Toyota Owners Club

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Toyota Owners Club last won the day on February 12 2017

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About Toyota Owners Club

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  1. World champion driver Fernando Alonso had an early chance to experience the new Toyota Hilux, giving the latest version of the legendary pick-up a rigorous test drive during his preparations for the 2020 Dakar Rally Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma were able to push the new model to the limit, alongside their driving duties in their rally-raid-spec Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux. The latest version of the “indestructible” Hilux is equipped with a new 2.8-litre powertrain and benefits from revised suspension geometry to maintain its reputation for world-class quality, durability and reliability. Following the test on a gravel and dirt special stage, Alonso said: “Hilux is an icon and I’ve always been a fan. It was good to test the new Hilux in a challenging environment and to push it to the limits. The new engine behaves well and the new suspension feels great. Even when you push it, the comfort is still there.” The test was conducted in collaboration with the rally team in the spirit of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s core philosophy of helping make “ever-better cars.” Alonso and Coma brought exceptional experience to the task. Alonso is a two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner and reigning FIA World Endurance Championship title holder with Toyota Gazoo Racing, two-time Formula 1 World Champion and winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Coma is a five-time Dakar Rally winner in the motorbike class and six-time FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion. Their first Dakar entry as a pairing resulted in a creditable 13th place finish earlier in 2020. Further details about the introduction of the new Toyota Hilux will be announced shortly.
  2. We hear from our 2020 Toyota Star Maker, Sammy White, on what she's been up to since winning in Tamworth.
  3. The new Toyota Yaris Cross is very much a car of today in terms of its sophisticated technology, performance and exceptional safety standards. But the essential qualities of this small SUV, set for launch in 2021, have their roots in Toyota’s original RAV4, its breakthrough model of the 1990s RAV4 was the original recreational SUV, a model that reinterpreted the traditional 4×4 as a more user-friendly, versatile and dynamic vehicle that’s as well-suited to urban streets as the great outdoors. Looking at the 1994-vintage first generation model that has pride of place in Toyota GB’s heritage fleet, it is clear to see how Toyota’s ground-breaking approach to construction, ride and handling, packaging and performance continue to influence today’s lifestyle SUVs, including Yaris Cross and the compact C-HR. And just as RAV4 was initially developed with a focus on the European market, so too were Toyota’s latest SUV additions – both of which are also built in Europe. At the time of launch, Chief Engineer Masakatsu Nonaka spelled out the qualities that would distinguish RAV4 from other models. A wide track and independent suspension gave the car its essential dynamic appeal, while a multivalve engine (transverse-mounted) with a wide power band ensured rewarding performance. The styling was compact, and sporty, with short overhangs, making the car agile around tight urban streets, but rugged enough for more challenging routes. Thanks to clever packaging, the cabin was spacious, with a low, flat floor that made access easy. Kerb weight was kept down, to less than 1,200kg, and there was a focus on safety and environmental performance. These touchstone features are evident in Yaris Cross, too, which is being built on Toyota’s new GA-B platform, shared with the new Yaris hatchback. This gives it high body rigidity and a well-balanced chassis with a low centre of gravity, all of which contribute to rewarding and secure handling. The first RAV4 had a permanent, mechanical all-wheel drive system fitted as standard, with front/two-wheel drive versions being added as the model’s popularity soared. Yaris Cross is an authentic SUV in that it too offers an all-wheel drive option, but a compact, electric-driven system, AWD-i, that operates intelligently when driving conditions require extra grip. In terms of size, Yaris Cross is in fact slightly larger than the original three-door RAV4. Its 2,560mm wheelbase is 360mm longer, while overall length is greater by 475mm and width is extended by 70mm. It is a lower vehicle, however, notwithstanding its increased ground clearance compared to the Yaris hatchback. Toyota sought performance and efficiency from a 16-valve 2.0-litre petrol engine for the first RAV4. Where Yaris Cross is concerned, the principal powertrain is a new 1.5-litre full hybrid electric system that takes fuel efficiency, low emissions and all-electric driving capability far beyond anything Chief Engineer Nonaka and his team could have envisioned. Of course, RAV4 remains central to Toyota’s current SUV line-up, now established as one of the world’s best-selling vehicles. Today it is a much larger vehicle, competing in a different market segment, but like Yaris Cross it has reaped the benefits of a Toyota New Global Architecture platform and hybrid electric power – the exclusive powertrain option for UK customers. More details about the new Yaris Cross are available here, and the current RAV4 here.
