Toyota Accelerates Towards the Millennium at the London Motor Show

22 September 1999

Visitors to the London Motor Show at Earls Court 20-31 October 1999 will have to catch their breath thanks to the rapid pace of change at Toyota.

The world’s third largest car manufacturer, Toyota, will unveil four completely new cars on stand M8, Hall 2. The UK arm of the company is accelerating four years of sustained sales growth with a concentrated period of new product introductions unrivalled by any other car manufacturer.

Two new sports cars – Celica and MR2 Roadster

Acceleration might well be the buzz word on the Toyota stand this year because two brand new sports cars are breaking cover. First is a new Celica coupe, designed at Toyota’s Californian design studio. The new Celica is a complete re-think of the sports coupe concept and is proof that less is more. The new Celica is 90 mm shorter than its predecessor, but offers more interior volume and more luggage space. At only 1100 kg the total weight is five per cent less than the current Celica and the power-to-weight ratio has been improved by about 30 per cent making the car feel much livelier to drive. With a maximum output of 140bhp (105 kW) the new Celica offers a power-to-weight ratio which is the best in its class. The coupe accelerates from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 8.7 seconds and has a top speed of 127mph.

With its increased and relatively long wheelbase for high speed stability and the newly designed double wishbone rear suspension the new Celica offers exciting cornering and superb road holding. All in all it is a car that delivers the fun and pleasure of driving a compact, sporty coupe, combined with excellent value for money.

MR2 Roadster

Alongside the Celica will be a brand new MR2 sports car. The name MR2 (Mid-ship Runabout 2 seater) requires little introduction to UK sports car fans as two previous generations of the thrilling two seater have forged an indelible mark on enthusiasts’ hearts.

The new MR2 Roadster is in many respects a unique design. The car combines the genuine and classic enjoyment of open roadster driving with state of the art styling and technology.

Designed as a mid-ship roadster, the car’s short front and rear overhangs give it a sturdy and confident appeal with the elegance expected of a roadster. During winter, the MR2 can be equipped with a specially designed hard-top, which gives it the practicality and look of a coupe.

The mid-engine concept, which has always been a characteristic of Toyota’s MR2, together with the ultra stiff body construction, makes the MR2 a car that offers the fun of open air motoring, without compromising on road performance. The new MR2 roadster will go on sale in the first quarter of 2000.

The car of the future today – Prius

Toyota is particularly proud to have developed the world’s first production hybrid car, the Prius. On display is the final European version of the Prius compatible with European tastes and standards. With 30,000 cars already sold in Japan the world’s ultimate eco car is already making its contribution to reducing the so-called greenhouse gases emitted by cars. The Prius will go on sale in the UK in autumn 2000 offering excellent fuel economy with the ultra-low exhaust emissions from its clever petrol/electric power source.

Power and space – Yaris 1.3 and Verso

Toyota’s small car range, the Yaris, is boosted with the addition of a new highly innovative model called the Verso, plus the introduction of a bigger 1.3-litre engine to the Yaris three and five door hatchback models in the line up.

Yaris Verso is a completely new concept for young families. It is a compact multi-purpose vehicle, which adds a completely new dimension to the supermini segment of the car market. The interior space, however, is clearly that of a bigger car while its clever foldaway rear seats leave a massive loading area if required.

The Yaris Verso is powered by a new 1.3-litre 16v engine, which features Toyota’s efficient VVT-i system (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) boosting performance and optimising fuel efficiency. This engine is also being fitted in the highly praised Yaris three and five door hatchback models and can also be mated to a new automatic gearbox. On the road prices for the new 1.3 Yaris three and five door hatchback models are:

  • 1.3 16v VVT-i 3dr GLS automatic – £10,445
  • 1.3 16v VVT-i 5dr CDX manual – £11,945
  • 1.3 16v VVT-i 5dr CDX automatic – £12,445
  • 1.3 16v VVT-i 3dr SR* manual – TBA

*The SR is a new sporty but insurance friendly addition to the Yaris range. Its price will be announced at the London Motor Show.

A wide range of Toyota’s other models will be on display including an updated version of the Land Cruiser Colorado which features a new front grille, powerful multi-reflector type headlights, a bigger front bumper and a host of other detail improvements. A special edition ‘SE’ version of the Picnic MPV makes its first
appearance while the RAV4 ‘Giant’ celebrates Toyota’s sponsorship of the RAV4 Mountain Biking Championships and Series and comes with a Giant mountain bike, helmet and bike carrier included in the price.

Note to editors: Although there will be no formal Toyota press conference, please come along to the Toyota stand for light refreshments and to learn more about these exciting new cars between 8.00am and 11.00am on press day, Tuesday 19 October 1999.


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Toyota Accelerates Towards the Millennium at the London Motor Show


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