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Yearly Archives: 2022

The ID Buzz and the Return of the Iconic VW Microbus

Few vehicles carry the instant recognition found with the classic VW Type 2. First introduced in 1950, the Type 2 followed up on Volkswagen’s even more iconic Type 1, the precursor to the globally recognized Beetle. The microbus was quickly adopted for its simplicity, utility, and good value. Soon after its release, it would become an icon of the 60s and 70s, particularly within the hippy subculture. The generations that followed that legendary first generation were never able to capture the same appeal. While the later minivans provided great utility, they gradually lost the quirkiness of the original. If you took a look at the current sixth-generation microbus, you might not even realize that it comes from the same lineage. The Revival Of An Icon In 2017 Volkswagen unveiled its futuristic ID.BUZZ concept, an electric minivan carrying inspiration from the original microbus. While not dead set on turning the concept into a production vehicle, strong consumer interest pushed VW ... read more

Japanese Carmaker Keeping the Manual Alive

If you take a broad look through Toyota’s model lineup, it would be easy to quickly classify Toyota’s primary audience as families or those looking for a great value. At the end of the day, the mass-market sedans, crossovers, and minivans are Toyota’s bread and butter. But where’s the fun?   Near the turn of the century, the Japanese automaker pivoted away from its auto enthusiast-ready offerings. Sports cars such as the Supra, MR2, and Celica dissipated with time. After the demise of these vehicles, Toyota’s core identity took on a more subdued look.   Over the past few years, the automaker has grown out of its family-friendly shell and started offering vehicles like the FR-S (now GR86) and the exciting Supra revival. More recently, Toyota has made surprising announcements catering to the auto enthusiast crowd.   Saving The Manual While many Toyotas are known for their subdued nature, the upcoming GR Corolla is everything but. An ins ... read more

Toyota Building New Age City

Toyota Building New Age City

         On February 23, 2021 in the shadow of Mount Fuji Toyota Corporation broke ground on a city of tomorrow.  The 175 acre property once home to Toyota’s Higashi Fuji plant where the highly successful Toyota models AE86, Mark II and Century were designed and produced will become a “Living Laboratory”.            Named “The Woven City”, the prototype is a place where people, vehicles and buildings are connected by sensors and data.   This connectivity will allow Toyota to test their A1 (artificial intelligence) technology with minimal risk in the real world. The plan includes three types of streets; one for pedestrians, one for people with personal mobility vehicles and one for automation driven vehicles.   Delivery of goods throughout the city will be done using the Toyota e-pallet autonomous transport vehicles they designed for the Tokyo Olympics. This ... read more

Is This the End for Subaru WRX?

Beginning life in 1992, the Subaru WRX was a chance for everyday drivers to experience a world championship rally car. The WRX, short for “World Rally eXperimental,” displayed all the hallmarks of a rally winner. It had a powerful engine, a light body, and a tremendous all-wheel-drive system for off-road use. Creating an outlier from the list of economy sedans and family station wagons, Subaru built the Impreza WRX. Already the most exciting car in Suburus offerings, it was eventually one-upped with the STI variant just a few years later. The WRX and its suped-up STI sibling were consistently great choices for any auto enthusiast wanting an agile and relatively cheap sports car capable of handling less-than-ideal weather. The WRX continued to find success in its niche until critics pointed out that the cars lack of evolution. While it was a great car in its time, its competitors were catching up. The Beginning of the End? The second-generation WRX made its debut in late ... read more

Honda’s Shift Towards Electrification

Recently, Honda has reiterated its ten-year electrification plan. The company's current offering is limited to a region-exclusive low-range urban EV recognized as the Honda e. While the company isn’t last in the EV race, the Japanese automaker is far from a leader. Moving forward, Honda reports that it will be committing a substantial amount of capital over the next ten years, dedicated to improving its electric offerings. The company is allocating 5 trillion yen (~$39 billion) for use in research & development and additional investments to accelerate the electrification process. Ultimately, this plan culminates in offering 30 EVs globally by 2030 with an annual production of over 2 million units. The Details Along with the commitment, Honda presented some near-term plans. Regarding their battery procurement strategy, they will continue to work with each of their current partners. In the US, Honda will receive batteries from General Motors, CATL in China, and Envision ... read more

Lexus Service and Repair in Berkeley

Lexus vehicles have become synonymous with luxury and quality. They are the embodiment of Japanese drive for quality - both in design and production. At Berkeley Bob’s we provide quality Lexus services and repairs that match Lexus manufacturer’s dedication and quality. Our technicians, certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), will use latest digital tools to diagnose and repair your Lexus. We also provide customer service that matches our technical excellence. Our Berkeley auto repair facility can provide your Lexus with a broad range of maintenance services and repairs, including, but not limited to: Brake System Maintenance and Repairs Factory Maintenance & Oil Services Fluid & Transmission Services Electrical System Diagnostics and Repairs Check Engine Light Diagnostics Shock Absorbers, Suspension and Steering Repairs We use latest digital tools to talk to your Lexus’ onboard computers, and all work performed at B ... read more

Prius Maintenance Services and Repair in Berkeley, CA

Toyota Prius vehicles are a remarkable design – except for regular maintenance they rarely require professional attention. Many a Prius have gone 200,000 miles or more with regular service. At Berkeley Bob’s we are Prius specialists, and can provide your vehicle with comprehensive maintenance services, as well as repairs, should your Prius need such.  Our nationally certified ASE technicians are equally comfortable working on gasolines engine as they are dealing with the high voltage system on a Prius including the battery. All our technicians have undergone extensive and continual hybrid vehicle training that allows them to perform any hybrid repairs your Prius may require.  Our family owned and operated Berkeley auto repair shop can offer your Prius a broad range of services including:  Factory Maintenance & Oil Services (particularly important since Prius vehicles are known for rapid oil consumption sometimes as much as 1 quart per 1000 miles drive ... read more

Volvo Looks to Lead in Autonomous Driving - Volvo Ride Pilot

As the automotive industry trends towards advancements in electric and autonomous mobility, Volvo looks to top of the competition. The Swedish automaker not only has one of the most ambitious electrification goals, but they have also recently unveiled their newest autonomous driving system. Known as Volvo Ride Pilot, the system looks to deliver a hands-free driving experience for years to come. Volvo Ride Pilot Undertaking the task in collaboration with technology partners Zenseact and Luminar, Volvo looks to standardize Level 3 autonomy with LIDAR. Zenseact, who spun off from Volvo itself, will handle the software involved. Luminar, a leader in LIDAR technology, will provide the system with its most critical hardware components.    In practice, a LIDAR system sends out thousands of laser pulses and measures the time it takes for them to return, allowing a detailed measurement of the surrounding area to be made in real-time. The Volvos system will include five radar sensor ... read more

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