New Toyota Avensis achieves 5-star Euro NCAP rating
Betti Hornyak


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.”


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

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.


IAA|Frankfurt Motor Show 2015|Live blog|Day 1|Aygo – updated

Updated AYGO range

A new x-clusiv special edition


From its iconic frontal ‘X’ design to its extensive range of customisation options, all styling and engineering decisions for the latest AYGO have been specifically made with fun in mind. The line-up consists of three grades: -x, x-play and x-wave- and three special editions -x-cite, x-clusiv and x-pure, which we update every year.
While the special editions have been created to showcase three widely differing personalities of AYGO, customers interested in personalisation can easily create their own AYGO with a choice of two exterior and two interior packs.
Now the AYGO range is being updated with a new x-clusiv special edition, which brings an additional level of sophistication to the model line-up.

Equipped with a black canvas top, the x-clusiv features a new Electro Grey body colour with Silver Sparkle inserts for the frontal “X” graphic, front fender garnish and rear bumper insert.
The 15” five-spoke alloys come with a machine-faced finish, a Silver Sparkle centre cap and a Piano Black centre cap ring. To further highlight the side profile of the car, a chrome belt line and privacy glass are available.
Inside, the design theme is continued with Electro Grey inserts for the air vent surrounds, centre cluster and gear lever surround. Silver Sparkle is used for the instrument panel insert and accents on the floor mats, while the inside door handles are finished in chrome.

AYGO can also be equipped with ‘Toyota Safety Sense’, a newly developed set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of traffic situations.
Between speeds of approximately 10 to 80 km/h, a Pre-Collision System (PCS) detects other vehicles in front and reduces the risk of hitting them from behind by reducing speed by approximately 30 km/h or even bringing the car to a complete stop.
The Lane Departure Alert (LDA) system monitors lane markings and helps prevent accidents and head-on collisions caused by leaving lanes.

AYGO is equipped with a Euro 6 compliant 3-cylinder, 1.0 litre VVT-i petrol engine. The unit delivers class-leading fuel economy of just 3.8 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of only 88 g/km, and can be combined with a manual transmission or ‘x-shift’ automated manual transmission.
The New AYGO x-clusiv will be available across Europe from February 2016.


AYGO x-play Concept

Since its launch, AYGO has made its mark with its striking appearance and clever customisation options, which allow you to tailor their cars to their personal taste. More than 10 parts around the vehicle can be easily replaced by alternative colours and executions, within a limited amount of time, and even after several years of ownership.
The AYGO x-play Concept demonstrates how the combination of a contrasting body colour and inserts can create a striking looking car with a unique personality.
The new Cyan Splash exterior is combined with a White Flash finish for the frontal “X” graphic, rear bumper insert, front fender garnish, side mirrors, A-pillars and the roof to create a bi-tone execution. The 15” 10-spoke alloys are finished in White with Cyan Splash centre caps.
The interior follows the same design theme with White Flash coloured inserts for the centre console, gear lever surround and air vent. The instrument panel is executed in Cyan Splash and the door handles are highlighted in chrome.


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

New exhibition at the Rendez-Vous Toyota
Betti Hornyak


Mirai and new Auris alongside motorsports display in Paris


Toyota Mirai

It looks like we managed to make 2 world ‘best’s come together: on the world’s most beautiful avenue, the Champs-Élysées in Paris, Le Rendez-Vous Toyota (this cool Concept Store we have) is currently hosting the world’s first production hydrogen-powered sedan, the new Toyota Mirai.

Yes, you understood well,  the car that only emits water and that we also refer to as the ‘Future’[1] can be seen in real life.


Some facts:

Launched in Japan last December, and on sale in Europe as from September[2], the Mirai uses hydrogen as a source to generate the power needed to drive its motor while emitting only water. Seen that it’s zero emission it is great for the environment, it has a cruising range similar to a normal petrol vehicle and it can be refilled in as little as 3 minutes.


Auris Hybrid

The  new Auris is also on display, the best-selling hybrid in Europe, including a cut-body exhibit to show what a hybrid engine actually looks like and how it works. On sale since June, the new Auris features a more sophisticated exterior design, improved sensory quality, a more pleasant drive and a new engine line-up.

 auris 2 auris


Toyota Safety Sense

We also present Toyota Safety Sense, which is a new set of active safety technologies that help to prevent or reduce the impact of  collisions in all sorts of traffic situations. All models equipped with  Toyota Safety Sense will feature a Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA). Some further add Automatic High Beam (AHB) and Road Sign Assist (RSA). (To better understand these safety features visit our YouTube channel)


FT-1 concept



The beautiful Toyota FT-1 was unveiled in 2014 at the Detroit Motor Show and can been seen in France for the first time. This red concept model gives a glimpse of Toyota’s future sports car designs.


Motorsports heritage

Le Rendez-Vous Toyota is also celebrating Toyota’s motorsports heritage with a dedicated display.



We will let you meet our most famous race cars: the GT-One (TS020) which competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1998 and 1999, the 1999 World Rally Championship (WRC) winning Corolla WRC, and the TS040 HYBRID which won the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

The motorsports display is completed by several WRC and WEC pilots’ helmets and trophies.


Alongside the car displays, you can jump into a WEC driving simulator and enjoy the race or get your picture taken with your favourite Toyota WEC driver. It’s good fun, come and see us!

wec simulatorOSO_9905

Photo twitter SharingBox


Located at 79 Avenue des Champs Élysées in Paris, Le Rendez-Vous Toyota is open from 10:30 am until 10:00 pm, Sunday to Wednesday, and from 10:30 am until midnight on Thursday to Saturday.


Follow the activities of the Rendez-Vous Toyota online:



[1] Mirai means Future in Japanese

[2]  Initial European sales are limited to Germany, Denmark and UK



European Commission visits Toyota Motor Europe’s R&D centre
Carol Coolsaet

Toyota Mirai is ready for the test drive

Engaging with stakeholders is always important. As such, we have recently hosted a “day out” for a division of DG Clima (from the European Commission) at our Technical Centre.

The main objective of the event was to introduce Toyota to the DG Clima group – more specifically: our ideas on low carbon technologies, how these are developed, and what the impact and effect is of legislative proposals they draft and prepare.

“DG Clima is a key stakeholder for TME. Among other topics, they are in charge of CO2 regulation, fuel quality, test-cycles, air quality” states Didier Stevens, Senior Manager TME European and Governmental Affairs.



Live from Geneva Motor Show – Day 1 update
Bart Eelen


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