The countdown has begun for the 2013 edition of the Johannesburg International Motor Show and, as in the past, South Africa’s most loved brand will be leading the way with one of the biggest stands and undoubtedly the largest presence Toyota has ever had at the show.
According to Kerry Roodt, General Manager of Marketing Communications: “Toyota has produced a stand of great stylistic and architectural appeal with origami-inspired, wave design elements predominating. This follows the new global direction, making us one of the first countries to adopt it after Europe, Thailand and South America.”
But, as Roodt points out, “the 1 053 m2 indoor Toyota stand in Hall 6 does much more than just accommodate the vehicles; it was developed with the aim of letting visitors really feel the Toyota brand promise. Our mission through our products and our service is to bring smiles to the lives of every single customer; our stand is simply an extension of this.”
This is reflected in how the 18 cars will be displayed: Hilux, Fortuner and the Toyota Imperial Racing Hilux piloted by Dakar champions, Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz, will be on show in the Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) zone. Appropriately, this area will be reserved for locally built models and it will highlight how Toyota delivers peace of mind and trust to customers through QDR, which is a core strength of the brand.
In the “waku-doki” or fun-to-drive zone, models such as the 86, Aygo, FJ Cruiser and RAV4 will be featured.
“A few cars we’ll still keep under wraps until show time but we can divulge that the FT-86 Open Concept, which premiered at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, will be seen officially for the first time on African soil. This car, which personifies fun and excitement, was created to test the water for the possible introduction of a convertible version of the globally acclaimed 86 sports coupe,” Roodt said.
An exhibit that will come under the spotlight in the hybrid leadership zone is the ground-breaking TS030 HYBRID driven by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin which finished second at this year’s gruelling 24-hour Le Mans race. Together with the Toyota Imperial Racing Hilux and South Africa’s newest rally championship challenger, the Castrol Team Toyota Racing Yaris which can be viewed in the fun-to-drive zone, these three models will reinforce Toyota’s glorious motorsport heritage.
Moving outdoors, Toyota will likewise take a commanding lead in the off road arena. The full range of Toyota and Lexus 4x4 vehicles will be on view, including the new Prado.
The public will also have the opportunity to put selected models through their paces on both the 4x4 track as well as Toyota’s very own “Urban Trax”. The latter is a go-anywhere, set-up anywhere, versatile 4x4 demonstration and instruction track, which allows the Toyota Advanced Driving team the opportunity to display the various capabilities and functions of the Toyota range of off road vehicles, through seven man-made obstacles that mimic a rough outdoor environment, but can be experienced in an urban environment. These include the demonstration of extreme ascents, descents, cross axle articulation, side slopes, traction control, downhill assist control, crawl control, ridge crossing as well as differential lock functionality.
The stand for sister brand Lexus is likewise modeled on the new global design which was first shown at Geneva. It takes its cue stylistically from the signature L-finesse design language – iridescent metallic hues combine with crisp, sharp lines to create a dramatic, uncluttered backdrop for the glittering line-up of prestige models. These include the recently minted IS attired in F-Sport apparel, the GS in hybrid 450h guise, the rare and utterly exclusive LFA supercar (as well as its F-Sport road bike sibling) and, of course, the LS flagship. A surprise new Lexus model will also be unveiled at JMS – details will be provided shortly.