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Given the rapidly developing situation with the COVID-19 virus Toyota GB would like to update you on the situation with our dealer network, and with regard to servicing or repair work you may need on your vehicles.

Our priority remains ensuring the well-being of customers, staff and partners during these challenging times.

Whilst we will continue to do all we can to meet the mobility needs of emergency and NHS workers, the effects of the increased countermeasures of the virus will inevitably have an effect on our operations.

All Toyota and Lexus new and used car sales facilities will be closed but most remain contactable to discuss your motoring needs.

The majority of our after sales teams remain contactable to provide support in situations where a vehicle is off the road and requires an emergency repair. The Toyota and Lexus network will do their utmost to ensure that emergency and critical workers, as well as NHS staff, are kept mobile should they find themselves in this situation.

If you are an emergency or NHS worker, contact your local dealer by phone or email in the first instance.

Click this link to find your local dealer

or our UK customer service team on 0344 701 6202.

Click here for more details of how to contact us

Members of Toyota Roadside Assistance can call for all breakdown and roadside assistance, using the phone numbers below:

0800 246 824 or 01737 500 021

Routine Servicing, MOT and Vehicle Warranty

If you are concerned about your vehicle’s routine servicing, please do not worry. Toyota GB would like to reassure you that for the foreseeable future we intend to take a flexible and sympathetic approach to any service schedule or warranty issues.

From 30th March, owners of eligible vehicles will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing. You can find more information on the government website by clicking here.

Extension of Roadside Assistance

If your Toyota Roadside Assistance has expired and not been renewed since 1st February 2020, we will provide complimentary cover until 31st May 2020. If your policy is currently active we will provide a complimentary three-month extension to it.

We will continue to monitor this evolving situation, especially with regard to government guidance, and will do our best to keep you informed as quickly as possible of any changes to the situation.

We’ve been eagerly awaiting the next Toyota sports car ever since we saw the FT-86 concept, and we know you have too. The original concept was unveiled towards the end of 2009, and was followed by the mean-looking FT-86 II concept at the 2011 Geneva motor show.

But now the wait is over. Making its world debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, we are thrilled to introduce you to Toyota’s new sports car: the GT 86.

GT 86

The GT 86 has been conceived as an entirely driver-focused machine, designed to deliver the core qualities of the classic sports car experience. That means precise, instant response to the smallest throttle and steering inputs and the kind of performance that appeals to those for whom driving is a passion, not a necessity.

The GT 86 is built on a new platform, with a highly aerodynamic bodyshell stretched tight over the car’s mechanical elements. Rather than fitting a heavy, large capacity powertrain, Toyota has opted instead to go back to its sporting roots, installing a compact, front-mounted, free-revving petrol engine that drives the rear wheels.

GT 86

The GT 86’s engine is the result of a joint Toyota and Subaru development programme that brings together their technical know-how and mutual passion for sports cars.

Toyota has added its D-4S injection technology to Subaru’s new, horizontally opposed, naturally aspirated 1,998cc four-cylinder boxer engine. This system features separate twin injectors for both direct and port injection, and a high 12.5:1 compression ratio, increasing power and torque across a wide range of engine speeds without sacrificing fuel efficiency and environmental performance.

This four-cylinder “boxer” unit generates 197bhp at 7,000rpm and maximum torque of 205Nm at 6,600rpm, giving engaging performance. The powertrain is matched to the world’s most compact four-seat design to create a car that benefits from light weight, low inertia and a low centre of gravity to achieve the best possible power-to-weight ratio. For the driver that means lively, accessible performance and dynamic character with minimal intrusion from electronic systems.

GT 86

Power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential to give the best possible grip in all driving conditions. The ABS and switchable vehicle stability control systems have been tuned specifically to deliver dynamic stability at the limit of the car’s performance envelope with minimal electronic intervention to help preserve the purity of the driving experience.

The design of the GT 86 successfully works within the technical constraints of achieving the most compact dimensions possible, a low centre of gravity and aerodynamic performance inspired by motorsport technology, while also displaying evocative, sweeping styling that hints at Toyota’s sports car heritage.

The lower grille’s “scorpion” look gives the GT 86 a more powerful appearance, with further sporting details including the model-specific 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, twin exhausts and the “86” piston logo that denotes the car’s special powertrain configuration.

 

GT 86

On board, the ergonomics and function of every element the driver interacts with have been scrutinised to make driving the car as natural, instinctive and rewarding as possible. For example, the steering wheel has a 365mm diameter, making it the smallest ever fitted to a Toyota, and it is trimmed in buckskin, developed from exhaustive feedback from test drivers on how to achieve the best steering performance and grip.

The three-meter instrument cluster is arranged around a large tachometer, its design benefiting from close attention to the positioning of the displays, markings and typeface. The result is the best possible visibility and readability. The driver-focus of the cockpit is further reinforced by the carbon-effect trim, all-black roof lining, red stitching on the upholstery, aviation-style rocker switches and lightweight, aluminum pedals.

The compact 2+2 model, one of the most keenly awaited new cars of the coming year, will go on sale in the UK in June 2012. Until then, visit our new GT 86 Flickr gallery to see more images or click here to register your interest in the car.

Update, 03 February 2012: The official UK start price for GT 86 has now been announced – click here to find out more.

