2013: 12 months, 12 new Toyota cars

The end of 2013 is almost here and to mark the occasion we’re taking a look back at Toyota’s most amazing new cars from 2013.

There have been incredible sports cars, amazing new technology, showstopping concepts and a look into the future of Ever Better Cars.

We’re taking a look at 12 amazing new cars that made the headlines in 2013.

Toyota FT-Open concept

1. Toyota FT-86 Open concept

When it comes to grabbing the headlines, few cars unveiled in 2013 can match the FT-86 Open concept. The idea behind it was simple – take the most popular sports car of the past few years (the GT86, of course), and turn it into a convertible.

The Dodging Shadows video released during the Geneva Motor Show showed the car off in incredible style on its debut, while appearances at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Tokyo Motor Show, in a new red colour, added to the car’s fanbase.


2. Toyota i-ROAD

And now for something completely different. You couldn’t get much further away from the back-to-basics sports car ethos of the FT-86 Open than the Toyota i-ROAD.

First seen in public at the Geneva Motor Show, the high-tech tilting three-wheel concept points to a new way to get around cities – read what happened when Andrew English was among the first to test drive it.

Toyota TS030 front

3. Toyota TS030 Hybrid 2013

The 2013 version of the Toyota TS030 Hybrid had varying success in the World Endurance Championship, but it remains the world’s fastest hybrid car. The highlights of the WEC season included a win in Bahrain in the final race of the season, and taking a second-place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the summer, while it also won an award for aerodynamics.

One of our top moments of 2013 was bringing the TS030 Hybrid together with its TS020 GT-One and TS010 for a world-exclusive photoshoot – see it here.


Yaris Hybrid-R 01

4. Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R

Sticking with the hybrid theme, the Yaris Hybrid-R, shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show, whetted appetites for a more powerful version of Toyota’s big-selling supermini.

With technology derived from the TS030 Hybrid project under its bonnet, the UV-lit concept hints at at potent future version of the Yaris.

FCV at Tokyo 004

5. Toyota FCV fuel cell vehicle

Incredible petrol-electric hybrid technology is Toyota’s present, but the FCV concept pointed to a future in hydrogen fuel cell power.

The FCV has a range of 300 miles from its hydrogen power, and emits only water vapour – Toyota has promised a version of the car will be on sale in 2015.


6. Toyota FV2 concept

While the FCV points to a realistic vision of near-future mobility, the FV2 provided a more daring and speculative take on the car of the future.

Equipped with no steering wheel, the driver moves the vehicle by leaning from side to side, while software encourages a relationship between driver and car, much like that between a rider and a horse.


7. Toyota ME.WE concept

It’s not just controlling and powering cars that has pre-occupied Toyota this year. The ME.WE, a collaboration between Toyota’s ED2 design studio and the designer and architect Jean-Marie Massaud, looks at how cars of the future will have to be multi-functional, simple to build and customisable.

Featuring interchangeable and textured body panels, the ME.WE is supermini, pick-up, convertible and off-roader rolled into one – and we love it!

Toyota Camatte test drive

8. Toyota Camatte concept

Taking motoring simplicity to a new level, the Camatte could be considered a spiritual baby brother to the ME.WE. Aimed at teaching children the joy of car ownership and driving, the Camatte, like the ME.WE, is powered by an electric motor and features removable and replaceable body panels.

The sporty-looking new 57s version of the car was unveiled in June, while motoring writer Guy Bird gave it a thumbs-up after his daughters’ test drive in August.

Glasgow world war z toyota auris

9. Toyota Auris Touring Sports

It’s not all been about crazy concepts in 2013. The new Auris Touring Sports has been warmly received since its launch in the summer, thanks to its great design, comfort, space and the option of a hybrid powertrain.

We marked Toyota’s sponsorship of ITV movies in October by taking the Auris Touring Sports on a tour of its own – visiting some of the UK’s top filming locations. See the story here.

Toyota RAV4 Adventure

10. Toyota RAV4

When it comes to go-anywhere attitude and fun, the RAV4 is the original compact 4×4. The latest fourth-generation version of the SUV launched in February, and has proved just as popular as its trailblazing forebears.

Read our interview with the car’s chief engineer here.

Hilux 6x6 Polar Hilux

11. Toyota Hilux 6×6

RAV4 may be the family favourite, but when it comes to truly rugged off-road performance, the Hilux is hard to beat. Not least in the six-wheeled 6×6 specification that we got up close and personal with in November.

Created for the Willis Resilience Expedition by Arctic Trucks, we borrowed the car before its departure to create a Hilux family portrait alongside the standard Hilux and the famous Top Gear Polar Hilux.


12. Toyota JPN Taxi concept

Our final amazing Toyota of 2013 came late in the year, appearing at the Tokyo Motor Show. The JPN Taxi concept showcases Toyota’s idea of the taxi of the future – complete with LED information boards, sliding doors and LPG hybrid power.


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