Toyota’s Calty Design Research Celebrates Its 40th Year and a Rich Sports…

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Toyota Celica coupe VII

Toyota’s Calty Design Celebrates Its 40th Year and a Sports Car Design Heritage

humble beginnings, Calty Research has become a pre-eminent design center strongly Toyota vehicle designs studios play a critical in Toyota’s North American autonomy strategy The Toyota Concept is the culmination of Calty’s history with sports car

January 13, 2014

DETROIT, (Jan. 13, 2014) — The design center established in America by a Japanese automaker, Calty Design Research as a bold experiment on October 2, in El Segundo, California. Ideally in California to best absorb the of the state’s burgeoning car culture, the Calty studio was viewed as a exploratory branch of Toyota’s vehicle design organization. At the no one in the Toyota organization could that 40 years later, the facility would play a key in some of Toyota’s most designs and be pivotal in the company’s toward regional autonomy for American product development.

The name is a mash-up of the words and Toyota. The initial mission was to as a laboratory for new design ideas, an open field for form, and materials exploration. Calty Toyota’s designers a place to understand and incorporate the trends, and product requirements for vehicles for the important North American

Compared to the resources of rival studios, the first Calty was very much a “mom and operation. “El Segundo a campus. It was one portion of a modest in an industrial area. There about six designers and 25 people in support. Meanwhile, we would that domestic studios had 300 and 100 designers. The manpower available Calty designers had to know about the package and the architecture of the since we only had a couple of engineers. Early on, there was an feeling at Calty which make working there like a team effort,” Doris Kusumoto, Calty Manager.

Guided by the vision of Toyota Corporation patriarch, Shoichiro and Calty’s first Executive President, Mamoru Yaegashi, the Calty studio launched Noritsuna Watanabe as its General Under Watanabe’s direction, the was to establish a design and research in the U.S. market. The small operated under the stealthy typical of design studios employees held a practice of not what they did in the intimate of the El Segundo building. “Given the surrounding vehicle design, we it as a hush-hush operation. Some thought we were a small facility, or even selling Early on, it was so low profile, we were not business cards,” added

In 1978, Calty relocated to the County, California suburb of Beach. That same marked the first time a design, the iconic 1978 Celica Liftback, reached This design initiated the history with sporty

Calty Design Research in its design prominence as Toyota in the global automotive market. earned more design and gained influence as Toyota to maximize product development to broaden the global product In the late 1980’s, Calty engaged in more coupe study lending design to what would become the Lexus SC400. This luxury coupe made a statement about the Lexus then in its infancy.

The Calty grew in 1990, tripling in and adding two new buildings. Today, it 65 people working in an 85,000 foot design space. As product development autonomy the Calty team continues to closely with planning at Toyota Motor Sales to develop production vehicle Skills such as sketching, modeling, CAD, milling, and painting bring concept to life. Today, Calty’s on Toyota Global Design is with an estimated 75% of the concepts from Calty influencing or production vehicles down the

With the growing emphasis on of product development, in 2004 opened a design center in Ann Michigan to collaborate with the Toyota Technical Center. The Ann Calty facility focuses on production design efforts as Tundra and Avalon, products specifically for the North American

In 2012, Calty added the Innovation Hub in San Francisco. Strategically near Silicon Valley, the of this facility was a key step in global initiative to partner innovative companies in technology, media and design. “We to transplant the innovative culture of the Bay to Toyota’s in-house innovation said, Kevin Hunter, of Calty Design Research. is a critical time for the automotive to redefine itself in response to new customer’s expectations for new experiences, and the way are structured.”

Since 2007, the Newport and Ann Arbor studios, and the San Francisco Innovation Hub have been by Hunter. A Toyota Design since 1982, he is Toyota’s North American design In addition to several key production such as Tundra and Avalon, key car and sporty coupe projects as Scion Fuse, Toyota Lexus LF-LC, and now the FT-1, evolved under his leadership.

On the of revealing its most impactful car design yet in the Toyota FT-1, the looks very bright for as Toyota’s initiative for more product autonomy continues to its North American products. volume sedans such as validated the regional development Focusing the design and engineering in the primary market resulted in a successful and appealing sedan to the tastes of the region’s buyers,” Hunter. “As for the future, we see as symbolic of an evolution in our mission as we toward designs that balance key emotional and rational as part of our brand promise. will be integral in the movement to more emotional, more and engaging Toyota designs to

Early Calty Production

Calty has designed or had a hand in sports cars, including Celica, 1989 Celica, Lexus SC400, 1993 2007 FT-HS. 2012 LF-LC. and the 2014 FT-1 .

1978 Celica

First car designed by Calty.

Celica version. Front engine, wheel drive.


The 1989 Celica was influenced by era of art and experimentation. The experimentation with balloon shapes and use of ceramic resulted in the discovery of organic

Key Production Car Designs Supporting

2007 Tundra

First car design to emerge from Ann Arbor studio.

At time of was “Most North American engineered and built in America)

version of Tundra was the 2004 which was unveiled at NAIAS.


Calty designed 2 nd. 3 rd. and 4 th Avalon models. The 2013 helps usher in a new more design direction for Toyota’s sedan in North America.


Represented first collaboration with TRD and to design an exterior for racecar

Key Vehicles:

2003 FJ Cruiser

FJ Cruiser Concept is a reinterpretation of the of the FJ40 in a modern way.

things had to change for production designing the 2007 FJ Cruiser, but the of what was created in the concept carries through in production

Toyota FT-HS

Toyota Celica coupe VII

Among the first early sports car concepts while early hybrid technology was evolving.

The Calty design was tasked with creating a sports car concept that ecology and emotion to address the “What is a suitable sports car for the 21 st

The FT-HS incorporates hybrid while maintaining sports car such as a sleek profile, aero-dynamic materials, and an advanced powertrain for revolutionary acceleration and performance.


Affectionately to as a “smartphone on wheels”

Advance concept

Lexus LF-LC

Won the EyesOn Design Award for Concept Design at NAIAS, as as the best concept design at the Chicago Auto Show and Marker Award in Japan.

was a design study created at to explore a future luxury and Lexus design.

2 + 2 hybrid sports coupe


The Scion Fuse Concept the 2011 Scion tC production car

design inspired by racing

The Scion Fuse Concept’s was to push the limits of a coupe by combining entertainment, digital and versatility into one sinister package. Most importantly, its makes a visual statement its intention to expand the performance among affordable, entry-level coupes.

Inspiration came the HAKO super GT racing of Japan, commonly known as the series.

About Toyota

Toyota, the world’s top automaker and of the Prius, is committed to building for the way people live through our Lexus and Scion brands. the past 50 years, we’ve more than 25 million and trucks in North America, we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the and directly employ nearly people (more than in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North dealerships sold more 2.3 million cars and trucks in and about 80 percent of all Toyota sold over the past 20 are still on the road today.

partners with philanthropic across the country, with a on education, safety and the environment. As of this commitment, we share the extensive know-how garnered building great cars and to help community organizations and nonprofits expand their to do good. (NYSE:TM)

For more about Toyota, visit .

Toyota Celica coupe VII
Toyota Celica coupe VII
Toyota Celica coupe VII

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