|Quote, originally posted by ryceboy_124 »|
|I think this will be my next car...screw the BMW. lol! Thanks for your input Moto. I'm just hoping it looks as good as the prototype I saw at TAS in 2010.|
It actually looks better. Take the Original FT86 concept, and add a little more flavor from Scion project's FRS Concept, then smooth down the lines so that it's less tuner looking, and more OEM finesse. Retain the 2000GT C-Pillar, sharpen the tail. And that's how a final version will be. (That's all I can tell you at this point.)
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 configurations. 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"
There are many features that go deep into the same thinking... And although such matters of owner-customizations are in place, the vehicle is very refined as is out of the box. Never before, has such low-cost niche-car seen so much research, so much development budget, and resourced with so many talents.
It was met with many challenges of financiers, and business end departments due to the era, and in the wake of many events, from dismal sports car sales in general, Lehman Crisis rendering global spending decrease, and even natural disasters. Large corporations, even Toyota, are not immune to current trends of operating under strict adherence to the speculative finance and rules of the governments and stockholders.
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. 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....
He loves the FT86 as much as we do...
When was the last time you saw a CEO of an auto firm do THAT!!
Well I just did... in a video no less.
Yes, Akio strapped in by TAKATA belts, grinning and jerking at the wheel in quick bursts of counter-steer, cooking the Nurburgring to his own liking, and screaming past the famous Castle down the last straight back to the pits as if he was shouting to the ghosts that live in the old castle. That was an awe-inspiring footage. The usually calm Mr.Toyoda seemed to be as epic as Mel Gibson shouting “FREEDOM”
Mr.Tada continues to travel, mostly in secret cloak, but magically appearing out of the blue in conversations like this afforded to people who can represent the fans and enthusiasm, that is all of us. He is almost like the Jason Bourne of Toyota Sports car development as I see it. Always in close contact with the CEO boss, taking care of his projects covertly at times, but free minded to conjure a car for the future, fending off opinions of conventions and bureaus. 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.
Affordable, yes, that is one of the first priorities. However, nothing about the car from what I saw in the photos looked CHEAP... The car may be affordable, but all the key ingredients like simple, functional interior, wrapped in very neat fabrics?
All of this and much more I can't say... All of this and MUCH MUCH more...
If AE86 was the starting point, and you had 30 years of technology change, and tools and toys we enjoy, mash it all into a car with dimensions nearly exactly matching the AE86. And taking NONE of the soul out from the AE86. What do you get?
I call it my dream car. And Club4AG will live on forever...
Because the sports car to enjoy from Toyota is BACK!
"Endorsed by CEO Akio Toyoda, Designed by Passion (of Tada's team), and Not by a committee. --Tada says.
Modified by Moto-P at 3:12 AM 7/17/2011
Founder/ Administrator Club4AG