Toyota working on a high performance version of the GT 86

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 2, 2011

Toyota is in the middle of testing a high performance variant of the new Toyota GT 86 sporting coupe. According to chief engineer Tetsuo Tada, test cars have been built of the supercharged GT 86. Toyota Racing Developments, Toyota’s in house tuning division, have started to evaluate the cars. Tada-san prefers the supercharger approach since it is simpler to accomplish than raising the engine size. It also doesn’t spoil throttle response as much as turbocharging would.

Toyota has asserted that sports car become boring to drive due to its turbocharging well as well as its four-wheel drive and wide tires.

TRD considers supercharging as one of its expertise. Since 1998, TRD had been offering this type of forced induction as an aftermarket kit for Toyota vehicles. It is based what’s envisioned as the kind of power that a supercharged GT 86 could develop.

However, Toyota’s chassis is expected to have 50bhp more to go with the 197bhp that its Subaru 2-litre flat four motor already produces. In addition, TRD is trying to find more ways to modify the suspension to handle the additional power, making a significant power hike more likely.

TRD’s most popular supercharger conversion is used on the U.S. market Tacoma pick up to give its 4-litre V6 engine a boost from 233bhp to 301bhp. This implies that a 280bhp GT 86 can be achieved easily.

Exterior Design

The new GT 86 was designed by Toyota to follow the Neo Functionalism concept. What this meant was that it had the technical constraints one would expect from a vehicle with compact dimensions while having a low center of gravity and exhibiting excellent aerodynamic performance, clearly inspired by technology from F1 racing.

All of these are then combined and put inside a sweeping style which brings to mind Toyota’s tradition when it comes to sports cars. One unique quality of the new GT 86 is that it makes use of a concept known as Aero Sandwiching. What this does is push the air from the bottom, the top, and the two sides in order to stabilize the vehicle not only horizontally but vertically as well. Basically what happens is that the GT 86 is sandwiched by air from each and every direction.

The result is that while it does stabilize the GT 86, there is virtually no negative effect when it comes to the drag coefficient. A good example of how this concept works is the dented curve placed on the pagoda roof, the same which has been done on its underbody as well. All around, stabilizing canard fins called sakana which is Japanese for fish, have been attached.

By putting these fins on the underbody and the sides, it enhances with the lateral stability. There is a reason why the iconic yet simple and bold style works. This is because it merges two important pillars of the brand’s design language. The first is the Keen Look method which utilizes an expressive and intelligent yet clear style. Meanwhile the second approach is the Under Priority frontal design.

It puts more focus on the larger grille and since the lower part is highlighted, it results in the GT 86 having a more assertive and highly unique look. Helping improve this design language is the lower grille and its bold scorpion style; thus allowing for a more sporting and aggressive form.

There are other exclusive sporting details seen on the exterior like T-mesh grille design on the front with the rear sporting a spoiler and the twin exhausts that, at its tip, have a connecting rod motif. There is also the alloy 17-inch wheels specifically created for the GT 86.

An '86' piston logo can be seen mounted on the front wing which serves to highlight its distinct front boxer engine and rear-wheel drive powertrain configuration. However it also symbolizes the tires that slide in a 4-wheel drift which emphasizes the balance present in the GT 86 even when at its performance limits.

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