2020 Toyota Prius Gets Standard Apple Carplay, More Safety Features

2020 Toyota Prius gets standard Apple CarPlay, more safety features

The Toyota Prius will enter the 2020 model year with more standard technology features, including one that owners have spent years clamoring for. The hybrid's powertrain and styling remain unchanged. Car buyers increasingly seek smartphone connectivity, and the Prius finally delivers by offering standard Apple CarPlay regardless of trim level. It's the latest Toyota model to gain the software after Toyota had long resisted it due to safety and privacy concerns. Amazon Alexa compatibility is also part of the package, but motorists waiting for Android Auto will need to show a little bit more patience. The hybrid segment's poster child also gains standard Toyota Safety Connect. Previously available only on the top-spec Limited trim, Safety Connect bundles emergency assistance, stolen vehicle locator, roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification. There's no stolen battery locator yet. Toyota noted it's giving buyers a free three-year subscription to the Safety Connect service, but they'll need to pay for it after their Prius turns four. Safety Connect normally costs $80 a year or $8 a month. Toyota hasn't made any mechanical modifications to the Prius. The standard model carries on with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain consisting of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and two electric motors that draw power from a lithium-ion battery pack. All-wheel drive models gain an additional motor mounted over the rear axle, and a nickel-metal hybride battery that's better suited to extremely cold temperatures than the lithium-ion unit. The 2020 Toyota Prius will join the plug-in Prius Prime in showrooms nationwide in the coming weeks. Pricing information hasn't been revealed yet, but expect a small dollar increase to offset the additional equipment.

Honda E Gets Final Range And Power Numbers Ahead Of Frankfurt

Honda E gets final range and power numbers ahead of Frankfurt

We've been waiting a long time for this. Official Honda E production details are out, including range, power, acceleration and new photos. Honda claims the little hatchback will be capable of going 136.7 miles on a full charge. That number isn't exactly competitive with anything more than the low-range Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 sold in America, but total range isn't the point with this car. Honda has already said that it's prioritizing a low weight and smaller form factor for city usage. We'll note one caveat with the range figure. Honda says the number comes from internal estimates, and doesn't indicate if it's 136.7 miles on the WLTP or NEDC standards. There will be two power outputs available. The base electric motor produces 134 horsepower, while the upgraded E will make 152 horsepower. Both versions put out 232 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration to 62 mph will take approximately 8 seconds, according to Honda. Finally, the Honda E is capable of fast charging, going from 0-80 percent capacity in as little as 30 minutes. It's a small 35.5 kWh battery pack, but Honda still hasn't provided a final, official curb weight. The last important bit of news revealed today is that these photos are the first showing a Honda E in its final production form. Up until now, all the Honda E photos have been of concepts or pre-production vehicles. That said, good luck finding anything different between these photos and the last big batch of pictures Honda released. The car is still as cute and stylish as ever — you'll be able to see it in person at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month. We could totally go for one as a city/commuter car, especially with the ludicrous 14-foot turning radius Honda promises. This may be the sixth, seventh or maybe even 20th time we've said it, but we sure do want the Honda E in America, too.

2020 Honda Civic Si Gets Faster Acceleration, More Aggressive Looks

2020 Honda Civic Si gets faster acceleration, more aggressive looks

Honda is giving the 2020 Civic Si some upgrades to its exterior styling and a slight boost to its acceleration giddyup. The coupe and sedan versions go on sale Sept. 6.

First, the stying changes. The lower-bumper fog lights, now LEDs, are now encased in gloss-black surrounds and feature a body-color crossbar. The "wing" grille crossbar is also updated, appearing slightly narrower than before, while both the Si Coupe and Sedan get upgraded to LED headlights with wider and longer light beams.

In back, the Si sedan gets fresh body-color inserts at the sides of the bumper. Both the Sedan and Coupe models now ride on matte black 18-inch allow wheels with all-season tires. There are also updated sport seats with red accents on the seat bottoms and backs, plus new red trim highlighting the instrument panel. They add to the interior upgrades made for 2019 that included an updated display audio system with physical buttons and a volume knob and larger cupholders.

The 2020 Civic Si sticks with the same 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine as the 2018 version, which makes 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, and the same six-speed manual transmission. But new for 2020 is a final-drive ratio that is shorter by 6%, helping to give a nudge to acceleration.

All trim levels of the Si Sedan and Coupe get standard Honda Sensing safety and driver-assist technologies that include new automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation braking. They also get Active Sound Control, which uses the audio system to amplify the engine sound during aggressive driving.

Both the Civic Si Coupe and the Si Sedan will start at $25,930 including destination, which is a $700 increase over 2019. 

