Toyota’s European design HQ ED2

Our inspiration corner in Côte d'Azur, France

A car’s design is the first thing people notice, so it is important that we make cars that look good, have comfortable, high quality interiors and appeal to our customers’ tastes. Our European design studio, ED2, helps us explore new ideas to achieve those goals.

We don’t just build cars in Europe, we design them here, too.

Our European design centre, ED2, is located near Nice on the French Côte d’Azur and is one of just four studios we have around the world.


ED2 – that stands for European Design Development – opened in 2000 and is responsible for many different aspects of design development, including vehicle exteriors, interiors and colours, the production of models and design surveys. Its multi-national team interprets global design trends and translates them into designs that will have direct appeal to European customers.

The studio has contributed to many notable production cars, including the original Yaris, Verso and Avensis, and it has had specific responsibility for the current Yaris model and new Toyota C-HR crossover.

Design works bringing our dreams into reality.
The Toyota Yaris

Our European design studio took a leading role in defining the look of the significantly updated Yaris model we launched in 2014, as part of a co-ordinated responsibility for the project that also involved our Europe-based product planning and R&D operations.

The ED2 team’s vision was to make the car look more distinctive, inside and out, giving it a stronger emotional appeal. At the same time, they made sure that it didn’t lose any of its established strengths, such as its interior space, lasting quality and efficient performance. Certainly the new-look Yaris had plenty of impact, with a new cross-shaped frontal treatment, slim LED headlights and redesigned bumpers. In the cabin the emphasis was on comfort and driving pleasure, with new materials for the upholstery and trims that both looked and felt good.

Elvio D’Aprile, who led the exterior design programme at ED2 said: “We strived to something which really stands out from the crowd, so our objectives were to avoid stereotypes, harmonise the overall style for all powertrain versions and dare to be different from the competition. The fact this project was managed entirely in Europe helped the final design enormously. We were able to hold daily discussions with engineering and product planning… As a result were able to really carry our vision through from first proposals to the final car.”

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The Toyota C-HR

The original concept that paved the way for our mould-breaking C-HR crossover was created in Europe, true to the Global Vision approach we adopted in 2011 to find the best environments in which to develop different types of vehicles. We consider that Europe is the most demanding market for small and mid-size vehicles, so we use it as a benchmark when preparing new models for those segments.

The C-HR Concept made its world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show. With its diamond-shape based bold design language, an engaging full-hybrid driving experience and new platform architecture, it brought the future Toyota compact crossover one step closer to the final production model.
Making its world debut at the 2016 Geneva motor show, the Toyota C-HR production model remained very close to its concept. It gave Toyota a powerful new presence in the crossover market. Designed to stand out both within the Toyota line-up and in its segment, it represents Akio.

In the case of the Toyota C-HR concept – a mid-size crossover – there was close co-operation between our planning centres in Japan and Europe, so that we could gain a good understanding of the latest European customer demands and vehicle trends. The styling also owes much to European tastes, being developed by our ED2 studio in co-operation with other design centres around the world.

Our designers were able to take a completely fresh approach, with the aim of giving the Toyota C-HR a unique style – modern and sensual at the same time. Equally important was the work of the European Sensory Quality team, which ensured the concept’s designs were realised with just the right finishing. Supported by their engineering colleagues, they worked on every visual detail to achieve what we consider to be the best interior we have ever delivered in terms of sensory quality.

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