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2012 Toyota Prius v: Bigger is better

If you put the standard Prius hatchback next to the new Prius v, this model expansion might seem like a pointless exercise, as the Prius v doesn't seem much bigger.

But it is a different story inside the car, as the larger cargo area, higher roof, and some design touches lead to an unexpected spaciousness. A standalone console between the front seats and dual moonroofs makes the car seem like a minivan.… Read more

2012 Toyota Camry: The new connected car

For the Camry's 2012 update, Toyota chose to leave the engine alone, but give the car new cabin electronics.

That is one sign of the growing importance of advanced cabin tech in cars. But the new Camry is also a very connected car, a realm that only recently was reserved for premium brands such as Audi and BMW. That Camry has been the most popular car in the U.S. suggested that data feeds in cars are rapidly entering the mainstream.… Read more

Lexus releases new photo of LF-LC sport coupe concept

Last week Lexus teased with a partial shot of the new sport coupe concept, but today a little more was revealed.

Lexus released this side view of the LF-LC 2+2 sport coupe, but the company is still holding out on any under-the-hood details. The sport coupe concept will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

"Crafted from a clean sheet of paper at the request of Lexus headquarters in Japan, the LF-LC blends both high technology and organic shapes to connect the driver to the machine," Mark Templin, Lexus group vice … Read more

Toyota customers can tweet for cash

It's not just celebrities who can make cash tweeting about products--Toyota is offering its customers $500 gift cards to tweet about their new cars.

Toyota has launched its second annual Shareathon program that lets customers earn a little extra cash for tweeting about their plans to buy a new car. To participate, shoppers need to register on Toyota's Shareathon Web site by December 21 and tweet a scripted message to their followers. If they buy or lease a new Toyota vehicle by January 3, 2012, they'll receive a coupon code redeemable for a $500 prepaid debit card … Read more

Lexus to unveil new concept at Detroit auto show

Lexus today teased fans with the promise of a new concept vehicle that will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 9, 2012.

The concept car was designed by Calty, the company's design studio in Newport Beach, California. Calty also designed the FT-SX, Scion t2B, Scion FUSE, FT-HS, A-BAT, and Lexus LF-Ch concept vehicles.

No other details were revealed in the press release.

Car Tech Live 244: CNET Drives the new Camry and Entune apps platform (podcast)

GM set to make changes to the Volt in response to fires, Nissan moves ahead on wireless charging for EVs, so long Aptera, many young Americans prefer the Internet to a car, and we drive the new Camry with Entune.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 244 SHOW NOTES

Crave 69: Candy for cuties (podcast)

Bonnie's back, just in time to witness a barrage of futuristic concept videos.

We get Samsung's take on the transparent tablet of the future. Also, Toyota's vision of a self-driving psychedelic car from a frightening nightmarescape where the middle-aged are given the "Logan's Run" treatment. We revisit the fashion predictions of 1939 and watch as flying robots construct foam towers. In Geek News, Eric recounts his obsession with MST3K and the latest RiffTrax RiffPlayer, makes amends with Dr. Who fans, and shows us the creepier side of Batman.

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Toyota to ship U.S.-built Camry sedans to South Korea

Toyota today announced it will export about 6,000 U.S.-assembled Camry sedans annually to its distributor in South Korea.

The Camry sedans will be built at Toyota's manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky., and exported out of the Port of Hueneme, near Oxnard, Calif., beginning in January 2012.

The new exported Camry sedans will join the Kentucky-produced Avalon sedan, the Indiana-produced Sequoia SUV, and the Texas-produced Tacoma and Tundra pick-up trucks, Toyota said.

"We are pleased with the reaction that the redesigned Camry is receiving from our customers, and the sales success it is having in the … Read more

See the Toyota Fun-Vii concept in action (video)

With an exterior skin that doubles as a digital display, an augmented-reality cockpit, and Internet and inter-vehicular connectivity, the Toyota Fun-Vii concept is about as pie-in-the-sky as concept cars get.

However, explaining with words and photos hardly does this concept justice. I had to see it in motion to understand everything that Toyota expects the car of the future to do. In the video below, you'll see tight smartphone integration, augmented-reality gaming, a holographic digital concierge in a De Stijl-inspired tube top, and an amazing (if not tremendously improbably) implementation of vehicle-to-vehicle networking. The video also shows off the Fun-Vii's electrified power-train with wireless charging, its autonomous driving mode, and lots of people dressed in white. Check it out below. … Read more

Eight Ferraris brawl with a Prius on a Japanese highway

It apparently took eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini, and two Mercedes-Benzes to bring down one Prius on a Japanese freeway.

Supercar crashes always fascinate us due to the forced disassembling of a very expensive piece of engineering, and some secret glee at observing the poor driving skills of the very wealthy. But this crash in Japan takes the cake, as it involved not one, but eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini, and two Mercedes-Benzes. Oh, and one poor Prius seems to have gotten caught up in the crash.

According to reports, the drivers were convoying to a supercar meet-up, when the driver of … Read more