• Will People Fight For A Recharging Plug For Their EV?


    Though the Electric Vehicles are still under evaluation and pilot run in Malaysia by a few automakers like Nissan and Mitsubishi. Hence, the drivers might not feel the same challenges like others in North America.


    Currently, EV owners in the North America have been caught unplugging other cars to charge their own before they are properly recharged.  Likely, once you see many EVs on the road, I foresee you shall probably see a lot of drama in the car park.


    According to one of the journalist in US, which recently highlighted this problem in a recent article. Basically, he was sitting in a cafe while his Ford Focus plug-in hybrid was recharging in a public car park, and received a text message on his phone alerting him that the car had been unplugged mid-charge.


    When he went to investigate, the recharging plug had been removed from his vehicle and was now charging another EV.


    This occurrence triggered my concern what if there is many EVs are running in Malaysia. Will fellow Malaysians fight for a recharging plug at the recharging station?

  • Toyota Returns to Le Mans 24-hour Enduro With TS030 Hybrid

    Toyota returns to the Le Mans 24-hour race next week with a two-car team that draws on years of hybrid development and extensive World Rally and Formula One experience. The TS030 hybrids are set to write a new page in the history of the legendary twice-around-the-clock enduro through the use of Toyota’s hybrid technology.



    The start for the 80th running of the Le Mans classic will be in the hands of Toyota’s global vice chairman-elect Takeshi Uchiyamada, honouring the company’s return to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time since 1999. Mr Uchiyamada was the driving force behind development of the first-generation Prius, the success of which has enabled Toyota to sell more than four million hybrid vehicles.


    Toyota Racing made a successful Le Mans debut with its two hybrid cars by participating in the traditional test day last Sunday (June 3). Both TS030 Hybrids displayed their new Toyota hybrid-blue livery – the first time the two new cars had been in action and the first chance to see the cars on track against the opposition in Le Mans.


    The driver line-up for car #7 – Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima – took part in the test while car #8 featured Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi. The third driver in car #8, Stéphane Sarrazin, will return to driving duties at Le Mans after recovering from cuts and bruises due to a cycling accident.


    On Tuesday (June 5), the team completed a final shakedown at the short Le Mans Bugatti circuit, bedding down the parts that will be used during the 24-hour race that starts on Saturday, June 16, at 3 p.m. The team is now working on the final details before technical scrutineering next Monday in Le Mans city centre.


    The TS030 Hybrid is Toyota’s successor to the iconic TS010 and TS020 cars which participated at Le Mans with podium success in the 1990s. The 2012 THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System – Racing) powertrain is designed to deliver maximum performance and features an all-new V8 3.4-litre normally-aspirated petrol engine and hybrid system with capacitor storage.


    Like Toyota’s full hybrid road cars, energy is regenerated under braking and the TS030 Hybrid can operate in electric-only mode, achieving zero emissions and zero fuel consumption. Regulations limit hybrid systems to recovering a maximum of 500kJ between braking zones while restricting deployment to only two wheels.


    Hybrid Project Leader Hisatake Murata – an engine engineer for the #33 TS010 which finished second in 1992 – said Toyota’s goal has been focused on generating additional performance through the hybrid system. “It can be used in two ways: either it delivers faster lap times through improving speed on the exit of corners, or you choose to save fuel by using the internal combustion engine less on corner exit and allowing the hybrid system to compensate. We are aiming for faster lap times; that is our clear priority.”


    Team technical director Pascal Vasselon said modern endurance racing demanded cars that were capable of pushing to the limit for 24 hours. “One of the challenges facing us in designing and engineering the car was how to manage the additional weight of the hybrid system, so we have worked on packaging and weight distribution to find the optimum solution, our target is to show the TS030 Hybrid is the fastest hybrid car on the grid and experience some enjoyable moments along the way.”


    In October last year, Toyota became the first manufacturer to confirm its participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship using a hybrid system, emphasising its pioneering approach to this technology. Toyota aims to learn from the experience of competing in such a challenging motorsport environment to enhance its production car technology.


