Toyota Uses Racetrack to Improve 86 Sports Car

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Toyota has advanced the superior driving enjoyment of its 86 sports car by applying feedback from extensive racetrack experience, including from the world’s toughest endurance race.

Driving characteristics have been revamped with better engine breathing that releases more power and torque for manual models along with across-the-board updates to suspension and body rigidity that promote improved handling.

Toyota has also focused on design updates that advance the aerodynamics, steering stability and the driver’s sense of being connected to the vehicle which is renowned for its ideally balanced front-engine, rear-drive layout.

The update of the compact and engaging four-seater is dynamic evidence of Toyota’s sports-car development philosophy expressed by the saying, “We race. We learn. You win”.

Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada said his team applied information learned from the racetrack to develop the upgraded 86 sports car, including data obtained from class victories at the famous 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

“We overhauled everything – primarily as a result of technological feedback from the 86’s participation in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring – and repeatedly tested the vehicle on roads all over the world as we manufactured every single part,” Mr. Tada said.

“The new 86 has been perfected to such an extent that, from the moment the steering wheel is gripped and the vehicle accelerates away, every driver will be able to recognise its evolution,” he said.

As well as the famed German enduro, the 86 is campaigned regularly by owners around the world in club races and rallies. It has also inspired the Toyota 86 racing series in Australia with competition occurring at selected rounds of the Virgin Australia Supercars championship.

The 86 has been Australia’s best-selling sports car in each of the past three years with cumulative sales topping 17,200 cars – the third highest in the world.

For the revamp, engineers have revised engine components including the intake and exhaust manifolds for the six-speed manual models, lifting maximum power and torque by 3.4 per cent to 152kW and 212Nm.*

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder horizontally opposed engine’s increased torque peak can be generated over a 200rpm wider range of engine speeds, from 6400 to 6800rpm. The torque curve has also been improved at low rpms.

All models deliver sharper steering response and improved ride comfort with additional spot welds for the rear pillars and reworked shock absorber valve structures.

Aerodynamic performance was the priority for the freshened exterior, contributing to enhanced road holding and turning performance.

The 86 is lower at the front and features nose fins, foglamp bezel fins and small canards or wing-like projections beneath the wider front grille for enhanced control. LED headlamps complete the front make-over.

Newly designed 17-inch alloy wheels contribute to a nimble-looking side view with twisted spokes, machine-cut highlights and gun-metallic paint. The 86 logo has shifted to a stand-alone badge on the front fender.

At the rear, an available wing-type rear spoiler contributes to aerodynamic performance while the black section of the bumper has been widened to create a trapezoidal shape for a more commanding on-road stance. Reshaped rear combination lamps now utilise LEDs.

Inside, the 86 is equipped with an even sportier steering wheel – its 362mm diameter makes it the smallest ever used in a Toyota. The cross-sectional shape provides optimal grip, manoeuvrability and comfort.

The revised tachometer is arranged so that 7,000rpm is viewed at the very top – the engine speed around which the vehicle generates maximum output.

Driver aids include an available 4.2-inch thin-film transistor display that conveys a wide range of information including, in real-time, a G-force meter and power and torque curves.

The instrument panel and door trim can be specified with Grand Luxe®, a high-quality suede-like material in black, that limits glare and helps create an environment in which the driver can focus on driving.

The new model goes on sale in Australia during the fourth quarter of this year.