In today’s world of increasingly confusing alphabet soup automotive nameplates, it’s a challenge to try to remember which is which – and what those letters stand for. In the case of the new RND Concept car Toyota is teasing, it appears the first two letters may mean “radically new.”
A production version of the RND also could have a radical impact on the auto industry as a whole, Toyota suggesting that we will see it “changing the face of motoring within weeks.”
Toyota has been on a push to pump more “passion” into the brand, as CEO Akio Toyoda likes to say. And that’s mean more expressive styling for mainstream models like the midsize Camry, as well as more power and improve handling across the board.
The Japanese giant suggests that the RND Concept’s design “marks a radical shift in direction for Toyota, taking the ‘fun-to-drive’ qualities of its cars to a higher level.”
Word of the show car was released in Europe by Toyota’s British sales subsidiary, and the maker made a point of noting that the RND Concept will be unveiled in the U.K. on Jan. 26, rather than at one of the traditional international motor shows, such as this month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, or the upcoming Chicago and Geneva shows.
Toyota’s news release dropped a lot of vague hints but few hard facts about the RND Concept. For example, Matt Harrison, the president of Toyota GB, suggested that, “Full details of the RND Concept will be announced next week, but ahead of the official unveiling I can say that this is something we are proud of and that will make a valuable contribution to the world we live in.”
That would strongly appear to indicate the RND Concept will be motivated by some sort of alternative powertrain. But will that be a new hybrid, a plug-in, pure electric or hydrogen car? The latter would seem unlikely considering Toyota has already shown the Mirai, its first fuel-cell vehicle which is just going into production. And the maker has openly disdained lithium-ion batteries due to limits like range, cost and charging times.
(Honda makes dramatic design shift with 2016 Pilot. For more, Click Here.)
Bob Carter, the head of U.S. Automotive Operations, last week told TheDetroitBureau.com that Toyota might yet have a battery-car in the works, but he gave little indication it was approaching launch.
(Click Here for details about Acura’s new RDX to be unveiled in Chicago.)
So, could the RND Concept highlight a new, super-affordable hybrid or yet another radical source of power? Apparently, the answer may have to wait until the RND Concept is unveiled next week.
(To see more about the unexpected passing of public relations guru Tom Kowaleski, Click Here.)
Toyota’s release does make it clear that the RND Concept won’t be just a fantasy in chrome due to vanish after a brief run.
Although presented as a concept, Toyota acknowledges the RND will be unveiled in its production-ready form,” the maker emphasizes, adding that, “Manufacturing and product supply have been secured and on-the-road pricing has been fixed at a level that will make the RND Concept accessible to the widest possible market.”
One response to “Toyota Teases Radically New RND Concept”
I don’t know how many people get suckered by this silliness in marketing but I totally ignore it.