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Toyota set to launch “radical” new car

Peek a boo: Toyota is talking up the prospects for its RND Concept that has been teased in this image ahead of a full reveal on Australia Day.

“Fun-to-drive” RND Concept teased by Toyota GB ahead of fast-track launch

Toyota logo22 Jan 2015

By RON HAMMERTON

TOYOTA is promising a radical shift in direction in its car design, starting with a mysterious “fun-to-drive” new model, the RND Concept, to be revealed in Britain next Monday and fast-tracked to market “within weeks”.

In a big-talking press release accompanying a teaser photo released overnight, the Japanese company’s UK arm says the impact of the new vehicle “will go far beyond its own model range, having the potential to transform the look of every vehicle on the road”.

Many pundits are expecting a tiny city commuter, perhaps a replacement for the French-made Toyota iQ hatch or – more likely – something to rival the Renault Twizy.

Whatever it is, the vehicle is supposedly production ready with a price list already written for a showroom release this year, in the UK at least.

Said Toyota GB president Matt Harrison: “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.” Toyota said it had broken with tradition by revealing the new product away from an international motor show.

“Instead, the new RND Concept will make its world debut in the UK on January 26, ready for fast-track development that should see it changing the face of motoring within weeks,” the company’s press release says.

“The first image released today hints at how the concept’s design marks a radical shift in direction for Toyota, taking the ‘fun-to-drive’ qualities of its cars to a higher level.

“Although presented as a concept, Toyota acknowledges the RND will be unveiled in its production-ready form.

“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.

“Toyota is confident, too, that the RND Concept’s impact will go far beyond its own model range, having the potential to transform the look of every vehicle on the road.” The announcement comes just days after Toyota’s US sales division announced it was planning to drop the little iQ from its Scion sales list due to lack of customer interest.

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