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Volkswagen Beats Toyota to Become World’s Largest Automaker

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Volkswagen logo on grille

Pull over, Toyota, there is a new top dog in the world of automotive, and it’s Volkswagen!

The German automotive group is now the , ending the Japanese company’s four-year reign and realizing its decade-long goal to reach the top.

Interestingly, the title for world’s largest automaker is not determined by how many vehicles an company sells. Rather, it is based on how many cars they produce.

That said, only 100,000 units or so separates the two main contenders. Volkswagen produced 10,312,400 vehicles (up 3.8 percent) to Toyota’s 10,213,486 (up 1.3 percent), while General Motors — once the world’s largest for decades before being unseated by Toyota — trailed by with approximately 9,574,771 units (down 3.1 percent).

Though Toyota is no longer be the biggest of the big, it remains the most profitable, nearly doubling Volkswagen’s 2016 earnings. And there is nothing more important that profits, right?

Does the shift in the automotive world order change your perception of Toyota, Volkswagen and/or General Motors, particularly their cars? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Hatchbacks

Toyota Kills The Prius C, Replaces It With Corolla Hybrid

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2018 Toyota Prius C Hybrid Hatchback

Buyers are encouraged to go for the new Corolla Hybrid instead.

Now that there is a hybrid version of the popular Corolla, Toyota figures it has one too many small hybrid vehicles in its lineup. It has quietly killed off the Prius C hybrid to give more breathing room for both the regular Prius and Corolla hybrid.

The Prius C debuted in 2011 as a smaller alternative to the Prius Liftback, but the Corolla Hybrid is bigger and more efficient, matching the standard Prius’s 52-mpg combined rating in the United States compared to the Prius C’s 46-mpg combined rating.

“You’re probably not going to see Prius C for long,” Toyota marketing vice president Ed Laukes told . “The Prius C has served its purpose well.”

The fuel-sipping Corolla is intended to maximize sales of Toyota’s hybrid powertrain platform by appealing to a broader group of customers who may be put off by the Prius’ polarizing looks but still want extremely good fuel efficiency.

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Concept Car

Toyota Supra TRD Concept Shows Off New Carbon Fiber Parts

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Toyota Supra TRD Concept, Carbon Fiber Parts

It’s an unbridled love affair with carbon fiber.

Not long after taking the wraps off at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota has revealed a TRD Concept that shows off some of the accessories from Toyota Racing Development possibly coming to the Japanese sports car.

Unveiled at the Osaka Auto Messe aftermarket show, the Toyota GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD is fitted with many new carbon fiber parts to increase downforce and reduce lift. The front spoiler, side skirts, and rear spoiler and spats are all crafted from carbon fiber, while a carbon fiber door garnish replaces the stock faux vent to reduce turbulence of the airflow over the rear end.

Toyota Supra TRD Concept, New Carbon Fiber Parts

The exterior is finished in a muted silver color that compliments the carbon fiber parts nicely, while unique 19-inch wheels highlight the four corners.

Unfortunately, TRD made no upgrades under the hood. Power is provided by the stock Supra’s turbocharged 3.0L inline-six, generating the same ol’ 335 hp and 365 lb-ft. of torque.

It’s not known if or when these carbon fiber parts and new wheels will be available, and whether they will remain exclusive to the Japanese market like many TRD parts in the past. Either way, share your thoughts about the Toyota GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD in the comments below.

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Coupe

Subaru Confirms New Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 Sports Car

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2017 Subaru BRZ Sports Car, rear

It’s not the end of the little Japanese sports cars after all.

An earlier report claiming that the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ will be discontinued has been refuted.

Japanese Nostalgic Car claimed that Subaru and Toyota have decided to end the partnership that gave birth to the BRZ and 86, but Subaru has confirmed that the BRZ and presumably it’s Toyota counterpart aren’t going anywhere.

“We are moving ahead with a second-gen BRZ, but have no further details at this time,” Ron Kiino, Subaru’s head of North America communications stated at the Detroit Auto Show.

Toyota also released a statement about the rumor.

“Toyota is committed to building exciting vehicles, including sports cars,” President Akio Toyoda said at the reveal of the new Supra. “The 86 has been in the Toyota family since 2013 and the plan is that it will continue to be a part of Toyota’s sports car lineup.”

So there you go — there will be a new Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86. While we wait to get more details, let us know what you want to see from the Japanese automakers in the comments below.

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