Toyota Australia unveils 86 Shooting Brake concept version

Article by Christian A., on May 21, 2016

Introducing the new Toyota 86 "Shooting Brake" concept, a stunning prototype that allows the sports car to offer more rear head room and cargo space. The Product Design team of Toyota Australia took care of the conception and the development of the 86 Shooting Brake concept, while the carmaker’s global sports car division handled and directed its handcrafting in Japan. This new shooting break concept was formally unveiled in Sydney by the Toyota 86 global chief engineer Tetsuya Tada.

According to Toyota Australia divisional manager national marketing Brad Cramb, the Toyota 86 has become the basis for a concept that adds versatility while still boasting of sleek and sporty coupe styling and offering a sharp, responsive drive. He described the new Shooting Brake concept as a “classy option” for active couples or as a second car for families seeking something different. Tada remarked that his decision to support the 86 Shooting Brake project was prompted by a one-quarter scale clay model that was shown to him in Australia in November 2014.

He noted that he liked the model so much that he even arranged his own takumi prototype craftsmen to hand-build the Shooting Brake concept, which was derived from the Australian design. He described the 86 Shooting Brake concept as a fully functional and drivable vehicle that been tested at Toyota’s test tracks.

He quipped that the concept still features the weighted and direct steering of the 86, which means that the prototype could deliver a driving experience like that of the coupe, but with a slightly more neutral feel in tight corners. Tada added that by unveiling the 86 Shooting Brake, Toyota is trying to measure the reaction to the concept, even though the prototype was conceived only as an internal design study and the carmaker had no plans for production.

However, Tada remarked that he wants the 86 Shooting Brake concept to become a production reality, as it demonstrates Toyota’s passion for cars that are fun to drive. On the other hand, Toyota Australia design chief Nicolas Hogios disclosed that his team had a debate about how far they will modify the 86 coupe.

They eventually decided to remodel only the rear quarter and roof – only changing what was necessary. He noted that while the 86 Shooting Brake still has a sporty and taut silhouette, it has become more practical. For instance, the 86 Shooting Brake now features a roof that could carry surfboards or bikes. It also has a new boot that allows easier loading and unloading.

The origin of the Toyota 86 Shooting Brake Concept has been traced to the fact that a number of designers at Toyota Australia are drivers of the 86 coupe. According to Hogios, this passion was translated into an aspiration to explore ways to further expand the vehicle’s appeal while retaining the purity of the coupe. He added that the development of the concept commenced with a series of thumbnail sketches as well as some "photo-chopping" – made by the design team in their own time.

Hogios remarked that the team then realized that car's silhouette is suitable to have a Shooting Brake theme. He added that since the standard 86 already features a good-sized boot, this means that a Shooting Brake version with a larger opening would be a practical proposition. Moreover, a Shooting Brake version would provide more rear head room and cargo space as well as roof racks to accommodate surfboards, bikes and storage pods.

Soon, the Australia design team managed to develop computer-generated imagery and a one-quarter scale clay model of the Shooting Brake concept and then presented them to Tada when the Toyota 86 global chief engineer visited Australia in November 2014. Hogios quipped that Tada was impressed both with the design execution and with how the purity of the 86 style was retained by limiting changes to the rear quarter and roof. He noted that the Australian team simply broadened the 86 appeal.

The team then fine-tuned its design and then provided a new scale model to Toyota’s Sports Car Division in Japan, where Tada’s expert "takumi" craftsman hand-built a working prototype, employing a manual high-grade car derived from the production line. Hogios noted that usually, a design-to-prototype process would take years, adding that in the case of the Toyota 86 Shooting Brake, the process was completed in a matter of several months. Toyota Australia’s design chief described the collaboration between its team, Tada and his craftsmen and the Sports Car Division as brilliant – resulting to a Shooting Brake concept that should appeal to active couples or families.

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