    Technical Specifications

    Designation: TS030 HYBRID
    Type: Le Mans Prototype (LMP1)
    Bodywork: Carbon fibre composite
    Windscreen: Polycarbonate
    Gearbox: Transversal with 6 gears sequential
    Gearbox casing: Aluminium
    Driveshafts: Constant velocity tripod plunge-joint driveshafts
    Clutch: Multidisc
    Differential: Viscous mechanical locking differential
    Suspension: Independent front and rear double wishbone, pushrod-system
    Springs: Torsion bars
    Anti roll bars: Front and rear
    Steering: Hydraulically assisted
    Brakes: Dual circuit hydraulic braking system, mono-block light-alloy brake callipers front and rear
    Discs: Ventilated front and rear in carbon
    Rims: Magnesium forged wheels
    Front rims: 14.5 x 18 inch
    Rear rims: 14.5 x 18 inch
    Tyres: Michelin radial
    Front tyres: 36/71-18
    Rear tyres: 37/71-18
    Length: 4650mm
    Width: 2000mm
    Height: 1030mm
    Fuel capacity: 73 litres
    Powertrain: Toyota Hybrid System – Racing (THS-R)
    Engine: 90° V8 normally aspirated engine
    Fuel: Petrol
    Engine Capacity: 3.4l
    Valves: 4
    Air restrictors: 1 x 43.3mm
    Capacitor:  Nisshinbo
    Front Hybrid Motor: Aisin AW
    Rear Hybrid Motor: Denso


    Toyota Le Mans 24-hour Enduro

  • New Toyota Camry H and HL with Hybrid Synergy Drive in Australia

    Toyota’s new seventh-generation Camry Hybrid introduced in Australia. The car is impressive in terms of power, economy and value. The hybrid sedans deliver a power surge of 7.8% over their predecessors, with a fuel-economy improvement of up to 17% on the city cycle.



    In Australia, Toyota Camry Hybrid now has more equipment and enhanced styling, aerodynamics, interior space, safety, ride comfort, handling and luggage space. The starting price for the Camry Hybrid starts from AUD 34,990 (H Grade) to AUD 41,490 (HL Grade).



    New Camry Hybrid incorporates several measures to improve fuel economy and lower emissions, including a new EV (electric vehicle) drive mode.


    Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said the new Camry Hybrid demonstrated the benefits of Toyota’s long history with petrol-electric hybrid vehicles. “New Camry Hybrid is a leap forward in performance, refinement and efficiency,” Mr Callachor said.



    Camry Hybrid debuts a highly revised version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, including a new 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine and a high-torque electric motor which combined output to 151kW, the previous model was 140kW instead.



    The fuel consumption reduced approximately 17.4 % further in the city to just 5.7 litres/100km (from 6.9 litres/100km). On the highway, fuel use drops approximately half a litre to 4.9 litres/100km (down from 5.4 litres/100km) while the combined fuel-economy figure improves to 5.2 litres/100km (down from 6.0 litres/100km).



    Exclusive exterior and interior designs and badges differentiate the Camry Hybrid from other Camry models. The front of the Camry Hybrid has a “hybrid blue” Toyota badge is flanked by headlights with blue-accented extensions. The rear design expresses a solid stance and a wide feel, featuring the hybrid blue Toyota badge and, for the HL grade, a bootlid spoiler and chrome garnish.



    Interior wise, there are refined touches with attention to detail, including soft-touch padding, quality stitching and a three-dial Optitron instrument panel with chrome-accented outer rings and metallic-blue meter gradations.


    A comprehensive safety package includes stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, 7 airbags and a reversing camera with the image displayed on a 6.1-inch touch-screen.


    Compared with the current model, the Camry HL variant also gains a 10-speaker JBL premium audio system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, satellite navigation with live traffic updates, digital radio, 17-inch alloy wheels, an electric rear sunshade, exterior mirrors that dip when reversing and memory settings for the electric driver’s seat.


    Moreover, the new Camry Hybrid is covered by Toyota Service Advantage in Australia with the cost of services capped at AUD130 for each of up to 5 services in the first 4 years or 75,000km (whichever comes first).


  • Toyota Australia Introduces the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry


    Toyota Australia has released an all-new 7th generation Camry that debuts a contemporary design with improved driving dynamics and a more spacious interior. Anyway, it took me quite awhile to compile the photos and figure out the new features and enhancements.



    The all-new 2012 Toyota Camry combines a new 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission that deliver better performance, efficiency and lower emissions. The Australian version of the all-new Camry is remained built in Australia. The new car now features a more comfortable ride, better handling, better safety features and added refinement, including an even quieter cabin.



    The all-new 2012 Toyota Camry in Australia offers in two distinct looks – an entry-level Altise and three new Atara variants.



    Atara models have unique styling, including the lower-body design, a sporty mesh upper grille, prominent side skirts and twin exhausts. Advanced features at the top of the range include a blind-spot monitor to help prevent collisions and automatic high beam that automatically dips headlights at night to avoid blinding other drivers. The new range arrives with zero price increases for the Altise at AUD 30,490 and the top-of-the-range Atara SL at AUD 39,990, which replaces the Grande.


    Basically, the price increases for Atara S (replaces Ateva) and Atara SX (Sportivo) are outweighed by added features.



    According to Toyota Australia, body, electrical and chassis engineers from the Toyota Technical Center in Melbourne contributed to the development of Camry as a global car from as early as 2006. They also tuned and tested local versions to meet the demands of Australian motorists and road conditions, including calibrations for the electric power steering, blind-spot monitor and automatic high beam. Moreover, Designers at Toyota Style Australia were responsible for the interior fabrics and colour and trim of the local cars.



    Camry Altise delivers 133kW of power and 231Nm of torque, substantial gains over the 117kW and 218Nm of the previous generation. Atara variants gain twin exhausts that help lift output to 135kW and 235Nm for gains of 15% and 8% respectively over the previous engine. All Atara grades – S, sporty SX and luxury SL – have paddle shifts at the driver's fingertips, delivering greater driver involvement and enjoyment.


    Fuel economy across the range is just 7.8 litres/100km – an improvement of one litre per 100km, which means up to an extra 100km from a tank of unleaded petrol.


    It has seven airbags, better braking and brake feel, vehicle stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes, a stronger body structure and a new seat frame that makes driving more comfortable. The introduction of electric power steering across the range, along with refinements to the suspension, has led to significant improvements to handling and ride comfort.


    Altise is also equipped with 16-inch alloys, trip computer and an upgraded sound system with six speakers and controls on the steering wheel.



    Atara S also features fog lamps, 17-inch alloys, smart entry and smart start, reversing camera, dual-zone air-conditioning, 6.1-inch touch-screen display audio, premium steering wheel and gearshift knob and an electric driver's seat with lumbar support.



    Atara SX is distinguished by unique rear bumper, rear lip spoiler, sports pedals, sports suspension, black-tinted headlamps and sports leather-accented interior.



    Top of the range Atara SL features JBL premium audio with 10 speakers, a 7-inch touch-screen display with satellite navigation, digital radio, RDS live traffic updates, reversing camera with back-guide monitor, blind-spot monitor, automatic high beam, electric front seats and rain-sensing wipers.


    New Camry is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing, which has been extended to four years / 75,000km and up to 5 services at AUD130 per service for the new range. New accessories include 17-inch alloy wheels and body side mouldings with chrome inserts.


    Price List – 2012 Toyota Camry Australia*

    Altise – AUD30,490

    Atara S – AUD33,490

    Atara SX – AUD35,990

    Atara SL – AUD39,990


    Altise: Steel wheels -AUD100, Metallic paint AUD400, Reverse camera AUD500
    Atara S: Leather AUD1,500, Leather + Moonroof AUD3,450
    Atara S, SL, SX: Moonroof AUD1,950


    Summary of the new 2012 Toyota Camry


    • Increased interior space
    • 46mm increased rear-seat knee room
    • 50mm increased knee room for rear-centre seat
    • 15mm increase in couple distance
    • Increased safety equipment
    • Seven SRS airbags including new driver's knee airbag on all models
    • Seatbelt warning indicators for rear seats
    • Increased performance and economy
    • 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds
    • Fuel economy of 7.8 litres/100km
    • 2.5-litre dual VVT-i engine (Altise: 133kW and 231Nm, Atara: 135kW and 235Nm)
    • Sequential six-speed transmission
    • Paddle shift on three Atara grades, including Sports mode with throttle blipping control on downshifts
    • ECO indicator on all grades
    • All-new chassis and steering package
    • Improved ride, handling, stability and braking
    • Electric power-assisted steering for the first time on Camry petrol model
    • All-new steering control features which improve steering feedback
    • Vortex effect underbody aerodynamics for increased stability
    • New over-body aerodynamic features
    • Improved driving comfort – seat design, steering wheel position, steering column angle, 15mm increase in driver's seat height adjustment
    • 60/40 split-fold rear seat on all grades (new to Atara SX)
    • Driver's seat memory in Atara SL
    • Auto-dipping exterior mirrors when reverse gear selected in high-grade
    • 6.1-inch touch-screen display audio (up from 4.3-inch screen) is standard on Atara S/SX and optional on Altise
    • Cross-type button steering wheel audio controls
    • 10-speaker JBL premium audio with digital radio, 7-inch touch-screen display and 5.1-channel surround sound on Atara SL
    • Side indicators on exterior mirrors on all models
    • Trip computer now on all models
    • AUX + USB input with iPod™ connectivity on all models
    • Bluetooth™# streaming capability
    • Lower interior noise levels and 'sophisticated' interior sound balance for improved conversation clarity
    • Leather-accented seats on Atara SX grade
    • Blind spot monitor (BSM) on Atara SL
    • Automatic high beam headlamps on Atara SL
    • Reversing camera^ with static line back monitor on Atara S/SX and back guide monitor on Atara SL
    • Smart entry/start on S and SX


    Photo Gallery: 2012 Toyota Camry Australia

  • Most Expensive Road Accident in Japan Involved 8 Ferraris

    17 Supercar crash in Japan


    14 cars including Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Mercedes involved in crash believed to be Japan’s most expensive ever road accident that cost up to US$ 4 million.


    The multimillion-dollar road accident occurred on the Chugoku expressway in Shimonoseki, south-western Japan.  According to the police, a pack of about 20 supercars was travelling in convoy on Sunday morning. However, the driver of one of the Ferraris tried to change lanes and hit a barrier on the rain-soaked road. The driver spun across the motorway and the other cars collided while trying to avoid hitting his car. The debris was spread over about 400 metres of the motorway.


    The speed limit on that section of the highway was 80km/h. However, an unidentified male witness told the TBS network: “A group of cars was doing 140-160km/h. One of them spun and they all ended up in this great mess.”


    There is no official statement on the total cost of damage but some of the vehicles were beyond fix. God bless that no one was seriously injured but only some minor cuts and bruises.


    Check out the YouTube videos for more info.



  • Toyota Australia Confirmed Next-generation Camry Hybrid and Aurion for 2012

    It is the fourth victory for Toyota’s Corolla in Australia to be the best-selling vehicle last month.


    2011 Toyota Corolla Hatch Australia 

    The popularity of Corolla helped push Toyota sales beyond 17,400 for the month – a margin of more than 7,600 ahead of its nearest rival. Toyota now has an overall lead this year of more than 50,000 sales over any other company.


    Most importantly, Toyota Australia also announced that the current generation of Camry is in run-out ahead of a new-model launch, which will be followed in the New Year by next-generation Camry Hybrid and Aurion.


    I am excited to see the car officially. Anyway, do expect the Toyota’s Aurion will be the same model as the upcoming local assembled 2012 Toyota Camry in Malaysia.


    2012 Toyota Camry Malaysia