Detroit auto show: Toyota revs up design with 'spiritual pace car'
DETROIT (AFP) - Toyota revved up its design credentials on Monday with a sexy new concept for a sports car aimed at helping to reshape the previously staid Japanese automaker's reputation.
A race car pit crew opened a shiny red box to reveal the curvaceous FT-1 sports concept - Future Toyota 1 - to a cheering crowd of hundreds during the first day of press previews at the Detroit auto show.
"This is a symbol of Toyota's design future, a spiritual pace car," said Mr Kevin Hunter, president of Calty Design Research which developed the concept. "This provocative concept truly captures the passion, excitement, and energy of the Toyota we are evolving into and embodies elements of the emotion and performance that Toyota will imprint upon future production designs."
Toyota had previously designed its vehicles so they would be "liked by everyone and as a result we took less risks and tried not to stray too far", Mr Hunter said.