Designer profile

Toyota Motor Corporation
in-house design team

The design team of the award-winning hybrid vehicle Toyota Prius in an interview

Red Dot: Do you consider your design approach for the new Toyota Prius rather as evolutionary or revolutionary?
Toyota Motor Company in-house design team: We consider it revolutionary in the sense that the new Prius called for a “no compromise” solution in eco-car design, where efficiency and beauty go hand-in-hand. The design language is based on juxtapositions to create a long-lasting, bold statement with a high degree of acceptability. For example, the extreme profile contrasts with the glossy volumes of the surfaces, which in turn provides a counterpoint to the sharp, angular line from the rocker and the dipping highlight in the body side.

The jury praised the bold approach to the redesign of the Toyota Prius. How was the acceptance of this within the company group?
The early decision on the design direction created motivation and passion amongst all the team members and beyond. Everybody worked with a single mindset to make the necessary changes to engineering in order to create the proportions required for the implementation of the design.

Based on 25 years of experience with hybrid drive – what would you say, what role does design play in creating broad acceptance of alternative forms of drives in the area of mobility?
Regardless of the drive, I think design should always be honest and purposeful. From this perspective, the final shape of the vehicle should have some relevance and a connection to the functional properties of the vehicle in order to create a cohesive and attractive experience for the customer.

The interview was held with Satoki Oya.