TOYOTATIMES

Editor-in-Chief Kagawa gains access to top secret video of Akio talking about Toyota's Future

FROM THE EDITOR 2020.11.23

INDEX

Full of top secret information! New car models one after another!

From an automobile company to a mobility company

In the section about upcoming products, Akio elaborates in the video about what he asks the staff. When developing the future vehicle models being shown on the video, he said he asked the engineers and designers if they are “still living up to the original purpose” and if they “have not veered off course.”

Showing his strong determination to change in line with the new era, Akio is seen saying, “Nothing should be considered sacred in my opinion.” Kagawa reacts happily, saying: “There you go again! Kaizen with no sacred areas.”

Toyoda:
I’ve challenged our team to develop new product categories altogether, and to consider the needs of everyone including developing countries.

Kagawa:
This absolutely cannot be shown.

Then, finally, the information about new and upcoming models is going to be revealed. Suffice it to say that while the section cannot be disclosed here, even on Toyota Times, perhaps it is possible to imagine based on the reactions you see and hear from Kagawa.

The information about new and upcoming models

Kagawa:
What? I don’t know! I have no idea what this car is!
Hang on, no, no, no. This cannot be shown. Absolutely not.
Wow, oh my! No, no, this is the future. Entirely the future.
To help people? I see.
Oh, there is something like a chicken.
Hmm, during the lockdown. See, they are accelerating the development.
To become more competitive, taking advantage of the strength.
They are developing cars tailored to the needs of each region. This is what they are doing right now.
The ideas are really entertaining.

Of the various models being shown in the video, one is the new Crown.
“The Crown has been the flagship sedan of Toyota for as long as I can remember,” Akio can be heard saying.
Crown has a long history and is older than Akio. Even then, the beloved Crown is not granted an exception. From the video and reaction, it seems that there are plans for a bold model change.

Memories of the Crown

Toyoda:
I definitely have fond memories of the Crown as a kid and many consider it a classic.

Kagawa:
Is this you, President Toyoda? I, myself used to ride in my mother’s Crown in my childhood.

Toyoda:
So why change it?

Kagawa:
Those are fighting words, President Toyoda.

Toyoda:
Well, like I said, nothing’s sacred. I asked our designers to think about the next generation Crown from a new point of view.

The next generation Crown

Kagawa:
What? What becomes of the Crown? Tell me quickly.
What? What happened? Yet again!
So instead of minor changes, the new Crown will become like this!?
Honestly, I want this! Well, done! It makes me think driving is fun! Good grief!
This Crown is outstanding. It was shown to me.

The Land Cruiser will be celebrating its 70th anniversary next year

Also in the video, there was a section about Land Cruiser.

Toyoda:
The Land Cruiser is a legend.

Kagawa:
Here it is, Land Cruiser. Is this also going to be changed?

Toyoda:
The Land Cruiser will be celebrating its 70th anniversary next year. And that loyal following has been waiting over 13 years for this next generation.

Kagawa:
Wow, it’s so cool, isn’t it?
It’s great. Toyota is indeed developing vehicles we feel temped to drive.
That’s right. From now on, various environmental changes will happen to the earth, and this kind of event is likely to happen many times in the future.
So that’s why a vehicle like a Land Cruiser is needed.

A new BEV? And changes to the upcoming Prius?

LUNAR CRUISER

In addition the vehicles mentioned earlier, Akio also introduced the moon rover, known as “LUNAR CRUISER”, which is being jointly developed with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and other partners. Just as the Land Cruiser is a car that saves people’s lives no matter on what kind of road they are on, LUNAR CRUISER is being developed as a sort-of Land Cruiser for the Moon. “One day, I dream of being able to drive on the moon,” says Akio.

Then, the video topic shifts to electrification. “This is the first model to be released globally.” It looks like a global model of a BEV. “The exterior appears again. This can’t be shown!” “Look at the interior! Ah, no, no, there's one section that is so cool,” exlaims an excited Kagawa.

Goal is to make a hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), or pure electric in every model series by 2025

Continuing on in the video, Akio says his goal is to make a hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), or pure electric in every model series by 2025. Akio is then heard saying: “I am the one who promotes Toyota more than anyone else.”
“Are you recommending an electric car? Are you also recommending a car that reeks of gasoline?” asks a confused Kagawa. However, the fact is that demand for HEVs, including PHEVs, is set out to increase six-fold over the next five years. Here, the Prius, which is the pioneer of HEVs, is important. It seems that the exterior of the next-generation model is also shown in the video.

Pioneer of a hybrid electric vehicle.

Kagawa:
There it is, Prius. Pioneer of a hybrid electric vehicle.

Toyoda:

Maybe “sexy” or “cool” is not a word you would use in the same sentence with “Prius”. But with the design of this next generation, I think that’s about to change.

Next-generation Prius

Kagawa:
Next-generation Prius. Yet again, this cannot be shown.
Oh, there is no exception in Prius.

Prius is more like the conservative in the lineup, but with high performance. The Prius is ideal and excellent in every aspect, like an ideal student. I can’t show this.

Toyoda:

Hybrids are also a part of our Toyota 2050 Beyond Zero Challenge with an ambitious goal of reducing CO2 emissions 90% by 2050 from where they were in 2010.
In fact, our ultimate goal is that our cars will one day, actually clean the air as they drive, taking us to minus zero or beyond zero.

Reducing CO2 emissions 90%

Kagawa:
It would be great if a time when a vehicle that cleans the air would actually come.

No other company has as many selections when it comes to electrified vehicles as Toyota

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)

The topic then moved on to fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The implementation of hydrogen technology in commercial vehicles is increasing, and fuel cell buses are already operating in Japan, Portugal and China. The LUNAR CRUISER moon rover that is now being developed also uses fuel cell technology as its source of power.

Kagawa was also excited when the next Mirai was announced. In an extended Toyota Times exclusive interview with Akio published on January 1, 2020, the final vehicle that Akio and Kagawa rode in together was a prototype of the next-generation Mirai.

Prototype of the next-generation Mirai

“That vehicle was one of the quietest vehicles I have ridden. Although at the time, the exterior looked like a Lexus,” says Kagawa. Even Kagawa himself was impressed by the new Mirai, with its refined design and high performance.

Kagawa:
He recounted his impressions, saying “Various things came together, and presented itself in time. The future has been made a reality.”

Toyoda:

When it comes to electrification, no one will offer more options than Toyota.

Kagawa:
In a nutshell, electrification does not just mean battery electric vehicles only. In Toyota, there are many options for electrified vehicles: fuel cell vehicles, hybrid vehicles, etc. They give us options to choose from, showing the merits of each vehicle.

Prototype of the next-generation Mirai

“I want to produce a car that is loved by everyone,” says Akio earnestly as the video rolls on. Toyota has worked very hard over the last 10 years to make a car that is both cool and fun to drive. Akio talks about how this was not brought by chance, highlighting one factor was particularly crucial: competing in motorsports such as WRC, WEC, Le Mans, Dakar, GT races and the like.
“As a master driver for Toyota, I firmly believe that roads make people, and roads make cars,” states Akio, dripping with passion.

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