Toyota FT-86 II Sports Concept in Brussels

Excitement about the 2012 launch of Toyota’s new sports car is building following the world debut of the FT-86 II Sports Concept at the Geneva motor show.

We’re just as excited as you are, so we jumped at the chance to shoot the FT-86 II on location in Brussels last week. Check out the images and video – we hope you like them.

See also:
Looking into the future with Toyota’s concept cars

For more information about the Toyota FT-86 II Sports Concept and to sign up for updates, click here.

We hinted at it here (and even showed you a spy shot), but now the redesigned Today/Tomorrow blog is live. With improved navigation, upgraded social sharing and an enhanced design, we hope you find it a better place to enjoy news and views from Toyota in the UK.

If you’re one of our long-term blog readers, or even if you’ve never visited the Today/Tomorrow before, we look forward to your feedback – let us know what you think in the comments form below.

Auris Hybrid Nations Challenge

Which part of the UK has the most economical drivers? This Saturday we will go a little way towards finding out when eight Toyota Auris Hybrids, representing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will be competing for eco-honours in the first Nations Challenge.

The competition, organised by Toyota, forms part of the inaugural RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge. With the pride of the home nations at stake, the two-person teams in each car will be aiming to cover the 60-mile course from the south coast to London’s Pall Mall using as little energy as possible.

It’s a fitting test for the full-hybrid Auris HSD, which is built in England and uses a petrol engine manufactured in North Wales. Official figures show that the T Spirit model – the version entered for the challenge – returns 70.6mpg in combined cycle driving, so potentially it could cover the course on less than a gallon. But of course we’re hoping they will do even better than that – it’s all down to the drivers!

Each Nations Challenge car has been decked out in patriotic colours and the teams include regional and national motoring writers and Toyota’s own ‘Scot’, head of PR, Scott Brownlee. A ninth Auris Hybrid, carrying the colours of the Union Flag will also be on the course, with Don Wales, the UK’s Electric Land Speed Record Holder at the wheel.

Remember to check back to the blog for the challenge results next week – and don’t forget to let us know what impressive mpg performances you’ve achieved in your own Toyota hybrid.

We’re really excited to tell you about some changes that will be happening soon to Today/Tomorrow, the official blog run by Toyota in the UK.

New Toyota blog coming soon...

In the next few days, you will find the blog looks a little different. The blog will be simpler to use and content will be easier to bookmark and share across social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Each of the current Toyota models will have its own category, while the Toyota Life section will contain a mixture of highlights looking at Toyota’s past, present and future.

We hope this means the blog will offer a greatly improved home for the latest Toyota content, breaking news and vibrant discussion around Toyota vehicles.

Of course, improvements never stop (here at Toyota, we call it Kaizen), so we’ll be working hard to make sure these changes are just the next step in enhancing your online experience with Toyota.

Toyota hybrid storage

As the UK government has instructed the nation to stay at home and only venture out for specific, essential reasons in light of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, many of us are being encouraged to park our cars if we can. Some owners of Toyota hybrids might be wondering what will happen to their car during long periods without use, particularly when it comes to the level of charge in the batteries.

The reassuring news is that no difficult car maintenance is necessary. However, there are some tips that, if followed, can help ensure your Toyota remains in tip-top condition during an extended layoff.

Toyota hybrid storage

To recap, Toyota hybrids generally contain two batteries: a 12-volt battery (which powers systems such as the headlamps and audio) and a high-voltage hybrid system battery (which supplies the power to start the combustion engine and drive the electric motors).

The simplest way to maintain charge in both of these batteries is to simply go through the normal start procedure: press the ‘Start’ button with your foot on the brake and ensure the ‘Ready’ light is illuminated on the dashboard. We recommend you leave the car in ‘Ready’ mode for about 60 minutes before switching it off again and repeat the process at least once a week, providing you can carry out this procedure while adhering to the government’s advice regarding social distancing and Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Toyota hybrid storage

During the time that that car is in ‘Ready’ mode, you may hear and feel the internal combustion engine kick in; this is a normal part of the self-charging process. You might be tempted to switch on the radio to pass the time, or turn on other systems, but bear in mind these will consume small amounts of electrical power so it is preferable to leave them off.

Ensure the handbrake is on; there’s no need to go for a drive, although we must stress that this procedure should take place in a well-ventilated area – something to consider if you park your vehicle in a garage.

What if my Toyota isn’t a hybrid?

Our petrol and diesel cars only have a 12-volt battery, which provides the power to start the engine in addition to the other systems mentioned above. Regular start-up of the vehicle on conventional petrol and diesel engines needs approximately 20 minutes of running to put back into the battery what you remove on start up, so to maintain this battery we would suggest 60 minutes of running at least once a week.

Is there anything else I need to do?

Whether you own a hybrid or a Toyota equipped solely with an internal combustion engine, there are a few other easy car maintenance points that can ensure your Toyota hybrid remains healthy and happy during an enforced hibernation. Again, please adhere to the latest government advice regarding social distancing.

  • Check the tyre pressures are fully inflated to the recommended level and top-up if necessary. It can be a good idea to repeat this process when you first drive your car after a long period of inactivity.

