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Thursday, July 12, 2012

All You Want To Know About The Toyota FT86!!!


The All-new Toyota 86 which makes its official debut in Malaysia today is Toyota‟s latest sports car with a strong heritage and pedigree that goes back 50 years. Though its „86‟ badge (hachirokuin Japanese) makes it a spiritual successor to the original AE86 Levin/Trueno model which was produced in the 1980s, its DNA also carries the characteristics of two other models – the

Toyota Sports 800 and Toyota 2000GT. From the Sports 800 comes the FR (front engine-rear wheel drive) layout and boxer engine while from the design of the 2000GT served as a starting point for the stylists.



In many areas of the 86, the stylists have paid tribute to the hachi-roku legend as well as the sports car image. For example, the bore and stroke of the engine are both 86 mm and the diameter of the tailpipe is exactly 86 mm. The badge is also unique: in the centre is an elaborately styled "86‟ which evokes the image of a four-wheel drift and on either side is the shape of a piston/connecting rod, arranged in the same horizontally-opposed manner as in the engine.

The same piston/con-rod motif can also be found on the headlamps, air-conditioning vents,parts of the seat upholstery and meter rings. The design of the standard wheels also drew inspiration from those found on sports cars of the past. With the core goal of “Pure Balance”, the development team of the 86 aimed to provide a compact high-quality sports car with genuine fun-to-drive dynamics – without having to resort to absolute power or impressive specifications. It is a sports car that will remind the world that the joy of cars lies in the driving experience. 



The development of the 86 was carried out in collaboration with Subaru (a division of Fuji Heavy Industries), which is also well known for its high-performance sports sedans. The development program was similar in scope and passion to that for a high-caliber sports car and driving dynamics were a top priority with a strong focus on intuitive handling. 

Extensive testing was done in Japan, Europe and North America, and much time was spent at the N├╝rburgring circuit in Germany to achieve the purity of the classic sports car experience. For the Malaysian market, UMW Toyota Motor offers the 86 with 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions and a choice of six (6) exterior colours – Satin White Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Sterling Silver Metallic, Lightning Red, Galaxy Blue Silica and Orange Metallic.

EXTERIOR
When the designers began work on the 86, they looked at the 2000GT which was a legend in its time and demonstrated that Japan could produce a sports car comparable to those from Europe. The most obvious styling cue from the 2000GT can be seen in the window profile which tapers to a triangle at the roof pillar. Like the 2000GT, the flowing line of the bonnet and roof are remarkably sleek and low, with the low stance expressing the performance potential and stability. 



The bold, simple yet iconic styling incorporates two key pillars of a new Toyota design language: „Under Priority‟ frontal design, which places the emphasis on an enlarged lower grille, focusing attention on the lower part of the car for a distinctive, more assertive appearance, and a "Keen Look‟ approach for clear, intelligent and expressive styling. Designed for maximum efficiency, the distinctively-shaped headlamps have HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps with LED clearance lamps. The turn signal lamps are mounted lower down, in the same recesses for the fog lamps.

Viewed from the rear, the „pagoda‟ roof which contributes to aerodynamic efficiency is evident and this further emphasizes the three-dimensional trapezoidal cross-section of the car. The diffuser under the rear end extends up into the bumper and is not just for looks but also helps in airflow management to reduce drag. The 86 design approach uses an aerodynamic concept, called „Sandwich Concept‟ to achieve high-speed stability without impact on the drag coefficient. 



Using this concept, the car is "pressed‟ by air from the top, bottom and both sides - basically sandwiched by air from all directions - which stabilizes it both vertically and horizontally. The concave section on the "pagoda‟ roof also helps to optimize aerodynamics and other similar measures to smoothen airflow are also used on the underbody. Additionally, stabilizing fins known as "sakana‟ (meaning "fish‟ in Japanese), are attached in strategic areas to enhance lateral stability. Extensive studies in the wind tunnel were carried out to find the right angle between the trailing edge of the cabin and rear end (as well as the length of the boot extension) for optimum aerodynamic efficiency.
The large front grille is not intended to only present an aggressive look but has highly functional qualities. Its size and low positioning provide better cooling for the engine compartment and together with the front fenders; airflow is better directed towards the brakes for faster heat dissipation.



INTERIOR
The interior design concept for the 86 aimed at creating a genuine sports car cockpit with the shape and placement of each driving control element optimized on functionality and usability. The driver and car are united, allowing the 86 to be driven as if it were a natural extension of the driver‟s body. In keeping with sports car styling, the colour theme chosen is black, accented with red stitching throughout and the aluminum footrest and pedals are also perforated like those used in racing cars.


The 2+2 seating configuration was designed with both form and function in mind with semibucket front seats featuring deep bolsters for excellent side support and are mounted extremely low. The hip point of 400 mm is also the lowest of any Toyota model on sale today. The seatbacks and cushion surfaces are designed to provide good support during hard acceleration and the shape of the driver‟s seat has also been designed to prevent the elbow from interfering with gearshift operation. Likewise, the pedals have been positioned to allow drivers to use the heel-and-toe technique when taking corners.



