NAIAS 2017 | Episode 9 : Toyota

What better place to present the replacement for the best-selling car in the US than Detroit. Toyota unveiled the highly significant, all-new Camry on the second press day. Toyota has responded to the long-held view that the Camry is a dull, boring car.

With more powerful engines, a focus on performance and driving dynamics, plus aggressive exterior and interior styling they plan to push the Camry in a new direction.

The bold front end includes a ‘spindle-like’ grille stolen from the up-market Lexus; there are strong feature lines on the hood and body side; and a long roof that creates an almost fastback look. The instrument panel is equally bold with sweeping feature lines from both right and left combining to form a unique look for the panel as a whole – impressive new ground from Toyota. The hybrid model has some unique design features and a more evolutionary front end. Unfortunately, the wide lower grille makes the car look like a giant bottom feeding fish!

After some years of concepts, Toyota finally has a sub-compact SUV. The C-HR is quirky inside and out – thankfully not Nissan Juke quirky, but quirky none-the-less. It is quite faithful to the original 2014 Geneva show concept. The exterior has bold features and shapes, dramatic taillamps and neatly executed concealed rear door handles high on the C-Pillar. The interior is similarly bold with anodized aluminum trim pieces flowing across the instrument panel and into the doors. With plenty of powertrain options including a hybrid version, the C-HR should find plenty of customers.

GENEVA 2014 | Trends

Because it is on neutral ground, we have come to expect many “world premieres” at Geneva with a lot of new models and concepts.  It is usually a very interesting show. This year was no exception. And most of the concept cars were production preview/teasers.


We were very surprised not to see Bertone on the first floor, but knowing that Michael Robinson has left, this is not a good sign…
From the previous articles you have read, you already know that the main trend this year is an overall reduction in size. Many new cars came in the A-segment, and engine size continues to be reduced…Ecology becomes more and more important and every car maker emphasizes its communication on that topic.
But Geneva is also the place of exclusive cars.
McLaren unveiled the convertible version of the 650S. There is no change in terms of the mechanicals and the design remains very sculptural.

Lamborghini introduced the Huracan. No surprise here. And it is certainly a Lamborghini. Very tight lines characterize this vehicle.

Aston Martin displayed two special editions at Geneva. The V8 Vantage N430 might be our favorite in terms of proportions, very compact and sporty. The engineers have reduced the weight of the car using carbon fiber and Kevlar seats for example.  Many “cosmetic” details are added to give a dark-themed exterior, such as graphite painted forged alloy wheels alongside the black front grille, headlamp bezels, exterior meshes, side window surrounds, textured tailpipe finishers and clear rear lamps with black surrounds. This gives the car the appropriate identity. Inside, as out, the link with automotive competition is clear.
The second car is the DB9. It was displayed with two exclusive finishes called Carbon White and Carbon Black. Both editions include additional carbon fibre side strakes and black window surrounds reinforcing the powerful visual themes. The interior featured a strong ‘black’ styling theme showcasing carbon fibre details and new black hardware  There is a choice of accent colors matching the brake caliper shade….


Being Geneva, the show had plenty of exotic and exclusive cars as well — great examples of automotive art and engineering, but not so interesting in terms of design……..
Well, Geneva is usually one of the best Auto Shows of the year.  And in 2014 that is still the case.  The automotive industry is alive and well, no matter how much the economy or politics may impact it in Europe. Competition and the environment continue to drive the car-makers forward, introducing more and more vehicles powered by Hybrid or Electric energy.
It is a good sign. We can’t wait to see more in Paris…