NEW – Expected next year, the second generation of the Japanese compact SUV digs the furrow of a truly original silhouette.
No question of upsetting everything. The next C-HR launched next year on the market will be largely inspired by the current model. This is revealed by the model of the vehicle that Toyota unveiled as part of the Kenshiki Forum, its annual high mass dedicated to the presentation of its future models and technologies. Toyota design has been too often accused of being bland, all-purpose and not attractive enough, that since designers have found a formal language that seems appreciated by consumers, it would be inappropriate to change it.
Work of the Sophia-Antipolis style office, the silhouette of the second generation of the C-HR digs the furrow of an original style which had shaken up the canons during the presentation of the first generation prototype at the Paris Motor Show. 2014. Between this concept and the production car, the design has in no way been watered down. Its originality did not prevent the C-HR for Coupé High-Rider from quickly finding its clientele. A successful model, this compact SUV will therefore return in the course of 2023 with a formal language in the same as the current one but with less tortured forms, If the silhouette and the size (4.35 m) of the first are preserved, the lines are more refined and futuristic. Note the presence of large wheels and short overhangs, but also trombone-shaped headlamps and rear lights that do not overflow the fenders. In addition, the rear window always appears more inclined.
Sharing many components with the fifth-generation Prius introduced to the market in the first quarter of 2023, the next C-HR will come in two versions: hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The latter should deliver a power of 223 hp.
NEWS – Two French models are among the seven cars qualified for the most renowned prize in the automotive industry.
Who will succeed the Kia EV6 voted “Car of the Year 2022”? One certainty: the sixtieth “Car of the Year” will be an electrified model. Among the twenty-three vehicles in the running for the final, the jury of sixty-one European journalists, who participated in this election, including a member of the editorial staff of Le Figaro, favored hybrid, rechargeable hybrid or electric vehicles. The results revealed at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13, 2023 will reward one of the seven finalists, which are the Jeep Avenger, the Kia Niro, the Nissan Ariya, the Peugeot 408, the Renault Austral, Volkswagen ID.Buzz and the duo Subaru Solterra-Toyota bZ4X.
Once again, the list is intended to be a snapshot of the market, favoring SUV architecture, apart from the Peugeot 408 which tries a new approach, halfway between the sedan and the leisure vehicle.
If the Renault Austral, the family SUV that succeeds the Kadjar, is the only model not to be offered with an electric powertrain, only with the French manufacturer’s E-Tech Hybrid technology apart from the conventional petrol versions, the Kia Niro is the only offer to be available with the three electrified technologies: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric.
For its part, the Peugeot 408 marketed at the beginning of next year in a Pure tech 130 petrol version and in a rechargeable hybrid (180 and 225 hp) will be enriched in 2024 with a 100% electric version. Also from the Stellantis group, the Avenger is the first electric Jeep in history. It borrows its technology from the DS3 e-Tense but will also be available in a four-wheel drive version.
As for the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, it plays on the springs of nostalgia, wanting to be the Combi of the 21st century. Pending an extended version that can accommodate 7 or 8 people, this vehicle appears to be the first electric minivan on the market. Finally, the last two finalists are also electric vehicles. The Ariya is Nissan’s first electric crossover. It shares its Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform with the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric. Its range is more extensive than that of the French compact.
Last model in the running: the Toyota bZ4X and its cousin Subaru Solterra. These two SUVs do not shine with their autonomy but can flatter themselves with real crossing capacities. The games are therefore open for this 60th election. Verdict on January 13 in Brussels.
NEW – Unveiled at the Los Angeles show, the fifth generation of the mother of all hybrids is even more efficient.
The Toyota Prius is unrecognizable. In twenty-five years, the mother of all hybrid models has gone from a somewhat off-puttingly styled 4.31m saloon to a desirable wagon. Technology has also evolved considerably. In a quarter of a century, power has almost doubled, rising from 117 horsepower by combining a 72 hp 1.5-litre 16-valve VVT-i 4-cylinder engine with a 45 hp electric motor powered by a nickel metal hydride battery, 223 horsepower thanks to plug-in hybrid technology, the only one offered on the fifth generation launched in the spring of 2023.
