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Motoring News

TOYOTA HILUX ROGUE

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TOYOTA HILUX  ROGUE

By DEREK OGDEN

Sticking point . . . the HiLux Rogue tub top on test was low on convenience

Cars, computers and lawnmowers – when they go, they are great, when they don’t, they’re about as useful as a hip pocket in a singlet. That brings me to the HiLux  Rogue. Among the varied dictionary definitions of ‘rogue’ comes ‘an individual deviating from the normal, usually inferior’.

My time with Toyota’s MY21 top-dog ute had a niggle or two. For a start the Aussie-designed and developed motorised roll-top tub cover pulled up short, literally, on my first attempt to store it, jamming inches away from being fully retracted. No amount of pressing opening and closing buttons freed the pesky piece of apparatus.

A little less annoying was the key fob, which was erratic with its door locking and unlocking functions activating only when a few metres from the cabin. Equivalent automotive security systems usually can be operated from greater distance to the vehicle: often handy in a crowded car park. Over to you, Toyota.

Anyway, enough of this negativity, the Rogue deserves its HiLux ‘halo’ in some respects. Generally, it’s a credit to local engineers and designers, who were tasked with producing a combination of toughness, complemented by a more recreational focus for a vehicle designed to go anywhere and be sold in markets around the world.

Toyota Australia’s role in developing and evaluating the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, rear suspension and hydraulic power steering was supported by teams from Japan and Thailand, as well as representatives from other markets.

The Rogue sells for $68,990, plus on-road costs and options. The HiLux, in general, continues its reign as the best-selling vehicle in Australia and like all Toyota vehicles is covered by Toyota Service Advantage, with each of the first scheduled services costing just $250 each.

STYLING

Out of Toyota’s Melbourne design studio comes a dark vertical grille that cascades from the bonnet down to the prominent lower bumper and under-guard.  LED headlamps, with dark internals, combine with bold outer corners of the bumper, which links to strong fog lamp surrounds.

An aggressive side profile continues the theme with robust fender flares, unique wheel-arch mouldings and an integrated resin sports bar making its debut. Wheel-arches also are generous enough to take bigger, fatter alloys than the factory-fitted 18-inchers.

A new sports bar, made from resin, is easier to mould than steel, allowing it to have a more artistic ‘sailplane’ shape.

Out back are redesigned bumper and tailgate. The tub itself is kitted out, up the walls too, like a fully carpeted lounge room, with marine-grade , the liner lifting appearance and coverage. The design makeover is made complete by a chrome Toyota tailgate badge and new decals on the tailgate and sports bar.

INTERIOR

The cabin is dominated by hard surfaces, which is hardly a serious criticism for a hard-working ute. However, coming to the classy rescue are black perforated leather-accented seats with grey outboard accents. The front seats are heated while the driver’s seat has eight-way power adjustments. Front and rear carpet mats are included for Rogue.

There’s a deep cubby in the centre console and a double-decker dash-mounted glovebox, the upper section cooled. Door storage includes convenient bottle slots.

INFOTAINMENT

Pride of place is a larger eight-inch display touchscreen plus control knobs, an upgraded multimedia system with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and a premium JBL nine-speaker sound system. One USB point and two AC 220-Volt accessory sockets are standard.

Restyled instruments consist of an analogue speedo and rev counter with blue pointers flanking a 4.2-inch multi-information display, which now incorporates a digital speed readout and a pictogram showing the angle of the front wheels.

Satellite navigation is easier to use with enhanced voice recognition, while other additions include an electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, new ornamentation and blue illumination.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

The upgraded 1GD turbo-diesel engine now develops 150 kW at 3400 rpm and 500 Nm between 1600 and 2800 rpm, gains of 15 per cent and 11.1 per cent respectively.

The six-speed automatic transmission was recalibrated to allow earlier lock-up for improved acceleration and to ensure Toyota’s temperature tolerances, especially when towing, were observed.

SAFETY

The HiLux Rogue carries a five-star safety rating on 2019 testing and is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, including a pre-collision system with autonomous emergency braking and the ability to detect pedestrians around the clock and cyclists in daylight.

It is also equipped with high-speed active cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist.

Electronic systems include anti-skid brakes, vehicle stability and traction control, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, trailer sway control, downhill assist and an emergency stop signal (hazard lights).

Like every HiLux, the Rogue is equipped with seven airbags and a reversing camera.

DRIVING

Driving has been made easier than before by work done on the rear suspension, improving unladen ride comfort while a new variable flow-control power-steering pump offers more help in low-speed manoeuvres such as parking.