Toyota hybrid storage

  • Clean the car thoroughly inside and out. If you are storing your car in a garage, make sure the vehicle is completely dry before you put it away.

Toyota hybrid storage

  • If you do plan to store your car in a garage, ensure the chosen storage area offers plenty of ventilation. If the space is secure, you could consider opening one of the car’s windows a small way to ventilate the interior. If you do this, you might have to change your car alarm’s setting to prevent it setting off the intrusion sensor – please consult your car’s manual for more information.

Toyota hybrid storage

  • It can be beneficial to leave the vehicle with the parking brake disengaged to prevent the brakes from binding, but only do this if you are certain the car is on level terrain and isn’t going to move. Ensure the transmission is set to ‘P’ for park and place wedges or chocks, if you have them, under the wheels.
  • If you have a 12V battery trickle charger, or a solar panel charger, and are confident using them, then these are a good option to keep the battery fully charged while the vehicle is stationary for a period of time.

Toyota hybrid storage

  • If your vehicle is equipped with smart entry and start but the system isn’t operated for a long time, a battery-saving function will automatically be activated to prevent the electronic key battery and the 12-volt battery from being discharged. Battery depletion in the key is minimised by stopping the electronic key from receiving radio waves. On many models equipped with this system, it is possible to manually put the key into battery-saving mode, so please consult your car’s handbook for more information. If you aren’t planning to drive your car for a long time, consider putting the smart key in a safe place and not carrying it around with you in your pocket. This will prevent the car from ‘waking up’ unnecessarily should you happen to walk near it in your garage or driveway.
  • If the vehicle will be kept on private property (such as inside a garage) for the duration of its storage, you could consider applying for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). This informs the DVLA that the car is off the road and you will receive a refund of any remaining full months of tax. However, you won’t be able to drive your car legally until you tax it again, so it is only advisable if you are positive you won’t use your car for a long time. You can read more information about how to SORN your car here.

Read more Toyota GB’s latest statement on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation

Toyota announces free roadside assistance for UK's key workers

Toyota is partnering with the AA to provide the UK’s key workers who drive Toyota vehicles with free roadside assistance cover, regardless of how old their car might be. The move will give peace of mind and support to those people whose work is invaluable in providing essential services during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Toyota Roadside Assistance for key workers

From today, Toyota is extending the full benefits of roadside assistance cover to all key workers who own a Toyota. Working in partnership with the AA, they are providing the cover regardless of whether motorists previously had Toyota Roadside Assistance membership.

The free cover is being introduced as an open-ended benefit, available until further notice, for all Toyota vehicles, of any age.

Rob Giles, Toyota (GB) Customer Services Director, said: “We want to help the health and social care workers who are supporting and caring for people in incredibly challenging circumstances, and also those whose excellent work is keeping the country safe and its essential services running. We want to give all those key people who drive our vehicles the peace of mind that help is on hand to keep them on the move if they encounter any problems with their car.”

Extended cover for existing and recent Toyota Roadside Assistance members

Owners of new or recently purchased Toyota model should already benefit from roadside assistance cover. The full benefits of membership are now being extended for an additional three months, at no extra cost. Those whose membership lapsed or was cancelled as of 1 February 2020 will continue to receive guaranteed cover until 31 May 2020, again at no additional cost.

The cover package in summary

For Toyota owners the benefits include: –

  • Roadside assistance throughout the UK
  • Cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Vehicle recovery to any UK destination or recommended Toyota Centre
  • A free replacement car for up to 48 hours
  • Assistance for breakdowns at home
  • Roadside assistance in 48 European countries

Further details of the comprehensive cover available under the Toyota roadside assistance programme, including terms and conditions, can be found here: Toyota Roadside Assistance

How to obtain assistance

If assistance is required, the vehicle driver should call the Toyota Roadside Assistance Team on 0800 246824

A team member will make a verbal confirmation the caller’s key worker status and then ensure the appropriate assistance is provided.

Who qualifies as a key worker?

Health and social care

Frontline health and social care staff, such as doctors, nurses, midwives and paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. It also includes those working in supply chains, including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

Nursery and teaching staff and social workers.

Public services

Those whose work is required to run the justice system, religious staff, those responsible for managing the deceased and journalists providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response, or delivery of essential public services, including benefits payment.

Food and essential goods

Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.

Public safety and national security

Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed services personnel, fire and rescue staff and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.

Transport

Those who keep air water, road and rail passenger and freight transport operating during the Covid-19 response.

Utilities, communications and financial services

Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors and those working in postal and essential financial services.

For more information on the situation with our dealer network, and with regard to servicing or repair work you may need on your vehicles, click here: Covid-19 Toyota’s Important Updates 

Richard Warry, 58, from Chinnor, Oxfordshire, is the proud – and some might say lucky –owner of a Toyota MR2 that he picked up for a song from the online small ads.

Richard, currently a fork-lift truck engineer but with a background in motorcycle mechanics and a spell at the Renault F1 team under his belt, was looking for a cheap car to use in autosolo events and on track-days as a ‘safer alternative’ to the speedway and grasstrack championships he has spent much of his life competing in.

After a bit of searching he came across a previously owned MR2 which was in need of a spot of TLC – but not much else.

TGB Blog: Tell us about the car – a bit of a barn find, was it?