  4. Toyota GB has made available its entire fleet of hiyacar rental vehicles for London’s NHS staff and key workers, with rental fees scrapped, in a bid to support the capital’s COVID-19 relief effort. The cars listed on the car sharing service, previously used for short-term private rental, are being driven by NHS staff and other key workers to allow for safe and efficient commuting and to enable critical medical rounds to continue A total of 31 Toyota cars are available through hiyacar – a peer-to-peer car sharing service – ranging from the Aygo city car to the spacious RAV4 SUV, meaning that essential journeys can still be carried out, whether those journeys involve a safe and isolated commute or the transportation of vital equipment. As a result, to date, 571 days’ worth of free Toyota rentals have been made use of by key workers. With rental fees waived, the only cost to key workers is an insurance premium, which averages out at £9 per day. Working with hiyacar, the Toyota fleet has been positioned in locations that allow for fast access and where demand for essential personal transport, within and around London, is high. For example, today five cars have been positioned at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington; there are four cars based at Queen’s Hospital, Romford and three cars at Charing Cross Hospital. Paula Cooper, director of Toyota GB’s customer insights division, ConsumerOne, notes the company’s pride at what has been achieved and explains that the collaboration with hiyacar is part of a range of COVID-19 relief activity being undertaken by Toyota in the UK. “Our support of hiyacar’s initiative to keep key workers moving seemed like a simple gesture at the outset but to see the extent of what has been achieved with a relatively small number of cars – well over a year’s worth of loans – is really heart-warming for all of us here. “As well as enabling safe commuting, we recently learned of a nurse in Leatherhead who uses one of our cars four days each week to administer home-testing for disabled patients and we know that a wide range of key workers, ranging from pharmacists to physiotherapists, from social workers to scientists have all been able to continue carrying out their duties thanks to hiyacar’s rental fee waiver programme.” According to data provided by hiyacar, doctors have been the greatest users of Toyota cars, followed by nurses and then police officers. Records show that key workers in more than 20 areas of specialism have used Toyota’s hiyacar fleet since the rental fee waiver scheme started at the end of March. Paula continues: “Alongside what we’re doing with hiyacar, Toyota staff have worked exceptionally hard to contribute to the national relief effort and we thank them for their dedication. Technical colleagues have worked with the NHS to help maintain and refurbish medical equipment and to work on the supply of respirator hoods. I know of individual efforts, including staff who have been sewing surgical scrubs, and there are many examples from within our retailer network of donations made to charitable funds and of help provided directly to key workers.” The hiyacar rental waiver scheme is available to NHS staff and key workers and can be accessed via hiyacar.co.uk. Rental fees for key workers have been dropped, with a payment to cover insurance being the only cost. Hiyacar is able to move cars to locations such as hospitals and key worker homes to aid with essential transport requirements.
  5. As requested, there is now a new section for Tools & Equipment in the forums https://au.toyotaownersclub.com/forums/forum/110-tools-equipment/
  6. Aussie spirit. It's what inspires Toyota to be by your side to help. Together we'll get through this. We always do. To find out how Toyota are helping visit ...
  7. We look back at Bourke's famous courageous display at Arden Street in Round 21, 1980. After an accidental collision, Bourke moved to the forward line to score ...