The dashboard top has a “flat horizon” design, influenced by the simple purity of the 2000GT‟s dashboard. At its centre is a raised rib which functions as a “centerline” that reflects at the base of the windshield, helping a skilled performance driver intuitively find the centre of the car and also have quicker awareness of lateral movements. The material for the top of the dashboard has also been specially chosen to minimize reflections on the windscreen and windows.

The circular 3-spoke steering wheel has a diameter of 365 mm, the smallest in a Toyota-brand vehicle. The leather-wrapped wheel's surface was optimized with extensive feedback from professional test drivers to enhance steering performance and grip. The steering wheel is set at an angle of 16 mm, chosen after extensive testing to find the best angle for smooth steering operation.



A recessed three-cluster meter has the 9,000-rpm tachometer (redline at 7,450 rpm) as the most dominant element. This meter, with a white background, has been specially designed with particular attention paid to display placement, markings and typeface to enhance visibility and readability at high speeds. It includes a digital speedometer (the analogue speedometer is to the right) and a programmable shift-indicator which has a small but intense indicator that lights up when redline is reached. The driver can set the warning to go off in 100-rpm increments, between a range of 2,000 rpm ~ 7,400 rpm and a chime can be programmed to sound when the set redline is approached.
For convenience, the 86 has a Smart Entry & Start System with pushbutton starting/stopping of the engine. The compact smart pad has a mechanical key, buttons to operate the door locking and double-locking system and also to open the boot lid. Like the original AE86, there is seating space for two persons in the rear and when extra space is required to carry more items, the backrests can be folded flat. Anticipating that many owners will be going to the racetrack often to enjoy their 86, the interior designers made sure that the space available can accommodate four wheels/tyres and personal equipment for racing.
Other features in the cabin include a smart personal storage space between the front seats and a frameless rearview mirror (first in the world) that improves forward visibility. A 2DIN audio system with 6 speakers is standard and comes with an AM/FM receiver, CD-player and can also connect to portable music players and thumb drives via the AUX and USB ports. Convenience features that today‟s drivers take for granted such as power windows, central locking and automatic air-conditioning are also provided in the 86.

POWERTRAIN

The engine of the 86 is the result of a joint development between Toyota and Subaru, bringing together their technical know-how and mutual passion for sports cars. Though no other current Toyota model has the horizontally-opposed flat-four design for its engine (also called a "boxer‟ engine of the way the pistons move), it is not the first time that a Toyota model has such an engine. That honour goes to the Toyota Sports 800, produced in the 1960s, which had a 2-cylinder boxer engine.

Toyota engineers chose to use a boxer engine because it offers strong low-end torque delivery and more linear power generation. The engine mass is also lower, contributing to the ultra low centre of gravity that is very important for handling and stability.

The boxer engine in the 86 has a 1998 cc displacement (derived from bore and stroke dimensions of exactly 86 mm x 86 mm) with Toyota‟s advanced D-4S direct injection technology. This technology incorporates both direct and port injection for each cylinder, one injecting fuel directly into the combustion chamber, the other a port injector located above the intake valves. Both the direct and port injectors are used at certain engine speeds and under certain engine loads to help fill out mid-range torque.

Like most of today‟s Toyota engines, there is also continuously variable valve timing (on both intake and exhaust valves) to help optimize power, torque, and fuel mileage, four valves per cylinder and dual overhead camshafts. Without a turbocharger and running with a high 12.5:1 compression ratio, the output is 147 kW/ 200 PS at 7,000 rpm with 205 Nm of torque available between 6,400 and 6,600 rpm.



Just as the original AE86 exhaust system was tuned for a sporty sound, the 86 also has a unique sound quality, thanks to a newly-developed sound creator which creates a linear intake sound in response to accelerator operation. During slow, moderate acceleration, there is a pleasing induction sound channeled into the cabin but under hard acceleration, the induction tone becomes more "aggressive‟ to add a thrilling element to the drive.

Enthusiasts will be happy to find that UMW Toyota Motor will import the 86 with a 6-speed manual transmission which has quick, precise shifts with a short-throw and optimized gear ratios. The 5th gear is a 1:1 ratio while 6th gear is an overdrive ratio of 0.767:1 and the final drive ratio is 4.1:1.

For those who prefer convenience, there is also a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting and paddle shifters. This multi-mode transmission has been tuned for aggressive upshifts and sporty rev-matched down shifts using Dynamic Rev Management technology, limiting driveline shock and adding to the visceral experience of driving the car. The Sport Mode quickens shift timing as well as throttle response, holding gears longer at higher revs before upshifting to exploit the torque and horsepower in the upper reaches of the rev range.

Power is sent to the back along a robust propshaft and then via a limited slip differential to each rear wheel, optimizing traction and grip under all driving conditions. A Torsen (torque-sensing) limited-slip differential is also fitted as standard, apportioning power to the rear wheels with precision and immediacy.

