Here on the Toyota Blog, 2012 has been a big year – and as there are only a few days left of it, we thought that it’s time to reflect and look back on the year that was.
Read on to see our highlights from July, August and September. You can read parts one and two of our roundup here.
Following the launch of the Toyota GT86 at the 2012 Festival of Speed, the world went crazy for our new sports car in July.
It won major plaudits from Top Gear magazine and Autocar, and we even headed to the track ourselves, as we pitted ‘Drift King’ Keiichi Tsuchiya against top drivers from each publication in our Drift Sprint video.
In fact, road testers and journalists were queuing up to heap praise on GT86 – you can take a look at our reviews roundup here.
To top it all off, Toyota announced that the Team Toyota GB motorsport team would be reformed for the Britcar 24 Hours race in September.
This year, August meant Auris. We revealed the first pictures of the new Auris as well as details, ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show in September.
We also took part in a round-the-clock challenge to settle which is most important on a long drive – speed or fuel economy. The Fast and Frugal challenge, devised by blogger Keith Jones, saw a GT86 take on a Prius Plug-in Hybrid over a 1,300-mile route from the Houses of Parliament in London to Silverstone, taking in Edinburgh, Cardiff and our Burnaston factory on the way.
Also going against the clock was the Toyota TMG002 electric racecar, which won the EV class at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
The Paris Motor Show was the main event this September, and with good reason – Toyota launched five new models.
The limelight went to the all-new Toyota Auris and the Auris Touring Sports estate, which introduced updated engine choices and the future Toyota family look and front-end design, which will eventually be seen across the range.
The TRD wasn’t the only modified GT86 we saw in September, either. We would have loved to visit Japan for the Fuji 86 fan festival, but we had satisfy our GT86-love with some brilliant pictures and videos from the event. We also took an in-depth look at the customised GT86 on show, and the driving action.
However, September wasn’t all about the shows – Team Toyota GB put in a very impressive performance at the Britcar 24 Hours race, where GT86 was raced in UK soil for the first time. The team, comprising father-son duo Chris and Stefan Hodgetts, motoring writer Richard Meaden and popstar drummer and racing enthusiast Neil Primrose, finished the weekend on the podium after coming third in class and eighth overall.
That wasn’t even the only motorsport success – the Toyota Motorsport TS030 Hybrid clocked its first win in the World Endurance Championship in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
That’s not all – you can read the final part of our 2012 roundup soon! Take a look at the others here.