January 5, 2001


L.A. Auto Show

Toyota WiLL youth concept car


Toyota WiLL concept
Click for a larger image

The new Toyota WiLL Concept Car is
in Los Angeles to gauge the response of trend-setting
California youth, which TMC hopes will provide them
with marketing innsight they can use in Japan. The
development of the WiLL Concept Car was a joint effort
between WiLL, a popular brand name for several
products in the Japan marketplace, and the Virtual
Venture Company (VVC), an organization within TMC.

Established in 1997, VVC is charged with giving Toyota
a more youthful image and customer base by identifying
future trends, developing marketing plans for vehicles
positioned toward younger buyers and creating a youth
sub-brand strategy.

The WiLL Concept Car is a sporty five-door specialty
vehicle with a coupe-like silhouette that offers fun,
practicality and performance. The unique exterior
design is composed of a concave surface and sharp
character lines. Styling is further enhanced with
projector headlamps, and grey privacy glass on the
rear doors and hatch. The sleek rear design conveys
strength and aggressiveness, while the rear hatch
allows for easy cargo access.

The interior offers seating for five and a design that
complements its vibrant exterior. Unique features
include a special instrument panel with red Optitron
gauges, a slanting centre console, a
fighter-jet-inspired shift lever and high-back front
seats. Additional interior features include a
three-spoke sport steering wheel, power windows and
door locks, air conditioning, and 60/40 folding rear
seats for added cargo capacity.

The WiLL’s unique styling is complemented with
impressive performance capability. Powered by the same
1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that is currently
available on the popular Celica GT-S, the WiLL Concept
Car generates 180 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and 130
lbs./ft. of torque at 6,800 rpm. The engine is
equipped with variable valve timing and lift, with
intelligence control (VVTL-i) to inject an extra dose
of performance from 6,000 rpm to the redline at 7,800
rpm. VVTL-i increases the intake/exhaust lift when the
engine speed is high to improve output and fuel
efficiency.

The engine is linked to a four-speed automatic
transmission equipped with sport-shift steering-wheel
mounted buttons, similar to a Formula One race car.
The sport-shift feature allows “manual” shifting of
the automatic transmission via buttons embedded in the
steering wheel when the gear shift lever is in the “M”
mode position. To upshift, simply press one of the two
buttons on the back of the steering wheel spokes then
depress one of the two buttons on the front of the
spokes to downshift.

Braking performance on the front-wheel drive WiLL
Concept Car is enhanced by front and rear discs and
excellent ride performance is achieved with 18-inch
alloy wheels.

A production version of the WiLL Concept Car is slated
to go on sale in the Japan market in the future. The
WiLL Concept Car is the second vehicle under the WiLL
brand to be built by Toyota. The first WiLL vehicle,
the Vi, has been on sale in Japan since January 2000.
VVC is currently studying the possibilities of
expanding the WiLL vehicle series that would again be
aimed at the youth market, but no decisions have been
made.

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