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 facility grew in tripling in size, and adding two new Today, it employs 65 people in an 85,000 square foot space. As regional product autonomy grows, the Calty continues to work closely planning groups at Toyota Sales to help develop vehicle concepts. Skills as sketching, clay modeling, milling, fabrication and painting concept models to life. Calty’s imprint on Toyota Design is profound, with an 75% of the concepts emerging from influencing or becoming production down the road.

With the emphasis on regionalization of product in 2004 Calty opened a center in Ann Arbor, Michigan to with the nearby Toyota Center. The Ann Arbor Calty focuses on local production efforts such as Tundra and products designed specifically for the American market.

In 2012, added the Toyota Innovation Hub in San Strategically located near Valley, the establishment of this was a key step in Toyota’s global to partner with innovative in technology, social media and “We want to transplant the culture of the Bay Area to Toyota’s innovation team,” said, Hunter, President of Calty Research. “It is a critical for the automotive industry to redefine in response to new technology, customer’s for new experiences, and the way industries 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 early hybrid sports car while Toyota’s early technology was still evolving.

The design team was tasked creating a mid-priced sports car that integrates ecology and to address the question, “What is a sports car for the 21 st Century?”

The FT-HS hybrid capability while sports car essentials, such as a profile, lightweight aero-dynamic and an advanced high-output powertrain for acceleration and optimal performance.

Affectionately referred to as a “smartphone on

Advance connectivity concept


Won the 2012 EyesOn Award for Best Concept at NAIAS, as well as the best design award at the Chicago Show and Golden Marker in Japan.

LF-LC was a design created at Calty to explore a luxury coupe and Lexus

2 + 2 hybrid luxury sports

Scion Fuse

The Scion Concept became the 2011 tC production car

Exterior design by racing helmet

The Scion Concept’s goal was to push the of a coupe concept by combining digital technology, and versatility one sinister looking package. importantly, its styling makes a statement about its intention to the performance envelope among entry-level sport coupes.

came from the HAKO GT racing cars of Japan, known as the JGTC series.

About Toyota

Toyota, the top automaker and creator of the Prius, is to building vehicles for the way people through our Toyota, Lexus and brands. Over the past 50 we’ve built more 25 million cars and trucks in America, where we operate 14 plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly nearly 40,000 people than 37,000 in the U.S.). Our North American dealerships more than 2.3 million and trucks in 2012 and about 80 of all Toyota vehicles sold the past 20 years are still on the today.

Toyota partners philanthropic organizations across the with a focus on education, and the environment. As part of this we share the company’s extensive garnered from building cars and trucks to help organizations and other nonprofits their ability to do good.

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


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