  8. We look back at Bourke's famous courageous display at Arden Street in Round 21, 1980. After an accidental collision, Bourke moved to the forward line to score ...
  9. We take a look back at Hudson's three-goal performance in the 1971 Grand Final, and more specifically his failure to score a fourth which would have broken ...
  10. We take a look back at Hudson's three-goal performance in the 1971 Grand Final, and more specifically his failure to score a fourth which would have broken ...
  11. We look back at Bartlett's seven-goal performance in the 1980 Grand Final, won by Richmond by a then-record margin.
  12. We look back at Bartlett's seven-goal performance in the 1980 Grand Final, won by Richmond by a then-record margin.
  13. As the government has instructed the nation to stay at home and only venture out for specific, essential reasons in light of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, many of us are being encouraged to park our cars if we can. Some owners of Toyota hybrids might be wondering what will happen to their car during long periods without use, particularly when it comes to the level of charge in the batteries. The reassuring news is that no difficult car maintenance is necessary. However, there are some tips that, if followed, can help ensure your Toyota remains in tip-top condition during an extended layoff. To recap, Toyota hybrids generally contain two batteries: a 12-volt battery (which powers systems such as the headlamps and audio) and a high-voltage hybrid system battery (which supplies the power to start the combustion engine and drive the electric motors). The simplest way to maintain charge in both of these batteries is to simply go through the normal start procedure: press the ‘Start’ button with your foot on the brake and ensure the ‘Ready’ light is illuminated on the dashboard. We recommend you put the car in ‘Ready’ mode for about 60 minutes before switching it off again and repeat the process at least once a week, providing you can carry out this procedure while adhering to the government’s advice regarding social distancing and Coronavirus (Covid-19). Please do not leave your car unattended when it is in ‘Ready’ mode. During the time that that car is in ‘Ready’ mode, you may hear and feel the internal combustion engine kick in; this is a normal part of the self-charging process. You might be tempted to switch on the radio to pass the time, or turn on other systems, but bear in mind these will consume small amounts of electrical power so it is preferable to leave them off. Ensure the handbrake is on; there’s no need to go for a drive, although we must stress that this procedure should take place in a well-ventilated area – something to consider if you park your vehicle in a garage. What if my Toyota isn’t a hybrid? Our petrol and diesel cars only have a 12-volt battery, which provides the power to start the engine in addition to the other systems mentioned above. Regular start-up of the vehicle on conventional petrol and diesel engines needs approximately 20 minutes of running to put back into the battery what you remove on start up, so to maintain this battery we would suggest 60 minutes of running at least once a week. Is there anything else I need to do? Whether you own a hybrid or a Toyota equipped solely with an internal combustion engine, there are a few other easy car maintenance points that can ensure your Toyota hybrid remains healthy and happy during an enforced hibernation. Again, please adhere to the latest government advice regarding social distancing. Check the tyre pressures are fully inflated to the recommended level and top-up if necessary. It can be a good idea to repeat this process when you first drive your car after a long period of inactivity. Clean the car thoroughly inside and out. If you are storing your car in a garage, make sure the vehicle is completely dry before you put it away. If you do plan to store your car in a garage, ensure the chosen storage area offers plenty of ventilation. If the space is secure, you could consider opening one of the car’s windows a small way to ventilate the interior. If you do this, you might have to change your car alarm’s setting to prevent it setting off the intrusion sensor – please consult your car’s manual for more information. It can be beneficial to leave the vehicle with the parking brake disengaged to prevent the brakes from binding, but only do this if you are certain the car is on level terrain and isn’t going to move. Ensure the transmission is set to ‘P’ for park and place wedges or chocks, if you have them, under the wheels. If you have a 12V battery trickle charger, or a solar panel charger, and are confident using them, then these are a good option to keep the battery fully charged while the vehicle is stationary for a period of time. If your vehicle is equipped with smart entry and start but the system isn’t operated for a long time, a battery-saving function will automatically be activated to prevent the electronic key battery and the 12-volt battery from being discharged. Battery depletion in the key is minimised by stopping the electronic key from receiving radio waves. On many models equipped with this system, it is possible to manually put the key into battery-saving mode, so please consult your car’s handbook for more information. If you aren’t planning to drive your car for a long time, consider putting the smart key in a safe place and not carrying it around with you in your pocket. This will prevent the car from ‘waking up’ unnecessarily should you happen to walk near it in your garage or driveway.