Compared to the fourth opus, the next Prius is already distinguished by much more attractive lines. The silhouette retains the one-box spirit of its predecessor, but the shapes are more modern and the bodywork gains in fluidity. Based on the second-generation GA-C platform of the TNGA architecture, the fifth Prius has kept its roof which seems to be drawn with a line in the shape of an arc of a circle, but the roof is lowered by 50 mm, in particular to the benefit of the center of gravity. At the same time, the wheelbase has been lengthened by 50 mm and the length reduced by nearly the same amount (46 mm) in favor of a better balance of forms. The posture of the Prius is also based on a body widened by 22 mm.
The interior presentation is inspired by the latest achievements of the brand and in particular the bZ4X electric SUV with a steering wheel that seems to form a single block with the digital instrument cluster located at a good distance. We experienced this with the SUV: this layout, which dispenses with the use of the head-up display, determines a perfectible driving position.
Plug-in hybrid technology
Under the hood, the Prius 4’s 1.8-litre petrol gives way to a 148-hp 2-litre. It is associated with a 120 kW (160 hp) electric motor, which increases the power to 223 horsepower. The Japanese manufacturer assures that performance has improved significantly. Consumption is also reduced and electric range increases by 50% thanks to the adoption of a 13.6 kWh battery installed under the rear seat. Already available from the Prius 3, the solar roof is renewed on certain finishes.
TEST – First contact with the Japanese giant’s compact SUV scheduled for June and displaying measured performance.
A pioneer of hybrid technology with the Prius in 1997 and a proponent of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell, Toyota is stepping into the flourishing electric car market. Admittedly, the world number 1 does not intend to lag behind, but the immaturity of technology and consumers calls for some caution. The major program unveiled last winter shows that the Japanese will have to be reckoned with from the second half of the decade. Like many manufacturers before it, Toyota has found it necessary to house its range of battery electric vehicles under a new label: bZ for Beyond Zero.
Proof that the Japanese manufacturer does not intend to cut corners, the first model of the new bZ family will only be produced at 16,000 units in 2022; 35,000 in 2023. Baptized bZ4X, this model developed with Subaru is an SUV exceeding the Rav4 by almost 100 mm (4.69 m) and equipped with a generous wheelbase of 2.85 m, i.e. all the same 160 mm more than the hybrid SUV. Its style is in line with the manufacturer’s latest achievements. The main original features of this balanced silhouette concern the pointed bonnet, the large black spots represented by the plastic panel stretching from the front wheel arches to the slender headlamps, as well as the horizontal light strip connecting the two rear lights whose light signature forms a paperclip.
The bZ4X is based on the modular eTNGA platform developed for a multitude of electric vehicle architectures. Two versions are on the program: traction with a 204 horsepower permanent magnet motor installed at the front or four-wheel drive with a second 80 kW machine placed on the rear axle to deliver a cumulative power of 217.5 horsepower. In this case, the torque gains 70 Nm to deliver 336 Nm. Both versions accommodate a 71.4 kWh battery integrated into the chassis and contributing to the rigidity of the whole. It is a little worse than the Volkswagen ID.4 whose accumulators have a capacity of 77 kWh. In return, Toyota announces a controlled weight of 1920 kg for the entry-level version, 2005 kg for the all-wheel drive model of which we were able to try a pre-series version. Although the lines are now known, the bodies of our vehicles still wore camouflage. What was not the case of the cockpit.
