Daring new cars like Toyota’s C-HR could become the norm rather than the exception.

Toyota’s designers have been the green light by Mr Toyoda himself to to come up with more “creative” and “passionate” designs, rather than the staid models that have chacterised the company’s line up for decades.

President of Toyota’s North American design studio, Calty, Kevin Hunter, said Toyota’s global president Akio Toyoda had challenged the company’s designers to create cars that spark people’s emotions.

“Toyota’s designers are car enthusiasts and absolutely passionate about designing desirable cars, so we are answering Mr Toyoda’s challenge with cars such as the latest Corolla, Camry, C-HR and Prius,” he said.

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C-HR . . . the design is very different.

Mr Hunter is currently visiting Australia to discuss the company’s design process.

He said Toyota had previously relied on “safe” designs that relied heavily on consumer studies and a high degree of internal consensus.

“But, with Mr Toyoda’s challenge to develop style that stirs people’s emotions and makes them want to drive our cars, Toyota’s design efforts are less reliant on consensus now,” he said.

“We have empowered our designers and engineers to develop a creative and passionate vision of future mobility.

“The goal is simple, yet profound: develop future generations of products that connect on an emotional level.

Mr Hunter said the new era of Toyota design was evident in vehicles like the new Corolla hatch being launched in August, as well as the latest versions of the Prius hybrid-electric hatch, C-HR SUV and Camry sedan.

“It not a coincidence that Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platforms underpin these cars and will play a fundamental role in many more to come,” he said.

“These new models are pathfinders for the styling and dynamic benefits of TNGA, qualities that will be further developed as new platforms and vehicles are introduced to Toyota’s global range in the months and years to come.

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New Corolla . . . due in August.

TNGA has redefined Toyota’s approach to vehicle development and manufacturing, resulting in vehicles that can inspire confidence and deliver genuine fun-to-drive performance. “Their lower centre of gravity, more rigid frame, new suspension and greater use of high-strength steel provide direct benefits that result in balanced handling and a more engaging drive,” he said.

“Hand-in-hand with dynamic improvements, TNGA also liberates vehicle design, enabling rooflines and bonnets to be lower and resulting in each model being visually distinctive with more appealing proportions.

“In short, TNGA is the key that’s unlocking an exciting new era of Toyota design, giving designers, the freedom to produce stronger, more attractive styling.”

Mr Hunter cited the stunning FT-1 concept produced by Calty as a symbol of Toyota’s design future — a spiritual pace car for a changing, evolving Toyota.

“FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota global design. It is a provocative concept that truly captures the passion, excitement, and energy of this new era of Toyota design.

“It also embodies elements of the emotion and performance that Toyota will imprint upon future production designs,” he said.

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.