  14. RAV4 has joined the ranks of Toyota models that have achieved eight-figure sales. Cumulative figures for the top-selling SUV passed 10 million at the end of February this year, spanning five generations of the vehicle manufactured since 1994 As a global Toyota model, RAV4 has gone from strength to strength since its launch. Having originated the market segment for new kind of compact, agile, recreational SUV, it has continued to set standards, with sales reaching new heights. In 2019, it was not only the world’s best-selling SUV, it was also the fourth best-selling passenger car overall. North America is by far its strongest market, with more than half a million annual sales (535,000 in 2019), followed by Europe (133,000) and China (127,000). In Europe, RAV4’s sales tally has reached more than two million since 1994, while the latest, fifth generation model, introduced in early 2019, has set a new annual record of more than 130,000 units. In the UK, almost 220,000 RAV4 have been sold since launch, This year the RAV4 range will mark an important evolution with the launch of the new RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid, offering customers even greater potential for all-electric driving with zero emissions and zero fuel consumption. Toyota RAV4: from World First to World’s Best When the first generation RAV4 was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1994, few could have anticipated how this bold new concept in motoring would reshape the automotive marketplace. As well as pioneering a new type of vehicle, it would embrace new technologies and create a whole new market for compact, agile and versatile SUVs ideally suited to modern life. RAV4 was an original, heralding a new era for 4x4s and the response was immediately positive. From the outset, it was a global model: sales started in Japan in May 1994, followed by Europe, Africa, Australia and Latin America the following month. Its North American debut came in January 1996. Initial production estimates were for 4,500 sales a month, but when 8,000 orders were taken in the first month alone, production volumes were doubled. RAV4 paved the way for a whole new SUV segment that has not stopped growing since: more than a quarter of a century on from its debut, RAV4 was the world’s best-selling SUV in 2018 and 2019, and in 2019 was the fourth best-selling passenger car overall. Toyota’s policy of constant improvement in line with the changing tastes and demands of motorists has ensured RAV4 continues to set standards for quality, performance and practicality. The beginning The ideas behind RAV4 (Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive) were first expressed in the RAV-FOUR concept car at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show, indicating Toyota’s interest in creating a compact all-wheel drive model. This was just a design study, with none of the detail required for an actual development model, but it gained an enthusiastic welcome from the public. In 1991, the project was given the green light and development work began. New concept, new challenges The Chief Engineer for the RAV4 project, Masakatsu Nonaka, found that it wasn’t easy to convince other Toyota departments that a new mass-production car should be created to be sold in a market segment that didn’t yet exist. The term “Sports Utility Vehicle” was still unknown and there were many within Toyota who simply couldn’t grasp the concept of such a compact 4×4. In fact, internal resistance even stalled the project at one point, but support from an unexpected quarter gave it new life. Toyota’s Japanese and European sales divisions, being in close contact with market, believed the time was right for this type of car. Together they put the project back on track, and they were proven right: very soon after the RAV4’s launch it was being widely acclaimed as a new trendsetter. From niche model to global car The compact SUV market that Toyota created quickly flourished. Toyota sold around 53,000 RAV4 in 1994, doubling, then tripling the total in the next two years. Sales continued to grow with each successive generation, even as almost every competitor manufacturer brought their own models to the market. In 2019, global RAV4 sales were more than 17 times the total achieved in the model’s first year. This enduring success owes much to Toyota’s constant improvement of the product. With each new generation, it has listened to the comments of motorists and adapted the vehicle’s size, functionality, performance and styling to meet the market’s changing preferences and requirements. For example, the third generation saw the spare wheel moved