First of all: The question is not something I’ve made up, as it originates from Toyota themselves. And the answer is easy: Build a Celica.
Sometimes you wonder just how hard it can be? Things do not always have to be intellectualized and problematized to death – especially not if it’s about sex. In an interview, the managing director of Toyota in Denmark stated that they wanted to be sexy again – and then carried on elaborating that they focused on hybrid cars and a sustainable future. This part was so boring that I utterly lost interest and stopped paying any attention. When sex becomes about sustainability, it’s more like worms dividing themselves or grass that grows. That’s just nature. And don’t get me wrong, much as nature is of course nice – usually sex is just better.
He also stated in the interview that there is a straight line from the Le Mans cars to hybrid road cars. I think he means a straight line in the technology. Great. It’s just that it doesn’t work if the end result still looks like a Yaris.
So Toyota, here’s the answer: Build a Celica again.
I did not really make up the answer myself either, for as is so often the case, one can find the answer in history: The first sexy Toyota was a Celica. No, it was not a 2000GT, since that was not really a Toyota, but a Yamaha (read the story of the Yamaha A550X, the Toyota 2000GT, and the hugely succesful Datsun Z here in the ViaRETRO archives: From Albrecht to Z). Furthermore, the 2000GT was also a sales failure – although there have been sexy failures before. But on that note; the first sexy Toyota was the Celica from 1970.
It looked sexy, and this is really of the highest importance. In fact, a more sexy car may well be worse than a less sexy car – yet still cooler. Because it’s not about calculus and reproduction, but about sex for pleasure. That’s why it’s doesn’t matter whether the new Celica is with or without hybrid technology – it’s simply irrelevant. You don’t have sex in order to burn calories, do you?
“But Toyota already has a GT86, and it’s sexy?”, some might now point out. Certainly, but it’s too expensive. And again, like the 2000GT, it’s not a real Toyota, but sort of a Subaru.
Celica, on the other hand, was based on the ordinary Toyota Carina’s technology, and that’s precisely what made the price affordable; yet the design certainly did not suffer.
The first Celica was a true Hardtop coupé, and I’ve always been highly attracted to its “coke bottle design”. Just like many others clearly were. It sold like hot bread and is today a true classic. Just as its successor, by the way.
Just one simple word of warning equally learnt from history: The third generation Celica lost some of the originals simplicity and sexiness, as it became too big and too expensive. That’s where Toyota must tread very carefully today – should they decide to follow my advice. And if they still happen to overdo it, then just call it a Supra and … well, you know the story.
As genuine car enthusiasts, let’s all hope this ViaRETRO tip somehow reaches Toyota in Japan.