The blogosphere has been excited about this “concept” car which is scheduled for production. Most people like the sportscar format and funky exterior design. We like it because….
…it has felt door cards. This material has been hanging around waiting to be used in this way for a long time. As well as being recyclable and very light compared to plastic, it improves the cabin acoustics and feels nicer to the touch. The minimum radius attainable by felt is quite large so it yields nice round forms and smooth sweeps when folded across the door structure. Handling this must have provided some challenges to the manufacturer and I am in doubt as to whether it will see the light of day.
I hope it does and also that once Toyota realise what felt can do they can also make some more use of the fantastic colour properties of wool. Wool takes dye very well and as a result can be given some very fine hues that react to light in a different, nicer way than the same hue used in plastic.
Here is a detail of the material. The designers have cut out holes to show the metal underneath. Nice touch but if the felt itself was coloured in another way this trope would not be necessary. It´s almost as if Toyota aren’t wise to the potential of felt.
Here is a look at the exterior. Generally it;s spot on, with great proportions and lovely detailing. I think the one aspect that needs changing is the headlamps. The bonnet shutline dominates the lamps, looking very much as if the lamp is being hidden by the metal. If the lamp cut into the bonnet by just a small amount – a centimetre – the effect would disappear. It’s a gestalt thing to do with continuity.