Peugeot’s i-cockpit seems to have inspired Toyota designers with a steering wheel that seems to form a single block with the digital instrument cluster located a good distance away. This arrangement, which dispenses with the use of the head-up display, determines a perfectible driving position. When you are used to driving the seat low to the ground, the rim of the steering wheel conceals part of the screen, unless you are driving with the steering wheel on your knees. In the center, sits a large 12.3-inch touch screen with neat ergonomics. Toyota had the good idea to keep the air conditioning controls separate. On the other hand, the multiplication of disparate materials is paid for by a perceived quality barely above the average. Despite the presence of 30 liters of storage, we will also be surprised at the absence of a glove box, while the electrical architecture eases the constraints in terms of space. This is true for the really generous rear seats. As often, the central square is unfortunately not the most welcoming. The 452-litre boot reinforces the family vocation of the first model in the bZ family.
Toyota’s first electric vehicle boasts a range of 422 km in the 4-wheel drive version (450 km in traction). We couldn’t verify it, but the consumption on the motorway shows that reaching 300 km will be a feat. The optional solar roof would provide 1,800 km of additional autonomy over a year. Performance in terms of recharging is not exceptional, the bZ4X not accepting a power greater than 150 kW. Going from 10 to 80% would take thirty minutes. With an on-board charger limited to 6.6 kW, charging the battery from a household outlet takes eleven hours. The adoption, at the end of 2022, of an 11 kW on-board charger will reduce the wait to seven hours. A choice that stems from electrical technology. Repeated high-speed charging is detrimental to battery life. If the lowered center of gravity allows you to approach turns with great confidence, the suspensions favoring comfort will curb your enthusiasm.
The performances are in the average of the category and we will especially remember from this SUV its ability to think outside the box. With a ground clearance of 210 mm and the various programs of its X Mode all-wheel drive developed with Subaru, the bZ4X is capable of evolving on a rough road, getting out of the trap of a muddy track, crossing a ford up to at a depth of 500 mm, to multiply bridge crossings and to slide down a slope without touching the pedals. Returning to the asphalt, we discover that the “one pedal” function does not dispense with using the brakes to stop. The dosage of this one appeared to us to be perfectible. As for the direction, a little more firmness would not have harmed the approval. This question should be settled with the arrival in 2023 of a by-wire management.
Finally, on the price side, this electric SUV should be just below 45,000 euros (excluding bonuses) but Toyota communicates above all on rent. It would start at 399 euros per month over thirty-six months and 30,000 km, after a first payment of 13,450 euros.
THE FIGARO SELECTION – Faced with soaring fuel prices, motorists are tempted by more frugal vehicles. Here are some food for thought around the five most prominent categories on the market.
“At 10 francs a litre, we will leave the car in the garage”, prophesied the French at the very beginning of the 2000s. Not only has history shown that this was not the case, but this ceiling has been largely exceeded since. With the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the question resurfaces. The price of fuels has, in fact, flared up to a level that until now was believed to be inconceivable. Experts believe that a scenario comparable to the oil shock of 1973 is now possible. The rise in the price of a barrel of oil is already being felt at the pump. While the average price per liter of super unleaded observed at the start of the week is close to 2.05 euros and diesel is around 2.10 euros, the bill is soaring for many households.
Read alsoDiscount of 15 cents per liter on fuels: all the answers to your questions
Unless you live in the city, where there are many alternative mobility solutions, it is difficult to do without the car. In the countryside, where the public transport offer is almost non-existent, the car is not a luxury but a…
AUCTION – Sold on March 4 at Amelia Island by Gooding & Company, this racing version of the 2000 GT coupé is estimated at nearly 3.2 million euros.
Is this the most expensive Japanese car in the world? The American house Gooding & Company has estimated between 2.7 and 3.5 million dollars (nearly 3.2 million euros) the Toyota 2000 GT coupe that it will disperse on March 4 during its sale of Amelia Island. A small fortune. This coupé is one of three that American champion Carroll Shelby, whose adventure is brought to the screen in “Le Mans 66”, prepared for competition in 1967. Its name is worth gold.
