Chris Harris Shares His Thoughts On The New Toyota Supra And The Legacy Of Japanese Sports Cars

Chris Harris shares his thoughts on the new Toyota Supra and the legacy of Japanese Sports Cars

In this "Top Gear" clip, host Chris Harris and "TG" magazine deputy editor Jack Rix share their thoughts about the new Toyota Supra. Jack Rix puts Harris on the defensive right away by asking him to explain a line he wrote in a previous review of the car: "This is one of the strangest cars I've ever driven." Harris initially seems to admit that his perspective may be unique to someone who tests cars so frequently, then explains that what he meant is that he's very used to individual brands and expects certain things from them. "... When I get into an Audi, there's a smell to an Audi, there's a feeling to the seats, there's a feeling to the steering wheel." But when he got behind the wheel of a Supra, it just didn't feel like a Toyota. The two discuss the history of Japanese sports cars and what Harris thinks of the Supra's segment overall. To get the full scoop, you'll have to watch the clip above and don't forget that "Top Gear" airs on BBC America Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.

Amazon Will Now Deliver Into The Trunk Of Honda Cars

Amazon Will Now Deliver Into The Trunk Of Honda Cars

Some of you might recall that back in 2017, Amazon launched Amazon Key which was the company’s way of delivering right into your home. The company later expanded on that when they offered to make deliveries into the trunk of your car, although at that time it only covered Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Now it looks like if you’re a Honda owner, Amazon is further expanding on its delivery services where they will be able to deliver into your car as well. Of course, not all Honda cars are eligible and only select models are, but if you do own a compatible model, you could have a package waiting in your car.

Waymo To Bring Self-driving Cars To France And Japan With Nissan-renault

Waymo To Bring Self-Driving Cars To France And Japan With Nissan-Renault


Waymo, Nissan, and Renault have teamed up to bring self-driving cars to France and Japan, the companies announced today. They have inked an exclusive agreement to explore all aspects of driverless mobility services for both passengers and deliveries in these countries. The announcement is a little light on details about any concrete plans to launch self-driving taxi services, for example.

It appears to be an arrangement similar to the ones that Waymo has announced with other car manufacturers. That’s probably why the wording in this announcement is somewhat vague as well.

Survey: Many Of Japan's Elderly Drive Cars

Survey: Many of Japan's elderly drive cars

A Japanese government survey shows a quarter of the country's population aged 80 or older drive cars.

This year's white paper on Japan's aging society has been released amid growing concerns over a series of serious traffic accidents involving elderly drivers.

Future Toyota Cars Will Have Automatic Engine Shut Off And Automatic Parking

Future Toyota Cars Will Have Automatic Engine Shut Off And Automatic Parking

Leaving your car idling is probably one of the worst things you could do as far as fuel consumption is concerned. Perhaps in a bid to help improve on energy efficiency, Toyota has announced that future Toyota vehicles are expected to come with an automatic engine shut off feature.

According to Toyota, “The Auto Shut Off feature will automatically shut off the engine after a pre-determined period of time in the event the vehicle is left running. Future enhancements will include smartphone App capabilities as an added reminder.” Toyota notes that they already offer a similar feature in its older cars, where they will notify the driver if they are idling for extended periods of time and reminds them to turn their engines off, but this will actually go ahead and do it on behalf of the driver.

Honda Actually Sold More Manual Cars In 2018 Versus 2017

Honda actually sold more manual cars in 2018 versus 2017

We've had quite a bit of news about manual transmission take rates this week. On the disappointing side, we learned that Toyota doesn't sell many manuals in the models it offers them, and even the 86 sports car is sold more with the automatic. On the encouraging side, most people still buy Miatas with a manual. Now we have data from Honda that's partly encouraging and partly discouraging: it sold more manuals in 2018 than 2017, but the portion of overall sales is still small.

We'll focus on the good news first. Honda sold 30 percent more manual transmission-equipped cars in 2018 than in 2017 for a total of 45,601 cars. Making that number even more impressive is the fact that the Honda brand's total sales for the year went down by 2.2 percent.

2020 Toyota Supra Vs. 2020 Bmw Z4 | Similar Sports Cars, Different Missions

2020 Toyota Supra vs. 2020 BMW Z4 | Similar sports cars, different missions

The Toyota Supra is back. But let's have some perspective, please. Nostalgia fuels our love for the last-generation car more than its sports car bona fides. Its price was outrageous for its time, and the resulting glacial sales actually killed off the once-booming Supra franchise (it sold a tenth of what its predecessor did). Since then, it's been lionized in popular films and video games, but when the 2020 Toyota GR Supra reaches showrooms on July 22, generations of fans will find a mature, Nürburgring-capable sports car, not the Tokyo-style street racer of yore.

The partnership that birthed the 2020 Supra coupe and BMW Z4 convertible makes the Bimmer the intriguing point-of-comparison, not a wholly unrelated Toyota that died more than 20 years ago. With all respect to the car's loyal tuner crowd, Toyota's job is to sell Supras, not to do fanservice to grown-up tuners or trade in nostalgia. Without BMW engineering and components, for which Toyota ponied up development cash, this Supra wouldn't exist. Nor would the Z4.

Uber Lands $1 Billion From Softbank, Toyota For Self-driving Cars

Uber lands $1 billion from SoftBank, Toyota for self-driving cars

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber's autonomous vehicle unit has raised $1 billion from a consortium of investors including SoftBank Group, giving the company a much-needed funding boost for its pricey self-driving ambitions on the eve of its public stock offering. Uber Technologies said on Thursday that the investment valued its Advanced Technologies Group, which works to develop autonomous driving technology, at $7.25 billion. SoftBank will invest $333 million from its $100 billion Vision Fund, while Toyota and automotive supplier Denso Corp will combined invest $667 million. Reuters had reported in March talks of the investment in ATG, which has locations in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. The funding allows Uber to transfer some of the substantial cost of developing self-driving cars onto outside investors. That is likely to appease some investor concerns over Uber's spending on the autonomous unit, which has topped $1 billion since the program started in 2016. The business unit brings in no meaningful revenue for Uber, which last year lost $3.03 billion. The company is not even offering free rides in the robot cars to passengers, like some of its rivals are, following a fatal crash last year in Arizona involving an Uber self-driving SUV. Uber released its IPO filing this month and is preparing to launch is "roadshow," when it will pitch its company prospective investors, the week of April 29, setting up for an early May debut on the New York Stock Exchange. Uber is expected to raise $10 billion at a $90 billion to $100 billion valuation, at least an 18 percent jump from its current $76 billion valuation. As part of the deal, ATG becomes its own legal entity but remains under the control of Uber with its financial performance folded into Uber's. A new ATG board will be formed, with six seats from Uber, one from SoftBank and one from Toyota. Eric Meyhofer, currently the head of ATG, will take the title of CEO and report to the new board. Such sizable deals are unusual for companies so close to an IPO, because bringing in large new investors changes the company's capital structure. The deal, however, will almost certainly require approval from the inter-agency regulatory group called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). A law enacted last year expands that group's powers to review minority stakes by foreign investors in startups with certain sensitive technologies, and self-driving technology is widely considered to have defense applications. SoftBank's investment in General Motors' self-driving car unit Cruise is still under CFIUS review and is likely weeks away from a decision, even though that investment was announced more than a year ago.