COUP D'ÉTAT ON DESIGN
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sat, Aug 6, 2005
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
TOYOTA'S PREEMPTIVE STRIKES ON DESIGN By Roy Nakano Despite a reputation for building some of the most reliable and technologically advanced vehicles, Toyota has traditionally been dogged in the styling department. The popular Camry, for instance, has always been remarkably unremarkable in the design department. The flagship Lexus LS seems to invariably follow the design of the previous-generation Mercedes S-Class. Even the beautiful Toyota 2000GT is a rather blatant rip-off of the XK-E Jaguar. That was then; this is now.
Expect to see a little Solara in the new Mercedes CL coupe Having excelled at execution, emissions, efficiency, quality control, and countless other categories, Toyota has been turning its attention more to design. One of the best examples of this are the new line of Lexus vehicles that are emerging this year and next. Actually, Toyota's new attitude toward design has been underway for a few years already. Not happy with its reputation for derivative styling, Toyota has recently been successful at preempting some of the designs of its European competitors.
Volkswagen's new Jetta One of the most well-known examples of this is the current Toyota Corolla, which borrowed styling from both the Volkswagen Phaeton and previous-generation Volkswagen Jetta. Volkswagen did the same for the new Jetta, and some critics are saying it looks too much like a Corolla. Score one for Toyota.
Mercedes-Benz M-Class If you think Volkswagen has it bad, take a look at some of the new vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. The new M-Class SUV from Mercedes looks substantially better than it's predecessor, but who could have anticipated that Toyota would be taking the same styling cues in its RAV4 - a vehicle that preceded the new M-class by several years?
Toyota RAV4 Mercedes is about to take another design hit when it introduces the new CL coupe. That car bears a remarkable resemblance to the current-generation Toyota Solara. Even the beautiful new Mercedes CLS 4-door coupe has more than a touch of the Solara in it - from its side character line, to the headlight design.
Mercedes-Benz CLS Toyota must be flattered. If this keeps up, Toyota will be able to add another category to its list of conquests: Design.