It must be said that the production 2000 GT coupe is already a rarity that is setting the auction rooms on fire. It was in 1965 that the Japanese manufacturer presented a prototype of its coupé, a kind of Oriental E-Type. A strict two-seater, the 2000 GT is powered by a two-litre straight-six from the Crown. The aluminum cylinder head, capped with two chain-driven overhead camshafts, was developed by Yamaha. The motorcycle manufacturer didn’t do things by halves: the cylinder head uses hemispherical combustion chambers and roof-shaped pistons. Stuffed by three Solex double body horizontal 40 PHH carburettors, the Japanese six-cylinder delivers 150 horsepower at 6,600 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed synchronized gearbox and a limited-slip differential. On the structural side, Toyota engineers drew their inspiration from Lotus by taking over the beam chassis architecture of the Elan. Ditto for the suspensions which are modeled on combined coil springs and the telescopic shock absorbers of the English.
The career of the Toyota coupe began with a bang. Before its marketing, the 2000 GT was chosen to accompany the adventures of James Bond in You only live twice. But as there is no question of locking the secret agent in a coupe, Toyota imagined a convertible of which three copies were produced. That 007 runs in 2000 GT does not lead to an influx of orders. It must be said that the high-performance coupé was billed at 42,500 francs in 1968, while an Alpine A110 was worth 26,700 francs. The Japanese coupe will finally be produced in 351 units, including only 7 for the French market.
In the United States, one of its main markets, its performance has not gone unnoticed. Carroll Shelby thinks the Japanese coupe would be an excellent basis for competing in the US SCCA championship. This is how he developed three examples of the 2000 GT for competition. The car in the Amelia Island sale is the first chassis made, the MF10-10001. The sporting career of the Toyota-Shelby will be brief and it remains today with this coupé, the marvelous testimony of the debut in competition of the Toyota firm.
Deprived of the Geneva Motor Show for the third consecutive year, manufacturers have not given up presenting their latest creations.
There is life outside the salons. The disappearance (temporary or definitive) of that of Geneva, which for ages punctuated the life of the automotive sector, does not prevent manufacturers from multiplying the presentations of new models. Yesterday, within the framework of Palexpo, the title of “car of the year 2022“. Among the seven finalists, the KIA EV6 was crowned with 279 points. The Korean electric sedan is ahead of the Renault Megane Electric by 14 points.
Admittedly, the combustion engine has not yet said its last word, but manufacturers will continue their electrification program in order to reduce their carbon footprint. The Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV, whose style has hardly changed since the 2019 concept, should mark the beginning of the rebirth of the Italian brand.
This 4.53 m vehicle inaugurates two new electrified engines. The first takes the form of a 48-volt mild hybrid turbocharged 4-cylinder. Operating on the…
NEWS – According to the weekly Auto Plus, which compiles insurance statistics, the Toyota Prius was the most stolen model last year, ahead of the DS7 Crossback.
In its February 4 edition, our colleague Auto Plus publishes the results of the most stolen vehicles over the past year. Good news: vehicle thefts have not experienced the rebound that we might have feared after a year 2020 marked by multiple confinements and curfews which had deterred thugs. However, 122,700 cars and motorized two-wheelers combined still disappeared in 2021. A sad score comparable to previous years highlights Auto Plus. The weekly stresses that 336 vehicles are still stolen every day. It’s still too much. “Mouse theft” remains the modus operandi most used by thieves. In eight out of ten cases, they resort to this method of burglary theft through over-the-counter equipment on the Internet. To track vehicles and locate them, Auto Plus reveals that criminals use the AirTag (Apple) that owners of an iPhone use to find their personal effects. This tracer the size of a 2 euro coin is thus concealed on the targeted car.
The weekly survey reveals that the Toyota Prius, which has become one of the favorite models of taxis, is also the best seller of car thieves. Interest in this hybrid vehicle stems from traffic around its catalytic converter. The rare metals – platinum, palladium and rhodium – which make up this equipment and whose prices soar, feed a sector. Since the thugs saw the pot in the street, the best parade, according to Auto Plus, is to block access by parking his vehicle against the wall. The Japanese manufacturer appears a second time in the top 10 with the small SUV C-HR (7th place).
