Filed under: LA Auto Show , BMW , Mazda , Subaru , Toyota , Design/Style Participants in the annual LA Design Challenge always manage to come up with edgy, wacky designs for future vehicles, but with a theme of “Biomimicry and Mobility: 2025″ this year’s crop of cars might be the quirkiest we’ve ever seen. As usual, automotive designers from around the world participated in this year’s competition, and all the designs will all be unveiled next week during the LA Auto Show with a winner being announced on November 21. Chinese automakers made a strong showing with Qoros , SAIC Motor , JAC Motors (the company responsible for the Ford F-150 clone ) and Changfeng all bringing interesting takes on the biology, human intelligence and sustainability theme. One of the more innovative ideas among these automakers is the Qoros Silk Road System allows autonomous vehicles to drive in packs similar to how ants travel. Speaking of ants, the SAIC Motor Mobiliant (shown above) gets its design from the shape of an ant’s body, and, like the insect, it can climb building acting as a personal elevator as well. The JAC Motors design also merges vehicle and building design, while the Changfeng LaBrea inspired by the design of muscle fibers. Other entrants include Subaru and US-based design teams for BMW , Toyota and Mazda . BMW’s duo of concepts mimic plant and animal life. The LA Subways concept acts as a submersible, single-person vehicle to take advantage of the LA river, with a shape similar to an Ocean Sunfish. The Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device (SEED) imitates the shape of a seed pod, and uses propulsion methods inspired by a shark, dragonfly and a water bug.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Lexus , Scion , Toyota , Design/Style “In the future, out of 100 customers, we want to excite ten of them instead of not offending all 100.” Almost all of the details about the Toyota New Group Architecture (TNGA) strategy have come out since the initiative was first reported on in March of this year, but Autoblog did learn a few new things about it on a recent trip to Japan. Probably the second-most important detail is that each new segment platform will be based around a common hip point to create an “optimal driving position architecture.” Previously, each car was conceived on its own, so Toyota couldn’t extract savings from cars that were close in size. The Etios , sold in Latin America and India, is not much smaller than the Corolla , but the two compacts had two different lead engineers, so they have different hip points and require different manufacturing processes and different kinds of commodity parts like seat belt equipment. A common hip point and driving position, as well as other moves like the an R&D reorganization and the switch to parts engineered for global approval and pooled buying, will allow Toyota to harmonize parts like airbags, pedal boxes and seat belts to save money. The company expects to save 15 to 20 percent on manufacturing using TNGA, and 20 to 30 percent overall once development is included. Toyota also says it will use the efficiencies gained and money saved to make those commodity parts better, and they will have longer life cycles; while the lifespan of a Corolla won’t change, a pedal box might carry over from one generation into a brand new generation. Three new front-wheel-drive cars are expected to ride on the platform in 2015, the Prius being one of them, and its advance estimate of 55 miles per gallon is said to be aided by the TNGA. Another important objective of the streamlined development programs and common parts is allowing the designers to actually, you know, design a car instead of wrapping a platform in meek metal. Said company CEO Akio Toyoda earlier this year, “Instead of developing what customers would want next, we were making cars that would rake in sales” – cars that were just as popular as they were boring. That brings us to what we think might be the most important advance provided by the TNGA, revealed in a presentation by company design chief Tokuo Fukuichi: “Before, we made cars so as not to be disliked by anyone.