“It was an absolute bargain of a barn find. I was on Facebook flicking through the ads and saw this 80,000-mile MR2, covered in green algae, with no service history and on sale for £250. I thought, ‘Mm, that’s a nice little project’.

Used MR2 Roadster

“The seller said it had to be gone by the next day, so we headed off down there first thing the following morning, admittedly thinking I might be about to buy a complete dud. The car had been standing outside for nearly two years, it was covered in algae, the brakes had seized on and the battery was dead, but I put the jump pack on just to see if it would go and she fired up straight away.

Used MR2 Roadster

“So we trailered it home, put new brake discs and pads on and changed the oil – that was all we did to it, really. We put it in for an MOT and it went straight through, and we’ve been driving it since. I’m even using it to get to work. I’ve got an S-Type Jag I would usually use, but now I just jump in the MR2. It does everything I want it to do.”

Presumably you’re impressed with Toyota’s durability…

“I’m gobsmacked, really. I was expecting it to blow up after the first event or two; we don’t just drive it hard, we’re on the rev limiter constantly. But it hasn’t missed a beat or used a drop of oil.

Used MR2 Roadster

“This year we’ve done a bit more to the car. We put some heavier anti-roll bars on it, and some lower springs, but that’s all we’ve done. If the engine ever does give up I’m planning on putting the 190bhp Toyota 2ZZ engine in it, and that will make it a totally different animal.”

Read more What is it like to own a used Toyota MR2?

Which events have you and the MR2 competed in so far?

“Just local autosolos. The plan was to do one or two a month, plus some track-days, although I don’t want to take it on track until it’s got a half rollcage fitted, just in case. So far we’ve done events with the Oxford Motor Club at Finmere, a couple with South Oxon Car Club at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford, and this year’s Toyota Parallel Pomeroy Trophy event.”

Used MR2 Roadster

How did you get on at the Toyota Parallel Pomeroy Trophy?

“We got a bit lost! The weather was so atrocious with the rain and the wind that we couldn’t see where you were going, we just couldn’t see the cones. We didn’t get brilliant results but that’s not what it’s about, it’s about having fun, that’s what matters.”

Toyota People… is a series that celebrates individuals with a special enthusiasm for Toyota, whether that is related to its vehicles, philosophies, or manufacturing processes. Read more here

 

 

Toyota GT86 at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Looking for something to keep you or the kids occupied? How about ‘building’ your very own Toyota GT86 inspired by our distinctive retro-liveried examples of the sports car.

Our six special GT86s were originally created for the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed to help commemorate 50 years of Toyota in the UK. When they were revealed at Goodwood, we were blown away by the public reaction to them.

Goodwood GT86s

Seeing as demand out-stripped supply, after the event we decided to redress the balance by giving everybody the opportunity to have their own paper cut-out version of their favourite Toyota GT86.

It gave everyone the chance to take part in their own build process, study the car from every angle, and even ‘drive’ it around the dining room table – with or without authentic broom-broom noises.

GT86 cut-out collection

How to build your Toyota GT86

You’ll need access to a colour printer, some paper glue and a pair of scissors (plus an adult to supervise if you’re a younger child).

First, download and print the high-resolution PDF of your chosen GT86 using these links, depending on which livery you like the best:

Yatabe Speed Trial Toyota 2000GT
Shelby Toyota 2000GT
Ove Andersson’s Toyota Celica 1600GT
IMSA GTU Toyota Celica
Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four
Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra

If you have the option to print the pdf document on A3 paper, rather than A4, this will make the building a little less fiddly and give you a bigger GT86 at the end.

Using scissors, carefully separate each of the three main sections (the roof and two sides) and each of the four tyre tracks from the grey background, being especially careful not to cut off the little white tabs with dots on.

Fold and glue all of these tabs so they adhere to the underside of the adjacent panel – doing so will pull the car into the three-dimensional shape that should resemble a Toyota GT86.

This activity is recommended for older children; it should take about an hour to carefully put your model together.

Happy with your finished GT86? We’d love to see your efforts over on our social media channels.

Twitter: @ToyotaUK
Facebook: @ToyotaUK
Instagram: @Toyota UK

GT86 model

 

Five million kilometres (3.1 million miles) in two and a half years. That is the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back six and a half times, or a daily journey of around 5,500 kilometres (3,400 miles).

This is not the odometer reading of a NASA Space Shuttle but the distance accumulated by German ride pooling company CleverShuttle in its fleet of zero-emissions Toyota Mirai models. This makes CleverShuttle owner of the world’s most long-legged Mirai fleet, exceeding the million-mile distance recently achieved by London-based Green Tomato Cars.

As a mobility company that provides CO2 neutral transport, CleverShuttle was quick to capitalise on the environmental credentials of the Toyota Mirai. Its propulsion system uses a fuel cell stack that mixes hydrogen with oxygen to generate the electricity needed to power its electric motor. The only emission from this process is water.

Click here to learn more about how the Toyota Mirai works

Beginning with an initial order of 20 Mirai models in Hamburg in September 2017, CleverShuttle soon expanded the fleet to 45 cars and spread them across several locations throughout Germany. During this time of sustained, heavy use, CleverShuttle reported that the vehicles – each of which have now accumulated around 180,000km (around 112,000 miles) – have suffered no technical or mechanical issues whatsoever. Apart from regular, scheduled maintenance, no repairs or changes of parts have been required.