According to the Auto Plus survey, French models are favored by thieves. Eight of them appear in the top 10. The DS7 Crossback luxury SUV remains the most stolen French vehicle, taking second place on the podium. Relatively easy to steal, this model would be very popular with drug traffickers and would feed a sector in Africa. This SUV is ahead of the Renault Mégane RS on the third step of the podium. It is ahead of two other models from the Diamond firm: the Clio IV and the Mégane IV. Then comes the second generation of the Peugeot 3008. The DS3 ranks 9th ahead of the current Peugeot 208.
AmericaThe new generation of the large pickup has a new high-end equipment package to increase its competitiveness against rivals such as the GMC Sierra Denali.
Capstone becomes the highest version of the Tundra, with exterior differences such as chrome rearview mirror covers and 22-inch wheels and materials, also the largest rim size ever on a Tundra.
In addition, the pickup model also has a grille with chrome crossbars integrated with LED positioning lights and large “Tundra” letters on the rear door. Steps up and down on both sides and for the rear box are automatically folded and opened.
If the old Tundra Platinum and 1794 models already had high-end features, the Capstone version takes it a step further with black-and-white contrasting premium leather seats. Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Black walnut trim details on the dashboard, doors and center console. The car has a panoramic sunroof, the Capstone logo glows on the dashboard.
Tundra Capstone is equipped with a 12.3-inch digital clock, a 14-inch infotainment screen compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other tech features include a 10-inch color HUD display, digital rearview mirrors, a 12-speaker JBL sound system, and a panoramic camera system.
The new generation pickup uses the i-Force Max hybrid system with a 48-horsepower electric motor that combines a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Capstone thus has a capacity of 437 hp and 790 Nm of torque.
Tundra Capstone can carry up to 674 kg of cargo and towing capacity up to 4,690 kg. Customers can also choose the AVS adaptive suspension system.
Vehicles equipped with a range of driver assistance systems such as DRCC active cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, pre-collision warning and pedestrian detection. Other notable features include automatic high beams, traffic sign recognition assist, rear seat check reminder, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. There’s also parking brake assist – a feature that automatically brakes if a collision is possible while the vehicle is in a parking space.
The Toyota Tundra Capstone 2022 will be available at US dealers this spring. The company has not announced the price yet, but the new version is expected to be higher than the 1794 version currently selling for $ 57,700.
NEWS – The range of zero-emission models will expand even further this year. Follow the leader.
The electric wave continues on its way. Under pressure from the European Commission which is imposing a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fine particles to breathe easier in the city and which has proposed the end of the heat engine in 2035, manufacturers have no other choice than to change their economic model and convert their production to this technology. With more or less grinding of teeth and pain. In recent weeks, the announcements have multiplied. Some manufacturers have already indicated that from a very near deadline, they would only launch electric vehicles. This is the case, for example, of Alpine and Jaguar, which will become 100% electric brands in 2025 and which are counting on this windfall effect to relaunch themselves. This paradigm shift, which redistributes the cards, encourages new players to invest in the automotive market. The year 2022 will therefore be marked by numerous launches of a new generation of electric vehicles and the renewal of models already on the market.
On the Ingoltstadt side, the year 2022 will see the expansion of the e-Tron range of electric vehicles with the marketing of the final version of the A6 e-Tron sedan presented as a concept at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2021. This model will inaugurate the PPE platform jointly developed by Audi and Porsche. Like the Audie-Tron GT, the A6 uses 800-volt technology to recover 300 km of range in just 10 minutes. The ring manufacturer will also launch an electric version of the Q5 and renew its e-Tron crossover.
While it has just launched the IX and the i4 sedan, the Bavarian manufacturer will continue to enrich the portfolio of the BMWi family with the electric variant of the new generation of the 7 Series. The technology should be close to that of the ‘iX. This SUV will be available in the M60 version of 619 hp. The 3 Series sedan and the next generation of the X1 SUV could also be enriched with a zero-emission version.
Emanating from Seat, this new brand will enrich its Born compact sedan with a VZ version equipped with a 230 hp engine powered by a 58 kWh battery. Autonomy is announced at 417 km.
