How does Toyota president Akio Toyoda evaluate new cars? As Hans Greimel of Automotive News explains, it all has to do with taste:
In particular, he loves to talk about “seasoning” his vehicles — something the long-too-bland Toyota brand desperately needs.
The race-driver CEO, who as recently as a three years ago said he test drives hundreds of cars a year, peppers conversations with culinary parlance about the “foretaste,” “middle-taste,” and “aftertaste” of a specific vehicle.
To him, the best styling trait of the [Lexus IS] — which hit showrooms June 28 — is its “stance.” The IS’s solid planting elicits mouthwatering “foretaste,” Toyoda said at a Tokyo launch event.
What does that mean? The IS has looks that beckon salivating wannabe-drivers to climb aboard, punch the starter button and stomp on the gas. “It makes you want to drive it,” Toyoda says.
Judging from the products since Toyoda took over (GS, IS, updated LS, the upcoming RC coupe), he has a firm grasp on the type of vehicle he wants to produce — this type of singular boldness has long been missing from Lexus, and would suggest the best flavors are yet to come.