“Fuel cell electric vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai became an important pillar for us thanks to their reliability,” confirmed company co-founder Jan Hofmann. “They have allowed us to provide countless passengers with comfortable rides, emitting nothing but water vapour.”

What’s next for the Toyota Mirai?

New Toyota Mirai

Later in 2020, the second-generation Toyota Mirai will commence production in Japan and will offer an even longer range encapsulated in a sleek and striking new design.

Having spent more than 15 years working for a corporate hospitality service at Goodwood, Mark Bevington had developed a fondness for the Sussex estate. But it wasn’t just the fresh air and countryside he enjoyed. Lord March’s passion for historic motorsport had also cultivated within Mark a determination to participate in the Goodwood Revival festival.

Mallory Park in 1979: Win Percy’s Celica on the front row, with this identical TA40 in the fourth row with Alec Poole behind the wheel

Aided by incorrigible friends, Mark eventually scratched that itch by tracking down and race-preparing a rare Isuzu Bellett. This small, Sixties saloon subsequently ran at three Revival events and had the honour of being the first Japanese car to ever race at the festival. Feeling well-rewarded for his efforts so far, Mark expressed the desire to maintain that momentum by taking on a new challenge – one that he hoped could grant him entry into the exclusive Goodwood Members’ Meeting.

Future F1 star Martin Brundle took the wheel of the Celica two times during the 1980 BSCC, including this round at Thruxton

The specific vehicle required to achieve that goal remained undetermined, until Mark’s chief car hunter reported that he had found a classic British Saloon Car Championship (BSCC) Toyota Celica for sale in Belfast. And incredibly, despite being more than four decades old, this second-generation 1978 model was still wearing some of the original, hand-painted Hughes of Beaconsfield sponsorship livery that it ran in the 1979 and 1980 seasons.

From the smooth to the rough: rally driver Sandy Lawson campaigned the Celica in Ireland during the Eighties. She is pictured here in the West Cork Rally in 1981

The seller was Denis Bell, a well-known stalwart of the Toyota scene in Northern Ireland. Denis purchased the Celica in 1988 and over the years had compiled a dossier that detailed the car’s history. Indeed, for reasons that would become clear later, this paperwork was of vital importance in proving the Celica’s provenance and distinction as a race car of historical significance.

Apparently, the Toyota was one of two TA40 Celica XT models that had been converted to what was colloquially known as ‘Group 1.5’ specification in order to compete in the BSCC, predecessor of today’s British Touring Car Championship. The conversion to a high-performance 2T-G twin cam engine (the original was a single cam 2T-B) and race conformity modifications were carried out by the joint efforts of Toyota dealer Hughes of Beaconsfield and BSCC specialist Arden Engineering on behalf of Toyota (GB) Ltd.

The Celica started its racing career as understudy to the identical TA40 that Win Percy campaigned in 1979 and that Chris Hodgetts ran in 1980. Nevertheless, it still experienced frontline activity in both seasons. During the 1979 BSCC, it raced five times: twice in the hands of Irish racer Alec Poole, once by team manager Gordon Meyer, and a further two times by a young Martin Brundle. Indeed, the future F1 driver was drafted in to drive this Celica a further two times during the 1980 BSCC.

That turned out to be the Celica’s last experience of UK circuit racing, because for the 1981 season the Hughes BSCC team transferred its attention to the newer, fourth-generation Corolla. So the team parted company with the Celica, selling it to female rally driver Sandy Lawson, who tweaked the specification for a new, much more demanding life rallying through Ireland.

Fast-forwarding to its most recent change of ownership, Mark recognised that following years of rallying the Celica would not be immediately ready to hit the track. However, the car still retained much of its originality: even the ultra-light magnesium alloy wheels were still on the car and still perfectly true. Work therefore began in earnest to recommission the Celica with a rebuild of the 2T-G engine – a job entrusted to Dave Wild of DTW Engines – and a complete re-think of the suspension and final drive ratio. But of most immediate concern to Mark was how he could secure the Historic Technical Passport (HTP) needed for the car to take part in a Goodwood Members’ Meeting.

The FIA requires that race cars of historic significance possess an HTP to be eligible for historic events, and this cannot be issued unless the vehicle’s owner can prove the car is precisely what it purports to be. The difficulty in the case of the Celica was that it had been modified to a specification allowed by the organisers of the BSCC and the Motors Sports Association, but this was in excess of the Group 1 homologation directed by the FIA. These unsanctioned extras included being allowed to install a free-flowing tubular exhaust manifold, adjustable spring platforms, and the freedom to select your preferred carburettor brand, as long as it remained to OE specifications.

So in order to qualify for an HTP, Mark had to either downgrade the Celica to FIA specification or provide written proof that the car had passed scrutineering and was allowed to compete in the so-called ‘Group 1.5’ specification. This is where the dossier of paperwork became invaluable, because buried deep within what could be seen as undecipherable notes was the discovery of the original test and race data sheets. When these were combined with the 40-year-old sales invoice from Hughes to Sandy Lawson, which included the Celica’s unique Vehicle Identification Number, the FIA had the proof it needed to grant Mark and his TA40 Celica its all-important HTP.

