Toyota Debuts 2 At South Florida International Auto Show

10 October 1999

MR2 Spyder and Tacoma StepSide Debut in Miami
    MIAMI -- Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., unveiled the all-new MR2 
Spyder roadster and Tacoma StepSide sport truck at the South Florida 
International Auto Show.

    "The world fell in love with the sports cars of the 50s, because they were
light in weight, light on the road and light on the wallet, " said Alan
DeCarr, TMS Toyota Division vice president of sales.  "The MR2 Spyder is true
to these essential elements.  A two-seat, mid-engine, soft-top roadster
distilled to its most basic nature, it is straightforward and functional and a
blast to drive.  Most important, it will be surprisingly affordable."

    The MR2 Spyder is one of three all-new vehicles Toyota is rolling-out
during model-year 2000 that were specifically developed to appeal to younger
new-car buyers on a budget.  The Celica sport coupe and ECHO compact sedan
will arrive at dealerships this month.  ECHO will carry a base price of
$9,995, while Celica prices will start at $16,695.

    The MR2 Spyder is scheduled to arrive at dealerships in May, with an
annual sales target of approximately 5,000 units.  Prices will be announced
closer to the on-sale date.

    Weighing in at approximately 2,200 pounds, the MR2 Spyder rides on a wide,
low-slung platform, supported by MacPherson struts at all four corners.  It
has a wheelbase of 96.5 inches and an overall length of 153 inches.

    An all-aluminum 1.8-liter twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine powers
the Spyder.  The engine features VVT-i cylinder head technology, a
variable-valve timing system similar to the design currently used in Lexus
engines.  Rated at 138hp at 6,400 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque at 4,400, the
engine also powers the all-new Toyota Celica GT.

    Power is applied to the rear wheels of the MR2 Spyder through a five-speed
manual transmission.  The Spyder's steering system is a newly developed
electric hydraulic power unit designed to save weight, while providing
exceptional responsiveness and road feedback.

    The MR2 Spyder will be offered in one grade level and will be very well
equipped.  Standard features will include:

    -- a four-wheel disc anti-lock brake system
    -- air conditioning
    -- three-in-one AM-FM/cassette/CD sound system
    -- power windows and door locks
    -- 15-inch alloy wheels
    -- retractable wind deflector
    -- and glass rear window with defroster

                               Tacoma StepSide

    "The introduction of the Toyota Tacoma StepSide here in Miami is
significant, because the southeast is the country's top market for stepside
pickups," said DeCarr.  "The stepside design has proven to be a popular
styling option among young truck enthusiasts looking to set themselves apart
from the crowd.  This StepSide model was conceived to broaden the appeal of
Tacoma by attracting a significantly younger, more image-conscious buyer."

    In 1998, Toyota introduced the Tacoma PreRunner, an innovative extension
to the Tacoma lineup that combined 4x4 styling and image with the
affordability of a 4X2.  The PreRunner was an important first step in
broadening Tacoma's appeal.

    This year, with the launch of the all-new Tundra full-size pickup, the
Tacoma compact pickup is more important than ever to Toyota's overall truck
strategy.  With the launch of the 2000 models this fall, Tacoma's base MSRP
dropped by nearly seven percent, or about $1,200.  This lowered entry price
will enhance its value versus segment competitors and strengthen its position
in the booming 4x4 segment.

    The new StepSide will be available on regular and extended cab 4x2 Tacoma
models, powered by either four-cylinder or V6 engines.  It will be offered as
part of a package that will include air conditioning, power steering, upgraded
sound system and color-keyed bumpers and grille.

    The StepSide features a durable steel cargo box.  Like all Tacoma beds, it
will be built at Toyota's TABC production facility in Long Beach, Calif.
StepSide's sporty image will be enhanced by the use of aggressively styled
front fenders, bumper and grille from the Tacoma 4X4.

    The StepSide's functional bed-length, overall exterior width and cargo box
depth is the same as that of the conventional beds on the regular cab and
extended cab models.  Unlike other stepside models, the cargo floor width
between the wheel-well housings also remains the same.  StepSide's interior
width, wall-to-wall was reduced by 8.7 inches.  The curb weight and payload of
the StepSide will remain unchanged.

    The StepSide will be launched nationwide starting in late-January of next
year, with an annual production of about 8,000 units.  Pricing for the
StepSide is not yet finalized.

    "Tacoma is a key element of our overall truck strategy, because its
platform lends itself to exciting new derivatives," said DeCarr.  "The Tacoma
PreRunner and StepSide are good examples of effective market segment
expansion.  Look for more in the near future."



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