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Posted by: on September 22nd, 2015 Comments Off


For Toyota, safety comes first.  And nothing proves it better than the fact that the new Toyota Avensis has been awarded the prestigious Euro NCAP five-star rating.


The programme is composed of four areas – Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Pedestrian Protection and, since 2009, Safety Assist. The latter includes injury avoidance and mitigating functions, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (comes standard on the car with the Toyota Safety Sense package), Electronic Stability Control and a speed limiter.

The new Avensis scored an outstanding 93% for Adult Occupant protection, 85% for Child Occupant, 78% for Pedestrian and 81% for Safety Assist. Not bad, isn’t it?

Avensis’ performance earns it a mention on Euro NCAP’s website in the rankings for Safest Family Cars and Safest Fleet Cars.

Avensis_23__EuroNCAP Avensis_TS_37__EuroNCAP

For this occasion that we talked to the Toyota Motor Europe R&D team who had the scope of its responsibility in vehicle safety development expanded for 2015 Avensis.

“It was a tough journey, but highly rewarding and motivating,” explains Andrea Lucchini Gilera, Manager for Safety group of R&D Vehicle Performance Engineering (VPE).

“Safety performance affects all people in and around the car, and Toyota’s image. There is no way to compromise.”

A manufacturer can sell a car after fulfilling legal requirements in homologation tests. However, this process checks only basic performance. “To guarantee good real-life protection, we take into account additional elements – internal requirements and ratings by external bodies such as Euro NCAP.”

Comprising government agencies and consumer associations, Euro NCAP assesses car’s safety based on a list of tests whose thresholds are stricter than homologation tests.  Results are published in number of stars, which is understandable to anyone and easy to compare.  In some countries, having a certain number of stars in Euro NCAP testing is a pre-requisite for entering the fleet market.

TME R&D Safety group participates in some of industry working groups which collaborate with Euro NCAP in its periodical reviews of testing protocols and performance requirements. “Through this activity, we try to bring real-life based improvements into the method of evaluating car safety. It also allows us to reflect the future direction on our development,” says Andrea.

“For Avensis safety testing, we knew that there were going to be many challenges: new requirements and new testing method for pedestrian protection, a new front crash test and stricter thresholds for existing tests.”

“Plus, we decided to modify the front seat to reduce weight and cost, while keeping the current level of whiplash performance which is extremely good. We also wanted to implement Toyota Safety Sense – active safety features.”

In 2013, the development activity started. “It’s a continuous loop which also involves Body Design Division a lot. We discuss with designers how to achieve the required safety performance, while taking into account the impact on performance and needs of other development areas”.logo_5awards_2015_pos

Asked about the most challenging part of the project, Andrea named pedestrian safety performance. “For the first time, TME took full responsibility for development. “

“We decided to use CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) simulations to drastically reduce the number of physical tests, and to do the simulations by ourselves at TME. This means that the CAE responsibility was handed over from Japan to Europe. We started by building a number of processes and tools in order to efficiently integrate the new CAE work into our existing workflows. “

Andrea concludes: “Each of us came out of this project with a lot of learning and a stronger sense of ownership.”

“But, this is only the beginning – one step ahead towards next challenges.”


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IAA|Frankfurt Motor Show 2015|Live blog|Day 2|The Honoured Guest

Posted by: on September 17th, 2015 Comments Off

We are pretty excited to welcome the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on our stand at the Frankfurt Motorshow today.

Mrs Merkel has come today to the Messe‘s Hall 8 to take a look at the Toyota Mirai – the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen-powered car.

Mrs Merkel has been welcomed and given a broad explanation of the benefits of the advanced technology by Dr. Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe.
Having a doctorate degree in Physics, she was impressed by the potential use of hydrogen, which also can make an important contribution to the ecological mobility targets of the Federal government. Toyota Mirai will be available already as of middle October in Germany, one of the first European markets for the trailblazing technology.

No need to wait until seen on the roads – step by Hall 8 to see Toyota Mirai already today.