from its position on the back door, giving the car a more sophisticated appearance. And with the fourth generation, the wheelbase was standardised worldwide. The three-door model had been discontinued earlier so that now RAV4 was exclusively a five-door vehicle and more spacious than ever before. Technical excellence Toyota also kept RAV4 technically advanced, introducing new vehicle platforms and developing intelligent all-wheel drive systems that combined better handling with more efficient performance, both on-road and off. Even during the lifetime of the first generation model, Toyota recognised that all-wheel drive was not a requirement for all customers and so expanded the model’s appeal with the option of two/front-wheel drive. Where powertrains were concerned, the choice was tailored to suit the demands of different world markets, including both petrol and diesel units, up to 3.5-litre capacity. Again, the focus was on efficiency and performance appropriate to the vehicle’s role as an urban SUV, equipped to accommodate families, or as an ideal partner for people who enjoy active lifestyles. The first hybrid In 2016, Toyota presented the first RAV4 Hybrid, a vehicle that preserved all the qualities of the fourth generation model but added the benefits of a full hybrid electric powertrain. As the first full hybrid in its segment in Europe, it strengthened the appeal of the RAV4 with class-leading fuel economy and emissions, and smooth powerful performance – including a highly efficient electric all-wheel drive system. RAV4 today The current, fifth generation RAV4 was launched in Europe in 2019 – principally as a hybrid in western European markets. It is the first SUV to be built on Toyota’s GA-K modular platform, which, with a low centre of gravity and significantly greater body rigidity, contributes to superior handling, ride comfort, a spacious interior and class-leading load space. The new platform also gave the design team more freedom to create an eye-catching design with lower roof and hood lines. The hybrid system features a new 2.5-litre petrol hybrid Dynamic Force engine, offering 215bhp in front-wheel drive form and 219bhp with all-wheel drive, delivering step-changes in power, responsiveness and class-leading efficiency. RAV4’s intelligent all-wheel drive system (AWD-i) has been comprehensively improved to achieve a “drive on any road” capability, with much stronger performance in challenging conditions and secure handling on slippery surfaces. The next chapter- the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid Building on RAV4’s success as a pioneer of hybrid power among SUVs, Toyota will extend the benefits of the technology with the introduction of the new RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid during the second half of 2020. This will be a new flagship vehicle for its hybrid line-up that promises to be not only more powerful but also more emissions and fuel-efficient than any other in its class. The RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid will offer customers a best-of-both-worlds solution. It features Toyota’s latest hybrid-electric vehicle technology, with higher power and better driving dynamics, and also has a genuine pure electric EV driving capability, free from concerns about driving range or the need to stop to recharge the battery. Toyota has harnessed the boost its performance electric power can deliver to achieve a significant increase in output compared to the standard RAV4 Hybrid, deploying a new, high-capacity lithium-ion battery and adding an enhanced boost converter to the hybrid system’s power control unit. The 2.5-litre Hybrid Dynamic Force petrol engine is based on the unit featured in the regular RAV4 Hybrid, with improvements to meet the performance requirements of the plug-in hybrid system. With full system output of 302bhp/225kW*, it has the potential to deliver acceleration from rest to 62mph in around just six seconds*, while Toyota’s pre-homologation, WLTP-standard data indicates class-leading low CO2 output. The RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid will also have a greater driving range in electric EV mode, with zero fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The driver will be able to switch seamlessly from hybrid to pure EV driving, with the potential to cover greater distances than any competitor plug-in hybrid SUV on electric power (battery charge and driving conditions permitting), well beyond the 50km average European daily commuting distance. Moreover, speeds up to 84mph can be reached without any intervention from the internal combustion engine, even under full