Mungenast Alton Toyota Celebrates 25 Incredible Years

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For most, the year 1987 means something special – the birth of a child, or perhaps high school graduation.  For us, not only was it the year the Supra Turbo was introduced, but it was most importantly the year we opened our doors for business in beautiful, historic Alton, Illinois.  The Riverbend community has been very great to us, and we’re proud to have served and done business in this area over the last 25 years, and look forward to the next 25!

Photo Credit – Mungenast Alton Toyota-Scion

Mississippi Earthtones Festival – September 15th, 2012

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Mungenast Alton Toyota-Scion is a very proud sponsor of the Mississippi Earthtones Festival, where patrons gather to celebrate the Mississippi River through art, music, and conservation. There wil kinds of things to do!

-Kids Activites
-Climbing Wall
-Great Food and Beer
-Live Concerts
-Recycling, and Earth-Friendly Vendors

We encourage you to join our Facebook event page, found here: http://www.facebook.com/events/499522040075187/

For more information regarding the Mississippi Earthtones Festival, please visit www.RiverfrontAmphitheater.com/Earthtones.

 

Toyota Developing Electric Sports Car With Manual Transmission [w/Video]

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Looks like all of those coins we’ve been throwing into the wishing well by the handful are starting to pay off.  Part of the commitment that Toyota has outlined as it “rebrands” itself as a car company that produces vehicles that are fun to drive means actually building and developing such cars – which Toyota is not only actually doing, but they’re pushing the envelope in terms of defining the sports car itself and what it takes to propel one.  With years of hybrid technology experience, Toyota has always found themselves on the leading edge of drivetrain technology.

As of late, car companies have been exploring ways to bring electric vehicles to market.  While the mass-market EV has become a reality, the one thing that today’s EVs lack is that raw, fun-to-drive factor.  Sure, you can throw an electric motor under the hood and bolt on a CVT, charge it up, and call it a day – but for Toyota’s development team, that’s less than ideal, and know that for driving enthusiasts, CVT transmissions provide a driving experience that is far less than satisfactory.

Thus, the only real solution to curing the lethargy induced by the CVT transmission is to do something radical – and something that is actually far more revolutionary than it may seem – and that’s introducing an electric sports car equipped with a real manual transmission – three pedals and all.  If it sounds impossible, it’s not.  This technology is currently under development by means of the 2000GT SEV (Solar Electric Vehicle), a skunkworks project by Toyota and GAZOO Racing that blends the old with the new.  The 2000GT is one of the most iconic Toyota sports cars, so what better platform to use to explore cutting edge technology?

Recently, a couple members of Toyota’s development team went on record to confirm that not only did they feel that a CVT would detract from the overall driving experience, but that an electric powertrain paired with a manual gearbox was not only under exploratory development, but that we can expect to find a manual transmission available in a Toyota hybrid or EV product within the next three years.

Below, you can watch a video released by Toyota that illustrates what the 2000GT SEV project is about. [Japanese]

Source – Autocar, YouTube

2013 Scion tC Release Series 8.0 Announced

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If you’re the type of person that likes driving something that’s unique and fun, keep reading – because Scion has announced the 2013 tC Release Series 8.0.  If you’re familiar with the Scion Release Series program, it’s an internal effort by Scion to create limited-run versions of their vehicles, and these special editions often feature special paint colors, performance upgrades, and styling enhancements on the exterior and interior to separate these models visually from the more basic model.  Scion also keeps the production runs very low, in most cases somewhere between 1000-2000 examples – they want you to consider them as, say, “affordable exotics” in a sense, because you’re unlikely to see another one besides yours, and the exclusivity you’re enjoying didn’t break the bank.

The tC Release Series 8.0 comes exclusively in Absolutely Red and is fitted with unique TRD (Toyota Racing Development) performance accessories, blacked-out 18” wheels, and a unique body kit and exterior treatments developed with Five Axis.

Scion also announced pricing for the tC RS 8.0, and you’ll be glad to know that this sporty coupe, although high on style and performance, isn’t high on price.  The MSRP (before destination charge from the manufacturer) will be $21,815 with a six-speed automatic and $22,865 if you choose the six-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters – and it’s noteworthy that paddle shifters are exclusive to the RS 8.0, meaning that you can’t get them in any other tC model.

No release date has been announced, but expect the tC Release Series 8.0 in our showroom within the next couple of months.  We’ll even pre-order one for you if you’d like!

Source – Scion

Toyota Announces 2013 Avalon Hybrid

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Back in April when Toyota unveiled the newly redesigned 2013 Avalon, not much except the overall design was really talked about, until now.  For the first time ever, Toyota customers can now opt for a hybrid powertrain on their Avalon sedan.  While the fact that Toyota is adding Hybrid Synergy Drive to any of its product offerings comes as absolutely no surprise (except maybe if they offered a hybrid FJ Cruiser), what’s surprising is the fuel economy – 40 MPG City / 39 MPG Highway – which is incredible for such a large sedan to achieve.  Also substantiating the availability of a hybrid powertrain on the Avalon is the fact that the new 2013 Lexus ES 300h uses the same system and the same platform.