Braked towing capacity has been uprated by 300 kg to 3500 kg, courtesy of the higher-output engine and a recalibrated six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.

Toyota claims a combined urban / highway fuel consumption of 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres. The test vehicle worked out at 11.7 litres per 100 kilometres in suburban streets down to 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres when on the motorway.

Improved ride and handling are all-encompassing with the MY20 Rogue. Leaf springs and shock absorbers were re-tuned to improve unladen ride comfort without compromising the vehicle’s ability to carry loads over uneven terrain, while low-friction rear shackle bushes add to ride comfort. Rear stability benefits from leaf spring front bushes with increased lateral stiffness.

Revised chassis mounts reduce vibrations and noise transfer to the cabin, particularly on rough roads. A variable flow control power-steering pump improves steering feeling on winding country roads and reduces steering effort when parking. Pity about the outsize 12.6 metre turning circle. There’s also a low-range mode for off-road driving.

SUMMARY

The Rogue is up against some of the stiffest competition in the premium luxury ute market (the runaway Ford Ranger Wildtrack springs to mind). It’s fair to say the power roll top would be considered an important selling point for the Hilux ‘hero’ and the failure of the accessory on test is not what we have come to expect from Toyota.

RATINGS
Looks: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 4/10
Practicality: 2/10
Comfort: 6/10
Tech: 6/10
Value: 5/10

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP
Toyota HiLux Rogue from $68,990

Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota HiLux Rogue 2.8L 4-cylinder diesel, 6sp automatic, AWD Utility)

ENGINE:
Capacity:2.755 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 150 kW @ 3400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 500 Nm @ 1600-2800 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.4 L/100km
Emissions CO2: 220g/km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed electronically controlled automatic, all-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 5325 mm
Wheelbase: 3085 mm
Width: 1900 mm
Height: 1795 mm
Turning Circle: 12.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 2231 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 80 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Drum

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

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2024 Lotus Emeya Debuts with 675kW

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2024 Lotus Emeya

2024 Lotus Emeya Debuts with 675kW

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Lotus has introduced the all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, a four-door electric ‘coupe’ poised to challenge high-end Porsche Taycan EVs and stake a claim in the burgeoning hyper-GT segment. Boasting an impressive powertrain and striking design, the Emeya is set to redefine electric luxury performance.

The flagship 2024 Lotus Emeya features a dual-motor powertrain delivering an astonishing 675kW and 985Nm of torque. This setup enables the Emeya to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 2.8 seconds, rivaling the performance of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. It achieves a top speed of 256km/h, facilitated by a sophisticated two-speed transmission.

Powered by a 102kWh lithium-ion battery, the Emeya supports ultra-fast DC charging up to 350kW, allowing the battery to recharge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. While Lotus has not yet disclosed the exact range, the fast-charging capability ensures minimal downtime.

The Emeya’s exterior combines bold lines and sharp angles, drawing inspiration from designs by Lamborghini and Fisker. It features a wedge-shaped silhouette, slimline exterior lighting, and a striking yellow and black colour scheme. Aerodynamic efficiency is enhanced by an active front grille, air-dam combination, and an active rear spoiler capable of generating over 215kg of downforce, supported by an active diffuser.

Inside, the Emeya continues its aggressive styling with deeply sculpted bucket seats, chunky door trims, a multi-layered dashboard, and a thick steering wheel. The minimalist digital instrument cluster is complemented by a massive 55-inch augmented reality head-up display (AR HUD) that projects crucial driving information onto the windshield.

During spirited driving, the AR HUD can be switched off in favor of a slim display on the dash, showing essential information only. The interior also features adaptive air suspension as standard and a ‘race-grade’ braking system, ensuring the vehicle can stop almost as quickly as it accelerates.

Lotus has incorporated sustainably sourced and recycled materials throughout the Emeya. The cabin includes repurposed fibres from the fashion industry, PVD aluminium, Alcantara, Nappa leather, and Ultrafabrics PU, reflecting a commitment to eco-friendly luxury.

Ben Payne, Vice President of Design at Lotus Group, commented on the Emeya’s debut: “This is a Lotus like you have never seen before. We’ve built on everything Lotus has achieved so far to create a luxury performance car for the drivers, designed to inspire confidence, exhilarate with raw emotion and pure joy – connecting them to the road.”

