After seeing the video of Manabu Orido cranking his 2UR-powered D1 86 into life last week, I noticed that the D1-judge-turned-driver also announced he would be heading to Mobara for the car’s first shakedown test. As soon as I saw the post on his Facebook page I was on the phone in a second asking him if it was possible to drop by and grab some shots. In his usual friendly nature he said I’d be more than welcome to come along, and as you recall from the video I posted, that’s exactly what I did. So after having heard the beastly sound of the Lexus V8 screaming around Mobara, it’s now time to check out how the day unfolded.
The Toyota 86 officially goes on sale tomorrow in Japan, and if Toyota has done its marketing work correctly it should become an instant hit with sports car fans…or at least that is what they are hoping. The day after Orido’s shakedown test I was invited to take part in the first on-road test of the 86 up in Hakone and even got to sample the TRD-tuned version of the car so don’t be surprised if you are going to be seeing a lot of the 86/BRZ/FR-S on the site this month! I for one am not complaining as this little car continues to impress!
Even Orido had a big smile on his face in Mobara!
I got to the circuit well before Orido’s crew showed up, not knowing how long the test would be or if there would be any problems that could potentially cut the test short, I wanted to make sure I was ready.
Once the transporter rolled in, no time was wasted, the car was unloaded…
…and Orido instantly took it for a quick ride around the paddock, the first time he actually drove it.
The car was parked up and the mechanics got to work on it…
…removing the lightweight FRP bonnet…
…and showing everyone present the beautifully executed 2UR swap that Takemura-san at Scorch Racing almost singlehandedly took care of in a little under eight weeks.
The engine has pretty much been left stock, only really benefitting from a set of custom made camshafts and a few other necessary parts to make it fit, like the hand fabricated headers and exhaust system.
Orido made sure that the pre-production chassis was as rigid as possible so had it fully spot and seam welded and fitted with a custom fabricated roll-cage…
…as well as countless stiffening braces in the engine bay and other high-stress areas of the shell. All the work was carried out at Free Craft in Saitama, who also took care of making the necessary modifications to allow the V8 to fit in the engine bay as well as fabricating the engine and transmission mounts from scratch.
Other upgrades that Takemura-san added are the larger diameter electronic throttle from an LS2 engine and a cone filter so that the V8 doesn’t suck up nasty debris or tire chunks! Slightly larger high pressure injectors from Sard have also been added as well as the usual braided fuel lines you would expect to see in any race car.
Here is a look at the ARE oil pump that drives the dry-sump lubrication system…
…which after circulating the oil throughout the engine sends and picks it up via these large braided lines…
…to and from the big ARE oil tank in the trunk.
Another curious addition is this external water pump, deemed more reliable at keeping the 2UR cooled during the tough use it will get in competition.
Part of the chassis preparation included fitting…
…four AP Racing air jacks so that the car could be lifted in a matter of seconds…
…by high pressure air. This of course always comes in handy during last minute tire changes.
While the car was lifted up and the mechanics were busy in the engine bay I took some time to check out the exterior of the 86 in more detail and noticed that the Enkei GTC 01s looked particularly big. After closer consultation of the tire walls on the Advan Neova AD08 I realized that these are in fact 19-inch, sporting massive 272/35 section rubber at the back…
…and 235/35 at the front. It’s always nice to have full tire backing from a manufacturer like Yokohama, as 19-inch Neovas sure aren’t cheap!
Orido looked visibly excited and couldn’t wait to see what the 86 could do. The aggressive exhaust note of the 2UR alone was enough to get everyone in the paddock to come over for a closer look.
The 86 has actually come out of the paint shop today where it received a few glossy coats of black, but last week at Mobara the bare widened panels were still sporting a very raw unfinished look.
You can expect a rather large GT wing to be attached onto these stays that pop out from the rear bumper and trunk lid. Will look badass for sure!
Here is Takemura-san looking particularly annoyed at something. No, it wasn’t the big gaijin photographer snapping away at him…
…but rather an unexpected guest who had began to check out every fine detail of the 86’s suspension and steering set up. Takemura was jokingly shouting at Hibino to stop looking under the car, that it was all top secret and that he should rather be worrying about his very own Team DrooP & AVO 86!
