April 05, 2012
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Associates, Products, Toyota
Miljan Jevremovic, Creative Designer, Exterior
For a fresh take on Avalon, Toyota turned to a new cast: a youthful design team at Calty Design Research studios in California and Michigan. Guiding the group were Miljan Jevremovic, creative designer, exterior; Benjamin Jimenez, project chief designer, interior; and Mona Beattie, senior creative designer, color and trim. Here are their visions – and their verdicts.
What was your vision for Avalon?
Miljan Jevremovic: Our vision was to create a vehicle that conveys an athletic sporty image while maintaining the class and elegance of a flagship sedan. The feeling of excitement to drive this vehicle also played a big role. For me personally, I knew I wanted to design an Avalon that I would want to drive.
Benjamin Jimenez: With this new Avalon I wanted people to say, "Wow! I didn't expect this from Avalon." Inside, the layered design creates a whole new impression. The floating control panel is crisp, very high-tech and gives the driver a very connected feel. Supporting layers are soft-wrapped with real stitching. The beauty of this is that each layer is tuned to show the materials at their best.
Mona Beattie: I envisioned that people would sit in the car, and immediately they would have a sense of elegant and modern quality, and I would know that the color and the materials used had something to do with their reaction.
Why will Avalon appeal to younger buyers?
Benjamin Jimenez, Project Chief Designer, Interior
Jevremovic: Technology plays a big role in today’s consumers’ day-to-day activities, especially for the younger demographic. The Avalon offers an intelligent product with advanced headlamps, LED tail lamps and a driver-focused interior. To put it simply, the Avalon looks cool, and younger buyers will appreciate how it looks. I’m still in my 20s and while designing the Avalon, I tried to think what my friends would like or what I personally would want the Avalon to look like, so I really focused on the elegant, athletic look.
Jimenez: This new Avalon looks great and is much more engaging than ever before. I think younger buyers will love the athletic design, beautiful details and rich interior.
Beattie: We developed some fresh and modern exterior colors, like Champagne Pearl and Moulin Rouge Mica. These two new colors express a sense of youthfulness. The Champagne Pearl is not your grandma’s beige. It has a clean feel and silky effect that’s very attractive.
What do YOU love about Avalon?
Mona Beattie, Senior Creative Designer, Color and Trim
Jevremovic: The North American team really made design a top priority for the Avalon. To see the vehicle on the road looking identical to the first sketch holds testament to how hard both engineering and design worked to achieve a successful end result. I love that I was able to be a part of this team to create such a beautiful car.
Jimenez: I love the feeling when you first get behind the wheel. It’s stunningly fresh and beautiful. The floating control panel really gives you the feeling that you’re in control and driving this car is going to be fun. The other thing I love about this car is that it was such a local team effort. From the design and engineering created in Michigan to the factory in Kentucky, we worked as a team.
Beattie: I love that we have the three-color coordination in the interior. We really went beyond what we’ve done before in our color experimentation to come up with the elegant yet youthful combination. The leather is supple and tactile, which gives the interior a very premium feel. In the instrument panel area, we use a light color to give it a more airy, spacious and luxury feel, while the stitching adds a certain level of craftsmanship.
By Susan Pack