New Model News

2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition wears Supersonic Red paint, gets black accents

The car sports a unique red paint job.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

With the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition, the Japanese automaker isn't just debuting a new model. They're foreshadowing what's to come from the Toyota lineup.

The new version builds on the 2021 Corolla Hatchback SE with the continuously variable transmission (CVT). The car is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 168 horsepower. It has a multi-link rear suspension, Sport drive mode, and paddle shifters.

2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Special Edition

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.


Its exterior features a Supersonic Red paint job, black-painted 18-inch alloy wheels, and a body kit that adds a front splitter, side skirts, black rear roof spoiler, a rear bumper garnish, and Special Edition badge to the car. At the front are J-shaped bi-beam LED headlamps and LED taillamps sit at the rear.

The Corolla Hatchback Special Edition comes with the SE's standard features list including an 8-inch infotainment touch screen, six speakers, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Siri Eyes Free, an AUX jack, two USB ports, satellite radion, hands-free phone capability, voice recognition, and Bluetooth. Complementary Safety Connect, satellite radio, and Wi-Fi Connect trials come with purchase.

Additionally, there's a leather-wrapped shift knob, electronic parking brake, keyless entry, and automatic up/down windows.

The model comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. It has 10 airbags (up from eight on the traditional model.

Toyota backs the car with a 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty and 60-month warranties that cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The Corolla Hatchback also comes standard 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.

Just 1,500 of the hot hatches will be made. Pricing has yet to be announced. The car will arrive at dealer lots late this summer.

As for the model alluding to the future, it's easy to see what Toyota's talking about. The Corolla Hatchback is about due for a refresh and that means that it would be the perfect time to include some of the features and equipment this Special Edition has on it, like the additional airbags.

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The Google logo appears for the first time on a car thanks to the partnership.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

"Hey Google, where is my Fiat 500X Hey Google parked?" A new lineup of car models from Fiat celebrates the technology of Hey Google. The special editions are mainly just a publicity stunt (for both companies), but buyers will be able to place an order for the fresh 500 family models this month.

Each car in the special series is equipped with the Hey Google voice assistant. Owners can connect their car to the their Google Nest Hub (included in a welcome kit with purchase) and smartphone, should they so choose.

Owners will use the phrase "Hey Google, ask my Fiat…" to get answers regarding questions about where the car is parked, how much fuel is left, the location of the nearest workshop, and much more.

Fiat 500 Family Hey Google: Fiat 500

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

In addition to the tech, each Hey Google cars are equipped with unique exteriors and interiors. They have white paint jobs on their bodies and gloss black roofs and mirror caps. For the first time in automotive history, the Google logo is displayed on an automobile. The Hey Google badge is placed on the wheel arches of every model. Both B-pillars are also embellished with the multicoloured 'molecules' of the Hey Google logo.

The molecules are also displayed on the inside where they feature on the seats, which also have a label embroidered with "Hey Google". The dashboard fascia is matte silver with a white 500 logo.

At the center of the dashboard is a 7.0-inch touch screen display that features an animation where "Hey Google" appears then moves to the Google "G" then transforms to the Fiat logo.

Fiat will offer Hey Google editions of their 500, 500X, and 500L. The Fiat 500 hybrid Hey Google are priced from £16,005 OTR, 500X Hey Google priced from £21,765 OTR, and 500L Hey Google priced from £20,345 OTR

Deliveries are limited to the U.K. Ordering for the special series opens mid-April.

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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