2019 GENEVA MOTOR SHOW – TOYOTA DIGITAL PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT (ALL MODULES)
The last 12 months have been exciting for us, not only because of our growing sales volume, market share and hybrid sales mix, but also because of our success in motorsport.
Toyota Gazoo Racing winning Le Mans, the World Rally Manufacturer’s Championship and Dakar 2019 was way beyond our expectations.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s role is to inject a healthy dose of motorsport passion into our cars and our company.
The latest example is the new GR Supra, which is presented for the first time in Europe here at the Geneva Motor Show.
Designed to provide thrills on the road, many customers will also relish the opportunity to drive Supra on track…. maybe even to take it racing.
That’s where our new Supra GT4 Concept comes in.
The Supra GT4 Concept indicates one direction that we could take with the GR brand in the future.
Another direction — that we are already taking — is to bring the GR brand to our core models.
In 2018, we debuted the Yaris GR Sport. This year, here at Geneva, we’re adding its sibling, the Corolla GR Sport.
The new Corolla will be one of our best-selling cars in Europe. It has been very well received by those who have already seen and, most importantly, enjoyed driving it.
Corolla combines our brand new TNGA-C platform with our latest hybrid technology to deliver a car that not only looks great in its three body types, but also delivers real driving pleasure thanks to excellent driving dynamics.
These are exciting times for Toyota; with seven European motor show premieres on the stand please do take the time to hear more details from my colleagues in the other press conference modules.
The all-new Toyota GR Supra is the fifth generation of our legendary sports car, now let’s take the opportunity to hear more about it.
At Geneva we’re undertaking the European premiere of the new GR Supra.
I guess you’ve heard a few things about it already, so I won’t cover it in detail.
But let me briefly remind you of the key elements.
Supra was conceived and developed by Chief Engineer Tada, who was also responsible for the GT86.
Tada-san’s vision was to create a focused two-seat sports car that customers could enjoy on a daily basis.
To achieve that, he set out to engineer a lightweight but high rigidity body, a low centre of gravity and something called ‘the golden ratio’ for the best blend of agility and stability.
Then he added a 340hp, straight-six turbocharged engine driving the rear wheels through an eight-speed transmission.
Finally the team wrapped the ingredients into a design that has a strong connection to the FT-1 concept.
The result is a car that has caused a bit of a stir, to say the least.
We have two GR Supras on stand – one finished in Prominence Red with a black leather interior, which we expect to be the most popular colour combination.
The other car is the A90 Edition. Finished in Storm Grey matt paint with contrasting matt black wheels and a red leather interior, this variant was limited to 90 units and has already sold out.
I’m pleased to confirm that the ‘Supra 900’ club, created for the first 900 owners in Europe, is fully subscribed in most markets.
But don’t worry, the order books for 2020 deliveries will open shortly.
Retailers will receive their demo cars in the coming months and I’m certain they’ll be more than willing to get customers behind the wheel.
Thanks for your attention. Please be sure to also view the GR Supra GT4 Concept module.
GR Supra GT4 Concept
Taking the Toyota GR Supra a stage further let’s see how an accessible GT4 version might look.
We expect that most customers will only use their GR Supras on the road. And we know that some will also use them for the occasional track drive.
But there’s also a growing group of enthusiasts that want to go further and actually start racing.
This kind of desire has led to increasing interest in GT4, the fastest growing global race category.
GT4-homologated cars compete in both National and International Championships and are typically owned by individuals and small teams – not big manufacturers.
As such, the ‘cost of racing’ is a key consideration. Initial purchase price needs to be affordable and support must be accessible.
The new GR Supra GT4 Concept has been conceived to attract this increasing customer base. It fits very well with the Gazoo Racing philosophy of appealing to grassroots motorsport participants and fans.
So, what does it take to turn GR Supra into a strong GT4 competitor?
Well first of all, as explained in the GR Supra module, the car itself is a great starting point. It has rear-wheel drive, a low centre of gravity, a highly-rigid body and compact dimensions.
To that we add a roll-cage, racing seats and a fire extinguisher.
Then we revise the springs and dampers to lower the car and make it even more suitable for circuit driving.
The engine and transmission receive motorsport grade ECU, electrical systems, limited-slip differential and drive shafts.
Finally we add high-performance Brembo brakes, OZ wheels, an enlarged, motorsport standard fuel tank and a fast refuelling system.
