It’s all happening in Geneva
For us, it’s Day 2 in Geneva but the first Press Day only started today. As you might have seen from our Twitter activities, the Palexpo has already been a hive of activities since yesterday. The biggest news from Geneva are the world and European premieres in the flesh. For Toyota, this meant the Yaris Hybrid and FT-Bh were seen for the first time as well as the European debuts for the GT 86, NS4, FCV-R and TOYOTA diji Concepts. Lexus brought their new GS 450h and RX 450h as well as the LF-LC Concept, not to forget the raft of F SPORT editions for the line-up.
The much anticipated Yaris Hybrid means an accessible full hybrid in the B-segment. The new model features a newly downsized full hybrid system, delivering 100 DIN hp while CO2 emissions figures stand at a class-leading 79 g/km. We’ve put together some really interesting videos to explain the design and technology behind the new Yaris Hybrid. You can also find them on our YouTube channel.
Toyota’s design chief, “Dezi” Nagaya, walks us through the vibrant design philosophy going into the Yaris Hybrid. Look at how “Dezi” incorporated all of the latest Toyota design cues for our latest city car.
The key success to the original Yaris model, and every generation since, has been the cleverly packaged dimensions of “Compact outside, roomy inside”. Toyota’s engineers worked their magic to bring an advanced, downsized Hybrid Synergy Drive® to the Yaris Hybrid to maintain the original concept.
Another world premiere was the Toyota FT-Bh which was every bit the star of the show. Designed to be affordable, lightweight and emit less than 50g of CO2 per km, this concept study gives us a look at what the future may hold for urban mobility. Have a look at how this concept came about, featuring our own Alain Uyttenhoven (Toyota Europe VP for Product Management ).
Europe had its first look at the amazing rear-wheel drive, compact GT 86 sports car. In the flesh, it looks even better. I must say, I just walked past the GT 86 to try snap a few shots but it was completely swamped with journalists, camera crews and photographers. It truly is a crowd favourite.
I was most looking forward to the TOYOTA diji concept and it didn’t disappoint. With its glowing Toyota badges in the front and rear, and two wing-like rear lights, it looked like something out of a sci-fi film. The car’s display (by which I mean the car’s body) keeps moving and changing throughout the description on the flat screen adjacent. I found myself standing in front of it just bewildered every time I walk past.
Lexus VP Andy Pfeiffenberger introduced a new line-up for Lexus in Europe with the RX 450h and GS 450h. As the world’s first-ever premium crossover, the RX model’s got a great heritage behind it. Both the new RX and GS feature the new spindle and grille design language.
Then there was the Lexus LF-LC Concept. When I first saw pictures of it, I was pretty blown away so I wasn’t very surprised that it picked up the best concept award at the Detroit Auto Show. It looks fantastic in the flesh and I’ve even managed to get some shots of the interior. Andy said that Lexus in now adding genuine emotion to their models by focussing on three things: advanced technologies (especially full hybrid systems), more engaging driving dynamics, capping it off with design. There’s no better demonstration of the latest design philosophy at Lexus!