts.”
Toyota has officially unveiled a new generation of its full-size pickup truck. The redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra gets an all-new high-strength steel frame, turbocharged and hybrid V6 powertrains, new technology features, and provocative styling.
Today Hyundai released teaser images of its long-anticipated entry into the pickup-truck market, though as it turns out, that entry is a genre-bending vehicle that doesn’t stick specifically to the standard pickup-truck layout. Hyundai says its new-for-2022 Santa Cruz “shatters both SUV and truck segments, creating an entirely new vehicle category.”
For decades, the iconic Jeep Wrangler off-road SUV has enjoyed being positioned in a segment of one. As such, Wrangler annual sales have hovered around 250,000 units in recent years, with almost all being sold at close to sticker price. Current Wrangler transaction prices are around $50,000, and can easily reach $60,000 on diesel models.