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Toyota Motor Corporation: Toyota 86


In 1983, a certain sports car was launched. It was only on sale for four years, but continued to be a treasured vehicle for many people long after it stopped being made. That vehicle was known as the “Hachi Roku,” or the “Eight Six.”

And from April, 2012, the Hachi Roku will again be stealing hearts and headlines. This is the much-anticipated relaunch of the Toyota 86.

By 2007, Toyota had removed itself from the compact sports car market due to practical business reasons. These included a growing sense, among consumers, that vehicles were less about leisure and more about practicality; they had changed from a pastime to a way of getting around.

But now, a Toyota sports car is once again on sale, for the first time in fifteen years. It’s a new type of sports car, too, combining the outstanding technology that characterizes Japan’s motor industry with the spirit of the Hachi Roku. It’s a fine example of the Toyota commitment to design and quality too.

Motor Technology at its Best: The Horizontally-Opposed Flat-Four Naturally-Aspirated Engine

The standout feature of this vehicle is its engine: an ultra-low center of gravity (CoG) horizontally-opposed flat-four naturally-aspirated engine is enhanced with Toyota’s latest technology, the D4-S. Horizontal-opposed engines are relatively rare in the global motor industry, and the unique specification of this model’s engine makes it truly one-of-a-kind.

The D4 is a next generation combustion system featuring with a twin injector able to select and control, according to the operative mode of the vehicle, the best option out of two types of system injection: direct injection, which injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber; or a conventional port injector, which injects fuels into an inlet port. It is a technological framework that represents many years of development by Toyota.

This 2.0 L engine is capable of a maximum allowable rotational speed of 7,000 turns per minute and a maximum output of 200 horsepower (PS), despite being a naturally-aspirated engine. The lightest model, used in the 6-speed manual transmission (MT) vehicle, is capable of a fuel consumption of 13.4 km/L in JC08 mode.

What’s more, the horizontally-opposed engine also boasts the advantage of having very low oscillation, guaranteeing a smooth driving experience.

Developing the ‘Drive Easy’ Body: Ultra Low CoG Front-engine Rear-wheel-drive (FR) Package

The Toyota 86 uses the front-engine rear-wheel-drive (FR) layout, just as the previous Hachi Roku model did. The vehicle also incorporates multiple technological features designed to bring the driver and vehicle together into a single unit, based on three core concepts: lightweight, compact, low CoG.
Toyota engineers were determined to shave off every single possible millimeter to produce a sports car with the lowest possible profile; they eventually succeeded in achieving the lowest hip-point of any Toyota front seat, at just 400 mm from the ground. This allows the driver to get closer to the surface of the road and experience the sensations of motion and speed much more intensely.

The engine is located front midship, in other words closer to the cabin in the front of the vehicle body. This contributes to the overall low CoG of the vehicle as well as its low yaw moment. This shifts the Hachi Roku well into the territory of the European super sports cars, in terms of body CoG and yaw moment.

Elsewhere, state-of-the-art technology has been adopted wherever possible to ensuring the Toyota 86 handles like no other sports car, including: the use of a pagoda roof with a dented contour, allowing for the greater reduction of air resistance; the use of lightweight materials to reduce overall vehicle weight; and the use of materials of high durability for the underfloor and other areas that need to withstand powerful forces from the road surface.

Developing Safety Functions for Higher Dimensions

The new Toyota 86 features multiple technological innovations designed to guarantee enhanced safety functions, in response to the evolved needs of our vehicle-centric societies. The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) function automatically assumes control of the breaks and engine output in the event of side slip. There is a switch that allows the driver to choose between sports mode and normal mode. There is also an option to switch between modes of maneuverability according to driver preference and intention.

In addition, the Toyota 86 features a Traction Control (TRC) function, designed to prevent the tire spin, and a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) function, designed to control the angular speed difference between the right and left axes.

While the Toyota 86 boasts multiple functions specifically designed to facilitate a smooth and high speed drive, the vehicle has also been designed with fuel efficiency and safety in mind. It is an all-round performer, meeting drivers’ needs on multiple levels, making it a very modern sports car.

Motor vehicles are a mode of transport that can bring convenience to our everyday lives, making them easier and more pleasant. Today, motor vehicles are one of the most accessible modes of transport available to many people.

The Toyota 86, however, is a sports car, made to be enjoyed. Its central concept is the drive, not the destination.
Toyota’s decision to move back into compact sports car production after 15 years may well have been prompted by the company’s desire to remind contemporary society that motor vehicles can be about more than just getting from a point A to a point B; that the drive alone can sometimes be enough.

The generation that once loved the Hachi Roku can now enjoy its new-generation version: the Toyota 86.
And this may be the very car to awaken the younger generation—thought at times to be moving away from the vehicle use—to the allure and glamor of the sports car.

This model represents a concentrated collection of the very best Toyota technology today. It just might be the vehicle that sparks a new wave of international interest in one of the motor industry’s longest runners.

March 26, 2012

About the author
Hiromi Jitsukata is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON

"TMC to Exhibit '86' Sports Car at Tokyo Motor Show"Nov. 27, 2011
Gross vehicle weight 1,410~1,470kg
Wheel Base 2,570mm
Wheel Track Front1,520mm
Ground Clearance 130mm
Interior Length 1,615mm
Interior Width 1,490mm
Interior Height 1,060mm
Riding Capacity 4