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      11-28-2011, 10:24 PM   #80
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Drives: 11 E90 323i
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Originally Posted by GoingTooFast View Post
So very true.

You nailed it!

1. The 1 Series M is still too heavy;
2. The Cayman too expensive;
3. Lotus not very practical for daily drive.

The best summarized description yet.

+ 1

After reading these TWO article behind the design process, engineering & consumer goals, and passion driving this project... it really makes me want to get one.

Though I'm a diehard BMW fan, IMHO it's too much of a marketing driven company now to a point where even the M cars are designed by committees instead of enthusiasts. And it bothers me how when I can finally afford an M3, the new M3 will be price of an M5 and the 1M has taken the place of the M3, etc..

I'm impressed because ToyoBaru is not trying to build the next fastest track car at the Nurg. Ring. But simply, a fun, tuneable and affordable sports cars, with great handling and potential for the enthusiast crowd.

Some excerpts:

Give the people what they want
“We visited with car enthusiasts in Japan, America and Europe. The feedback we received was almost always the same. They said there are a lot of sports cars with high horsepower that are very fast, but these are not the sports cars that they want to have. They want small compact cars that are controllable, that they can tune themselves. However, that kind of sports car is not on the market. Therefore, these sports car enthusiasts are forced to continue to use older cars from a long time ago, because there is no new alterative on the market.”

0-60 times are the focus of committees
“We also went to competitors and asked them: “Why do you focus on fast cars?” The response almost always was: ‘Actually, we really don’t want to develop these kinds of cars. But once we bring a plan to develop that car to our board, the first question the directors of the company would ask is: How much faster is that car compared to what the competition has? How many seconds faster around the Nürburgring? What about the acceleration? These questions always come up because numerical performance is the easiest to understand.

No computers.. back to basics
“To make the car customizable, we did away with computers to the highest extent possible. A lot of the cars on the market today are controlled by computers. People have the feeling that they are driven by the car instead of them driving the car. That makes for a boring experience. That is why we decided to go back to the basics of car making. With the low center of gravity, the driver now is in personal touch with the road again.”

Carving a new market segment
“We did know from the very beginning that it was going to be a sports car. I said, well, if it’s going to be a sports car, it has to go fast. We were looking at the Nissan GT-R, the Mitsubishi Evolution, those cars were in our heads at the original stage.

Then we thought: Should we make a car that is faster than the GT-R?

You know what we did then? We did a lot of research. We talked to owners, fanatics, real buyers of sports cars around the world. They told us: Speed isn’t everything. If it’s just an incredibly fast car, they don’t really want it. What they want is a sports car that is small, compact, light, and that handles just the way they want it to handle.”

The customers wanted more: They wanted a sports car for less. A Veyron makes for good copy and dreams. But it also causes can’t-have-it frustrations. Tada listened intently to his future customers:

“The super-super-super fast cars are only for the super-rich. Even most super-rich don’t want to buy them. The people I talked to were looking for something like the 80s kind of a sports car, echoes of an AE86. They wanted a stripped-down, basic sports car with the price more like that of a piece of sports equipment, not the price of a house. Those people wanted something that doesn’t exist.”

Recognizing tuners needs
“It is possible to soup-up sedans or hatchbacks to make them sporty. But what these people are after is a body that is already very low to the ground, very sleek, a body that they can then work on – if they want.”

Don't worry.. this is not a camry/corolla - New Design Process
“There is a Toyota standard for designing new cars. This standard was to a large extent ignored. Why did we do this? There are cars that are accepted by a lot of people. Practical cars that are easy to drive and that do not break easily. These are standard Toyota cars. The 86 is not a car like that. We had to change our design approach for this car. We may have to do this again for other cars.

This is a car designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.
It is impossible to develop a sports car that appeals to everybody. If you try to please everybody, the car would be half-baked for everybody, and not particularly good for anybody. This car is not developed by a committee, or by consensus.”

Cool anecdotes:
- CEO Akio Toyoda, a car enthusiast himself was an active Test Driver (pushing his engineering team) and convinced his board to approve building the 86 even though it's not sales number driven.

- Toyota's advertising department did not like it.

- Lowest center of gravity of any production car.
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