While customer deliveries have already begun in China, more details about the Emeya lineup, market availability, and pricing will be revealed in the next quarter. The launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, is expected in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya marks a significant leap forward for Lotus, combining blistering performance, cutting-edge technology, and sustainable luxury. As it prepares to enter the market, the Emeya is set to challenge established players like the Porsche Taycan, offering a compelling new option for enthusiasts of high-performance electric vehicles.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Finally, the Toyota 86 We’ve Always Wanted

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2025 Toyota GR86

Finally, the Toyota 86 We’ve Always Wanted

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Toyota could be preparing a radical new version of its GR86 sports car, according to a report from the popular Japanese magazine Best Car, which is known for its well-placed sources in the Japanese auto industry. The new GR86 is expected to debut next year with significant updates that will bring it into direct competition with the Mazda MX-5.

Key Highlights:

  • Potent Powertrain: The new GR86 will reportedly feature the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine from the Yaris GR, paired with Toyota’s hybrid technology. This hybrid setup is claimed to produce more than 220kW.
  • Design Overhaul: The GR86 is expected to grow in size to accommodate the new engine and electric motor. Best Car’s digital render showcases a drastically redesigned front end with a three-tier lighting structure and a prominent bar running the length of the bonnet. The rear end features LED lighting running the length of the back, a prominent rear spoiler, and dual exhausts.
  • Upcoming Sports Car Revolution: Rumours suggest a new sports car revolution in Japan, with Toyota potentially preparing a new Celica and a micro S-FR. The new Toyota Celica is expected to debut at next year’s Tokyo Auto Salon in January. The mini S-FR sports car, believed to be developed in partnership with Daihatsu and Suzuki, will spawn new versions of the Daihatsu Copen and Suzuki Cappuccino.

Toyota GR President Tomoya Takahashi emphasised the importance of collaboration between companies for the future of sports cars. “The sports car market is shrinking. We cannot maintain sports cars as one brand, Toyota,” said Takahashi. “Collaboration between brands will increase in the future. We don’t know with whom we’re going to collaborate.”

The 2025 Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are set to redefine the sports car segment with their potent hybrid powertrains and innovative designs. As the market gears up for a new wave of high-performance vehicles, Toyota’s strategic collaborations and cutting-edge technology ensure that enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to.

 

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2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

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2024 Lotus Emeya

2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

 

By Jeff Gibbs

The all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, an upcoming electric super-sedan, has set a new benchmark in DC fast-charging technology. With its advanced 402kW peak charging speed, the Emeya can recharge its 102kWh battery from 10% to 80% in just 14 minutes.

Key Highlights:

  • Record-Setting Recharge Speed: The Emeya achieves a 10-80% top-up in just 14 minutes using a 400kW DC charger, maintaining an average charge speed of 331kW.
  • Rapid Range Addition: This translates to approximately 310km of added range in just 10 minutes.
  • Advanced Battery Technology: The Emeya’s cell-to-back battery structure incorporates a cutting-edge cooling system that significantly enhances thermal performance, surpassing many competitors.

Performance and Competition

The Lotus Emeya was tested against several high-profile electric vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW i7, Tesla Model Y, Genesis G80, XPeng G9, Hyundai IONIQ 6, Nio ET5, and BYD Atto 3. This testing highlights the Emeya’s superior charging capabilities, narrowing the gap between the time required to recharge an electric vehicle and refuel a conventional combustion-engine vehicle. However, it’s worth noting that recharging the Emeya for a 310km range still takes five times longer than refueling a combustion engine car like the Porsche Panamera, which takes about two minutes.

Among its competitors, the XPeng G9 was the closest, achieving a peak charge rate of 320kW but averaging around 233kW as it approached 80% capacity.

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

Power and Speed

Designed to compete with the fastest electric vehicles on the market, particularly the Porsche Taycan, the flagship Lotus Emeya boasts impressive performance specs:

  • Acceleration: 0-100km/h in a claimed 2.8 seconds, matching the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
  • Top Speed: 256km/h.
  • Powertrain: Dual-motor setup delivering 675kW and 985Nm.
  • Transmission: Two-speed system for optimised performance.

Official Statements

Lotus Group CEO Qingfeng Feng emphasised the breakthrough in charging technology, stating, “With our industry-leading charging technology available today, Emeya pushes the boundaries for how an EV performs, providing drivers with the confidence to travel anywhere. We’re bringing an unrivalled driving experience in the ultimate grand tourer package, so drivers want to go electric.”

Launch and Availability

Customer deliveries have already begun in China, with the Lotus Emeya set to launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya not only sets a new standard for fast-charging electric vehicles but also promises exceptional performance and driving experience, making it a strong contender in the luxury EV market.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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