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IAA|Frankfurt Motor Show 2015|Live blog|Day 1|The New Prius

Posted by: on September 15th, 2015 Comments Off


The rebirth of the pioneer

The introduction of the all-new fourth generation Prius marks a further advance in the history and achievements of Toyota’s hybrid power technology.


The new model builds on the strengths and achievements of its predecessors and is set to establish new benchmarks in fuel economy, emissions and efficiency. Each successive Prius has delivered improvements in these areas, but the new model is aiming to make the biggest leap yet in performance, with a target of improving CO2 emissions by 18 per cent*.

This achievement is only one aspect of a product that has evolved to acquire new capabilities and greater driver appeal. Powered by a new generation of Toyota’s full hybrid powertrain, the new Prius marks significant advances in highway fuel economy and provides a much more rewarding driving experience. Acceleration is smoother and more responsive, and, at higher speeds, is quieter and has a more linear feel that is better aligned to engine speed.


The new car’s dynamic capabilities are rooted in the use of the first Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. At a stroke, this endows the car with a lower centre of gravity for improved handling response and stability. It also gives the designers a freer hand to craft a car that has richer visual appeal, with lower lines overall and a more athletic profile. TNGA also helps define zen interior, with its excellent packaging, driving position and comfort. Load space is also improved thanks to the use of a smaller, more energy-dense hybrid battery and a new double wishbone rear suspension system – features which do not intrude in trunk capacity.

The Prius remains Toyota’s technological ambassador, a showcase for new, relevant technologies that raise levels of safety, convenience, performance and comfort.


The scope of the Toyota Safety Sense package is extended in the new Prius with addition of radar-managed Adaptive Cruise Control and a Pedestrian Detection function for the Pre-Crash Safety system.

The full hybrid powertrain has undergone extensive revisions to improve efficiency, reduce weight and sharpen performance. Other hybrid system components have been made more compact and have been repositioned for optimum packaging, further contributing to the car’s lower centre of gravity.

These changes and innovations confound the popular notion of what an eco-car should be like to drive and to look at. The new Prius demonstrates the genuine rewards that remain to be enjoyed from Toyota full hybrid technology, advantages that will steadily feed through to new generations of other Toyota hybrid models.



The new Prius is founded on outstanding hybrid technology, delivering unprecedented efficiency and environmental performance. But beyond these credentials it embraces stronger emotional and performance qualities that give it wider and greater appeal to customers who appreciate eye-catching, original styling, high levels of sensory quality, practicality and a driving experience that is genuinely fun and rewarding.

The realisation of these qualities in the new Prius is based on three pillars: the Toyota New Global Architecture, design and styling, and a new generation full hybrid system.


Toyota’s First TNGA Platform

The new Prius is the first model to use a Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. This plays a defining role in the car’s essential fun-to-drive quality, giving new Prius a lower centre of gravity compared to the current model, which in turn allows for an improved driving position.


Styling and Design

New Prius is not simply “another green car,” its design and high quality throughout give it greater emotional appeal and a powerful, desirable presence, underpinned by the fundamental strengths of the new TNGA platform.  As Toyota’s most advanced car, it is appropriate that it is an image leader and the intention has been to produce a design that makes an immediate impact.

The car’s new low-slung stance – made possible by the TNGA platform – suggests an excellent driving performance, supported by a distinctive new body silhouette that is both athletic and aerodynamically efficient. The result is a “human-tech” design with strong emotional quality, fully exploiting the opportunity presented by the car’s lower centre of gravity.



New Hybrid System

The New Prius heralds the next generation of Toyota’s signature hybrid powertrain.  This new family of powertrains builds on the two pillars that have made Toyota hybrids popular with drivers across the globe: on the one hand their fuel efficiency, and on the other the relaxed and carefree drive that they provide.

Toyota has focused its efforts on making this next generation of hybrids even easier and more intuitive to drive. They have been set up so that they give a natural, immediate, but smooth response to any accelerator pedal input. Refined and confident, they deliver the right level of performance.