2020 Toyota Supra Gets Manual Transmission From Texas Tuner Eag

2020 Toyota Supra gets manual transmission from Texas tuner EAG

Toyota rubbed a small but vocal group of enthusiasts the wrong way when it announced plans not to launch the 2020 Supra with a manual transmission. It's all automatic, all the time. Whether the company will change its mind during the car's production run is up in the air, so a Texas-based tuning shop named European Auto Group (EAG) took the matter into its own hands. You might assume a shop called Japanese Auto Group would handle the conversion, but remember that the Supra has a European heart. Its 3.0-liter straight-six engine comes from the BMW parts bin. Most of the bits and pieces needed to make a stick-shifted Supra wear a BMW parts number, according to CarBuzz, including the six-speed manual transmission. They're off-the-shelf components. The shift lever is the only custom-made part; it will be inspired by the cool, flip-up unit found in the GR HV Sports concept introduced during the 2017 Tokyo auto show. EAG has started the first conversion, and it's taking $6,000 deposits from customers who wish to see an extra pedal in their Supra's footwell. It pegged the swap's total cost in the vicinity of $12,000, and it warned the process takes between 30 and 45 days.  To sweeten the deal, EAG enlisted the help of Canadian BMW tuner ProTuning Freaks to give the Supra more power. Supra models that go through EAG's shop for a transmission swap will leave it with about 425 horsepower, a 90-horse increase compared to the stock model. There's no word on where the extra power comes from, but EAG owner Art Bartosik told CarBuzz he has personally put over 40,000 miles on ProTuning Freak-modified BMWs without experiencing problems. That's reassuring, especially considering the transmission swap and the engine tune undoubtedly void the Supra's powertrain warranty. Speaking of, EAG is in the process of creating a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty for the cars it modifies. Installing a manual transmission in a car developed with an automatic in mind is a complicated, time-consuming project. The transmission might not fit into the original tunnel, the new pedal box might not line up with the old one's mounting points, space needs to be cleared in the engine bay for a master cylinder, and odds are the driveshaft needs to be modified. EAG specializes in installing manual transmission in high-end cars like the Ferrari 458 and the Lamborghini Huracán, so it's better positioned than most to give Supra enthusiasts the six-speed stick they've been lobbying for.

2020 Toyota Supra Gets Tuned To 420 Horsepower By U.k. Tuner Already

2020 Toyota Supra gets tuned to 420 horsepower by U.K. tuner already

The 2020 Toyota Supra has only been on dealer lots for a couple weeks, but a U.K tuner company is already extracting more horsepower from the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine. Pistonheads is reporting that Litchfield managed to return 420 horsepower via an ECU remap. No hardware changes were involved with the tune — this is simply computer work at this point. As a reference, Toyota says the Supra makes 335 horsepower from the factory — it's fast, and we got even more confirmation of that the other day with the first official lap time being set. If the car truly is making that amount of power stock, then this base tune adds an impressive 85 horsepower. Previous dyno runs of stock Supras have returned conflicting data, but the car may have more power than Toyota is letting on. Due to the variation in dynamometers, climate and cars used, comparing all these cars to each other just isn't possible. What is neat to see is that Litchfield isn't anywhere close to being done yet. The report goes on to say that Litchfield is working to optimize a tune with bolt-on modifications. Litchfield is eliminating the factory particulate filter (not installed on U.S. spec cars) and then giving folks the choice between a Milltek or Akrapovic exhaust. These light-touch changes should net another 20-30 horsepower, according to Litchfield.  A similar tune for other BMW vehicles Litchfield has worked on only costs £600, which translates to about $730. The tune and an exhaust would likely be around $1,500 total, so you could have a 450 horsepower Supra for not a whole lot of money. Of course, Litchfield being a U.K. company, folks in the U.S. won't be able to take advantage of this tune right away. Litchfield isn't even ready to sell to European customers yet. This information does serve as a solid baseline for what to expect when American tuners start to unlock more of that BMW power. We'll be watching closely for that to occur in the near future.

Singapore Gets A Taste Of Hokkaido

Singapore gets a taste of Hokkaido

People in Singapore got a chance to sample famous foods from Japan's northernmost island. Officials from Hokkaido were visiting to promote the area's cuisine.

A Japanese delegation that included Hokkaido's governor joined a tasting event at a supermarket in Singapore.

Xperia 1 Gets July 2019 Security Patches (55.0.a.2.314)

Xperia 1 gets July 2019 security patches (55.0.A.2.314)

Sony Mobile is rolling out a new firmware update for the Xperia 1 flagship, which moves the build number from 55.0.A.2.278 to version 55.0.A.2.314. The update adds the July 2019 Android security patches. It is currently live on the dual SIM variant of the Xperia 1 (J9110), but should shortly arrive on the single SIM versions too (J8110, J8170).

Reach For The Sky: Shibuya Gets Tallest Building

Reach for the sky: Shibuya gets tallest building

Tokyo's Shibuya district is getting a new addition to its already-crowded skyline.

The 230-meter-tall east wing of Shibuya Scramble Square will be the highest building around when it opens November 1. It's now being constructed right above Shibuya Station.