It’s Friday once again, which means it’s time for another round of my Five For Friday: Five Thoughts about the Auto Industry for January 25, 2013. A redesigned Toyota Tundra, BMW and Toyota pair up to build a sports car, the Nissan Titan rises again, delays for the Q60 coupe, and Subaru's hybrid - let’s look at my take on the most noteworthy and interesting automotive stories from the past week.
01. Toyota Will Bring Redesigned Toyota Tundra To Chicago
If you get caught flat-footed in the full-size pickup truck market, the world will pass you by in a heartbeat. Despite posting a sales increase of more than 20 percent in 2012, the Toyota Tundra only managed to move about 100,000 examples during that same period, which is considerably less than competitors like the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra twins. Throw in the fact that these three vehicles - plus the RAM 1500 - have all recently debuted in all-new editions, and it makes sense that Toyota would pick the Chicago Auto Show to introduce a redesigned version of the 2013 Tundra. No details have been released regarding just how thorough a revision the truck has been given, but with the current model having been on the market since 2007 there is reason to hope that Toyota will show us a radically improved version of the Tundra.
02. Toyota And BMW Combine For Sports Cars And Batteries
Could we be seeing the end of Toyota's 'dull-age' and the beginning of a greener BMW? With the release of the Scion FR-S / Toyota 86 sports car indicating that there are signs of life within Toyota's once tantalizing performance engineering department, fans of fun Toyotas past were given renewed hope for the future this week with the announcement that Toyota and BMW will be partnering up in the development of a new sports car platform. The vehicle's underpinnings are planned to be completed by the end of 2013, and it will fill a mid-size void in the Toyota lineup. What does BMW get out of the arrangement? Access to Toyota's battery know-how, and a co-investor in hydrogen fuel cell technologies.
03. Nissan Titan Ready To Rebound From Beyond The Grave
Speaking of Japanese trucks looking to improve their market position, Edmunds is reporting the first details concerning the resurrection of the nearly-forgotten Nissan Titan. The Titan, once a competent entry into the full-size segment, has languished due to a lack of engineering and styling attention since its released nearly 10 years ago. An all-new version of the Nissan Titan is scheduled to appear in 2015, and according to an Edmunds interview with a Nissan executive, the company plans to snag 100,000 future sales through a combination of increased body styles, broader engine choices, and the availability of more affordable trim levels. High tech drivetrain designs and lightweight materials will also be employed in an effort to turn in impressive fuel mileage and further woo cost-conscious pickup buyers.
04. Two-And-A-Half Year Wait For New Infiniti Q60 Coupe?
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 was a hit in Detroit, with the redesigned replacement for the departing G sedan showing off sexy lines and expanding the range of available drivetrains to include hybrid and diesel options. Logically, it would seem that the new G Coupe - to be dubbed to Q60 in Infiniti's new naming scheme - would be right around the corner. The automotive world was surprised to learn, however, via CarAdvice AU, that it will be at least two-and-a-half years before a fresh Q60 bows onto the scene. In fact, according to Infiniti president Johan De Nysschen, it might even be as long as three years prior to the Q60 emerging onto the market. De Nysschen cited Infiniti's desire to expand into other product niches as being a priority over the low-volume coupe, which makes us wonder just how much further lame-duck G37 sales will sink in the face of the onslaught from the Audi A5 and the new BMW 4 Series.
05. Subaru To Join Hybrid Party
Subaru has confirmed that it will be bringing a hybrid car to American show rooms in the very near future, but the company is staying mum about the particulars of the battery-assisted automobile. Speculation is that the vehicle could get its first public showing at the New York Auto Show in April, and that the hybrid will be sold in both the U.S and American markets. The all-new Subaru Forester would seem to be the most likely candidate to receive a hybrid drivetrain, as the recently re-engineered vehicle is fresh enough to have had an electric motor and battery designed into it from the start as a contingency move on the part of Subaru.
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