Everything was now in place for Mark to take part in the 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting at the end of March. The majority of photos accompanying this feature were taken on a general test session at Goodwood circuit earlier this month, where the Celica was put through its second of three post-recomissioning shakedowns. Circumstances, of course, have since forced Goodwood to postpone the Members’ Meeting. However, the silver lining to this cloud is that Mark has now been given the gift of extra time to develop the Celica in preparation for its eventual rescheduling.

Having waited patiently for 40 years to get back on track, we’re sure this classic TA40 Celica can hold on for a few more months before strutting its stuff with its contemporaries once more.

Learn more: History of the Toyota Celica

Toyota Hino fuel cell truck

Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology is set for a new home in a heavy-duty commercial vehicle. The hydrogen fuel cell truck joint-project with Hino Motors marks another step forward in Toyota’s support for a hydrogen society powered by clean energy.

See also: The hydrogen society gathers pace

A modified Hino Profia FR1AWHG truck will incorporate two Toyota FC Stacks, the newly developed fuel cell stacks destined for the next-generation Toyota Mirai. A new large-capacity high-pressure (70MPa) hydrogen tank will be developed to enable a proposed 370-mile cruising range.

Hydrogen has a high energy density, making it an effective fuel for the demands of a heavy-duty truck. They need sufficient range to drive from city-to-city, but also need fast refuelling so they can stay on the move.

A heavy-duty truck also needs to carry cargo, so the new truck’s chassis has been specially designed to incorporate all the elements of the electrified powertrain (fuel cell stacks, hydrogen tank, AC motor and lithium-ion battery) while maintaining load capacity.

The development of electrification technology for commercial vehicles will help to achieve Toyota and Hino’s plans for a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. This alternative powertrain will provide significant environmental benefits and help to further develop electrified vehicle technologies for a wide range of transport, not only passenger vehicles.

See also: Toyota’s hydrogen-powered city of the future

Toyota is putting an additional ten heavy-duty trucks powered by the Mirai’s hydrogen fuel cell on the roads of California as it expands its vision for zero-emissions haulage, as part of a venture called Project Portal.

Toyota C-HR 2020

After a successful 2019 during which key new models such as the Corolla, GR Supra and C-HR were honoured by car buyers and motoring critics alike, 2020 is shaping up to be equally as fruitful. The decade might only be a few weeks old, but already our model range has caught the eye and had praise bestowed upon it.

We’ve collated the awards won so far below, but this article will be refreshed throughout the year as our cars collect new awards and our people are recognised for their achievements in the automotive industry and beyond.

Fleet News Awards

Toyota has been honoured as the Fleet News Green Fleet Manufacturer of the Year, the first vehicle manufacturer to achieve this award three years in succession.

The judges commented: “Toyota’s holistic approach to the environment sets it apart from other manufacturers. Yes, it’s committed to hybrid, electric and hydrogen technology, but it is Toyota’s other activities, including zero landfill, utilisation of renewable energy, fleet localisation plan and pledge to recycle waste water at its production plants that make it a truly green company, not simply a manufacturer of green cars.”

Its success – in fact the fourth award in five years – was announced at a prize ceremony in London this week, along with a Best Mid-size SUV award for the all-hybrid RAV4.

The judges remarked: “The new hybrid-only Toyota RAV4 impressed with its balance of running costs, practicality and efficiency. Compared to its predecessor, it has greater driver appeal thanks to improved comfort and refinement levels, plus the new hybrid powertrain is more responsive, making the car better to drive.

Stuart Ferma, General Manager Toyota and Lexus Fleet, said: “We’re proud to once again be recognised by Fleet News for our green leadership in our fleet business. We remain committed to giving our customers products and services that reflect today’s important environmental issues, and which also deliver the quality and reliability they require.”

What Car? Car of the Year Awards

The Toyota Corolla took the title of Best Hybrid Car in the 2020 What Car? Awards, leading a haul of three honours for the brand.

Steve Huntingford, What Car? Editor, said: “The Toyota Corolla comfortably beats the fuel economy of pure petrol-powered rivals and betters a fair few diesels in its 1.8-litre form that we recommend. Better still, it manages this while delivering more performance than most people will need. Plus, in stop-start traffic, near-silence descends when you use electric power alone.”

Announced at a ceremony in London in mid-January, the awards also saw the Toyota Yaris Hybrid taking the title for Best Hybrid Car for less than £20,000 and the Toyota Aygo being named the Best Value Car (priced between £10,000 to £12,000).

Company Car Today

The Toyota C-HR opened its 2020 honours account with the Best Crossover title in the Company Car Today 100 (CCT100) listing. The C-HR achieved its winning status thanks to its combination of tax-friendly low emissions from its self-charging hybrid powertrains, low day-to-day running costs, good looks and lasting value.

Paul Barker, Company Car Today Editor, said: “Toyota’s C-HR deploys hybrid technology to deliver low running costs and excellent emissions figures, which combine with good residual values to tick the boxes that make for an excellent company car. It also enjoys cutting edge design and has recently been revised to make it an even better proposition, and well worthy of the CCT100 Best Crossover title.”

