Ken Divjak Jul 23, 2011
Aan FT86-informatie geen gebrek hier op DRIVR, maar nu hebben we toch een specialleke over de nakende Toyota-sportwagen op de kop getikt. Ontwikkelingspiloot Tada Haraguchi is namelijk zeldzaam loslippig geweest tegen de stichter van een vooraanstaand Toyota-forum die de gelekte info op zijn beurt braafjes online heeft gezwierd. En daar zitten toch een heleboel indicaties in voor de cultstatus die Toyota met zijn achterwielaangedreven coupé wil bereiken…
The engine? It’s still EJ20 based shape. But Toyota re-casted everything, even down to the engine block with a new design, and with the Yamaha acoustics assigned to make every pulse, beat, and soul of air and vibration to become something to spice performance and tactile feel. Not much is exactly shared with the Subaru engine except the flat four configuration. However, the external mounting points remain the same as the Subaru EJ20, shared for very obvious reasons. That is so you can use a Subaru engine to swap if you prefer the Subaru engine for racing. Why bother with complex fabrication, if Subaru has something you can use from 11 years of WRC?
Everything about this car is basic and pure. It’s thought out for the aftermarket builders, racing operations, and not without YOU as enthusiast, the grassroots racers, custom builders, show car builders, and parking lot meet goers. Take for example. The front dash has a beautiful sweeping line, and yet the front corners recessed into the front window base. I asked why… and Tada san replied… “It’s so you can install a roll cage to regulations for many venues, without cutting up this dash” […]
However and despite the unforgiving global economic climate, in the last 5 years of development of the FT86, the best minds converged for this project. Mr.Haraguchi initially to select the key individuals fir for this task, and Tada assigned ultimately, oversee the project. Both are people from MR2 and AE86 projects in the past as well as 2nd Prius and other successful cars with future mind. To add to this, eventually along the process came, the resources and technology brought from the Lexus LFA program, Teams from Subaru including WRC minds of STi, and the whole time, forced and secured by the CEO of Toyota, regarding this as his own favorite development. […]
Mr.Tada, and his team, logged thousands of miles in the FT86 test mule, and he says it’s STILL not finished… 5 years, and still perfecting it every day, from materials of rubber bushings to see if steering feel can be improved or gas pedal to react more passionately, and details like equipment choices on the interior. In fact, this meeting was immediately after he was shaking it down in Arizona in the massive heat…to see it through that this car will outlast the most abusive of us in what he calls madness. I assume that to be our crazy tendencies to attend silly events where we burn rear tires all day long. But yes, he has that in mind for us…
What if I told you that FT86 has NO CD player, and no Navigation screen? It’s entirely possible… He figured we’d all have smart-phones to tell us where we’re going by 2012, and all we need is an FM radio to tell us if the world is ending. And for all other times on the road, he’s like us to listen to your favorite iPOD, or the beautiful sounds emanating from the exhaust system specifically designed for this car by the best ears at Yamaha Acoustic Instruments company. All this, while sitting in seats made in collaboration with the best aftermarket and OE racing operations and sports car makers.
En hier nog een kleine anekdote als toemaat:
Akio Toyoda is a proficient and enthusiastic driver and a big fan of this car, often dropping in to test drive it. Akio has recently shocked the staff on Nurburgring, Testing out of the blue, and drew a whole crowd of officials in panic when he strapped himself into the FT86, and started to chase down a LFA Nur-Edition that was also testing concurrently by a different department. Slipping the tail masterfully around the wet Nurburgring track…
[Tekst: Moto Miwa voor Club4AG.com]