But of course, fuel economy has been improved as well. The new hybrid systems will come in a more compact package, that is lighter in weight and lower in cost. This new generation will reflect significant advances in battery, electric motor and gasoline engine technologies.



The Prius has always provided a reference point for Toyota’s development of useful, intuitive high-tech features and that remains true for the fourth generation model, which benefits from a number of innovations that support safety, convenience and better, more sophisticated HMI (Human Machine Interface) performance.

New Prius Chief Engineer Koji Toyoshima explains: “Prius is the ambassador for Toyota technology, a brand vector pulling hybrid sales of our core models.”


Toyota Safety Sense with additional functions

The new Prius will make a significant advance in active and preventive safety measures with the adoption of Toyota Safety Sense. This package of safety features will be further extended in the new Prius with the addition of radar-governed Adaptive Cruise Control and a pedestrian recognition capability in the Pre-Collision Safety system.

In the current Prius range, only around two per cent of vehicles are sold with the Pre-Crash Safety system. In the new Prius this is one of the standard features of Toyota Safety Sense, together with Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam and Road Sign Assist.


Extra sensors for safety and convenience

The technologies Toyota has developed for successive generations of the Prius have always served a clear purpose. This continues in the new model with an increase in the number of sensors to provide the driver with more comprehensive information, improving safety and convenience.  In effect, new Prius becomes a driver’s sixth sense, recognising and anticipating things they might not notice themselves.

* According to New European Cycle (NEDC)



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IAA|Frankfurt Motor Show 2015|Live blog|Day 1|TNGA

Posted by: on September 15th, 2015 Comments Off

Toyota New Global Architecture

Frankfurt Motor Show 2015 marks the European premiere of the very first TNGA built vehicle – The New Prius, and we are thrilled to tell you more about the concept:

Toyota New Global Architecture – TNGA will be the foundation for all our future powertrain and vehicle development. It marks a revolution in the way we design, engineer and build cars. To keep it simple : the processes will be streamlined by standardizing the size and position of key components within standard new vehicle platforms. This is the foundation of our mission to build ever-better cars.

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IAA|Frankfurt Motor Show 2015|Live blog|Day 1|The New Yaris

Posted by: on September 15th, 2015 Comments Off

YARIS 2016 


More style and even greater appeal

At Frankfurt, Yaris comes with a new Style grade, new colours and an all-new Bi-Tone version.

Bringing a breath of fresh air and even greater appeal to the Toyota Yaris range, a revised grade structure will be available throughout Europe from January 2016. It introduces bold new colours, high-quality trim and stylish upholstery finishes across the model line-up.


The introduction of the Toyota Safety Sense system to the Yaris model range in June 2015 places it at the very top of its segment for active and passive safety. By the end of this year, we anticipate that one in three Yaris’ produced will be equipped with the innovative integrated safety technology.


New Style Grade – most striking execution now available on Hybrid Models
For the first time, the Style grade also becomes available on the Hybrid, combining our most advanced execution with the most innovative powertrain.
An enhanced Style grade features a new, Black-painted honeycomb grille with satin chrome ornament and front foglight surrounding.
The interior benefits from new, all-black seat upholstery and a new Piano black inserts inside the cabin.


A new dynamic and elegant touch…
Adding a touch of true élan to the Yaris range, a new Bi-Tone option combines a metallic black ‘wrap-around’ exterior paint treatment with a choice of exclusive interior finishes.
Based on the Style grade, the Bi-Tone version combines a choice of Pearl White, Platinum Bronze or Barcelona Red exterior colours with a ‘wrap-around’ metallic Black finish to the roof, A pillars, door mirrors, upper front wing and bonnet leading edge.

Incorporating a black head liner to match the exterior roof treatment, the Bi-Tone interior offers a choice of three exclusive colour schemes; all-Black, Warm Grey or Soft-gradation Grey.
With three new Bi-Tone versions Toyota is giving customers the possibility to have their own unique Yaris execution.
The new Style grade and the new Bi-Tone version add even greater appeal to the 2016 Yaris model range.


Do not miss the Toyota booth in Hall 8, stand D19.


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