Car development for Toyota and Lexus
Toyota Europe

New Lexus IS

Lexus presented the new IS at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit. We will have our chance to see it in Europe for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show next week. As a car enthusiast, I believe the following is a must watch video: an interview of Junichi Furuyama, Chief Engineer of the New Lexus IS. Check it out after the break.

Editor’s note: We’re welcoming a new blogger to our midst. Carlos joined Toyota Europe at the end of 2012 and is currently working in the Marketing Management Division. We’ve invited him to share his insight of Toyota through his daily experiences. There’ll be plenty of great bits of news and views coming from Carlos so keep checking back for more!

The video is one of the first times for me to see the Chief Engineer of a car manufacturer clearly describes how competitor benchmarks were set as the new generation of the car is developed. They not only take into account the competition within the segment, but also the starting point: “What is ‘fun to drive’?”

In order to answer this question, a lot of analysis had to be done.

First, our engineers had to define what the meaning of ‘fun to drive’ before testing rival cars against the IS at Toyota’s Higashi Fuji proving grounds. Using several parameters like steering, breaking or speed sensation, the team could determine how ‘fun to drive’ the new IS was.

Toyota European Proving Ground (Zaventem, Belgium)

However, this type of procedure is not unique for the development of Toyota’s premium brand cars in Japan only. For example, this kind of analysis is also made at Toyota’s European Technical Centre in Zaventem, Belgium.

But Toyota is not only testing when it is required for the development of a car, also to understand market trends. This is what the people from Vehicle Dynamics, one part of our Vehicle Performance Department, are doing.

The amazing thing about this is that they test cars from other manufacturers, to find out in which direction the market is going in terms of vehicle ride, comfort and handling.

Through this, Toyota sets a rank of performance targets which will help to position the product according to the level that they want to reach, giving a final result which appeals and satisfies the customer.

As you know, this is my first blog post. But, if you are as passionate about cars as me, check our next articles about this fascinating world!

Acknowledgements: Vehicle Dynamics Team of Toyota Motor Europe

Toyota European Technical Centre:

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