Got lock? Apparently yes, and plenty of it. Along with the Project µ front & rear braking system Orido’s 86 benefits from a very special suspension set-up that Koseki-san of Scoot Racing, the man best known for building his very own 4-rotor FD! Orido sure got some of the best Japanese engineering talent involved in this project!
And before we all knew it, the car was ready to go! As the Option Video cameras filmed away Orido got in the 86 and sparked the V8 into life…
…and did his thing out on track.
The relatively short wheelbase of the Toyota seemed to help quite a lot on transitions as it looked impressively flickable through the corners. The engine as you hopefully heard in last week’s video sounds absolutely insane with instant response at even the smallest prod of the throttle.
The first session was going fine until Orido pitted early. There was obviously something wrong. The belt driving the oil pump had began to shred on one side due to some alignment problems, so Takemura got straight to work to remedy the problem….
…which called for slight filing of one of the pulley shrouds.
Along with Orido’s own video crew, Option Video and a few other publications had come along to see the car in action.
Orido was really busy on the day as when he wasn’t driving the 86 he was out in his D1 Supra, setting it up for use as a back up car for this season.
Orido showed the Option Video crew around the car explaining all the work that had gone into every area so you can expect a full feature to be released in an upcoming DVD.
Kobayashi-san, Option Magazine’s top photographer, was also there snapping away…
…and it seemed Hibino was in a filming mood too as he quickly returned armed with a handycam. Takemura kept shouting at him to leave but he didn’t seemed too concerned and continued to capture footage of the car in detail.
With all attention being given to the small problem under the hood it was the perfect chance to take a look at the interior, so I opened up the dry carbon door…
…and checked out Orido’s new office. Joining the two Bride bucket seats is a host of top of the line equipment…
…starting with this cool Super GT style flip up boss to facilitate entry and exit from the deeply bolstered seat.
The stock pedals have been replaced with this adjustable Tilton pedal box…
…while the stock instrument binnacle now houses the Racepack digital dash and data logger unit.
Where the navigation system would sit in a road going 86 served as the perfect space to fit the three M7 gauges and a custom switch panel. What struck me as surprising was of course the toggle switch labeled “NOS,” and since no nitrous oxide system was to be seen in the car maybe this hints at what the team have in store for the 2UR. With a lot of other D1 cars pushing out upwards of 800 HP, it’s not surprising the 420 or so horses the 5L V8 churns out might feel a little low on some circuits.
Takemura custom mated the V8 to a Hollinger 6-speed transmission clutch and finished off the driveline with a custom propeller shaft and a quick-change rear differential. Next to the gear selector lever is the trick handbrake set-up, a must have in any pro drift car these days.
I even spotted a Motec M880 ECU hiding behind the passenger side of the dashboard.
Now that’s exactly the kind of seat you want in a drift car of these capabilities.
Bye bye steel roof, hello dry carbon roof. This has been done to help shave precious weight off the top of the car for obvious handling benefits…
…and of course it looks pretty nice on the outside too!
By the time the car makes its debut at next weekend’s D1 Tokyo Drift round in Odaiba the front bumper will also be fitted with six LED lights one each corner. Will look cool in action pictures that’s for sure.
Hibino was then joined by D1 Champion Imamura who was also out in Odaiba for testing, on board his 2012 S15 Silvia. They both seemed very impressed by the 86, a car that might become the next big thing in D1 and professional drifting around the world.
With the oil pump pully all fixed up and the belt changed Orido went out again, and this time didn’t hang around. He threw the car beautifully from apex to apex…
…testing out the limits of the chassis and getting bigger and bigger angles. It was great to see just how quickly he got used to his new 86!
I can’t wait to see how this car stacks up to Hibino’s more powerful 86 and of course Taniguchi’s supercharged HKS 86. This year’s D1-GP Round 1 is going to be one to remember, that’s for sure!
Look who showed up after Orido was done with his final track test of the day! Nomuken, sporting a bolt-on vintage tash, was there with the Doriten crew and taking the viewers for a little look around the car.
Orido’s crew were also grabbing some 360º panorama shots and videos of the pits with a Go Pano attachment for the iPhone.
The Toyota 86 is set to inject as much enthusiasm and excitement into the affordable sports car market as it will in the D1 Championship. Good times ahead!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare