Posts tagged with "Toyota"

2023 Lexus RX car review by Vaughn Lowery inside 360 MAGAZINE

2023 LEXUS RX

Listen to MacKenzie Richter, Lexus Product Marketing chat w/ Vaughn on 360 MAG Apple/Spotify podcast about 2023 Lexus RX HERE.

360 MAGAZINE had an intimate driving commitment at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara with one of the top-selling vehicles in the Lexus fleet. Although 2023 Lexus RX pricing was not announced, exterior colors, trim and powertrains were readily available for testing. After five generations, performance, style and innovation have intermingled in the luxury of the new age with this hot stepper. All in all, we strongly believe the RX F SPORT is the heavyweight candidate for this reboot.

Design

The silhouette of the RX has been redesigned with stylish and sporty lines. To many, at first glance, it is a lean and agile approach. Ready to pounce. Suitable with a grill brooch coupled with jewel headlamps and taillights. The cabin is also marked by embossed patterns on the door panels and headrests of top-of-the-range models. Race-inspired red bucket seats with bespoke like black side panels. Ambient lighting is also available in different models in a variety of color combinations.

Technology

14-inch infotainment screen effortlessly placed on the dashboard for easy use of the driver’s control. This season, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are wireless, making it more intuitive and fluid. Wireless charging stations are larger for the next generation of phablets, in particular the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Z Fold4 flagships. Not forgetting, the inside has USB-C ports sprinkled throughout. Sure, you can head nod to Drake‘s Sticky with its optional Mark Levinson signature speaker set.

Performance

Larger calipers signify better braking. Rear wheel steering is a must-have, especially for parallel parking, snaking roads and u-turns. The ability to displace torque in different ratios also allows the riders to push outside of its previous capabilities.  21″ wheels in tandem with low profile Michelin tire add much needed traction for various terrains. Offered power plants are as follows: RX350 has a 2.5L 4-cylinder turbocharged pushing 275 HP; RX350h possess a 2.4L 4-cylinder with AWD as well as CVT produces 246 HP and RX500h F SPORT matches electric alongside of 2.4L turbocharged to produce 367 HP. Adaptive cruise controls, lane departure paired with civilian detection – excellent for the increase of low-stanched fat tire e-bikes in cities. Just because they have pedals, doesn’t mean they can’t excel beyond 50+ mph.

In short, the Lexus RX cocoon has become a magnificent butterfly with the RX500 F SPORT variant. It literally floats, moves easily within tight spaces, and is sure to cause a stir with transcultural youth. Lastly, a two-row, five-seater SUV with muscles and brains that can survive a hectic Gen Z household.

2023 Lexus RX car review by Vaughn Lowery inside 360 MAGAZINE
2023 Lexus RX auto review by Vaughn Lowery inside 360 Magazine

Watch me drive HERE.

Article + Photo: Vaughn Lowery

TOYOTO CROWN UNVEILED IN Austin inside 360 MAGAZINE

2023 Toyota Crown

Toyota Crown Returns to the US with Bold Style and New Hybrid Max Powertrain

  • Reimagined Sedan with Bold Styling, Premium Comfort and Elevated Ride Height
  • Three Grades, XLE, Limited and Platinum, All with Standard Electronic On-Demand AWD
  • Hybrid Powertrain Standard with Choice of First-Ever HYBRID MAX or Toyota Hybrid System
  • HYBRID MAX on Platinum Pairs a 2.4-L Turbo Hybrid Engine with Rear eAxle for 340 HP
  • Spacious Interior and Quiet Ride, with Standard Adaptive Variable Suspension on Platinum
  • Platinum Grade Offers Unique Bi-Tone Paint and Standard 21-inch Wheels
  • Toyota’s All-New Audio Multimedia System with 12.3-inch Touchscreen Standard

With a striking debut, Toyota is reimagining the full-size sedan with the all-new 2023 Toyota Crown. Built to deliver an intuitive driving experience, this new premium sedan brings powerful acceleration and confident handling, along with supreme comfort for a sophisticated ride, all wrapped in a bold new design. It is also the first Toyota sedan to offer the HYBRID MAX System, Toyota’s performance hybrid with power that drivers will feel. Available in three grades: XLE, Limited and Platinum, Toyota Crown will offer a choice of two different hybrid powertrains: HYBRID MAX or the fourth generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS).

The HYBRID MAX powertrain, exclusive to the Platinum grade, is Toyota’s all-new performance hybrid that puts out a manufacturer estimated 340 net horsepower. Paired with a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine and a direct shift 6-speed automatic transmission, HYBRID MAX produces powerful torque at low RPM for sporty, exhilarating driving and has a manufacturer-estimated 28 MPG combined city/highway fuel economy rating. XLE and Limited grades are equipped with THS, a highly efficient hybrid system with a newly developed, high-output bipolar nickel-metal hydride battery that can achieve a manufacturer-estimated 38 MPG combined city/highway rating.

Built on a newly developed chassis based on Toyota’s GA-K platform, Crown has a raised overall height that’s nearly four inches higher than Camry. The unique height of this sedan offers increased road visibility, along with easy entry and exit. Its flowing silhouette and sculpted body lines create a fresh look that is entirely unique for its class. Altogether, the Crown package is a combination of innovative style, performance and function.

The XLE grade comes equipped with the 2.5-liter THS, AWD, three selectable drive modes, 19- inch alloy wheels, heated and powered Softex and fabric front seats and our all-new Toyota Multimedia System with 12.3-inch touchscreen and 6 speakers. It is available in five colors: Black, Oxygen White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Heavy Metal and Supersonic Red, with a black interior.

The Limited grade also comes equipped with XLE features and adds multibeam LED headlights, a fixed panoramic roof, leather-trimmed seats that are heated and ventilated up front and heated in the rear, 11-speaker JBL audio system, rain sensing windshield wipers and intelligent clearance sonar along with rear cross-traffic braking. There is also an available Advanced Technology package that adds dark metallic 21-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels, a birds-eye view camera and digital key (with Remote Connect subscription). Interior colors include black, black and chestnut and macadamia.

The Platinum grade includes everything on XLE and Limited and raises the bar with the HYBRID MAX powertrain, Adaptive Variable Suspension, six selectable drive modes, Advanced Park and unique 21-inch machined 10-spoke alloy wheels with black accents. The color palette adds a Toyota first bi-tone paint option, with black paint that extends from the hood to the trunk, that can be paired with Oxygen White, Heavy Metal, Supersonic Red or an all new, bi-tone only Bronze Age color.

Each grade of Crown will come with Toyota’s new Audio Multimedia System and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 standard. It is expected to arrive in Toyota dealerships later this year.

Toyota Crown via 360 Magazine by 360 Magazine

Crown History

 The Crown first debuted in 1955 as the “Toyopet Crown,” Toyota’s first mass produced passenger vehicle. When the first generation was developed, Crown came to symbolize “innovation” and “pushing the limit” within Toyota. Since then, it has gained recognition in Japan as Toyota’s premium sedan. It was also the first Japanese car to hit American shores back in 1958, last being sold in the US in 1972.

Across the 15 generations of Crown, it has been a vehicle that has led the way with innovative technology — pursuing value through engineering that is one step ahead of its time. For the new Crown, Toyota’s development team once again set innovation and pushing the limit at the core of the new generation’s concept. Toyota team members from product planning, design and engineering worked together to identify a Crown for a new era. The result is a completely new Toyota Crown that throws off the conventional concepts of a sedan and takes it into a new era.

Design choices push the limit, with large-diameter wheels that give the car a powerful style, a raised hip point for ease of ingress and egress, and meticulous attention to detail on the inside for a comfortable home-away-from-home. Innovation is engineered into the new Crown with two different Hybrid powertrains available, HYBRID MAX with responsive acceleration and THS for great fuel economy and standard electronic on demand All Wheel Drive.

Two Hybrid Systems

Toyota made “hybrid” synonymous with fuel efficiency more than 20 years ago with the first Prius. Today, Toyota continues to expand its hybrid lineup and overall electrified vehicle offerings, with Crown bringing the number of Toyota electrified vehicles to 16. The Toyota Crown innovates on the hybrid front with another first for Toyota sedans, the HYBRID MAX System. This new system is designed to deliver smooth and powerful torque-filled acceleration, while keeping an eye on efficiency.

HYBRID MAX combines a 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder turbo engine tuned to hit peak torque between 2000-3000 RPM, with a front electric motor that helps maximize torque production. A rear wheel eAxle that’s equipped with a high output water-cooled electric motor is combined with the hybrid engine to directly transmit force to all four wheels, ensuring a thrilling throttle response and linear acceleration throughout the power band.

The fourth-generation Toyota Hybrid System in the Toyota Crown combines a high-efficiency 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with two electric motors in a highly compact system. The gas engine employs Variable Valve Timing-intelligent by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft, and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft. The variable range for the valve timings of both the intake and exhaust are set to maximize both fuel consumption and output.

THS-equipped vehicles feature selectable NORMAL, ECO and SPORT driving modes that let the driver tailor the Toyota Crown’s performance personality. SPORT mode improves and sharpens throttle response, making hybrid driving more fun. ECO mode changes the throttle and environmental logic to help the driver focus on maximizing mileage from the fuel and battery, while NORMAL mode is ideal for everyday driving. Additionally, an EV (Electric Vehicle) mode allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances.

The HYBRID MAX equipped Platinum grade receives a more comprehensive drive mode selection – which not only includes NORMAL, ECO and SPORT but adds three drive modes: SPORT+ mode that provides an emphasis on steering response, flat cornering and a sense of stability, COMFORT mode that provides a more supple drive that emphasizes passenger comfort and a CUSTOM mode that enables drivers to adjust system settings individually, creating a safe profile that suites their driving habits.

All-Wheel Drive at its Smartest

The 2023 Toyota Crown comes standard with Toyota’s Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive. The XLE and Limited grades come with E-Four AWD and the Platinum grade comes with E-Four Advanced, two highly efficient systems that take maximum advantage of the hybrid powertrain’s benefits. Instead of using a transfer case and driveshaft to the rear wheels, Electronic On-Demand AWD employs a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed.

E-Four AWD achieves stable performance by driving the rear wheels with a rear motor, to provide traction when needed in slippery conditions. Toyota Crown uses the latest evolution of this system and strengthens the driving force of the rear motor compared to the conventional E-Four, enhancing stability when cornering. The front and rear wheel driving force distribution is precisely controlled to the front and rear wheels between 100:0 and 20:80, ensuring both enhanced fuel efficiency and comfortable driving performance.

E-Four Advanced AWD, paired with HYBRID MAX on the Platinum grade, delivers power to the front and rear wheels via a front mounted hybrid motor and to rear wheels through a rear- mounted eAxle electric motor. This system helps ensure stable AWD performance and satisfying acceleration thanks to being paired with a direct shift six-speed automatic transmission. On the E-Four Advanced system, the front and rear wheel drive force is precisely controlled between 70:30 and 20:80. The rear motor, which generates power through water cooling, makes it possible to maximize torque to the rear wheels. This new AWD system enhances the drive force of the rear wheels and provides the feel of rear-wheel-drive maneuverability, straight line stability, comfortable turning and responsive acceleration.

Toyota Crown offers either a direct shift six-speed automatic transmission (Platinum grade only) or an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (eCVT) (XLE and Limited).

The Platinum grade’s direct-shift six speed transmission provides responsive acceleration thanks to Toyota’s new Hydraulic multi plate wet start clutch. A combination of technologies works together to ensure enhanced accelerator operation and vehicle response. The six speed AT also applies the assistance of the motor generator within the HYBRID MAX system, minimizing shift drop across the power band. Drivers can also throw the shifter into fixed gear mode, for paddle shifted fun.

The eCVT on the XLE and Limited Grade uses a shift-by-wire system that shifts gears electronically, providing smart shift operation with a single action. Paired with the THS front and rear hybrid transaxle, Toyota Crown’s powertrain provides low fuel consumption and low noise. Aspects that manage fuel efficiency include an optimized gear ratio and a deceleration mechanism to reduce gear engagement loss.

Toyota Crown via 360 Magazine by 360 Magazine

Smooth Operator, Ready to Ride

Toyota Crown is built around a version of the Toyota New Global Architecture K (TNGA-K) platform that underpins some of the company’s sedans and crossovers. As such, Crown delivers the best of both worlds: sedan driving comfort and crossover-like ride height. Crown’s overall height comes in at 60.6 inches, compared to 56.9 for Camry, its overall length is 194 inches, width is 72.4 inches, and wheelbase 112.2 inches. The TNGA-K platform also allows front strut and rear multi-link suspension tuning that helps foster handling agility while providing a supple, quiet ride.

The Platinum grade comes equipped with a standard Adaptive Variable Suspension. AVS components have been tuned to support the high output of 2.4 L Turbo Hybrid Engine and eAxle. Crown’s AVS uses variable oil pressure shock absorbers. This system automatically controls the friction within the absorber when turning, controlling the damping force, reducing pitch at high drive torque and minimizing the effects of bumpy roads. A linear solenoid type actuator is also equipped on the system to minimize body pitch and roll.

For all grades, Toyota engineers developed a suspension system that provides comfortable maneuverability and a relaxing ride. Front suspension components include a MacPherson- type strut and a new method for fastening the steering gear, enabling rigid, direct handling that also reduces noise and vibration. A newly developed multi-link rear suspension with higher rigidity helps ensure a faster response to drive torque. Rear suspension arm placement was also optimized to suppress changes in the vertical posture, contributing to a flat driving feeling and enhanced texture.

Toyota Crown’s handling is bolstered by an electronically controlled brake system featuring Active Cornering Assist (ACA), which engages the stability control to reduce understeer in certain cornering situations, so the driver feels the enhanced agility, not the system’s operation.

The combination of large-diameter tires and wheels helps give the Toyota Crown its “lift-up” style. The XLE and Limited grades ride on 19-inch multi-spoke two-tone alloy wheels. Limited has available 21-inch 10-spoke dark metallic alloy wheels as part of the Advanced Tech package. The Platinum comes standard with 21-inch machined 10-spoke alloy wheels with black accents.

First Class Cabin

Toyota Crown provides exemplary comfort with standard 8-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. Front seat adjustments include slide, recline, tilt, height adjust and lumbar support (driver seat only). Rear seats include ample cushioning and bolster support for maximum enjoyment.

The Toyota Crown comes with standard heated front seats that can be adjusted to three levels. Limited and Platinum add standard ventilated front seats and heated rear seats to the list of creature comforts. The seats are not only comfortable, but stylish, with black Softex® and fabric seating on the XLE and leather-trimmed seating standard on the Limited and Platinum grade.

Dual zone climate control is also standard for all grades. A thin, attractive illuminated control panel runs along the dashboard, just below the multimedia screen, with frequently used functions placed on the lower row keyboard switches. All Crown grades also receive a 12.3- inch color MID. Drivers can select different displays with the push of a button, including a Hybrid System Indicator showing the driver system output and regeneration status to encourage eco-driving habits. As used on other Toyota hybrid models, the display suggests the optimal acceleration amount for eco driving.

The Crown Platinum and Limited grades include a standard panoramic moonroof. For added function and ambience, in-cabin LED lighting adds a premium feel. Illumination, out of consideration for visibility and operability, includes overhead and front/rear footwell lighting, and cup holders, USB ports and door handles also receive lit accents.

Crown has drivers and passengers plugged-in when it comes to charging devices. On the driver’s side, a vertical-type wireless Qi charging with enhanced space efficiency comes standard. There is also a standard USB-Type A and 12V charging port inside the console. A separate dual USB-Type C terminal is also standard on the passenger side, with the insertion port intentionally pointing to the passenger seat. For rear seat passengers, two USB-Type C ports are standard.

To aid outward visibility, the Platinum grade comes standard with Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, which provides a panoramic overhead view of the vehicle’s surroundings. Bird’s Eye View is available as part of the Advanced Tech Package on the Limited grade.

The standard backup camera features projected path and dynamic gridlines. For additional convenience, Limited and Platinum come standard with a Smart Key System that works on all four doors.

A Sanctuary on the Road

For customers who seek premium experiences in a vehicle, keeping unwanted noise out is paramount. The 2023 Toyota Crown’s cabin brings that priority quietly home. Rather than simply aiming at a “numbers” goal for sound level (decibels), Toyota engineers created a calm atmosphere conducive to enjoying easy conversation or hearing music in cleaner detail.

The high-strength TNGA-K platform is the first defense against noise intrusion, curbing vibration through the steering, floor and structure. Suspension tuning resists road surface disturbances and tire noise is reduced via strategically placed insulation and thoughtful tire/wheel construction.

That’s just the beginning.

Acoustic glass adds a sound-blocking barrier and absorbing insulation and body sealing material are placed throughout the structure, under the carpeting and above the headliner. The materials and their placement were optimized to minimize noise in the frequencies that typically interfere with conversation.

As one example, a sound absorbing pad is placed between the engine bay and cabin to reduce road and engine noise. Engineers also undertook extensive analysis of noise transmission paths and filled spaces around door frames, window openings and wiring harnesses for enhanced cabin quietness. Even the inner rocker and bulkhead are connected with adhesive for maximum noise control.

Next Gen Toyota Audio Multimedia

All Toyota Crown models feature Toyota’s all-new, North American developed Audio Multimedia system. Featuring a 12.3-inch touchscreen, the system offers an improved user experience and a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including being Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable. Users can interact with the new system’s design through touch and voice activation. With Intelligent Assistant available through Drive Connect*, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awakens the system for voice-activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures and more.

The cloud-based native navigation system also offered through Drive Connect allows for real- time Over-the-Air updates for mapping and Points of Interest (POI), and Google POI data is integrated to ensure up-to-date search capability.

The XLE grade features a 6-speaker sound system that provides clean, powerful sound for all types of music. On Limited and Platinum, standard is an audiophile-worthy JBL Premium Audio System with 11 speakers, including a rear subwoofer, powered by an 8-channel amplifier. It was acoustically tuned for Toyota Crown to match unique vehicle characteristics.

Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for simultaneous dual Bluetooth phone connectivity with support for wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android AutoTM capability. A Wi-Fi Connect subscription offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices. Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio, USB data and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3- month trial subscription, Wi-Fi Connect also enables the Integrated Streaming feature, providing the ability to link your separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle for onboard control.

The Toyota Crown also offers a host of additional Connected Services. A Safety Connect 1- year trial includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), 24/7 Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator and Collision Assistance. A Service Connect 3 -year trial provides drivers the capability of receiving Vehicle Health Reports, Maintenance Alerts and reminders.

A Digital Key is offered on the Platinum and as part of the Advanced Technology package on the Limited grade. With an active Remote Connect subscription, drivers can use the Digital Key via the Toyota app and allow passive entry unlock on front doors and trunk or push start using smartphone as key. The Digital Key also provides the ability to share keys with friends and family.

Advanced Park, Safety & Other Technology

Standard on the Platinum grade is Toyota’s Advanced Park System. Sensors identify an open parking space, then control steering, shifting, acceleration and braking for hands-free parallel or reverse/forward perpendicular parking.

All Toyota Crown grades come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 (TSS 3.0), which includes enhancements made possible by system sensors with improved detection capability. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection is capable of detecting motorcyclists and guardrails in certain conditions. When making a turn or approaching an intersection, the system is designed to detect certain forward or laterally approaching vehicles and provides audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions.

Toyota Crown will be equipped with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Improved lane recognition delivers refined performance of Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Tracing Assist. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is designed to notify the driver via audible and visual alerts and slight steering force if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist uses visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane.

Automatic High Beams are designed to detect preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switch between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist is designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display it on the multi-information display (MID).

Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder comes standard on all Toyota Crown grades. The feature can note whether a rear door was opened after the vehicle has been turned on, with a reminder message in the instrument cluster after the engine is turned off, accompanied by multitone chimes.

In addition to the TSS 3.0 system, other standard safety features on the Crown include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), which is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) for added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) also comes standard.

Toyota Crown comes with a one-year trial subscription of Toyota Safety Connect® at no additional cost — which includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification.

Toyota Crown Engine via 360 MAGAZINE

Toyota Limited Warranty

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against perforation from corrosion for 60 months with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferable across ownership.

The 2023 Toyota Crown also comes with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 2 years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs more than 39,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 32 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 10th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, a quarter of the company’s 2021 U.S. sales were electrified.

To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to virtually visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners and virtual field trips.

Toyota Crown via 360 Magazine by 360 Magazine

TOYOTA CONNECTED × CABIN AWARENESS

Toyota Connected North America (TCNA), an independent software and innovation center of excellence, today introduced its Cabin Awareness concept technology that uses millimeter-wave, high-resolution 4D imaging radar to help detect occupants (including certain pets) in cars and has the potential to detect them if ever they’re left behind.

The Cabin Awareness concept takes a unique approach to in-vehicle occupant detection using a 4D imaging radar sensor, mounted out of sight above a vehicle’s headliner that can detect presence of a life form in the vehicle, even after a driver exits.

Specifically, the Cabin Awareness concept has the capability to sense micro movements, such as a heartbeat, motion and respiration of occupants across three full seating rows, the cargo area and footwells. It also classifies all occupants according to size, posture and position – supporting advanced safety applications. The platform provides robust sensing even if the occupant is covered with a blanket, a scenario which a passerby would be unable to see the occupant. It differs from other technologies on the market such as weight sensors, that can be prone to false alerts and mis-detects, cameras limited by blind spots or other radar systems with a limited range of passenger detection.

“Toyota Connected’s talented software engineers and data scientists are leveraging cutting-edge technology to bring innovation and advanced technologies to customers’ vehicles,” said Zack Hicks, CEO and president, TCNA and executive vice president and chief digital officer, TMNA. “We are extremely proud of our efforts to take this idea from the drawing board to a full-blown concept, and, hopefully, developing a technology that has the potential to save lives.”

Real-World Testing  

While Cabin Awareness is currently a concept, the feature is getting a real-world trial through Toyota’s partner May Mobility. The autonomous-vehicle company is testing the technology in its fleet of Toyota Sienna AutonoMaaS (Autonomous Mobility as a Service) minivans at its headquarters in Michigan and will soon begin testing in public AV deployments in Arlington, Texas, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, with additional deployments coming in late 2022. Recently, May Mobility announced that a portion of the fleet will be modified to become ADA-compliant and accommodate passengers in wheelchairs.

May Mobility was founded with a mission of making roads safer through autonomous technology – and we’ve kept safety as our top priority as we’ve advanced our technology and worked with key strategic partners like Toyota,” said Edwin Olson, CEO, May Mobility. “As we move closer to driver-out operations next year and continue to scale our global business with more public AV deployments, technology like the Cabin Awareness concept is essential for our riders.”

In the future, one possible application for autonomous shuttles is alerting parents when their children complete a ride. Conversely, a shuttle may delay driving to its next stop if it senses someone is still in the vehicle upon reaching its destination.

“The key difference with this system is the improved resolution and accuracy, full-cabin detection and scope of functionality Cabin Awareness provides,” said Simon Roberts, managing engineer, TCNA, who has spearheaded the development process. “With the precision of these sensors, we’re designing Cabin Awareness with the aim of reducing false positives and false negatives.”

Applying Technology to Alert Drivers

In 2021 in the U.S., 23 children died from heat stroke after being left in vehicles, according to the nonprofit Kids and Cars. On average, one in four children that die in a hot car obtained access to the car while it was unattended or not operational. Depending on the circumstances, the inside of a car can get up to 125° F in minutes even when outside temperature is as low as 60° F. Studies show children’s body temperatures rise three to five times faster than adults. If left in a vehicle during the summer, the inside cabin temperature can reach dangerous levels in just 10 minutes.

“We are excited to explore and leverage new technologies, connected intelligence and existing safety platforms, with the ultimate goal of reducing child fatalities in hot cars. This Cabin Awareness concept has the potential to do exactly that.” said Brian Kursar, chief technology officer, TCNA and group vice president, chief technology officer and chief data officer, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). “I’m so proud of the Toyota Connected and TMNA’s Connected Technologies teams for developing this concept and believe in the talent and dedication of our engineers.”

As currently designed, the Cabin Awareness concept provides an array of warnings to help alert the driver (and potentially, passersby) to check the back of the vehicle if a living being is detected. First, a warning light signals on the instrument cluster. Then, the horn honks. Emergency lights flash. Following all the early warnings, the owner may get a notification on their phone through the Toyota app as well as text messages.

If programmed, Cabin Awareness could even send alerts through smart home devices or send text messages to designated emergency contacts assigned by the primary user. Further alert options include having Toyota’s Safety Connect® emergency assistance system contact first responders through the integrated SOS vehicle function.

The team is continuing to explore additional notification alerts such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications and the incorporation of smart infrastructure retail signage to further expand the reach of this alert.

Born from Innovation

The idea for Cabin Awareness was born in 2019 out of the inaugural Toyota Connected Hackathon, a 36-hour innovation event that challenged teams of software designers and engineers to ideate, develop and test real-world solutions. This winning idea quickly grew support following the Hackathon, allowing Roberts to assemble a team of engineers and further develop the technology.

The Cabin Awareness concept also allowed Toyota Connected to evaluate and develop hardware for the first time in addition to building innovative software systems and creating new processes. The Toyota Connected team evaluated millimeter-wave suppliers and began working with technology provider Vayyar Imaging’s in-cabin monitoring platform.

Vayyar’s high-resolution, single chip, 4D imaging radar is the only solution on the market that has the capability to monitor an entire vehicle cabin with a single sensor. The platform provides exceptionally dense point cloud imaging, enabling developers to independently develop a wide range of advanced applications and deploy them remotely using over-the-air software updates.

Inspired by Space Technology

Inspiration for the Cabin Awareness concept came from microwave radar technology created by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to support underground rescues after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal in 2015. In this application, NASA engineers and rescuers were able to detect human breathing and heartbeats under more than 30 feet of rubble, helping responders know where to dig holes.

“NASA’s use of radar technology was inspiring,” said Kursar. “The idea that you can listen to heartbeats using contact-less technology opens up new possibilities to give Toyota the potential to produce a service that is beneficial to the evolution of our in-vehicle services.”

“The Cabin Awareness program is an innovation first for Toyota Connected and Toyota in so many ways,” said Roberts. “The most important goal we’re working on, though, is to build technologies that empower occupants and give them greater peace of mind.”

TOYOYA The GR Cup

THE DEBUT OF TOYOTA’S GR CUP

Earlier this spring, Toyota Gazoo Racing North America (TGRNA) announced the formation of the GR Cup, Toyota’s all-new single make racing series. Beginning with the 2023 season, the GR Cup will be sanctioned by SRO America, an established leader in GT racing for the past 30 years. The GR Cup will offer affordable competition in 14 events over seven prestigious circuits across the United States. This new racing series will help reinforce and validate the track inspired engineering bred into every Toyota GR vehicle.

GR Cup will also offer participants one million dollars in total purse and prizes thanks to several great partners that have teamed with Toyota Gazoo Racing North America in this unique series. While the racing is the most exciting feature, each event will also offer a great environment for comradery among like-minded car enthusiasts. From first class, exclusive hospitality to partner sponsored displays, it’s sure to be a celebration of everything car and racing enthusiasts love, car culture and motorsports.

Single-make series racing, otherwise known as one-make racing, is a category of motorsports where all drivers compete using identical (homologated) cars from the same manufacturer. In Toyota’s GR Cup, the GR86 has been designated as that race vehicle. From a stock GR86, the vehicle will be transformed into the GR86 Cup car in TRD’s brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Mooresville, North Carolina. Here it will be fitted with Bosch engine management, custom Borla exhaust, SADEV 6-speed sequential transmission, Alcon brakes, JRI adjustable shocks, OMP safety equipment, roll cage, carbon fiber rear wing, 22-gallon fuel cell, TGRNA designed MacPherson strut, Stratasys custom bodywork, a TGRNA designed splitter and more. Pricing on the vehicle and track locations will be announced this summer.

These race efforts are not simply designed to build fans for Toyota vehicles and the GR Brand, but to allow learnings on the track to make ever better vehicles for the road by Toyota engineers. And with these efforts, a new series within Toyota Gazoo Racing North America will be born.

Toyota Gazoo Racing North America is proud to welcome founding partners Mobil 1, Continental, Crescent Tools, Gearwrench, Yahoo, Racing Spirit, JBL, OMP and Stratasys to the GR Cup when the series takes to the track in 2023.

To be added to the sales list for the race car, please visit GRCup.Sales@Toyota.com.

The formation and debut of GR cup via Toyota USA Newsroom for use by 360 Magazine
2023 Lexus RX via Lexus for use by 360 MAGAZINE

2023 LEXUS RX

Listen to Vice President of Marketing for Lexus Vinay Shahani’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

Lexus pioneered the luxury crossover segment with the launch of the first RX more than 20 years ago and never looked back. Lexus redefined what the RX means to guests with the global reveal of the all-new RX at the Lexus New Product Showcase. As the first luxury brand to offer a hybrid in the segment, it’s only fitting that RX returns with a variety of electrified powertrains. The 2023 Lexus RX, the fifth generation for the Lexus core model, is completely redesigned from the wheels to the roof rails, featuring a new global platform, two all-new grades, available Digital Key, Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, and Lexus Interface Multimedia System.

While pursuing a unique identity for 2023, the redesigned model maintains what makes an RX an RX: a comfortable, quiet in-cabin atmosphere, refined ride comfort, excellent grip and drive force control, and confident driving enjoyment.

“Nothing exemplifies our commitment to the transformation we’re making as a brand and Next Chapter for Lexus product more than the renewal of our best-selling vehicle – the RX,” said Andrew Gilleland, group vice president, and general manager, Lexus Division. “We’re breathing new life into the segment-leading RX with enhanced safety and technology, human-centered design, and undeniable performance from a diverse mix of powertrains.”

The 2023 RX builds on the foundation of the iconic Lexus spindle design and evolves into a new, cohesive spindle body design. This sleek, dynamic design is symbolized by a sense of solid mass. Central to the new spindle body design is the carefully sculpted seamless grille and integrated headlamps that strengthen and evolve the signature design. The refined, low center of gravity is realized through a mature, grounded stance accented by 19-inch wheels with a dark gray machined finish and color-keyed overfenders. For those who want a more powerful look, 21-inch wheels are available in luxury color variations. From the side, the three-dimensional surface strongly flares from the rear door toward the tire to evoke powerful traction produced by the rear motor. From the back, the RX inherits the signature L-shaped light bar lamp with lenses that wrap around the sides of the body to emphasize a wider, more powerful silhouette.

The 2023 RX will be offered in six grades: Standard, Premium, RX-first Premium+, Luxury, F SPORT Handling, and RX-first F SPORT Performance.

The 2023 RX will be offered in 10 exterior color options depending on grade: Ultra White, Eminent White Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl, Iridium, Caviar, Matador Red Mica, Copper Crest, Nori Green Pearl, Nightfall Mica, and Grecian Water.

Inside, the RX follows an intentional, human-centered design with control surfaces tuned to enable a deeper and more intuitive connection to instill confidence and control in the driver – a key element in the Lexus Driving Signature philosophy. Opening the door with just a touch of the e-Latch system, the RX welcomes the driver with available multi-colored illumination accents, tasteful door trim options, and an available panorama glass roof that evokes a relaxing, open space. Driver controls like the steering wheel switches, available head-up display (HUD), available navigation, and audio have been designed in a functional, concise layout to minimize driver distraction. Lexus Interface and trials come standard on the RX and a 14-inch Multimedia Touchscreen Display is available.

The 2023 RX will be offered in six interior color options with four ornamentation styles depending on grade. Interior colors: Macadamia, Black, Birch, Palomino, Peppercorn and Rioja Red. Ornamentation styles: Black Cascade, Ash Bamboo, Black Open Pore, and Dark Graphite Aluminum. 

RX’s new GA-K platform offers a low center of gravity and optimal weight distribution. To be exact, the all-new RX is up to 198 pounds lighter than the outgoing generation, as a result of material optimization in the main framework components of the chassis and the new global platform. Furthermore, by reducing weight and increasing rigidity, the key Lexus Driving Signature touches, ride comfort and quietness, become more refined. The new RX rides on a 2.36-inch longer wheelbase with a 2.36-inch shorter rear overhang, keeping the overall length of the vehicle the same as the previous generation. The rear section of the platform features an all-new multi-link suspension design, attached to a rigid high-torsion rear body frame that facilitates more consistent suspension input/travel during acceleration, deceleration, and steering moments.

The GA-K platform also increases the front/rear couple distance, resulting in more legroom for rear passengers. RX guests will also enjoy increased cargo space and a lowered back door trim to decrease loading height.

The all-new RX will be offered in four new powertrain options to help meet the needs of varying guests, including a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) model. Supporting the larger Lexus Electrified vision, RX continues the brand’s continued progress toward supporting the evolution, education, and understanding that electrified vehicles can provide exhilarating performance. One mission RX will fulfill is its role as a global core model that helps contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral society while staying close to the increasingly diversified needs and lifestyles of guests.

The RX 350 (FWD/AWD) offers a responsive 2.4L turbocharged inline-4 engine for torque-filled, dynamic driving performance.

The RX 350h (AWD) fourth-generation large-capacity fuel-efficient hybrid system features a front unit that integrates a high-torque 2.5L inline-4 engine.

The RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid vehicle details for the U.S. market will be shared at a later time.

Building on more than 20 years of hybrid electric technology and experience, the RX 500h F SPORT Performance introduces a new hybrid-electric system for the Lexus brand with a front unit that integrates a high-torque 2.4-liter turbo engine, six-speed automatic transmission, inverter, and an electric motor, with an eAxle rear unit that integrates a high output electric motor, inverter, and reduction gearbox. This configuration allows the electric motor to provide low-end torque that helps to provide improved performance and quick acceleration. The turbocharged engine produces high torque throughout its entire rev range, delivering powerful acceleration at higher speeds.

The Lexus RX 500h F SPORT Performance utilizes the DIRECT4 drivetrain, our advanced methodology for controlling our highest technology all-wheel-drive systems. DIRECT4 AWD supplies optimal power to the eAxles to provide maximum grip, traction, and acceleration in all situations.

A first for the RX lineup, the RX 500h F SPORT Performance grade goes beyond the current generation F SPORT design package for a sportier, more performance-driven look and feel. The RX 500h features opposed six-piston brake calipers, mesh grille, front bumper, and 21-inch aluminum wheels that exude a wide, confident stance and contribute to aerodynamic performance.

The interior includes a host of F SPORT accents like a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters, suede-trimmed interior door trim, F SPORT scuff plate, leather-trimmed interior, aluminum pedals, and more.

One of the hallmarks of RX’s success is its dependable safety features. By 2023, the all-new Lexus RX includes Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which provides additional features offered with the available driver monitor system, including Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Intersection Support, and a new feature of Motorcycle Detection; All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with new Curve Speed Management (DRCC); Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA); and Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS). Available Advanced Park expands support for parallel parking. In addition to conventional back-up parking, forward-facing parking is now supported, enabling forward-facing/back-up exit.

The 2023 RX is expected to go on sale at the end of 2022.

Interior of the 2023 Lexus RX via Lexus for use by 360 MAGAZINE
Back of the 2023 Lexus RX via Lexus for use by 360 MAGAZINE
Tire via 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

2023 COROLLA HYBRID MODELS

The Toyota Corolla rolls into 2023 a changed car, and customers are bound to love what they see and drive. The line expands with four new Hybrid grades, including a more powerful hybrid system and available all-wheel drive.

There’s big news on the gas side of the Corolla family, too. The LE, the most popular grade, now has the 169-horsepower 2.0-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine used in all other gas grades. Replacing a 139-hp 1.8-liter engine, it offers much more dynamic performance (0-60 two seconds quicker than with the 1.8L engine). Yet, it is also more efficient, improving on the previous engine fuel economy ratings by nearly two miles per gallon with a manufacturer-estimated 31 city/40 hwy./34 combined MPG. And that’s just for starters. All 2023 Corolla models gain next-generation Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, and next-generation Toyota Audio Multimedia and are topped off with updated front and rear styling.

The wide-ranging enhancements to the 12th-generation Corolla exemplify Toyota’s fervent approach to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. That’s a big reason why Corolla, which has sold over 50 million globally since 1966, has become the world’s top-selling model.
In all 2023 Corolla gas engine models, the Dynamic Shift continuously variable transmission gives a distinct performance feel thanks to a gear set used as a “first” gear for start-off acceleration, before seamlessly handing off to the CVT’s pulley system. Synchronization of the increasing engine revs and vehicle speed provides a linear acceleration feel. This combined with the enhanced sport mode provides a more engaging driving experience for the 2023 Corolla. Additionally, in the SE and XSE grades, the transmission features paddle shifters to engage 10 pre-set ratios to offer a sportier driving experience.

Following other Toyota Hybrids, the 2023 Corolla Hybrid now offers the option of all-wheel drive, but this is AWD with a big advantage. Instead of transferring gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive employs a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed.

The system works seamlessly and transparently, preemptively distributing driving force to the rear wheels to help suppress front wheel slip during off-the-line starts. It also engages the rear motor in response to slippage at the front wheels and enhances cornering agility by helping to reduce understeer. The driver can view torque distribution on the Multi-information Display and audio system screen.
The 2023 Corolla Hybrids also offer enhanced brake control, while the SE grades (FWD and AWD) inherit the firmer-feel Electronic Power Steering from the Corolla Apex Edition performance model.

Toyota remains the world’s hybrid leader, and the operative word for the 2023 Corolla Hybrid is “more.” There’s more power, and there’s more traction, with Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD), as used in other Toyota Hybrids. And there are more model choices, with the Corolla Hybrid LE FWD gaining four new siblings: the LE AWD grade, sporty SE and SE AWD grades, and a premium-focused XLE grade.

All 2023 Corolla Hybrid models gain a more powerful Toyota Hybrid System. As before, the system pairs a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine with two motor-generators through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. A compact high-output/low-loss drive motor has been newly developed for the transaxle/motor, which includes a redesigned magnet and electromagnetic steel plate configuration with two additional magnets for increased output. The new hybrid system also includes a newly developed lithium-ion battery that’s now located under the rear seat to lower the center of gravity and maximize trunk cargo capacity.

Notably, the 2023 Corolla Hybrid is the only compact hybrid passenger car available with all-wheel drive. For buyers, that means getting the best of both worlds: added traction for slippery road conditions and efficient fuel economy.

On 2023 Corolla Sedans, new front fascia styling varies across grades, and all receive LED daytime driving lights (DRL), with the SE, XSE, and XLE grades also featuring redesigned LED headlights. The LE adds an updated rear bumper design, while the sporty SE and XSE get an all-new rear sports diffuser and feature new 18-inch Gloss Graphite-colored alloy wheels.

The Corolla Hatchback features a redesigned front grille with chrome-finished accents, along with revised LED headlights. The rear bumper is updated with a combination of body color and added chrome-finished accents. The new 18-inch Gloss Graphite-colored alloy wheels are also available for the Hatchback.

It just wouldn’t be a new Toyota model year without some compelling color changes. Corolla Sedan offers elegant new Underground and Midnight Black Metallic, which replaces Black Sand Pearl. The Hatchback shows off its wild side with new Inferno and Blue Crush Metallic choices. (Blue Crush was formerly only on the 2022 Sedan.)
Other Sedan colors for 2023 include White, Classic Silver Metallic, Celestite, and Blueprint. Wind Chill Pearl and Ruby Flare Pearl are available for an extra cost. The Hatchback offers a similar palette and also allows extra-cost duo-color options pairing the body color with a Midnight Black Metallic roof.

Standard on Corolla XSE and XLE, a redesigned 7-inch multi-information display (MID). All other grades feature an updated 4.2-inch MID located between the tachometer and speedometer allowing the driver to view either analog or digital speedometers. Featuring rich graphics, the easy-to-read MIDs can be custom configured by the driver. It offers intuitive operation to access information for the audio and multimedia systems, navigation, and vehicle information including fuel efficiency estimates and tire pressure, as well as TSS 3.0 functions.

Toyota became an early leader in equipping its vehicles with safety systems featuring automatic emergency braking and, for 2023, Toyota Safety Sense technology in Corolla evolves to version 3.0 and includes enhanced versions of the following pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Automatic High Beams (AHB).
In addition, Corolla is available with Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking and Adaptive Front Lighting. The latter provides a wider field of light and steers the low beam lights in the direction of the turn, based on steering angle and vehicle speed.

Designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team, the 2023 Corolla comes equipped with a standard next-generation 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia system providing a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including being Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable. Users can interact with the design of the new system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. With the latest available Connected Service, Drive Connect*, users have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation, and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awakens the system for voice-activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures, and more. Cloud Navigation is the available onboard navigation solution that utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic, and routing information. To ensure you have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate your next destination. * Active Drive Connect trial or subscription required.

The new Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for dual Bluetooth® phone connectivity, with support for standard Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. With further connectivity, the Corolla offers an available Wi-Fi Connect subscription that offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices turning the Corolla into an AT&T Hotspot, along with the ability to link your separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle’s new Integrated Streaming feature. Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio®, USB data, and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial subscription.

For those looking for an enhanced audio experience, the Corolla SE, XSE, and XLE grades come available with a JBL® Premium Audio system with 9 speakers including an 800-watt amplifier and 10-in. subwoofer.

Each Corolla comes with a host of Connected Services available on all grades, trial or subscription required. Safety Connect™ includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), 24/7 Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator, and Collision Assistance. Service Connect offers drivers the capability of receiving Vehicle Health Reports, Maintenance Alerts, and reminders with a 3-year trial. With the Toyota app, users can stay connected to their Toyota with the available Remote Connect service.

Corolla’s model variety is made possible by the Toyota New Global Architecture-C platform (TNGA-C). A super-rigid structure, a low center of gravity, and highly refined tuning of the MacPherson-type strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension endow the Corolla with exemplary handling agility, ride comfort, and distinctive driving personality. This high-strength platform is fortified through the use of ultra-high-tensile steel as well as the application of structural adhesive technology for enhanced body rigidity and passenger security.

Corolla’s cabin is a sanctuary where powertrain and road noise have been minimized thanks to the widespread implementation of sound-absorbing materials, including Thinsulate®, sealants, foams, and silencer pads. The TNGA structure utilizes additional seals in its body panel gaps to insulate noise penetration and enhance air-sealing performance. As one example, the floor silencer pad is one large piece, instead of many smaller segments.

The cockpit provides an engaging interior space that surrounds the driver while offering a spacious environment for all passengers. High-gloss materials are paired with matte elements – silver accents with Piano Black and available contrasting stitching – contributing to a premium look and feel.

Seating materials include standard cloth or, in higher grades, SofTex®-trim. For 2023, choices include Black/Red (black as the main color with red highlights), Moonstone (light gray as the main color with dark gray highlights), and Macadamia (a warm, inviting cream color). On front seats in the SE and XSE grades, shoulder supports, evocative of a competition bucket seat, overlap solid and thick side bolsters to help comfortably grip occupants.

Available ambient lighting illuminates the front door trim, console tray, and front cupholder. The tray can hold small items, such as a smartphone or wallet, or, when so equipped, houses the available Qi wireless device charging pad. Terraced cup holders adapt to various-sized beverage containers.

The 2023 Corolla models feature eight standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Corolla sedan models come equipped with a standard backup camera.

Corolla has been and will continue to be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi (TMMMS), where there are 1,500 Toyota team members. Additionally, the latest Corolla family member, the first-ever Corolla Cross, is assembled at the new joint-venture manufacturing plant with Mazda in Huntsville, Alabama. The new manufacturing facility represents a combined investment of $1.6 billion by the two companies. There are 4,000 team members and an annual assembly capacity of 300,000 vehicles. Corolla Hybrid is assembled in the Takaoka plant in Japan.

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from the original date of first use when sold as new. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferrable across the ownership.
The Corolla models also come with ToyotaCare, a no additional cost plan that covers normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years, unlimited mileage.

Red 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid front of car image via Toyota for use by 360 MAGAZINE

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

Toyota is expanding the Corolla Cross family by adding a healthy helping of performance and efficiency to an already incredible package. Based on the ever-popular Corolla sedan, the all-new 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid made its U.S. debut to provide even more options for entry SUV customers. The all-new 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid, along with the gas model launched in 2021, will be assembled in the U.S. at the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama – a brand new facility that will have the capacity to roll out up to 150,000 Corolla Cross vehicles per year.

Available exclusively with all-wheel drive (AWD), the Corolla Cross Hybrid maximizes the inherent potential of the high-strength TNGA-C platform, enabling the all-new model to achieve high-quality performance, a comfortable ride, and outstanding spaciousness. What’s more, the surprising cargo capacity gives it the versatility to accommodate life’s adventures.

With the new Fifth Generation Toyota Hybrid System under the hood, coupled with the Electronic All-Wheel Drive system that’s new to the Corolla nameplate, the new Corolla Cross Hybrid offers increased power and fuel economy. With 194 horsepower and an 8.0 second 0-60 time, the Corolla Cross Hybrid is fun to drive while having an impressive manufacturer-estimated 37 combined miles per gallon for all grades. 

The 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid will be available in three new grades: S, SE, and XSE, as well as the familiar LE and XLE grades. The S and SE grades come standard with 17-inch Alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen, a sport-tuned suspension, LED head and tail lamps, and smart key access. The SE grade adds privacy glass, roof rails, and paddle shifters – not to mention standard Blind-Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). When moving up to the XSE grade, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s sportiest offering builds on the features of the SE and gains standard 18-inch Alloy wheels, premium LED headlamps, taillamps, fog lamps, Softex-trimmed seats with the addition of heated front seats, and a power driver’s seat.

For exterior color options for SE and XSE grades, the 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid will be available in four two-tone combinations: Sonic Silver/ Black Roof, Barcelona Red/ Black Roof, Blue Crush Metallic/ Black Roof, and Acidic Blast/ Black Roof (all-new color). Additionally, Corolla Cross Hybrid will be available in Wind Chill Pearl ($425 extra-color cost), Sonic Silver Metallic, Jet Black Mica, Barcelona Red Metallic, Cypress, and Blue Crush Metallic.

Inside, Corolla Cross’ spacious interior offers many of the same desirable features as its sedan and hatchback siblings. In higher grades, the all-new model can be outfitted with a power moonroof, as well as either single- or dual-zone automatic climate control, with all grades featuring standard heating and air conditioning vents for rear-seat passengers.

For interior color options, the 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid is offered in LE: Fabric-trimmed seats in Light Gray and Black, XLE: SofTex®-trimmed seats in Macadamia/Mocha or Black, S: Fabric-trimmed seats in Black/Gray, SE: Fabric-trimmed seats in Black/Gray or Black/Blue, and XSE: SofTex®-trimmed seats in Black or Black/Blue.

The all-new Corolla Cross Hybrid is sporty by nature, representing the perfect next step for this model line. From an engineering perspective, it offers an approachable exterior as well as a higher line-of-sight thanks to the revised TNGA-C platform. For the Sport grades, the Corolla Cross Hybrid offers eye-catching details that set it apart from its gas sibling, such as unique front and rear styling. It’s available with two-toned paint and available 18-inch alloy wheels… with sporty looks that are destined to stand out… But we couldn’t stop there.

Standard across all Corolla Cross grades for 2023 is the new Toyota Multimedia System, Wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and added USB-C charge ports to keep all your devices ready for action.

Thanks to the Toyota Audio Multimedia system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team, Corolla Cross drivers will be at the ready thanks to a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including being Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable. Users can interact with the system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. With the available Connected Service Drive Connect trial or subscription, drivers and passengers have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation, and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awaken the system for voice-activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures, and more. Cloud Navigation, the available onboard navigation solution, utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic, and routing information. To ensure users have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate the next destination.

The new Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for dual Bluetooth® phone connectivity, with support for standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. With further connectivity, the Corolla Cross has an available Wi-Fi Connect subscription that offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices – turning the Corolla Cross into an AT&T Hotspot. Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio®, USB data, and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial subscription, a Wi-Fi Connect trial or subscription also enables the new Integrated Streaming feature, providing customers the ability to link their separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle for onboard control.

In addition to collision protection provided by the TNGA-C platform, all 2023 Corolla Cross models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, Toyota’s suite of active safety systems, which includes enhancements made possible by system sensors with improved detection capability. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection is also capable of detecting motorcyclists in certain conditions. When making a turn or approaching an intersection, the system is designed to detect forward or laterally approaching oncoming vehicles and provides audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Improved lane recognition delivers a refined performance of Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Tracing Assist.

Corolla Cross will be equipped with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is designed to notify the driver via audible and visual alerts and slight steering force if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist uses visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane.

Automatic High Beams are designed to detect preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switch between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist is designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display them on the multi-information display (MID).

Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder comes standard on all grades. The feature can note whether a rear door was opened within 10 minutes of the vehicle being turned on, or at any time after the vehicle has been turned on, with a reminder message in the instrument cluster after the engine is turned off, accompanied by multi tone chimes.

In addition to the TSS 3.0 system, other standard safety features include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), which is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) for added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) also comes standard.

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against perforation from corrosion for 60 months with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from the original date of first use when sold as new. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferable across the ownership.

The 2023 Corolla Cross also comes with ToyotaCare, a plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 2 years of Roadside Assistance, unlimited mileage.

Veep of Marketing at Lexus via 360 MAGAZINE

Vinay Shahani

Vice President – Head of Marketing at Lexus, Toyota Motor North America

*Listen to Vinay Shahani’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

As a crowded child growing up in and around Detroit, Vinay Shahani was exposed to the motor industry at a very young age. He started working at the Ford Motor Company when his father (of Sindhi descent) emigrated from India to the United States in the 1960s. Vinay became a car lover under the influence of his father: “He was in the car business, and I was also in the car business because I was his son, and I loved that.” Once he moved to Michigan, Vinay earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University. Currently, Vinay lives in the Dallas area.

Vinay is Vice President of Marketing for Lexus, a Japanese high-end car brand created by Toyota Inc., a position he has held since January 2021. He is responsible for Lexus’ marketing activities, including advertising campaigns, media and digital, product marketing and lifecycle management, auto shows, incentive and experiential marketing, and motorsports. He creates a “speak up” environment to make the opinions of all members of his team visible (agency partners and internal staff). Identifying social and commercial values helps expand the brand to various groups of consumers who may not align with the preferences of the Asian population, such as Walton Isaacson (black, Hispanic, and LGBTIQ community) and the IW group.

In addition, he oversees motorsports, engagement marketing, car shows, and other consumer events throughout the United States. Vasser Sullivan is a race team, with worldwide competitors such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, that Lexus empowers with some of the best drivers –  “We definitely want to win, and we have a winning team.” Meanwhile, Lexus also helps improve consumers’ skills in car track by providing the opportunity to study professionally at Performance Driving School.

Since the brand is determined to treat consumers as valued guests, one of Vinay’s top initiatives iis Lexus Hospitality, as it is inspired by the Japanese spirit of hospitality and is committed to providing excellence in customer service. 

Another dimension within the marketing field is monitoring and analyzing the results after experimenting with the Lexus IS 500 model and the Lexus RC F Track Edition. 

Under the massive influence of the metaverse today, Vinay mentions that Lexus is creating its own Mark Netscape plus Upstream to figure out what the role of Lexus is as a brand in the metaverse. In addition, they are in talks with global partners like Lexus International to find out what is being sought out in Japan while identifying markets in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. Based on the diverse target audience of Lexus in the United States, Vinay seeks to use digital media and the National Brand Day to show brand culture and emotion, even

creating a TikTok account to get closer to younger audiences.  

As a high environment-friendly brand, by 2035, Vinay plans for Lexus to be a ‘global 100% battery electric’ vehicle brand to reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions. With these measures, it’s great to see the carbon footprint will be reduced thanks to the company’s shift. 

Finally, Vinay adds that “it is important that we know who we are as a brand from a strategic perspective.” With this, they are trying to add attractive and technological accessories to their vehicles that give the driver great confidence in the handling and control of their car. “Maintaining a love for performance cars gets your heart rate up, it excites you, and that’s something we definitely want to associate with different brands.”

Article: 

Andrea Esteban, Vaughn Lowery, Krishan Narsinghani, Armon Hayes

Resources:

Lexus & Toyota Motor North America

Links to the 2023 product announcements: Toyota New Product Showcase and 

Lexus New Product Showcase

RZ images can be found within the 2023 Lexus RZ album on this page.

Link to each brand’s Livestream press conference:

Toyota | Lexus

Link to Toyota Connected ‘Cabin Awareness’ Concept press release

Links to the final PDFs of the speaker support slides for each presentation:

Toyota , Lexus × Sequoia First Drive

Follow Vinay Shahani: Instagram | LinkedIn

2023 TOYOTA SEQUOIA

Agile, intelligent and convivial. A full-size SUV, that’s sleek with high torque performance … Finally, somebody DDT‘d the QX80!’360

The all-new 2023 Toyota Sequoia lives up to its powerful and legendary namesake, thanks to a head-turning new look, luxurious comfort, impressive technology and the perfect blend of performance and efficiency. Coupled with Toyota’s long-lasting quality, durability and reliability, the three-row SUV is sure to stand tall in the large-size SUV segment when it hits dealerships at the end of the summer with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing (MSRP) starting at $58,300.

“We are excited to write the next chapter in our truck family story with the all-new 2023 Sequoia,” said Joe Moses, general manager of Toyota’s Vehicle Marketing Team. “A three-row SUV must be excellent at many things to succeed in this highly competitive market, and we’ve got that with Sequoia. Our customers will have room for their whole crew, the technology they want to stay connected, and the heavy-duty power and efficiency they need for both on and off road.” 

Premium and Powerful

The third-generation Sequoia is completely redesigned and worthy of the “all-new SUV” description. All 2023 Sequoia will feature the powerful twin-turbo V6 hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain. First unveiled on Tundra, this exceptional hybrid produces 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque.

The i-FORCE MAX is a cleverly engineered powertrain featuring a unique motor generator within the bell housing between the twin-turbo engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission. This design combines maximum performance with amazing efficiency, and it is built with heavy-duty performance in mind. Sequoia’s fuel economy is expected to be extremely competitive at the top of the segment – and a huge improvement over the previous generation.

Setting Sights on the Open Road

The full-size SUV segment demands a lot, which means the all-new 2023 Sequoia needs to handle – and succeed – at a multitude of tasks. Built with this in mind, the Sequoia is rooted in a modern body-on-frame chassis with a fully boxed frame that shares architecture with the all-new Tundra and all-new global Land Cruiser (which shares its platform with the Lexus LX). The core objective of this platform is to provide excellent handling, supreme comfort and impressive capability.

The engineering team behind this next-generation frame was able to increase rigidity and improve ride comfort by using new techniques, such as new laser welding technology that helps reduce mass and weight in areas it’s not needed while reinforcing the areas that need them most.

Sequoia features an independent front suspension and adopts a new rack-mounted electronic power steering system for improved steering feel. A modern multi-link rear suspension is employed out back to offer a smooth ride and create opportunity to add the available Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) for those looking to tow regularly.

The three-row SUV offers a range of configurations for seating and cargo. Depending upon the grade, second-row passengers get bench seating or captain’s chairs, either of which recline for passenger comfort or fold down/tumble forward if larger cargo space is needed. The third-row passengers benefit from a spacious reclining backseat with available power folding, but the third row also gets one of the most noteworthy new features on Sequoia: the exclusive Sliding Third Row with Adjustable Cargo Shelf System. This segment-first feature allows the third row to slide with 6 inches of adjustment range. The third row can also fold down to complement the different storage positions of the new Adjustable Cargo Shelf System, a removeable shelf that can be set in a variety of storage positions depending upon the situation. The Cargo Shelf System offers the ultimate flexibility in rear cargo and storage needs.

Since full-size SUVs need to do it all, towing – whether it be a trailer, boat or RV – is high on that list of demands. That’s why the all-new Sequoia offers up to an impressive 9,500-pound maximum towing capacity, a 26 percent increase over the previous generation model.

Towing can be an intimidating proposition for some drivers. Not to worry, thanks to impressive technology available on Sequoia. The Tow Tech Package, standard on TRD Pro and Capstone and available on all other grades, offers a suite of features that include Trailer Backup Guide to aid in backing up the SUV with a trailer, and Straight Path Assist, which helps provide steering control to keep the trailer straight on its intended path when backing up.

Drive Mode Select is an all-new feature on Sequoia offering different driving modes depending upon driver preference, and it includes standard settings Eco, Normal and Sport. With available Load-Leveling Rear Height Control Air Suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension, settings expand to include Comfort, Sport S+ and Custom. Using the SPORT or SPORT S+ settings, for example, the i-FORCE MAX powertrain makes use of the electric motor’s instantaneous responsiveness. While the electric motor does the bulk of the work at lower speeds, once above 18 mph, the gasoline engine assumes primary operation for excellent performance in the mid- and high-speed range. When in TOW/HAUL mode, the i-FORCE MAX system is constantly in tandem operation to provide impressive acceleration and torque for towing.

The view around this stunning SUV is improved as well due to Sequoia’s plethora of cameras, displaying multiple exterior angles that are viewable from the available 14-inch touchscreen or the available digital display rearview mirror. Those trailering will appreciate Panoramic View Monitor, which displays a top-down view of the SUV and its surrounding area. Options include a rear split view to show what’s nearby on each side of the trailer, and a hitch view to assist with connecting a trailer. For the first time on Sequoia, factory available power folding, extending and retracting tow mirrors can provide added peace. 

Three Rows, Five Grades 

Sequoia offers space for families who need it – whether that be to haul passengers, gear or both. It will be available in five unique grades that include SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro and the new Capstone grade.

Sequoia’s grade lineup starts with the well-equipped SR5 that offers a strong foundation of power, efficiency and technology. It touts impressive standard features that include the i-FORCE MAX powertrain that is mated to the standard 10-speed automatic transmission, standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, moonroof, heated seats and more. It also features a standard 12.3-inch digital instrument display and Panoramic View Monitor (PVM). When upgrading to the SR5 Premium package, Sequoia adds the 14-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia display, power third row, hands-free liftgate, SofTex-trimmed seats, and cabin and cargo 120-volt power outlets.

Also available on SR5 models is the TRD Sport package, which upgrades the standard 18-inch wheels to 20-inch matte black TRD wheels. To complement sporty handling, it adds TRD sport-tuned Bilstein® monotube shocks, TRD-tuned springs, aluminum pedals and a red TRD push-button start.

Limited builds upon the SR5 with an emphasis on added convenience. Not only does it gain a standard 14-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen, but it also adds standard heated/ventilated front seats with memory settings, standard heated steering wheel, power-folding third row and a hands-free power liftgate. Limited also receives standard second- and third-row manual sunshades to help keep the back half of the SUV sun-free.

Available for both SR5 and Limited 4×4 models is the first-for-Sequoia TRD Off-Road package. This package enhances off-road capability with the addition of a selectable locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select that helps controls wheel spin for improved traction, and Downhill Assist Control to aid with steep descents. Crawl Control also comes standard, functioning as an off-road cruise control for low-speed trail navigation in 4WD Low. TRD Off-Road also comes with Multi-Terrain Monitor to provide the driver a better view of hard-to-see spots on the trail. TRD-tuned Bilstein® monotube shock absorbers and TRD-tuned springs are added, and a red front axle driveshaft provides added flair. Inside, aluminum gas/brake pedals are included, and a red TRD push-button start button adds to the performance look and feel. Both SR5 and Limited are outfitted with unique 18-inch alloy wheels unique to the package.

Stepping up to the Platinum grade puts an emphasis on added comfort and premium features, thanks to heated and ventilated front and second-row, second-row captain’s chairs, standard 14-speaker JBL® Premium Audio system, standard panoramic moonroof, standard Head-Up Display and more. High-grade LED headlights and taillights are added, along with sequential turn signals. Rain-sensing wipers are added to Platinum, as is standard Qi wireless charging.

TRD Pro is a great option for adventure-minded families that plan to get off the beaten path regularly. TRD Pro is not just an off-roader though, as it is loaded with premium features such as standard second-row captain’s chairs, TRD heated steering wheel, and TRD accents on the seats and shift knob. TRD Pro comes with additional cargo hauling options thanks to the TRD roof rack. TRD-tuned FOX internal bypass shocks offer a smooth on-road ride, but most importantly they can confidently handle off-road terrain when the trail gets rough. A 1/4-inch aluminum TRD front skid plate offers added trail protection. Sequoia TRD Pro also offers additional trail capability with a standard selectable locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select, CRAWL Control and Downhill Assist Control. TRD Pro proudly sports a heritage-inspired “TOYOTA” grille with an embedded TRD light bar and marker lights toward the top of the grille. It’s equipped with Pro-specific black 18-inch TRD alloy wheels with an increased offset to provide a wider stance. A dual TRD Pro exhaust tip provides added growl and visual appeal.

The Capstone grade sits atop the Sequoia lineup, building upon the great features of Platinum while adding additional top-shelf features to make it the most luxurious Sequoia to date. Capstone features unique chrome accents to provide an upscale appearance, with the most eye-catching feature being the standard 22-inch chrome wheels – a first for Sequoia and exclusive to Capstone. The premium cabin experience begins at the first step with standard power running boards that provide access to the standard semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats. Not only are the seats luxury-grade, but they also tout stylish perforation and a Capstone-exclusive black-and-white color combination. The center console and passenger-side dash are accented with authentic American Walnut with an open-pore finish that highlights the wood grain. On the dash, the Walnut pieces surround a Capstone logo that is accentuated with LED mood lighting when the doors are opened. For an even quieter cabin, Capstone is the only Sequoia grade to feature acoustic glass in the front doors for more exterior sound deadening.

A wide variety of colors are available on the all-new Sequoia, including White, Wind Chill Pearl, Celestial Silver, Lunar Rock, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Blueprint, Army Green, Midnight Black Metallic, Smoked Mesquite, Supersonic Red and the TRD-exclusive Solar Octane. Premium paint colors* Wind Chill Pearl and Supersonic Red are available, and the premium color Solar Octane is exclusive to TRD Pro models.

*Premium paint colors will be available for an additional cost. 

New Toyota Audio Multimedia

Sequoia will be fitted with the new multimedia system first launched in Tundra. It is headlined by large 8-inch or available 14-inch touchscreen that controls the all-new Toyota Audio Multimedia system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team. The Toyota Audio Multimedia system offers an improved user experience thanks to new sight, touch, and voice activation. With Intelligent Assistant available through Drive Connect*, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awakens the system for voice-activated commands to search for directions, find POIs, adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures and more. The cloud-based native navigation system offered through Drive Connect allows for real-time Over the Air updates for mapping and Points of Interest (POI), and Google POI data is integrated to ensure up-to-date search capability. It also supports standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto compatibility.

Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for simultaneous dual Bluetooth phone connectivity. A Wi-Fi Connect subscription offers 4G connectivity for up to 5 devices by turning Sequoia into an AT&T Hotspot*, and it also offers the ability to link your separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to your vehicle with Integrated Streaming.

Active Safety System: Toyota Safety Sense

All Sequoia grades come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. This active safety system includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection that features multiple enhancements over the previous generation, including not only detecting the vehicle ahead but also a pedestrian in low light, bicyclist in daytime, an oncoming vehicle and a pedestrian at intersections when making a turn. At intersections, the system is designed to detect an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian when performing a left-hand turn and provide audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Emergency steering assist is an additional function designed to detect pedestrians and stabilize the driver’s emergency evasive steering maneuvers and help prevent lane departure.

Sequoia will be equipped with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is designed to notify the driver via audible and visual alerts and slight steering force if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist uses visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane.

Automatic High Beams are designed to detect preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switch between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist is designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display them on the multi-information display (MID).

Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder comes standard on all 2023 Sequoias. The feature can note whether a rear door was opened within 10 minutes of the vehicle being turned on, or at any time after the vehicle has been turned on, with a reminder message in the instrument cluster after the engine is turned off, accompanied by multitone chimes.

In addition to the TSS 2.5 system, other standard safety features include Blind Spot Monitor which is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Rear Cross Traffic Alert can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. The Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is designed to implement brake control when there’s a possibility of a collision with a stationary object, approaching vehicle, or while parking.

Limited Warranty and ToyotaCare

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components, including the battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. The hybrid battery is covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty. Sequoia also comes with ToyotaCare, a plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

2023 Toyota Sequoia images via Toyota for use by 360 Magazine
2023 Toyota Sequoia images via Toyota for use by 360 Magazine
*Photos courtesy of Toyota.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition imagery via Toyota Motor North via 360 MAGAZINE

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland

Toyota is taking the RAV4 Hybrid to a whole new level of adventure with the new 2023 Woodland Edition. Equipped with everything needed for an outdoor excursion, the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is the first hybrid off-road special edition SUV for the brand.

The arrival of the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition to dealerships this fall also demonstrates our support for a charitable endeavor. To support local communities and make our public lands more accessible and enjoyable for Americans of all abilities, Toyota is proud to contribute $500,000 to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) toward improving accessibility in these beloved spaces. Through local outreach projects, education programs and accessibility improvement efforts, Toyota and NEEF will make an impact that goes beyond the pavement.

TRD-Tuned & Ready

The new RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition, available in Midnight Black Metallic, Cavalry Blue and Ice Cap exterior colors, offers a distinctively rugged exterior and premium interior styling with the versatile features one would expect from the fifth-generation RAV4. Featuring a TRD-tuned suspension, the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is engineered to enhance body control and small-bump isolation to help smooth out trails and rough city streets. Coil springs are tuned for an off-road focus and bump stops maximize compression-direction wheel travel. The twin-tube shocks feature internal rebound springs for optimal roll control and unique valving to help body control over large bumps and dips.

Designed with a focus on versatility and efficiency, the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition also comes standard with Falken WILDPEAK AT tires for optimal off-roading, raised black roof rack cross bars to pack an array of supplies for a weekend camping trip and a 120V inverter to power-up an array of compatible household items for a short day trip or an overnight camping excursion. Other mentionable standard features include:

  • Flow-formed Bronze-colored wheels for greater strength
  • Custom all-weather floor and cargo mats
  • Black badging
  • Black mud guards
  • Dual black chrome-tipped exhaust

And with the roominess to fit people, pets, and recreational gear – the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition also comes standard with features like LED projector-beam headlights and integrated fog lights. Handy storage abounds in the RAV4 Hybrid, including the console’s large volume, side-by-side cup holders and an open tray capable of holding small items. In addition, an in-dash tray within easy reach of the front passenger can hold electronics, sunglasses and other travel must-haves. Rear seat passengers will appreciate the spacious cabin. The rear cargo area features a reversible cargo floor insert as well as side nets for storing small items. The 60/40 folding rear seats easily expand the rear cargo area.

Hybrid+AWD for RAV4 Woodland Edition

Engineered to tackle urban, suburban and outdoor adventures, the fifth-generation RAV4 is built on Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform. With a boldly chiseled design inspired by Toyota’s tough trucks, this latest RAV4 amplifies the desirable crossover traits that made the first RAV4 an instant success a quarter-century ago. Depending on model grade and options, the current RAV4 can be whatever the customer needs it to be, from the exceptionally well equipped LE model to a technology tour de force plug-in hybrid, with various levels of luxury and adventure in between.

In any RAV4 Hybrid, the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) works in sync with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine to make the hybrid models performance and efficiency leaders of the RAV4 family. It is truly the no-compromise compact SUV.

In the hybrid models, a Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT) is exclusively paired with an Electronic All-Wheel Drive system (AWD), making it possible to operate at all vehicle speeds. An improvement from previous generation, the rear axle motor operates proactively anytime rear torque would be beneficial to keep the vehicle on the driver’s intended line, or when conditions get slippery. The AWD system uses an independent electric motor at the rear wheels, rather than a torque-distribution system in the transmission and additional driveshaft to the rear.

New to RAV4: Toyota Audio Multimedia and Gauge Cluster Tech

RAV4 for 2023 will receive some updates across all trims, as well. For 2023, all RAV4 models have the new Toyota Audio Multimedia system.

Thanks to the Toyota Audio Multimedia system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technology team, RAV4 drivers will be at the ready thanks to a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including being Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable. Users can interact with the system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. With the available Connected Service Drive Connect trial or subscription, drivers and passengers have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awaken the system for voice activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures and more. Cloud Navigation, the available onboard navigation solution, utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic and routing information. To ensure users have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate the next destination.

The new Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for dual Bluetooth® phone connectivity, with support for standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. With further connectivity, the RAV4 has an available Wi-Fi Connect trial or subscription that offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices – turning the RAV4 into an AT&T Hotspot. Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio®, USB data and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial subscription, an active Wi-Fi Connect trial or subscription also enables the new Integrated Streaming feature, providing the ability to link separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle for onboard control.

New for 2023, RAV4 receives upgrades to both its Multimedia and Multi-Information Display screens, as well. An 8-inch Multimedia screen now comes standard on LE/Hybrid LE, XLE/Hybrid XLE, XLE Premium/Hybrid XLE Premium, Adventure and Hybrid SE, while TRD Off-Road, Hybrid XSE, Limited/Hybrid Limited, and Prime XSE now all come standard with a new 10.5-inch Multimedia display for 2023. Also new to RAV4 for 2023 is a 12.3-inch Multi-Information Display that comes standard on Limited/Hybrid Limited and Prime XSE. The 12.3-inch display is an optional upgrade on XLE Premium/Hybrid XLE Premium, TRD Off-Road and Hybrid XSE grades. A 7-inch Multi-Information Display screen is also now standard on LE/Hybrid LE, XLE/Hybrid XLE and Hybrid SE grades.

Standard Safety

The 2023 RAV4 comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, Toyota’s suite of active safety systems. It includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection that features enhancements over the previous generation, including the ability to detect an oncoming vehicle or a pedestrian at intersections when making a turn. The Pre-Collision System is designed to detect vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists and provide audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Emergency steering assist is an additional function designed to detect pedestrians and stabilize the driver’s emergency evasive steering maneuvers and help prevent lane departure.

TSS2.5 on RAV4 also includes Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Lane Departure Alert is designed to notify the driver via audible alert if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist is designed to assist the driver by providing a slight steering force to help center the vehicle in its lane using visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle.

Automatic High Beams are designed to detect preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switch between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist is designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display them on the multi-information display (MID).

In addition to the TSS 2.5 system, other standard safety features include Blind Spot Monitor, which is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Rear Cross Traffic Alert can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is designed to provide warning and if needed, implement brake control when there’s a possibility of a collision with a stationary object or an approaching vehicle while parking. In addition to TSS 2.5, the RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition is equipped with Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). Available safety technologies include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Bird’s Eye View Camera, Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system.

Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder also comes standard on RAV4. The feature can note whether a rear door was opened within 10 minutes of the vehicle being turned on, or at any time after the vehicle has been turned on, with a reminder message in the instrument cluster after the engine is turned off, accompanied by multitone chimes.

Toyota Limited Warranty

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against perforation from corrosion for 60 months with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. The HV battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferrable across ownership.

RAV4 also comes with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 2 years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage.

About Toyota

Toyota has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships. 

Toyota directly employs more than 39,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 32 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing plants.  By 2025, Toyota’s 10th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles.  With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, a quarter of the company’s 2021 U.S. sales were electrified.

To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to virtually visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more. For more information about Toyota, visit HERE.

About NEEF

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is the nation’s leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, creating opportunities for people to experience and learn about the environment in ways that improve their lives and the health of the planet. Congressionally chartered in 1990 as a 501c3 nonprofit to complement the work of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NEEF is a non-partisan, non-advocacy organization working to make the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to people’s daily lives. Visit HERE.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition imagery via Toyota Motor North via 360 MAGAZINE
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition imagery via Toyota Motor North via 360 MAGAZINE
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition imagery via Toyota Motor North via 360 MAGAZINE