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Toyota promises more design-led cars

by Ronan Glon

The company admits its previous design language was rather bland.

Has a Toyota Camry ever excited you? The Japanese firm realistically admitted its previous design language wasn't much to look at, and it promised to make more design-led cars in the future.

"In the past at Toyota -- and this is another reason why we had rather bland design -- the design group was basically being handed an engineering package and saying 'hey, make a beautiful car.' Well, first we need good stance, we need good front overhang, rear overhang, height - we need all these proportions working in harmony together before we can really achieve good design," revealed Kevin Hunter, the head of Toyota's Calty Design Research studio, in an interview with Australian publication GoAuto.

He explained that's changed. The design and engineering teams now get together during the embryonic stage of the development process to work through any packaging issues together. The C-HR, the Corolla Hatch (pictured), the new RAV4, and the latest Camry are among the cars that benefit from this new approach. They all have one thing in common: the modular Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.

"TNGA has redefined Toyota's approach to vehicle development and manufacturing, resulting in vehicles that can inspire confidence and deliver genuine fun-to-drive performance," Hunter explained. "TNGA also liberates vehicle design, enabling roof lines and bonnets to be lower and resulting in each model being visually distinctive with more appealing proportions," he added.

Photography by Ronan Glon.