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June 15, 2023

Toyota Employs Rocket Science In Car Design

You can now officially say that designing a car is rocket science. Toyota is leveraging the learnings of rocket engineers at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ aerospace division in order to create slick, aero-efficient BEVs in a bid to boost performance and range.

The first to receive this new way of design thinking is a Lexus EV (lead photo) that’s expected to debut (in concept form) at the Japan Mobility Show in October. The first production vehicles developed using this concept is expected to arrive at showrooms in two to three years’ time.

The aerodynamics concept is a new focus for Toyota in order to cut down the co-efficient of drag (cd) of its car to just 0.1x. The lower the figure, the more “slippery” the car. And a drag co-efficient below 0.20 are a kind of holy grail for designers. Hyundai, for example, targeted 0.1x for its Ioniq 6 electric streamliner sedan but delivered only 0.21. The Toyota Prius is around 0.24, while the Tesla Model 3 gets 0.23.

Simon Humphries, Toyota’s Chief Branding Officer (and a newly elected member of the board as Operating Officer) says they’re adopting technology used to protect rockets traveling at speeds of Mach 30. The technique creates an air film around the surface of the vehicle that helps reduce wind resistance. These new vehicles will be developed using complex Artificial Intelligence (AI) models. Human designers, meanwhile, will focus on “expressing their natural sensibility.”

Along with the cutting-edge aero tech, Toyota is reducing the development time of its vehicles from an average of 30 months to just 20 months to give them additional flexibility to quickly adopt new technology as they emerge. This, the carmaker admits, is something they learned from Chinese carmakers. In order to do so, vehicles will run on Toyota’s Arene automotive operating system which will have OTA (Over-The-Air) update capability. The Arene automotive operating system will be used not just on their EVs, but for their global, mass-market nameplates as well.


  1. I believe using the Arene OS in the future will incur subscription fees.

    1. I just hope Toyota will deliver and prove they can still take the lead in the BEV segment just like what they've been doing so well with ICE and hybrids(also Fuel Cell) for quite some time already.


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