As with all Toyota vehicles equipped with Hybrid Synergy Drive, the Avalon features EV, ECO, and SPORT modes.  Under ideal conditions, the Avalon can travel at speeds up to 25 mph for up to approximately one mile under battery power alone.  With a total system output of 200 horsepower, the Avalon Hybrid offers plenty of power to make any commute a breeze without any drawbacks.

The Avalon and Avalon Hybrid are expected in showrooms by the end of 2012.

Source – Toyota USA Newsroom
Photo Credit – Toyota USA Newsroom

Automotive Summer Survival Guide

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Summer is in full swing, and if it’s one thing we know about Midwestern summers, it’s that they’re unpredictable!  Whether you find yourself under a scorching hot sun, or under a monsoon – here’s five things you can keep handy in your vehicle for when you’re ready to have fun in the sun!

Sunscreen:   With all the scientific evidence out there regarding sun damage and skin cancer, keeping a spare bottle of sunscreen in the glove box is an easy way to keep you and your family safe this summer.  Pay close attention that the lotion you’re using will protect you from harmful UV-A and UV-B rays.

Umbrella:  You never know when a storm might pop up, so you really can’t go wrong by keeping an umbrella inside the vehicle (and somewhere within reach).  Why not go the extra mile and keep a couple rain ponchos in the car, too?

Beach Towels:  These handy items just aren’t for poolside lounging – they’re actually great for a couple of different things.  Keeping a towel draped across your seats will not only protect you and your kids from the sting of a hot leather seat, but it will also help protect your upholstery from wet and muddy kids and pets.

Insect Repellent:  The mild winter we had means that insects have come back with a vengeance this summer.  Keep a can of insect repellent handy so that you don’t get eaten alive!

First-Aid Kit:  Not just for those of us with kids – keeping some bandages and antibiotic ointment on hand is a must, especially if you enjoy keeping active through running, hiking, biking, skateboarding, etc.

Is there anything else you would suggest keeping in your car this summer?  Tell us in the comment section below!

The 2013 Scion FR-S Arrives at Dealerships Nationwide

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It’s official – The wait is over for Toyota’s return to the small, affordable sports car market with the all-new 2013 Scion FR-S.  But does having attractive price mean sacrifice?  Hardly.  Truth is, the Scion FR-S hits all the right buttons with driving enthusiasts – 2+2 layout, rear wheel drive, lightweight, nimble, and a center of gravity as low as the Ferrari 458 Italia’s – all in a package that costs less than $25,000 to start.  The Scion FR-S was engineered as a joint project between Toyota and Subaru in Japan with the emphasis on driving feel, highlighting experience between both companies while paying tribute to Toyota’s sports car heritage.  The result is a rear wheel drive vehicle that uses a Subaru-developed, rev-happy 2.0-liter Boxer engine that produces 200 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque.  That motor, when combined with either an Aisin-sourced 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission (derived from the same unit found in the Lexus IS-F, sans two extra ratios) with paddle shifters, delivers a very engaging driving experience and plenty of low-to-midrange torque.

The exterior is very shapely, well-proportioned, and aerodynamic, while incorporating visual cues from legendary Toyota sports cars – such as the 2000GT, Supra, and AE86 Corolla.  Like the original Corolla GT-S, the new “Hachiroku” is perfectly balanced with a highly technical suspension setup that allows the driver to maintain incredible levels of control – whether driving on the street or on the track.

Inside, the FR-S is perhaps the first post-millennium “back to basics” sports car out there.  For example, you won’t find steering wheel mounted audio controls on the FR-S because the wheel design is all about driving feel and functionality as, well, a steering wheel – and not a remote control.  The cabin is about as uncluttered as it gets, but don’t get us wrong – that doesn’t mean that it feels “low-rent”.  There is, however, lots of style inside the FR-S.  The interior is highlighted with red contrast stitching on the steering wheel, seats, and door panel trim.  Something else that makes the FR-S feel really sporty is the blacked-out headliner, A-pillar, and C-pillar panels.  Perhaps best of all, if you happen to be in the neighborhood of about 6’0” or shorter, you’ll have plenty of headroom in the FR-S on track days – with a helmet on.  Speaking of track days, the folding rear seat opens up the rear cargo area so much that you can store a set of 4 wheels/tires to take to the track.

Now that the Scion FR-S is officially on sale nationwide as of yesterday, we can’t wait to receive a big truckload of them.  Be sure to check out the gallery we posted of the arrival of our very first Scion FR-S on our Facebook page.

Source – Mungenast Alton Toyota-Scion

All-New Toyota Corolla Bows in Japan

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Did you know that the Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling car?  It is, and for good reason.  Going forward into its eleventh generation, the newest Corolla offers the same legendary reliability in a more refined package – or so we think.  Revealed at a line-off ceremony at Toyota Motor Company’s newest state-of-the-art Central Motor manufacturing facility in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, the new Corolla boasts increased interior volume, vastly improved visibility, a more stylish appearance, and better fuel efficiency – thanks to a new CVT transmission and engine start/stop technology.

