Toyota of Japan is beefing up its design centres to create models that will not only challenge rival manufacturers with strong reliability and quality - but also head-turning looks.

Toyota of Japan is beefing up its design centres to create models that will not only challenge rival manufacturers with strong reliability and quality - but also head-turning looks.


Toyota made a strong design statement with the CC&S concept car (pictured) at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show. Short, wide and low, the CS&S is a four-wheel drive mid-engined 2+2 sport car with removable rear canopies. The design is one of clear contrasts between sharp, angular lines and fluid curves and arches.


"Things are changing," Kevin Hunter, vice president of design at Toyota's Calty design research centre in California, said this week. "We need to adjust to the times. Our goal is to make a strong stand on design."


Calty is Toyota's main design studio in the United States and designers there study trends and lifestyles, creating concept cars and production vehicles. Next year, a second centre with four designers will open in Michigan, specifically for production design.


Toyota has often has been criticised for bland styling, but Hunter said the company realised that bolder designs for its products would be necessary for the brand to continue its growth.


"Working together is the key - that engineers understand the importance of static design and designers understand some of the issues that engineers face," Hunter said.


"What you're going to start seeing is Toyota designers having some more say in how proportions are developed, focussing on vehicle architecture and working closely with engineers."


In future Toyota designs, there could be "a little bit more strength in the overall vehicle proportions and stance and tyre relationships to the body," said Hunter.

Original article from Car