Design works

Bringing our dreams into your reality

Design is much more than simply how things look: it takes into account how we interact, safety, environmental impact and, ultimately, what best fits the end user’s needs. From the creative minds of our engineers to the well-trained hands of concept artists and modellers, each part of Toyota’s design process ensures each creative’s ideas are unlocked and brought to life.

When there’s a new model to be designed, the Toyota design process is firmly in place, so it’s just a case of letting the ideas and inspiration flow.

We are often influenced from our own personal experiences, which help to create unique and continuously evolving designs. For instance, nature is one of the many sources of design ideas that can be seen on the dashboard of our Prius, which uses the patterns found in leaf veins as inspiration.

Below we list the six steps of how we bring our dream into your reality…


To first create the concept, the team is briefed on the key goals and, most importantly, who will actually buy the car. From there the designers begin to research their own market and the latest trends, leading to extensive discussions on what will and won’t work.

Once a shared vision is conceived, the design moves from concept to realisation. Our designers will work together to visualise the idea with a series of freehand sketches tying the ideas together in preparation for the development stage.


No longer are pencils, pastels and markers the main tool of the trade. Computers have significantly reduced the amount of time spent on developing concepts by giving designers more freedom to create complex visuals.

Once the designer is happy, a digital modeller will come on-board to give the design a three-dimensional shape. This takes extreme patience and technical skill as the distinctive features of the sketch need to be respectfully translated into lines and surfaces.


After the development, the model is brought to life with a spark of colour, inspired by what’s on-trend in the world of fashion and interior design. Once the colour is added, the car begins to take on its own sense of individuality and character.

Total colour co-ordination is critical. The instrument panel, steering wheel, seat fabric, ceiling, carpet and other interior fittings are made of a wide range of materials and need to be studied repeatedly from a variety of perspectives to ensure they all work together as one unit. Our materials are also developing as we look to find sustainable and more eco-friendly options, like our eco-plastics that are made from plants.

Clay Modelling

The designer and clay modeller will then work together to create a three-dimensional clay model. The work involves moulding and chiseling repeatedly until the vehicle is tested and refined down to the finest detail. Teamwork is vital at this stage to reach a coherent endgame.

Interior Mock-up

No matter what a design may look like on paper – or on screen it always requires a mock-up that is as close to the real vehicle as possible. The modeller will use a variety of plastics, metal and fabric to create a to-scale model of the designer’s idea. This allows the designer to get a feel for the cabin to see if the interior space functions as it was originally intended.

The modellers face a tough task of understanding the designer’s intentions – something that is not taught, but learnt through years of honing their craft.

Decision Hall

Before the design is finished, it needs to be seen from a customer’s perspective. To demonstrate how it will be seen in the real world, the design is displayed at The Decision Hall. This facility has a roof that opens allowing the design of the model to be studied under natural light while on a turntable. The hall also has special lighting to re-create conditions on rainy days and at night, together with virtual projections so it’s possible to study the design of a number of vehicles at the same time.


More about Toyota design

COROLLA - History of Toyota sports cars COROLLA - History of Toyota sports cars On the face of it, Toyota’s most well-known family car – and the world’s best-selling vehicle – the Corolla, would seem out of place in the company of highly-focused sports cars but, in truth, over the years the Corolla has produced some of the most well-loved sporting Toyotas. GT86 - History of Toyota sports cars GT86 - History of Toyota sports cars For sports car fans and Toyota purists, the arrival of the GT86 in 2011 was a welcome relief. With no MR2, Celica or Supra in the range to satisfy their cravings for the past few years, the pedigree of the GT86 was exactly what they had been waiting so long for. MR2 - History of Toyota sports cars MR2 - History of Toyota sports cars The MR2 of 1984 was actually derived from a 1976 design project that had the goal of building an enjoyable, yet fuel efficient car – much like the earlier Sports 800. Over the coming years, the ethos of the original concept evolved into a sports car and the resulting ‘Midship Runabout 2-seater’ was born, joining its bigger brothers, the Celica and Supra. SUPRA - History of Toyota sports cars SUPRA - History of Toyota sports cars Supra, the Latin word for ‘transcending’ or ‘above’, would prove to be a particularly fitting moniker for arguably Toyota’s most famous sports car.
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