Toyota Is Now an Official Olympic Games Sponsor

Toyota has just announced its position as a member of The Olympic Partner (TOP) program, which is fancy talk for saying that the automaker is now an official Olympic Games sponsor.

The deal will take effect in Japan next year and globally in 2017, so we’re not likely to see too much Toyota sponsorship at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year, but should expect higher presence at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Toyota Fuel Cell - Olympic Games SponsorPredictably, the automaker says its sponsorship will be in the mobility category, which includes “vehicles, mobility services and mobile solutions.” Most likely, Toyota will use the Olympics as a major platform to push fuel cell technology, which we’ve been impatiently waiting for at Phil Wright Toyota!

“Under this Olympic flag, let us today reaffirm the power of sports to bring people together,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda. “And let us dedicate ourselves to creating a better world by promoting sports in the Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

Toyota Sienna Named 2015’s Best-Selling Van

The van has been an American family staple for years, making it easy to transport large families–or small ones with lots of friends—all over town, from soccer practice to school. It’s the kind of efficiency that can’t be beaten.

2015 Toyota Sienna - Best-Selling VanBut which van is the fairest of them all? According to a press release, the 2015 Toyota Sienna is the best-selling van of the year, which is no surprise. The Sienna rocks a laundry list of features perfect for its audience.

Top-of-the-line safety features keep passengers safe in these powerful vehicles, while Blu-ray players keep them entertained. Plus, features like a rearview camera make it simple to navigate, despite the vehicle’s size.

The Sienna even has “Driver Easy Speak,” which transmits the voice of the driver to those in the back seats, making it easy for parents to communicate with their children without having to yell or take their eyes off the road.

What do you think of 2015’s best-selling van? Let us know in the comments.

Introducing the Restyled 2016 Toyota Avalon

Toyota has been busy with the snazzy new Corolla and Camry, but recently the automaker also introduced the aggressively restyled 2016 Toyota Avalon to rave reviews.

restyled 2016 Toyota AvalonToyota’s flagship now wears a sporty front fascia supporting a super-wide aggressive grille. The headlights receive modern light bars and optional LED projector lenses for a sophisticated look. The new Avalon replaces its low-slung fog lights for two vertical turn signal bars on either side of the massive grille. Even the tail lamps and rear bumper get smoother integrated lines and classy chrome streaks.

The Avalon’s trim packages get a little more custom for the 2016 offerings. Now, the 2016 model comes in five variants; the XLE, new-for-2016 XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring, and Limited. XLE and XLE Plus Avalons will come upgraded with a seven-inch touchscreen, Toyota Entune audio system, premium wood-grain dash ornamentation, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

This new update also provides the option of choosing between two different suspensions for a dynamic sporty ride or a more comfortable and smooth one. The 2016 Avalon will be available this fall at Phil Wright Toyota, so stop by for more details today!

Toyota Special Edition Models Offer Unparalleled Luxury and Performance

Camry and Corolla fans at the Chicago Auto Show were glad to hear about the release of the new Toyota Special Edition models. The new Camry SE and Corolla SE feature limited-edition options and an extra level of luxury and performance.

Toyota Camry SE - Toyota Special Edition ModelsToyota Corolla SE - Toyota Special Edition ModelsAccording to Toyota, the new Camry SE will feature alloy wheels, a power moonroof, unique taillights, and two exclusive colors (Blizzard Pearl and Blue Streak Metallic). The SE will also come with special logos and badges, as well as Entune Audio Suite among other things. Only 12,000 models will be sold in the world.

Even rarer is the new Corolla SE. This model features similar options like Entune Audio, alloy wheels, and special badges; however, it also has some unique features as well. These include a Sport Driving Mode, a black interior with high-contrast red stitching, Smart Key Access, and three exclusive colors (Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl and Super White).

These new Toyota Special Edition models represent the best of the best in design and engineering. Not only do they offer the iconic quality and performance you would expect, but you also get a little something extra to set your new sedan apart from all the rest.

Toyota’s World Rally Championship Return Coming in 2017 with the Yaris

Toyota’s World Rally Championship return has been a subject of rumor for more than a year, and occasional spy shots of a Toyota Motorsport-tuned Yaris in Germany have only served to strengthen those rumors.

Toyota World Rally Championship - Toyota YarisBut now, they’ve been confirmed. During a visit to Rally Finland, Akio Toyoda spoke of how inspired he felt by Toyota’s past exploits, and confirmed that the automaker would return to the WRC in 2017. The exploits, by the way, refer to the seven titles that Toyota won between 1979 and 1999.

New rules and regulations are now allowing more than the 300-ish horsepower found in the current WRC race cars, and the switch to a fuel-flow formula is allowing manufacturers to use different kinds of engines.

The 1.6-liter, four-cylinder-powered Yaris should fit in among the other rally cars almost as well as it does at Phil Wright Toyota—though we expect it’ll get some more modifications before race day!

The Best Gifts for the Car Lover in your Life

Valentine’s Day is sneaking up on us, but before you roll your eyes, consider this: Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean a box of chocolate they won’t eat, flowers that will soon die, and a card that will find its way to a trash can. Valentine’s Day is all about showing that special someone just how much they mean to you, so why not get them something they’ll actually love?

Gifts for the Car LoverWith a little help from truecar.com, we’ve come up with a list of awesome gifts for the car lover in your life.

