Toyota, taking advantage of the opportunity to make some improvements to their compact car, the Vitz, has not only added a hybrid model of the vehicle, but has also revamped the exterior.
Design chief at Toyota Compact Car Company Shigenari Hattori shed some light on these changes: “Before we started making the minor changes, the Japanese and European models of the vehicle already looked a little different. The European model looked like what we refer to in Japan as RS grade, while all other grades were Japan-only models. With this revamp, both the European and Japanese models have been made to look the same, but focused on a more European design as this is where the vehicle is primarily targeted at.”
“Still, there are so many cars on the European market with very distinct features, and we didn’t want to create a design too strong that it wouldn’t do well in Japan, so we had to hit the right balance when redesigning it. It’s for that reason that we primarily went with European sensibilities when designing the new model.”
In the end, the Vitz now has a much more distinct face, but Mr. Hattori says that “though they may be minor changes, the back and side door panels as well as the windows have been altered as well.”
To be more specific, “Before we made these changes, there were no lights on the back door with the lights being arranged vertically, but now they spread across the back door and are situated horizontally while on the front side, the headlights are situated in more of a triangular fashion, creating a sense of a lower center of gravity,” states Mr. Hattori.
In addition to this, “There’s now a wiper in the center of the rear window. While this used to be located on the body, but to make the area that it wipes larger as well as make it look sharper, we changed the window design as well. The car has also been downsized, answering the needs of the European market in terms of their desire for a better rear view.”
Written by Tetsuya Komatsu
[Translated by Bryce Clarke]