4×4 Magazine

When it comes to ‘sustainable’ vehicles, the familiar points of reference are qualities such as fuel economy, low emissions and recyclability. But there’s another aspect to the issue that has helped earn Toyota’s mighty Land Cruiser the Sustainability Award in 4×4 Magazine’s 4×4 of the Year Awards.

Where the judges were concerned, Land Cruiser has no equal when it comes putting in year after year of reliable service, delivering the kind of longevity that other models cannot match. And that’s the key to making it a winner as a ‘sustainable’ vehicle.

4×4 Magazine Editor Alan Kidd explained: “Not everyone will be able to understand why the Land Cruiser has won our Sustainability Award, but it’s very simple. You can buy one and, if you so choose, never need to return to the car market for the rest of your life.”

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid also triumphed in 4×4 Magazine’s 4×4 of the Year Awards, named Best Medium SUV.

Car of the Year

The Corolla is among the finalists for the prestigious Car of the Year 2020 award, one of only seven cars to make the shortlist after a first vote of the 60 jurors. The organisation comprises judges from several European automotive publications: Auto, Autocar, Autopista, Autovisie, L’Automobile Magazine, Stern and Vibilagare.

Wheeler Dealers 1973 Celica

Car dealer Mike Brewer and multi-talented mechanic Ant Anstead are back on our TV screens this month with a brand new series of Wheeler Dealers. And we’re delighted to discover that two of the eight classics the duo breathe new life into are sought-after Toyota models.

The magic formula that has seen Wheeler Dealers become the world’s most-watched car show remains thankfully unchanged for this latest series. Mike and Ant continue to track down classic and iconic vehicles in need of some TLC, with each episode challenging the pair to restore the car to its former glory before selling it on for a profit.

Wheeler Dealers 1973 Celica

In episode five, which will air at 9:00pm on Monday 30 March, the duo complete a resto-mod project on one of the most collectible Japanese classics – a first-generation Toyota Celica.

The ST model they find has seen better days

The ST model they find is a 1973 vintage that has evidently seen better days. Its 18R-C factory engine has poor compression and is therefore down on power, while the svelte ‘pony car’ bodywork is attempting to hide a rear-end collision through lashings of filler and poor quality, non-original paintwork. To solve these issues, Mike finds a powerful yet affordable solution to the rough-running engine, while Ant is confined to the workshop putting his fabrication skills to the test.

Wheeler Dealers 1973 Celica

Episode seven, which will air at 9:00pm on Monday 20 April, focuses on a fast-appreciating neo-classic, a 60-series Toyota Land Cruiser station wagon from 1985.

Wheeler Dealers 1973 Celica

As Mike and Ant soon discovered, although the Land Cruiser’s 4.2-litre straight six 2F engine was strong, this US model’s four-speed transmission now held it back from being able to keep up with modern traffic. So in order to add value to this project, Mike imported a five-speed transmission from an FJ62 model, and Ant takes the viewer on a fascinating reconditioning tour of the off-roader’s all-conquering chassis.

Wheeler Dealers 1973 Celica

Since Wheeler Dealers launched in 2003, well over 160 different vehicles have enjoyed their 60 minutes of fame. During those years, the show has often tried to reflect market trends in the vehicles it has selected. The fact that there is such a strong representation from Toyota within this latest series is indicative of the increasingly collectable nature of Japanese cars from the Seventies and Eighties.

How can you watch Wheeler Dealers?

Wheeler Dealers airs in the UK on the Discovery channel, which can be found on Sky 125, Virgin 250, BT 322/376 and on Amazon Prime. You can also catch up on episodes from previous series via the dplay.co.uk website or dplay smartphone app.

Charity bike ride

Geoff Andrews has been a loyal Toyota family member and hugely important in delivering our parts sales over the years.

Diagnosed with Myeloma, a rare blood cancer currently with no cure, he decided to give something back and raise money for essential research by cycling from Saltford in Bristol to Truro in Cornwall from 16-19 March with his colleague Nick Selwood. 

Geoff’s first Toyota job was at Pendennis Bristol in 1984, followed by Brislington Park Bristol in 1991. He then worked at Platinum Toyota Bath and Trowbridge from 1998 to 2019.

We caught up with Geoff to find out more about his charity mission. 

TGB Blog: Could you please tell us a little about yourself? 

Geoff Andrews: “I’m 62. We live in Saltford which is between Bristol and Bath. I’ve worked in the motor trade for 45 years and with Toyota for 35. I retired last year when I was diagnosed with Myeloma in November. It’s in very early stages and is a blood cancer. There’s no cure for it yet, but the money we raise will go forward to help find the cure for it.” 

You’ve been a Toyota family member for a long time. Could you tell us more about your work with Toyota? 

“I just love Toyota! That’s where I met quite a lot of people. I was parts manager with three dealerships in Bristol and Bath. I went on loads of trips – that’s why I know a lot of people with Toyota.” 

What do you love most about Toyota? 

If you work for Toyota, they look after you.

“It’s a very friendly team. I’ve always got along very well with everybody. If you work for them, they look after you. I’ve always been driven. If you do work well and achieve your goals, then you get rewarded by Toyota as well. I’ve been to Japan a couple of times and nearly all over the world with Toyota. It has been brilliant. I drive a Toyota, my wife drives a Toyota and long may that continue!”

Where and how did you discover your love for cycling?