acceleration. *Subject to final homologation Toyota RAV4: Five Generations of Innovation and Achievement First generation, 1994 – 2000 RAV4 made its debut in 1994 as the world’s first urban SUV, pioneering a new market segment that was destined to become central to the automotive world. In its original form it was a three-door model with compact proportions, measuring just 3.69m long. Power came from a 127bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, mounted transversely, while the transmission provided permanent all-wheel drive, but without the low-ratio transfer box found in conventional, rugged SUVs. Other innovations that were destined to become the norm included a lightweight monocoque body and independent rear suspension. RAV4’s compact size and high driving position made it easy to manoeuvre, while its nimble handling and passenger comfort were more akin to a hatchback than an AWD vehicle. In 1996 the range was expanded to include a five-door version (measuring 4.1m long) and the option of (front) two-wheel drive. A three-door soft-top followed and, pushing innovation once again, an EV battery electric model was produced in limited numbers between 1997 and 2000. Second generation, 2000 – 2006 Entering its second generation with the turn of the millennium, the RAV4 has developed the benefit of the experience Toyota had gained from its ground-breaking introduction. Constructed on a new platform, both three and five-door versions were slightly longer – +5.5 and +4cm respectively. Two petrol engines were offered: 121bhp 1.8-litre and 148bhp 2.0-litre units. The full-time AWD adopted a centre limited-slip differential, while customers could specify a Torsen rear differential as a factory option. In 2001, diesel power was offered in RAV4 for the first time, a 2.0-litre D-4D direct injection unit with 114bhp. Third generation, 2006 – 2012 The RAV4 again benefited from an all-new platform for its third generation, which reached the market in 2006. The three-door body style was discontinued and the five-door grew significantly in size, reflecting changes in customer preferences and requirements. The new model measured 19cm longer overall, while a long-wheelbase version was also manufactured for sale in the USA and Russia. Engine choice was extended as well, with 2.0, 2.4, 2.5 and 3.5 (V6) petrol units, plus a new 2.2-litre diesel. The model also marked the debut of a new Toyota all-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled coupling that operated automatically, according to the vehicle’s speed, throttle operation, steering angle and G-forces. The RAV4’s handling capabilities were further developed with the first application of Downhill Assist Control and Hill-start Assist Control. Fourth generation, 2013 – 2018 The fourth generation RAV4, introduced in 2013, saw Toyota adopt a standard wheelbase for all world markets, with the vehicle’s length growing again, by 23.5cm. The powertrain choice included 2.0 and 2.5-litre petrol and 2.0 and 2.2-litre diesel engines. More advanced AWD technology was introduced with the new intelligent Dynamic Torque Control system, and the addition of two new functions: cornering control and a sport driving mode. In 2016, the RAV4 underwent its most radical development yet, with the introduction of the first full hybrid electric version. Toyota’s first compact hybrid SUV offered total system power of 194bhp, giving seamless acceleration from 0-62mph in just 8.3 seconds, while returning class-leading fuel consumption of 57.7mpg and CO2 emissions from as low as 115 g/km. Fifth generation, 2018 to date The fifth generation RAV4 was revealed in 2018 and launched in Europe at the start of 2019. It was the first SUV to be built on a Toyota New Global Architecture platform, bringing fundamental benefits in terms of handling, safety and design. As an all-hybrid range in Western Europe, it adopted Toyota’s fourth generation hybrid technology, together with a new 2.5-litre Dynamic Force hybrid engine – a unit notable for its significant gains in terms of power, responsiveness and efficiency. As a result, its fuel economy and emissions are best-in-class. In 2020, the fifth generation will embrace further technical innovation with the introduction of the first RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid. This will be the most powerful RAV4 yet built, with 302bhp and rapid acceleration, but at the same time delivering exceptionally low CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.
  15. If you need to use your Toyota for essential journeys, here are the main interior and exterior touchpoints we suggest you regularly clean at this time.