Experiencing the future of transportation at Ceatec 2013

While crazy, conceptual gadgets are always a highlight at Japan's Ceatec, some of the most interesting devices at recent iterations of the show featured something unusual: wheels. While Japan's Tokyo Motor Show has always been a haven for tech-riddled concept machines, many companies are choosing to show off their forward-thinking rides at Ceatec, which takes place a few weeks earlier and is frequented by virtually every major Japanese company in the technology space.

In 2013 it was the auto companies taking up more space than any other. Even Sony's massive booth paled in comparison to the sprawling … Read more

The Bee Racing Subaru BRZ with rocket bunny kit is awesome

The Subaru BRZ is a great car, we all know that. We also know that it can feel a bit slow. Thankfully, it was built for people to tinker with, and that's precisely what Bee Racing has done.

Despite its badging, the car above is actually a Subaru BRZ; its Scion FR-S/Toyota GT 86 nose was applied after the car's purchase. Purely for aesthetic reasons, of course. Bee has also fitted that pretty distinctive Rocket Bunny aero kit to give it a meaner look. It's also best to mention the massive spoiler on the car's … Read more

12 must-see videos from the Frankfurt auto show

Our coverage of the 2013 Frankfurt auto show is just about wrapping up. Some of the highlights included the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder making a brilliant, record-breaking debut, BMW bringing back some serious sporty intentions with the 4 Series, and Nissan unveiling one of its newest concepts, a smartwatch. And while cars, both production and concept, were the obvious main attraction, nothing could prepare us for Smart's electric bicycle.

Join us on a video tour of some of the hottest sights from the show.

Toyota GT 86 (Scion FR-S) to Le Mans

Le Mans is one of those 'life list' things. It's something that everyone with even a passing interest in cars knows about. They've heard about the vicious racing, the camaraderie, and the fun you can have over race weekend. As well as all the racing, they've probably heard about the drive down.

It's not a long drive as they go. A mere 6 hours if you're not stopping to film every 10 minutes. From Calais it's a quick jaunt down to Rouen, then a pootle to Le Mans itself. You'll see the rarest, … Read more

Can TMG become to Toyota what AMG is to Mercedes-Benz?

The heart and soul of Toyota motorsports has been in Germany since the early '70s in the form of TMG, and it has provided the Japanese manufacturer with a foothold in everything from WRC to Formula 1. However, after Toyota's departure from Formula 1, the future of TMG has been uncertain. Without a regular series to compete in, what would become of TMG?

One option would be for TMG to become to Toyota what AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. Take a stock car, and turn it into a much more exciting, faster, and more dynamic version. The M Division of … Read more

A look back at the Toyota Supra

Toyota has made some pretty awesome cars over the years -- the Celica, Corolla, AE86, the new GT 86 -- but none of them compares to the sheer brilliance of the Supra.

The Supra is, arguably, the most recognizable car that Toyota's ever made. It's been referenced in pop culture, featured heavily in the Gran Turismo games, and still cuts a fine figure down the high street.

In fact, the reaction the Supra got while we had it under our care was the biggest we've ever had. People stopped in the street to take pictures, children got … Read more

The Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S is just as good as you think it is

When the Toyota GT 86 was first mooted, petrolheads all over the world had to sit down and hide their excitement under a cushion. Toyota was going to return to the RWD sports car scene with an affordable, fun car -- much like the MR2 used to be before it started doing a frog impression.

Toyo was going to hook up with Subaru to create the ultimate mix of Japanese fun. Subaru would donate the Boxer engine and Toyota the RWD know-how. Together they'd rule the galaxy as father and, wait, that's "Star Wars." … Read more

Toyota previews Hybrid-R concept, hybrid-heavy booth for Frankfurt show

What do you get when you combine experimental hybrid racing technology with a reasonably priced runabout? You get the recently unveiled Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept.

Under the aggressive bodywork and sheet metal, you'll find a three-door Toyota Yaris subcompact. Under the hood, you'll find the automaker's 1.6-liter Global Race Engine (GRE), which shares motivational duties with a pair of electric motors. Additionally, the concept's suspension and chassis will receive upgrades to match the increased power and performance expectations.

Toyota states that the Hybrid-R features intelligent all-wheel drive, so my guess is that one of those … Read more

Redesigned RAV4 suffers death by a thousand squeaks

"That creaking coming from the dashboard is annoying," said my passenger during a spin in the 2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited. "It makes me feel like it's poorly made."

The constant squeak coming from a champagne-colored accent panel had been bothering me too, but I hadn't said anything about it. I was largely enjoying the RAV4, impressed by its driving characteristics.

"Maybe it's just cold right now. Maybe it's just a one-off thing," I defended. "Could be any of a dozen reasons. Cars are quirky like that."

"Yeah, … Read more

Chatty Japanese robot to be astronaut's space buddy

Astronauts and robot sidekicks go together like Dave and HAL 9000, like Will Robinson and B9, like Doctor Who and K9. Soon, that illustrious list will grow longer with the addition of a Japanese astronaut and Kirobo, a conversational robot companion.

Kirobo looks like a cross between Astro Boy and a Power Ranger, all rendered in miniature. Since the bot's job is to be a companion, not a worker. It's very compact in size, just 13 inches tall and a little over 2 pounds in weight.… Read more