“I don’t love cycling at all! It happened because I was diagnosed with Myeloma, I wanted to give something back. I’ve lived in Bristol all my life and I’ve still got family in Truro. So I thought about doing a bike ride from Bristol to Truro and that was it! We’ve done no training, we struggled like hell and it was really tough. We’re even joking about putting our bikes up for sale on Ebay! 

You should see some of the hills. They’re terrible. They’re so steep!

“You should see some of the hills. They’re terrible. They’re so steep! But we’ve had a real good laugh along the way and that’s what it is all about. We’ve had three stops along the way. We rode to Taunton the first day, then we rode to Hatherleigh, Okehampton, which is another 55 miles past Taunton. On the second night we stayed at Wadebridge, and then on to Truro.”

Were there any challenges you faced during this bike ride? 

“Yes, hills. Every hill is a challenge. I never realised how many hills there are in Cornwall. It has been quite a tough ride. On the first day we were about three or four miles from Cheddar and we were riding along an off-road track. Every 20 yards, we came across two feet of water. We got absolutely soaked. My backpack and the clothes for the evening were all soaked. 

The first day, however, was beautiful. We had lovely sunny weather. Day two was bad when we had about 50 miles to go. Day three was good, apart from the hills.”

Charity bike ride

Toyota conveys ‘Start Your Impossible’, a message that encapsulates our strong desire to recognise and help with challenges faced by all. What would you say is your impossible and how do you strive to overcome it?

“I think you’ve got to be really positive in anything you do and I’ve always been really positive. You’ve got to look forward, think forward and then you will achieve your goals. I’m positive with the condition I’ve got as well. I’m going to be positive about it and I’m going to try my best to beat it. I’ve learnt to be like that over the years and more so in later life I think.” 

How do you wish to inspire others and what tips would you give to budding cyclists?

“I’ve always been very competitive in every sport I’ve played. But as far as cycling goes, I’ve never been into it. You’ve just got to be positive and believe in yourself and just do what you can.”     

One last question – who’s your favourite cyclist? 

“No. Nothing has inspired me except for madness!” 

Thank you for your time Geoff. We couldn’t have been more inspired. 

If you’d like to make a contribution and help Geoff along his journey, click the link: https://www.justgiving.com/Claire-Selwood1

Toyota People… is a series that celebrates individuals with a special enthusiasm for Toyota, whether that is related to its vehicles, philosophies, or manufacturing processes. Read more here

 

The first road-test reviews of the new 2020 Toyota Proace City have been published, following the recent UK launch.

A number of specialist commercial vehicle outlets were invited to the event. What were their first impressions of our new compact van? Below is a selection of excerpts from some of the online reviews already published, and there will be more reviews to follow when the printed publications are delivered. To read the online reports from the outlets below, click the emboldened links.

Toyota Proace City: Auto Express

Proace City is a front-runner for space and payload weights

In terms of carrying capacity, the Toyota Proace City [is]… a front-runner for space and payload weights. Once up to speed the Toyota Proace City is quite refined for a van. It’s reasonably quiet, and it handles pretty well. The suspension is… sure to settle with some weight in the back, while the view out helps you position the van on the road with ease. Light steering helps with low-speed manoeuvring, as do the front and rear parking sensors and reversing camera on Icon vans.

Toyota has gone its own way and cherry-picked the options available to buyers. It believes that it has the best spec available for potential buyers at the price, and is targeting sole traders and small to medium-sized enterprises rather than big fleet orders at a knock-down rate.

Toyota Proace City: Parkers

A better ownership package, with better residual values… and a superior warranty

[The Proace City] offers a reduced range compared with its sister vans but arguably a better ownership package, with better residual values predicted and a superior warranty – five years, instead of just three. The two trim levels… are simple to understand. Both come with air-conditioning, which is a nice extra in a small van, as well as DAB radio, electric mirrors and automatic headlights.

Inheriting car-like underpinnings means the Proace City rides well over bumps and imperfections. Small wheels and chunky sidewalls also help with this, as do good seats. The driver’s seat in particular is very comfortable and adjusts to make room for even the burliest of drivers.

Toyota Proace City: What Van?

Its workhorse credentials are impressive: the 1.0t payload matches the best in class, [though] if you need to maximise its weight capacity you would be advised to opt for the 100hp engine over the 75hp unit. The 1.5t towing capacity of the 100hp Proace City also matches the best-in-class.

Proace City is engaging to drive with perky performance and a slick gearbox

The middle passenger seat back folds down to make a desktop. This is arguably more useful than the middle seat itself… On the other hand, there is no lack of storage space in the cab: 16 storage points, according to Toyota, including a 15-litre space in the centre console.

The 100hp Proace City is engaging to drive with perky performance and a slick gearbox… [It] is a refined, competent van, although engine and transmission options are limited.

Toyota Professional: Did you know?

Toyota LCV range

Our new light commercial vehicle programme is based on three fundamental promises to customers. The first is that all new commercial vehicles come with a five-year or 100,000-mile warranty, exactly the same as our passenger cars. Second, the warranty is paired with five years of free roadside assistance. Thirdly, owners are guaranteed a service appointment at their convenience within seven days; and if that target is not met, customers will be given a 50% discount on the labour charge.