The Corolla is offered in two different versions in Japan – the Corolla Axio (sedan) and Corolla Fielder (wagon), with more sales volume anticipated for the Fielder (for the record, the last year the Toyota Corolla wagon was on sale in the U.S. was 1997).  The version we are most likely to receive here in the United States will be a reworked version of the sedan (most likely to with a new grille and halogen reflector-style headlamps, not HIDs), but since rumblings emerged about the likely discontinuation of the Toyota Matrix, we may receive a wagon after all.  On the technical side of things, the new Corolla will be available with a choice of two different inline-four-cylinder engines – a 1.5-liter or a 1.8-liter – and a choice of a CVT or 5-speed manual transmission.  While the 1.5-liter motor boasts better fuel economy, we’re likely to only see the 1.8-liter make it to our shores.

Inside, the Corolla’s interior looks like an updated, slightly smaller version of what we can expect from the upcoming Avalon, with hints of Scion FR-S, Camry, and Prius c – the latter of which is produced in the same factory as the new Corolla.  The Japanese model appears to come available with convenience features like automatic climate control and navigation, while boasting available luxury touches, like wooden trimmings around the power controls on each door, the shift gate, center stack, and the top section of the steering wheel – that’s right – you can be “wood-grain grippin’” in a JDM Corolla if you so desire.  The new Corolla also features a higher roofline than the previous model, and a lower belt line – which, along with an expanded cabin and thinner A-pillars – creates an unprecedented amount of all-around visibility for the driver.  All this comes in a package that is not visibly larger than the current model.

Will the Corolla we receive in the ‘States look like this?  We certainly hope so.

Source – Toyota Global Showroom
Image Credit – Toyota Global Showroom

RAV4 EV – Leading the Charge

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Toyota’s back in the EV SUV game.  You may remember the RAV4 EV from the late 1990’s – they’re still around, decidedly less futuristic-looking than they once were.  The new RAV4 EV is much more stylish and tastefully executed than Toyota’s previous go-around with the all-electric SUV, and as a result of Toyota’s partnership with Tesla Motors, the battery technology behind this extraordinary vehicle is state-of-the-art.  The RAV4 EV has a range of approximately 100 miles while able to achieve a full charge in as little as 6 hours on a 240V charger, and reach speeds of up to 100 mph in Sport mode (and 85 mph in Normal mode).  The electric powertrain produces a healthy 154 HP and a mysterious amount of torque (Toyota hasn’t announced it yet, but seeing as how the RAV4 EV can sprint from 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, it’s probably somewhere in the mid-200 lb.ft. range).

Inside the RAV4 EV you’ll find an eight-inch touch screen that displays navigation, telematics, EV drive info and Toyota’s Entune system.  The interior is upholstered in a unique “Neutron” fabric that is woven with a subtle sheen and blue accent.  Interior volume is uncompromised by the vehicle’s EV componentry and retains the gasoline-powered RAV4’s 73 cubic-feet of space.  Outside, the RAV4 EV receives distinct styling cues to separate it from its gas-burning brethren by way of a re-worked front grille treatment that features the “EV” logo, and the halogen reflector headlights have been replaced by LED projector units.  Also a dead giveaway for the EV is the lack of a tail pipe or rear mounted spare tire.

Sale of the RAV4 EV will be restricted to four select major California markets that include Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles/Orange County, and San Diego with a price tag of $49,800.

Please browse the high-resolution image gallery below (Facebook gallery can be found here).  If there’s white space below, hit “refresh” on your browser.

Source – Toyota USA Newsroom
Image/Video Credit – Toyota USA Newsroom

Toyota Mobility – Access for Everyone

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The majority of the population in America takes for granted the simple things in life – being able to walk, tie one’s shoes, or even climb into the back seat of a car.  Not everyone can enjoy these simple things, but Toyota aims to change that. Introducing the Toyota Mobility Program.  Back in 2001, Toyota began providing solutions to serve customers and their families to enhance their quality of life.  The program is one of the most comprehensive available from an original equipment manufacturer, from the research, development, and installation of their own mobility assistance equipment, to offering financial assistance towards the installation of mobility assistance solutions provided by a third party onto a Toyota vehicle.  This includes equipment like wheelchair lifts, scooter lifts, and hand controls designed Toyota’s most popular models.

Toyota currently offers one complete model that comes equipped from the factory with Toyota’s Auto Access Seat – The Sienna.  Available on LE or XLE trims, the Auto Access Seat offers 90-degrees of rotation with a lift capacity of 330 pounds, and lowers to within 19” of the ground with a minimal amount of 4” of side travel.  It also reclines up to 24 degrees for maximum maneuverability and comfort.

For more information on the Sienna equipped with the Auto Access seat, please visit http://www.toyotamobility.com.  Mungenast Alton Toyota will gladly assist you with ordering your Sienna with Auto Access, or any other mobility solutions-equipped vehicle to suit your specific needs.

To watch the Auto Access Seat in action, watch the video below:


Source: Toyota
Image Credit: Toyota