Lexus Collaborates with MADE Fashion Week, Coco Rocha and Giles Deacon to Create Live Holographic Fashion Experience During New York Fashion Week
NEW YORK (Sept. 6, 2013)—To celebrate the launch of its all-new 2014 IS performance sedan, Lexus created and hosted a MADE Fashion Week event last night debuting a first-ever live holographic performance art experience. The event, “Lexus Design Disrupted,” featured supermodel Coco Rocha and a bold retrospective from the archives of designer Giles Deacon in a creative concept inspired by the IS and the brand’s commitment to design and technology. Joe Zee,
NEW YORK (April 19, 2013)—In its ongoing pursuit of innovation, Lexus is pushing the boundaries of technology, craftsmanship and design. This dedication to design was celebrated at an event hosted by global President Akio Toyoda in New York City. The event, called “Design Matters,” showcased Lexus’ commitment to design, both in its new products and in its global brand activities to an audience of established and aspiring members of the design community. Kristin Chenoweth served as mistress of ceremonies with The Roots and Questlove providing musical entertainment.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Budget , Sedan , Hatchback , Toyota , Beijing Motor Show , Design/Style Details on the pair of Dear Qin concepts that Toyota unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show this week are sparse, but they do hint at something interesting coming to every market where the Japanese automaker sells cars. Calling them “global-strategic concepts,” Toyota says the sedan and hatchback versions of the Dear Qin models have “a design aiming to attract more people to the user base.” With that curious statement in mind, the first promotional video for the Dear Qin models (which you can watch by scrolling below ) is both language- and information-free, emphasizing the design of the cars for a global audience. With explosions and lightning, of course. Reports have said that Toyota is working on a new global, front-wheel drive model that is supposed to be launched in 2013. We can imagine these concepts foreshadowing those cars, and hope we get a pair of highly efficient compacts out of the design process. We’ll skip the explosions and lightning, though. Continue reading Toyota Dear Qin hatch, sedan foreshadow new global FWD models [w/video] Toyota Dear Qin hatch, sedan foreshadow new global FWD models [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Detroit, Mich., Jan. 11, 2012 – With its forward-looking design and dynamic unveil, the Lexus LF-LC 2+2 Hybrid Sport Coupe was named as the best concept car in the annual EyesOn Design Awards at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Tuesday, January 10.
Filed under: Lexus , Toyota , Design/Style Lexus design has never been very flashy, and many might say (including us) the automaker’s entire current lineup is a bit bland-looking ( LFA supercar excepted, natch). But that visual conservatism may be about to change: Automotive News is reporting that the Japanese juggernaut plans to change that by taking more risks and striving for more character. Toyota Design Chief Tokuo Fukuichi tells AN that the brand will build on the design language first introduced in the HS 250h and refined in the GS , but with more emphasis on the fighter jet-inspired grille. Lexus says the eye-catching grille draws from the hourglass shape of a spindle, but it’s more than just an expressive face. Fukuichi adds “The spindle grille is not just a design matter; it also has to have a good functional performance in bringing in air.” In short, Lexus is looking to push itself to create more dynamic new models, even if some models don’t exactly come off as focus-group friendly. We’re all for a sexier Lexus with a personality implant, but a new grille won’t be all that’s needed. Only time will tell if Toyota’s premium marque can shed its conservative tendencies and come up with something more dynamic that still sells. Lexus vows bolder design, won’t “always stay in the middle of mainstream” originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 13 Sep 2011 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: SUV , Hatchback , Toyota , Motorcycle When we think Toyota Avalon , phrases like ‘social security’, ‘medicare’ and ‘Denny’s Grand Slam’ come to mind. The reason? The majority of Avalons out on the road are driven by old folks and curtain rod salesman, but a report from Automotive News suggests that this could all change in the very near future. In its report, AN claims that the next Avalon was shown to Toyota dealers in June, and the employees loved what they saw. The large sedan will reportedly undergo a massive redesign that will morph the Avalon from a granny-glider to a curvy stud, with design comparisons already being made to the Audi A7 and the Jaguar XJ . Sure, Toyota dealers typically spend their work days looking at the Yaris and Corolla , so their design eye could be muddied a bit. But at the very least, the next Avalon should be very different from the model we know and ignore today, and that should be a welcomed change of pace. Speaking of the Yaris and Corolla, AN states that both models are slated for redesign. The new Yaris will arrive this fall with more aggressive styling and a bit more interior room. The Corolla will also get a heavy refresh for the 2012 model year, though the more thorough overhaul will likely come in the spring of 2014.