We just covered Japan's updated Subaru Impreza, which naturally has everyone wondering about a new WRX, the current fourth-generation on sale since 2014. According to a story in Japan's Best Car magazine, the fifth generation arrives late next year with a new platform and engine as part of the automaker's Japanese-market overhaul of the WRX STI, JDM-only WRX S4, and Levorg wagon. The STI is expected to switch from the current turbocharged EJ20 boxer-four to a direct-injection FA20 boxer-four engine with output of around 315 horsepower. Note, the Japanese-market WRX STI uses a 2.0-liter engine, the U.S version gets the 2.5-liter EJ257 with 310 hp. The U.S.-market WRX (sans STI) already uses the turbo FA20, but it makes 268 horsepower. The WRX STI will finally move to the Subaru Global Platform that the Impreza switched to in 2017, which will hopefully go a long way in improving ride comfort around town. The six-speed manual makes the switch as well. Best Car says the four-door's size won't change much, but the looks will crib from the Viziv concept - something everyone wants - with a design language called "Dynamic x Solid," U-shaped LEDs, and "greatly inflated front and rear fenders." Until then, the 2020 Subaru WRX STI will stick with its current architecture and another limited edition called the Series.White. A Torque News story says that as with the Series.Gray launched for the 2019 model year, the Series.White will be limited to 250 examples in WRX STI flavor, and 750 examples of the WRX. The Series.White gets a tonal neighbor on the palette for 2020, a new hue called Ceramic White that's exclusive to the WRX and WRX STI, which will omit any metallic or pearl effects in order to distinguish itself from the already-available Crystal White Pearl. The Series.White, as a special edition, will come with the requisite Crystal Black Silica badges, Recaro seats, Performance Package, suspension upgrades, folding side mirrors, and 19-inch black wheels. The WRX S4 and Levorg will benefit from two brand new, downsized, direct-injection turbocharged engines in Japan, one of 1.5 liters, the other of 1.8 liters. Built around smaller, lighter engine blocks and boasted improved combustion efficiency, the 1.5-liter will produce about 148 hp, the 1.8-liter about 266 hp. Our non-STI WRX gets a 2.0-liter FA20 with 268 hp. Considering the similar horsepower, we wouldn't be surprised if Subaru continues to use the FA20 in the U.S.-spec WRX in the next-generation car since it's already certified for the U.S. and aftermarket parts should be easy to adapt to the new car. It's possible Subaru will preview all three new models at this year's Tokyo Motor Show.
Nissan is expected to keep sending the Kicks crossover our way, but the rest of the world continues to enjoy the delights of the Juke. After nine years on the market, Nissan teased the second-generation of the original funky sub-compact crossover with a QR code and a single image. To premier on September 3, the new Juke will introduce an evolved take on the current design. The split headlight arrangement carries over, the LED DRL giving up its boomerang shape for a curved single slash, the headlight beneath adopting a triangular pattern. The front fascia will wear a wider V-motion grille that descends to tie in with a chrome-look center section for the bumper and front skid plate. Chunky cladding adorns the wheel wells on the second-gen, as on today's Juke. Other automakers have followed the Juke's lead with their own tiny crossovers, so it's expected that Nissan has plenty in store to keep its own weapon sharp. The Juke's exterior design, variously called "eccentric and confident" and "completely Marmite," should retain its personality albeit with a more modern language. Spy shots reveal the trademark steeply raked windshield, sloping roof, and prominent haunches, and prototype camouflage could hide a contrasting, floating roof. The looks will enclose a more livable package, however, as the Juke moves to the CMF-B platform shared with the Renault Clio and recently revealed Renault Captur. That means a longer wheelbase, and more interior room for passengers and cargo. We'll see whether the current hauler's motorcycle-inspired interior treatment migrates, but we can expect better interior appointments and tech features aligned with the heavily digital Captur cockpit. Based on the Captur's engine choices, powertrain combinations could entertain a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine, 1.3- and 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engines with as much as 200 horsepower, and a 1.5-liter diesel turning the front wheels. A plug-in hybrid is in the rumor mix, with talk of the 1.6-liter engine combined with a 9.8-kWh battery combining to provide an all-EV range of as much as 30 kilometers (18.6 miles).
Japan's next-generation Shinkansen bullet train was rolled out to the media in a demonstration test run on Thursday.
East Japan Railway Company aims to put the train into service in the fiscal year starting in April 2030. The Hokkaido Shinkansen line will then be extended to Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido. The company plans to operate the train at a maximum speed of 360 kilometers per hour.
On sale since the 2008 model year and facelifted twice in the interim, the Toyota Land Cruiser has lately begun rolling out the special editions. Last year we got the 2019 Lexus LX Inspiration, this year we got the 2020 Land Cruiser Heritage Edition. This likely means a changing of the model guard is close, the 300-Series Land Cruiser on the horizon to replace the current 200-Series. When Motor Authority asked Toyota SVP Bill Fay about the U.S. getting the next generation, Fay replied, "We are fully committed to the Land Cruiser for the foreseeable future."
The reason for the question could have been Land Cruiser sales figures for the past 14 years, when the model never cleared 5,000 units. The swankier Lexus LX sibling sells in greater numbers, but even lumping the two trucks, they've crested 10,000 sales just twice since 2005. On top of that, two of the largest regional markets for the Land Cruiser are Australia and the Middle East, which have different regulatory regimes, and the 2019 Highlander has a three-row option.
There's stronger confirmation that earlier reports of the Toyota 86's demise were premature. Autocar got confirmation from Toyota's European marketing boss that the company is planning a second generation of the 2+2 rear-wheel drive coupe, which is known as the GT86 in Europe, in concert with Subaru.
We presume that holds true for the U.S. as well; Autoblog sought confirmation from Toyota. It jibes with an earlier report in which both automakers refuted a Japanese outlet's assertion that the 86 and the Subaru BRZ would not see successor versions.
Toyota hasn't done so much as breathed upon the Sienna for what feels like eons, but here's our first hint that something new is finally around the corner for the big minivan. The vehicle pictured here is a test mule, presumably for the 2021 Toyota Sienna, with a body that doesn't quite match up to the chassis. Note the wheels that poke out beyond the wheel arches, revealing what is almost certainly a wider track courtesy Toyota's TNGA platform that continues to be permeate throughout Toyota's lineup. We'll assume that it's the longer version of TNGA currently employed by the Avalon and Lexus ES.
The Sienna is definitely going to be bigger than before, showing off both that wider track and a stretched wheelbase. Toyota even modified the body panels on this mule in order to fit the wheels and tires underneath it all. Patchy work is noticeable around the front door and longer rear overhang. The mirrors are then haphazardly stuck onto the doors, instead of the A-pillars where they live now.