What about performance I hear you say? Can you tell me the power and weight?
Unfortunately not. At least not at this stage.
First we need to gauge interest and undertake some testing.
If customer feedback is positive and development goes well, we should be in a position to give you more detail in the coming months.
Thanks for your attention. Please be sure to also view the GR Supra module.
More than 20 years ago we launched the Toyota Prius. Today we can share how we have updated the world’s best-selling hybrid car.
Prius, the icon for Toyota’s hybrid technology that has sold more than 5.5 million units worldwide since its launch in 1997, is taking another step forward with the availability of AWD-i for the first time.
AWD-i stands for All Wheel Drive – intelligent and, as the name suggests, uses a compact, high-torque electric motor to automatically deliver extra traction via the rear wheels when the driver needs it.
The new Prius debuts a refined but distinctive look that features new bi-LED headlights, a redesigned front bumper and revised tail-lamps.
Inside, the occupants will find enhancements to materials and trim alongside an improved Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system and an enlarged wireless charging tray.
Lastly, the new Prius is equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense system that features numerous active safety technologies.
Of course the fuel economy and CO2 performance are impressive as you can see from these figures.
The new Prius, including the AWD-i version, will be available across Europe from spring 2019.
Corolla TREK & Corolla GR SPORT
Today we’re further expanding the recently launched Corolla range, with two new variants, the Corolla Trek and the Corolla GR Sport.
The new Corolla has been very well received since its launch earlier this year and its position as Toyota’s best-selling product in Europe looks set to continue.
To further expand Corolla’s appeal we have created two attractive new variants.
The first is Corolla Trek.
Designed to appeal people who enjoy active lifestyles and outdoor pursuits, the Corolla Trek is based on the Touring Sports with hybrid powertrains only and features a 20mm raised ground-clearance, tough-look body enhancements and a bespoke interior that complements the rugged exterior.
The second brings the passion and success of Toyota Gazoo Racing to the heart of the Corolla family. Joining the Yaris as the second European model to receive the Gazoo Racing treatment, the new Corolla GR Sport brings a sporty, dynamic look and bespoke elements.
Available as a Hatchback or a Touring Sports, the new Corolla GR Sport features a unique exterior colour “Dynamic Grey”, new 18-inch wheels and a dynamic looking interior featuring part-leather sports seats.
Corolla Trek will be available from summer 2019 and Corolla GR Sport as of January 2020.
Start Your Impossible
Start Your Impossible is not only an Olympic initiative. It is a guiding thought set to challenge us all to improve and excel.
Andrea Eskau became a paraplegic in 1998 when she crashed her bike on her way to school.
Determined to not be constrained by her injuries, she became a handbiker, a paralympic biathlete and a cross country skier.
Since then she has won more than 20 handbike and Nordic skiiing World Cup titles and six Paralympic gold medals!
Most recently she collaborated with Toyota Motorsport Germany to develop her ski sled for Sochi with which she won two gold medals.
In an age of accelerating technological and environmental developments, “Start Your Impossible” illustrates Toyota’s commitment to support the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable society in which everyone can challenge their impossible.
Toyota believes that mobility goes beyond cars; it is about overcoming challenges and making dreams come true.
The “Start Your Impossible” initiative reflects these values and highlights the company’s goal to provide freedom of mobility for all.
As Akio Toyoda said: “We want to share this thinking with all stakeholders, including consumers, so that we can approach this challenge together.”
Throughout our history, Toyota has made the impossible possible through innovation and passion, and by continuously challenging the definition of impossible.
Today, the automobile industry is clearly amidst its most dramatic period of change — and during this time Toyota remains committed to making ever better cars.
Just as important, we are developing mobility solutions to help everyone enjoy their lives, and we are doing our part to create an ever better society for the next 100 years and beyond.
As the Worldwide Official Mobility Partner of the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, we believe that when we move, we can achieve the impossible.
And the Games are the world’s biggest celebration of human movement.
This is where we learn the true power of sports―that sports can challenge us, inspire us and, most importantly, unify us.
In an effort to bring the promise of sports to all corners of the world, we are working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to help aspiring Olympians and Paralympians reach their dreams regardless of their circumstances.
For this to happen, we have to dream beyond conventional vehicles and create new forms of mobility that overcome the limits of today and solve the problems of tomorrow.