For drivers who are skilled, the ABS and switchable Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) safety systems have been specifically tuned to combine dynamic stability at the limit of the vehicle‟s performance envelope with minimal electronic intrusion on the purity of the driving experience.

The next-generation VSC system has a Sport mode which expands the permissible range of lateral acceleration and movement; for the ultimate experience (only for drivers who know what they are doing) the vehicle stability and traction control systems can be completely switched off, returning to the days of the AE86 when such electronic systems were not present.

CHASSIS & DRIVING DYNAMICS

The ideal of “Pure Balance” in the 86 concept is realized by the lightweight design and compact size, a combination that allows it to be quick and nimble into and out of corners, with dynamic maneuverability and confident handling. The kerb weight of just 1,275 kgs (1,298 kgs with automatic transmission) gives the 86 a weight/power ratio of 8.67 kgs/kW and this has been achieved by having an aluminum bonnet, resin fuel tank, high tensile steel construction in many areas and also the decision to have a boot rather than a hatchback body style.



Besides the low weight, the excellent balance and handling performance comes from having a FR – Front Engine, Rear Wheel Drive – layout, widely recognized as being the best for sports cars. This layout gives optimized weight distribution and low inertia moment benefits, the latter referring to the effort to turn the car as the mass is situated closer to the centre of the car.

Extensive testing on racetracks like the N├╝rburgring (with extra time spent on making the car a good drifter) and benchmarking the 86‟s dynamic potential against highly rated sports cars resulted in the engineers picking a weight distribution of 53:47 between the front and rear of the car. This almost even weight distribution means that even grip is generated on all four tyres, provides enhanced stability and keeps the steering neutral.
Additionally, the roll centre of the 86 has also been kept exceptionally low (460 mm, or just 15 mm higher than the Lexus LFA supercar). This reduces body roll significantly and gives quicker response to direction changes, underlining the quick, lively and fun-to-drive character that will delight enthusiasts. However, the handling is such that it is still "forgiving‟ enough for those without advanced driving skills to derive enjoyment as well.


To fully exploit the superior dynamics, the 86 gets a suspension setup consisting of MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone system in the rear. The MacPherson strut layout complements the ultra-low packaging while the double wishbones at the rear provide firm wheel location to cope with high cornering forces. The front spring rate has been softened deliberately to allow for slight body roll on initial turn-in, creating the perfect relationship between steering feel and vehicle behaviour exhibited by a classic front-engine/rear-drive platform.

Excellent steering feedback and input is provided by Electronic Power Steering with a sporty 13:1 steering ratio. The steering system is rigidly mounted to provide the driver with highly communicative road feel so that he or she knows what the wheels are doing at all times and how much grip is available.


Large, powerful ventilated disc brakes to both front and rear wheels offer a different brake pedal feel to that of any other Toyota. Brake response to pedal input has been tuned to provide precise modulation, assisting drivers in car control finesse by allowing for the smoothest possible dynamic weight transfer under braking.

Drawing inspiration from previous Toyota sports car design, the lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels of the 86 features a unique centre hub design. Toyota‟s traditional centre cap diameter is 60 mm, but this has been reduced to 49 mm, saving weight without any loss of rigidity, whilst making the spokes appear longer, and the wheels larger.

Toyota engineers determined that the dynamic potential of the 86 should not rely on exceptionally wide high-performance tyres and have specified 215x45 eco-friendly tyres as standard. The 86 design team is confident that the very neutral, predictable properties of the standard tyres will allow drivers to exploit the maximum potential of the chassis and suspension. Furthermore, engineering the 86 to handle well on such tyres also ensures that those who upgrade to high-performance tyres will more readily appreciate the dynamic qualities of the car.

SAFETY

The 86 may have a strong focus on sportiness and handling but Toyota‟s engineers also placed safety as top priority, and though skilled drivers would enjoy the pure driving experience without electronic controls, these are still present for Active Safety. The 86 is equipped with 4-wheel ABS incorporating Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), as well as Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). The VSC mode can be changed to suit the driver‟s preference and driving conditions and five (5) modes are available.
For Passive Safety, the impact-absorbing body will resist deformation during a collision, deflecting the forces around the cabin to prevent serious injuries to the occupants. Also, a full complement of 7 SRS Airbags are standard (front driver & passenger, side, curtain and driver knee). There are also additional safety features such as collapsible steering column and foot pedals to prevent injuries to the occupants in event of a collision. For those who want to bring small children along, ISOFIX points are provided at the rear for easy and secure mounting of compatible child seats.

WARRANTY

As with all of the latest Toyota models offered by UMW Toyota Motor, buyers of the new 86 get a 3 year/100,000 km factory warranty (whichever comes first after original registration).

source: UMW Toyota Media Services

2 comments:

  1. This article is very well written and informative. I have been following the progress of the ft86 since 1 year ago but the price in Malaysia to own one totally destroyed my enthusiasm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This article is very well written and informative. I have been following the progress of the ft86 since 1 year ago but the price in Malaysia to own one totally destroyed my enthusiasm.

    ReplyDelete

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