Subscription to satellite radio. Once you go satellite, you never go back. What’s not to love about coast-to-coast, commercial-free music? If your loved one has a long commute or makes frequent road trips, you can’t lose with this gift.

Cloud9Living Exotic Car Experience. This might be the mother of all gifts for an exotic car enthusiast. Cloud9Living offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences for everyday Joes like us. Your loved one can pick their dream car, get behind the wheel, and hit the track.

A car detail. Surprise them with a complete car detail and wax. While this isn’t something people would normally splurge on themselves, nothing says “I love you” like a good detailing. It may not be a new car, but it’s the next best thing.

Ridemakerz toy car. Don’t leave out the little man in your life. Car lovers of all ages will love this custom toy-building experience. Choose from a variety of cars, and add custom accessories and details. Think of it like Build-A-Bear, only with cars!

If you really want to make this a Valentine’s Day your loved one will never forget, stop by Phil Wright Toyota today—we’ll help you find the car of their dreams.

Russellville Nonprofit Receives $25,000 Grant

Christmas may have come and gone but the spirit of giving is still holding strong in The Russ Bus. The Russ Bus, a Russellville nonprofit organization, has been awarded a grant amounting to $25,000 from the West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District. The grant will go toward constructing a transitional living facility for the homeless. The 12-unit complex will house individuals and families living in the Russellville homeless camps. “What we do doesn’t work without the help of other nonprofits, churches and individuals. We have the greatest community in the world,” Fred Teague, the founder of The Russ Bus, told The Courier Online.

The Russ Bus began in January 2013 and has been helping the homeless of Russellville since its founding. The organization provides the homeless with a “toolbox”, usually a tent and heater. For families with children, The Russ Bus pays for them to stay in local hotels. “We get calls everyday, and we can’t help everyone. Every situation is different, and we want to get them into housing,” Teague said. The main goal is to move families from homeless to home owners or renters. So far, the organization has helped 60 families meet that goal.

Toyota’s Oculus Rift Simulator Raise Teen Driver Safety Awareness

Teen Driver SafetyToyota is certainly used to breaking ground—vehicles like the Prius and new hydrogen-powered Mirai, vehicles that become synonymous with progress, prove that point. This time, though, Toyota is breaking ground in a different way, by improving teen driver safety awareness thanks to a new driving simulator. The simulator, which marks the first time Oculus Rift technology has been used to support driving safety, is being used as part of Teen Driving Awareness Month.

You don’t have to be a teen to benefit from the simulator experience, though. You simply get behind the wheel of a stationary Toyota vehicle, put on the Oculus Rift headset, and suddenly find yourself immersed in the beautiful, chaotic world of the simulation—a busy city street. Once in the simulation, you are tasked with retaining focus on the road or facing the consequences of losing that focus.

The simulation experience is certainly a lot of fun—who wouldn’t want to give this Oculus Rift technology a try? But it uses all that fun to make a very serious point—driving is a responsibility that no one, teen or adult, should take lightly. Come see us at Phil Wright Toyota to learn more about the simulating technology and all of our great, safe vehicles today.

Toyota 2014 Sales Increase 6.2% in 2014

2014 was the perfect year for Toyota Motor Sales. Not only was the Japanese carmaker named the global hybrid leader, thanks to its outstanding Prius sales, but it also posted an increase of 6.2% compared to 2013, selling a total of 2,373,771 vehicles from both the Toyota and Lexus brands.

Toyota 2014 Sales - Toyota Prius“The industry finished last year on a high note thanks to a strong economic tailwind,” remarked Bill Fay, Toyota Division Group Vice President. “That momentum should continue in 2015 and combined with continued strong replacement demand, boost sales further.

Helping this Toyota 2014 sales increase was the company’s December sales, which were up from 12.2% from last year. The carmaker sold a total of 175,178 units total in the last month of 2014, giving Toyota’s numbers a serious boost.

These great Toyota 2014 sales are sure to hint at terrific sales in 2015, too. Stop in to Phil Wright Toyota today to see why Toyota sales have increased so much!

Toyota Celebrates 2015 with 12 Top Safety Pick Awards

12 Top Safety Pick AwardsToyota ended 2014 on a high note by receiving 12 Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These awards span the Toyota, Lexus, and Scion lineups and include a variety of vehicle sizes.

Of the 12 awards, eight Toyota and Lexus vehicles earned the superior Top Safety Pick+ honor. These vehicles include the Lexus CT, Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius v, Lexus RC, Toyota Highlander, Lexus NX, and Toyota Sienna. Notable among these awards are those for the Sienna and Prius v. The Sienna is the only minivan to receive this top safety recognition and the Prius v had a greatly improved performance in the small overlap crash test.

The remaining four awarded vehicles include the Scion FR-S, Scion tC, Toyota Avalon, and the Toyota RAV4.

“At Toyota, our focus remains on the safety and peace of mind of our customers,” said Dino Triantafyllos, Toyota’s North American Chief Quality Officer, in a statement. “We’re pleased the IIHS has recognized the strong and improved safety performance of our vehicles in a range of crash tests.”

Want to learn more about the safety of these Toyota vehicles? Stop by Phil Wright Toyota and we’ll help you find the perfect safety-awarded Toyota for your family.