After the city car 500e, the Turin-based firm should continue its effort in the electric sector with the completely renewed 500X and sharing its platform with other compact models of the Stellantis group.
After the Ioniq 5 crossover launched in 2021, the Korean manufacturer is continuing to develop its Ioniq range based on the E-GMP platform with the Ioniq 6 sedan. Its style will be less original than that of the Prophecy concept.
The American manufacturer integrated into the Stellantis group could well create a surprise at the end of the year 2022 with a small electric vehicle placed below the Renegade.
Before summer 2022, the Korean manufacturer will renew the e-Niro. Unveiled at the last Seoul Motor Show, this model will swap its sedan architecture for that of an SUV. The end of the year will see the arrival of a high-performance version of the EV6 raised sedan. Called GT, this model will be equipped with two engines for a total power of 430 kW (585 hp) and a torque of 740 Nm. 100 km / h are reached in 3.5 seconds and the top speed is 260 km / h.
With the SUV architecture, the RZ will be the second vehicle of the luxury brand of Toyota but the first on a dedicated platform, common to most of the electric vehicles of the Japanese group.
The firm with the star is, of all the premium players, the manufacturer which currently offers the most developed range. It will be further enriched in 2022 with an EQE, a sedan borrowing its stylistic codes and its technology from the EQS. The price will start under 90,000 euros for this model with a range of 660 km. The EQS range will also be enhanced with an AMG 53 version. The Citan developed on the basis of the Renault Kangoo will also be available in an electric version.
The Chinese manufacturer is stepping up its offensive with the MG Marvel R, an SUV available with two variants of transmission and power. The rear-wheel drive version is equipped with a single 180 hp engine. The Performance version combines two engines, one per axle, for a power of 288 hp. The range starts at € 39,990. The MG Motor offer will be completed in the first quarter of an MG5 station wagon with a 156 hp engine on the front axle. The price will start under 30,000 euros.
Scheduled for 2021, the Ariya, the Japanese brand’s first electric SUV, will arrive in the first half of 2022 with several versions of transmission (two or four-wheel drive), power and battery.
While the Taycan electric sedan will continue to develop with the arrival of several versions of the Sport Turismo body variant, the electric Macan will make its debut. It will be the first vehicle from the Zuffenhausen brand to launch the PPE platform shared with Audi.
Among the electric pioneers, Renault is moving up a gear with its first compact model designed on the Alliance’s CMF-EV platform. Launched during the first half of 2022, the Megane E-Tech Electric will see its price start at € 29,200 (ecological bonus deducted) with the 40 kWh battery allowing a range of 300 km.
Based on the Enyaq IV SUV, the Czech manufacturer will launch a Coupe version with a low roof in spring 2022. Still based on the VW group’s MEB platform, this new model will borrow its technical characteristics from the Enyaq IV.
Developed jointly by Subaru and Toyota, the Solterra SUV will arrive in the middle of the year. Cousin of the Toyota bZ4X, it takes over the technology. This 4.70 m vehicle will be available in two versions – traction or four-wheel drive – and two power levels (150 or 160 kW). The battery has a capacity of 71.4 kWh.
The American manufacturer is going to renew the Model S sedan. The style is evolving smoothly, as the first photos published by the manufacturer suggest.
The result of a partnership with Subaru, Toyota’s new electric platform will give rise to an extended range of zero-emission models. The first, the bZ4X SUV, will be launched in the first half of 2022. Two versions are on the program. The entry level is powered by a 204 hp electric motor installed at the front and reaching 100 km / h in 8.4 seconds. A 4-wheel drive version of 217 hp is also programmed. With the 71.4 kWh battery, Toyota announces a range of 450 km.
The German brand continues to develop its ID range based on the modular MEB platform. The year 2022 will be devoted to the launches of the ID.5 and ID.5 GTX, the flagged versions of the ID.4, but also of the ID. Buzz. This eagerly awaited vehicle is the Combi of the 21st century.