Archive for the ‘Scrap Book’ Category

Toyota Safety Sense demonstrations in Phoenix

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Posted 26 Jan 2017 — by Sam Haymart
Category Events, Scrap Book

During our fabled Auction Week here in Phoenix, our friends at Allison Partners and Toyota invited working media out to a special evening program to demonstrate their Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) systems.

The event held at Wildhorse Motorsports Park started with a detailed presentation by Toyota sales training representatives to outline the various systems that come on all Toyota models starting for the 2017 model year.

Presenter Derek Huff who teaches Toyota dealer sales how to sell and demonstrate the products, explained to our members in detail how the various elements of TSS operate and which Toyota models come with each set of safety features.

TSS comes in two forms, TSS-C for compact and entry level models and TSS-P for larger and more upscale vehicles.

TSS-C includes an array of camera based passive and active safety features and driver assistance programs. There is a pre-collision functionality that uses a forward looking camera to detect the car moving up on vehicles ahead. It can first alert the driver then take action to brake if the driver doesn’t.

Also included is a lane departure alert that will give auditory and visual warnings to the driver if they are crossing over lane lines. TSS-C also includes automatic high-beam headlamps.

On more premium and larger class models Toyota now has standard TSS-P. It takes the feature set of TSS-C and adds a millimeter wave radar capability that enables a finer set of skills for its pre-collision system and automatic braking.

It can detect pedestrians and other objects above and beyond another vehicle and as such offers additional capability to help prevent accidents. TSS-P also has a more elaborate lane keeping function that adds steering assist that can also help nudge a driver back into the lane if they are crossing visible lines.

Added here is also dynamic radar cruise control which can maintain your car at a set speed and at a set distance to traffic ahead. As demonstrated on site at the event, this can enable the car to adjust speed based on vehicles in front of it at a set distance and even come to a complete stop, then continue on.

Toyota stressed that TSS is an enhancement to safety and not a substitute for driver awareness and interaction. They pointed out clearly that some road conditions including surfaces, weather and traffic may preclude the systems from being able to operate.

During the presentation phase there was a healthy question and answer session followed by in-car demonstrations of the pre-collision systems, the dynamic radar cruise control and the parking assistive programs available on Toyota models.

Special thanks to Allison Partners and Toyota Motor Sales USA for providing this window into the new safety systems and how sales representatives are trained to present them to customers.

Jeep Grand Cherokee is PAPA’s Best of the Southwest

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Posted 13 Nov 2015 — by Cathy Luebke
Category PAPA News, Scrap Book

Jeep Grand Cherokee received Phoenix Automotive Press Association’s first Best of the Southwest award as part of the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year program last month in Chandler.
This is ALV’s fourth year in Phoenix bringing together hikers, kayakers, runners and other outdoor enthusiasts along with automotive journalists from around the country to select vehicles in various categories that best fit their lifestyles.
Best of the Southwest was conceived as a vehicle suited to the region’s lifestyle, including day-to-day needs and the ability to take friends and their gear safely along unpaved forest roads and desert trails, PAPA founding President Larry Edsall explained to members. It also is a vehicle that you feel good in whether out in the boonies or handing off to the valet at a fancy restaurant in Scottsdale.

Scott Brown of Chrysler with PAPA’s Bob Golfen.

“Grand Cherokee offers the best combination of class and off-road capability,” according to one ballot comment. Another said, “The Grand Cherokee is fully off-road capable with room for a family and styling for a night on the town.”
A PAPA jury narrowed the field of 20-some ALV finalists with all PAPA members eligible to vote on the final six. The five other PAPA finalists were: Dodge Durango, Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG, Ford Edge, Toyota Tacoma and Audi Q3

ALV award winners

It was our biggest event ever, said event co-founder Nina Russin, an automotive journalist from Phoenix.
With a new venue, expanded media day, new awards and more participants the ALV program took place over two days at the Crown Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler.
The awards are unique with both automotive press and outdoor enthusiasts participating, Russin said. It was good to see so many returning athletes, both recreational and professional. “I fell strongly it’s an important thing to do to mix end users and journalists to see which vehicle works.”
Vehicles were judged on city, freeway and off-road routes with consideration for features including seating, cargo capability and versatility for activities such as camping, sports and road trips.

Winners in the six ALV classes were:
* Best Value Off Road: 2015 Ford F-150
* Luxury Off Road: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
* Luxury On Road: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450
* Best Value On Road: 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
* Best Value Family: 2015 Ford Edge
* Urban: 2015 Kia Soul

Auto design: Wild West to Big Mouth Bass

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Posted 20 Sep 2015 — by Cathy Luebke
Category Scrap Book

Automotive styles – from the Wild West days of the 1950s and ‘60s to today’s Big Mouth Bass – took members of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association on a fascinating and humorous ride.
Arizona resident Ron Will, the designer behind such vehicles as Subaru Outback and the 25th anniversary Corvette, led a panel that included: Gary Smith, former General Motors designer and the force behind design website; Bruce Wheeler, a GM design modeler and automotive art sculptor; and Aurelien Francois, who moved from France to join the early design team at Chandler-based Local Motors (
Will kicked off the evening with a presentation he calls “Styles of Automotive Design – An Unscientific Review.”
While architecture and even furniture are grouped into styles such as Prarie and Tudor, it’s not so with cars, he says, taking the initiative to come up with categories of his own.
For example, cars such as the new McLaren, Toyota Venza and Hyundai Elantra, might be dubbed Latte Swirl. “They just sort of swirl and wrap around everywhere,” Will says.
On the aggressive side, think Velociraptor when you see the Veneno, one of the Lamborghini bulls it calls a “racing prototype for the road.”
You often see Xerox cars, whether it’s just tail end design or the whole works that’s déjà vu. Will points to the new Corvette Stingray’s similarity to the 2010 Lotus Elite prototype.
The audience thought of Lexus with its self-dubbed “spindle grille,” when he mentioned Large Mouth Bass, but there are plenty of others. He showed the new Scion iA, saying it looks like it flopped out a lake.
Will has other categories – to name a few, Disjointalism where pieces don’t seem to connect, Retro-Roots and The Time Has Finally Come resurrecting ideas from years ago.
But many of the most popular cars fall into a class he calls Vanillaism, when you can hardly tell one from another.
A variety of factors affect auto styling today, panel members say.
Will likened the ‘50s and ‘60s to the Wild West, when designers could do anything, the big fins, the Edsel. It became competitive to see who could be the wildest, before it settled down – and then became “far too settled,” he says
People say they want advanced styling, but they really don’t, he says. It has to advance slowly, and extremes don’t last.
Wheeler says General Motors saw the shift with a changeover in the design bosses from Harley Earl to Bill Mitchell plus a growing influence from “bean counters.”
There’s also the growing number of federal regulations manufacturers must follow. Will says, however, designers usually seek out a theme and excitement first, then work into those parameters.
Smith goes back to the Lexus examples, noting that if you got rid of the distinctive panels, they’d blend in with the crowd. Designers are searching for anything and everything to differentiate their vehicles.
Francois agrees, saying there is a new push to the wild side.
Smith also thinks the press and others who evaluate cars influence public perception of style. And while design does impact sales, so does brand recognition, he says.
Francois summed it up: “Styling is like music in the end.” One style does not appeal to everyone.

Scion iA Scion iAVeneno VenenoElantra ElantraRon Will, Gary Smith, Bruce Wheeler, Aurelien Francois Ron Will, Gary Smith, Bruce Wheeler, Aurelien Francois