Forgive the obvious fact that the car you are actually looking at hasn’t really got anything to do with the little 80′s theme we have going on here at the moment, but if you look closely you might begin to understand why we have decided to run it today.
You see this particular hachiroku that TRD built for the Tokyo Auto Salon, aside from the car’s obvious linage with the AE86 – which of course was born in the 80s – has a few interesting styling cues.
If its exterior looks familiar it’s because it has been fitted with most of the TRD line up of parts for Toyota’s little hot seller, the same parts that I showed you guys back in April last year when I first had the chance to get behind the wheel of their black demo car.
Except what they have done with this particular car is something quite interesting – they have taken a little slice of eighties flair and fused it successfully with the 86′s modern lines.
Like the saying goes “it’s the wheels that make a car” and this is precisely what has happened here. TRD have come up with a vintage-inspired set of rims…
…a sort of throwback to the old TRD Tosco racing wheels that they used to offer back in the day.
The 15-inch by 7.5J wheels might be dwarfed by the girth of the 86′s wheel arches, but TRD have made sure to lower the ride height of the car substantially to sort of mask this obvious mismatch. Plainly put however, it actually does work pretty damn well. The new-gen Tosco, dare I even call them that, have been fitted with Dunlop Direzza 03G semi-slick tires, 215/50 all the way round, a sort of hint at what this concept has been aimed at. We can only but approve of those nice and chunky sidewalls!
The fusion of new and old continues throughout the car, and one of the most noticeable things are these dry carbon fender canards -or “Front Fender Aero Fins” as TRD calls them – that replace the stock opposed-piston logo garnish.
This is a beautifully made piece of carbon, properly developed by aerodynamicists to offer better high speed stability and a bit of downforce through faster corners. This piece will be available from the end of February in Japan and is extremely well priced at ¥48,000 ($527 at todays exchange rate)
It’s around the rear of the car that the TRD body kit has been joined by another interesting 80s-inspired addition…
…something that was also a popular part on the AE86 – rear window louvers.
This remains a prototype, which still needs to be further tested and looked at before it makes a possible release. You either love it or hate it but there is no denying it’s a very visual part of this particular concept.
If you look closely enough you can actually see the louvers even when looking at the car head on.
Swing the doors open and the vintage feel pretty much ends when you first spot the TRD seats, a full bucket for the driver’s side (¥105,000/$1,155) and a more comfortable, yet still supportive reclinable item (¥168,000/$1,850) for the passenger.
I’m a great fan of the TRD Door Stabilizers (¥14,700/$160), little plates that slide against the door’s edge when you close them, effectively pushing the doors against their hinges to add more side rigidity to the chassis. TRD has tested them out on a variety of Toyotas and have released them for the models on which they actually worked on. Superb little idea that can really be felt through a slalom test.
There were nice little touches dotted around the cabin starting off with this nice and chunky TRD embossed steering wheel made by Momo (¥43,000/$472). This is another great idea as only the outer part of the rim gets altered, the airbag-equipped center remaining unchanged to keep insurance companies happy and of course not getting rid of a very important active safety restraint.
The TRD trim continues with dry carbon replacement parts for the center section of the dashboard…
…a TRD shifter surround (not carbon) and leather boot…
…as well as the door’s switch panels. Best thing of all, much like the fender winglets, is that all this carbon isn’t prohibitively expensive, you are only looking at ¥52,000 ($570 at today’s exchange rate) for the 2-piece dash set and door trims.
How about this for a view out back!
All the exterior and interior parts…
…are joined by some basic upgrades under the hood. Power remains stock but there is a slight response benefit…
…coming via the TRD Version R exhaust system that adds a deeper more throatier burble to the F20′s note.
Body rigidity is boosted thanks to TRD’s dry carbon strut tower base, made in the same place where the Lexus LFA’s carbon parts were constructed. The main carbon tube is joined by billet aluminium ends…
…that bolt up to raised brackets on the suspension turrets Here you can also notice another part that will be offered from next month, TRD pillow ball upper mount plates, which as you can see here have been set at their furthest negative camber position. These join TRD’s new “Sportivo” suspension kit aimed at giving the car firmer and more performance oriented handling. Stiffer bushes will also be available from next month (as well as engine and transmission mounts) so you can really give a tighter edge to your 86. To finish things off the car was also fitted with TRD’s Circuit Brake kit boasting slotted rotors and high-friction pads to make sure that middle pedal stays nice and firm even during track days.
Next to the Griffon concept that Sean will be bringing you soon this car is very simple, yet was one of those rides that everyone at the Tokyo Auto Salon seemed to have noticed.
The 80′s approach in the wheel department could actually become a little trend in 86-circles, who knows.
Now it’s up to TRD to decide whether to launch the wheels or not and see how many owners will prefer to trade in the choppy ride modern day wheels shod in low-profile tires offer…
…for the old-school look and feel of taller sidewalls.
It may all just be a styling exercise, but I wonder if TRD may be on to something here. What do you guys think?
Engine & Transmission: TRD oil filter, TRD Version R exhaust system, TRD Sports clutch kit
Suspension & Brakes: TRD Sportivo suspension kit, TRD Pillow Ball upper mount kit, TRD Circuit Brake Kit
Wheels & Tires: TRD prototype wheels 7.5Jx15″, Dunlop Direzza 03G 215/50R15
Exterior: TRD full aero package, TRD front fender aero fins, TRD prototype rear window louvers
Interior: TRD full bucket seat, TRD reclinable sports seats for passenger, TRD Carbon package, TRD shifter trim, TRD Momo 360 mm steering wheel
-Dino Dalle Carbonare
Pictures: Sean Klingelhoefer & Dino Dalle Carbonare
Now that i think of it, painting the lower third of the car black would have worked excellently! Even with such a modern kit, bringing back the old two tone paint would have had overwhelmingly good results, and would make the wheels look even more appropriate,
Love the idea! The wheels and louvers are excellent, but I think the kit doesn't quite match the theme. It's a nice kit, but looks far too bulky and huge for the 80's spirit it tries to go for. If there were a smaller, purer version of the front and rear bumpers developed, sort of in the style of the slim, minimalist Rocket Bunny S13 kit, this would be an absolute 10/10. However, I do understand that times have changed and everything is larger and bulkier and lower and wider in general. Oh well!
I love everything about this, even the louvers, but I really would have to have the rims grow on me. Not quite feeling them.
I would rock this, given the chance. Looks really good... Subtle yet still slightly aggressive. Nice one Dino!
I LOVE the wheels, never liked window louvers myself, but I'm a Mustang guy at heart and own a few and am probably just tired of seeing them on everything. If TRD made these wheels available, I would actually buy a BRZ. I think these cars look absolutely perfect on 15s. Love it! The seats kick ass too.
I like it a lot. One small reservation tho would be, if TRD are into going in that direction with wheels & fitment, they could have pushed it a bit further in terms of offset. Looks-wise i mean. It's like they just didn't quite follow it through. I'm not saying they should have had crazy stretched tyres or crazy lip or nothing. Just that they could have pushed it a teeny bit harder. Hope i don't get flamed for being a stance lover.
the camber plates look maxed out, yet the camber in the photos looks pretty much stock. what's up with that? The car has been lowered some, is it running roll center adjusters to dial in some more camber during cornering?
What a cool take on the platform, so many good details and I think it comes together with a great balance. I'd love to rock that, the seats and wheels look perfect too.
The car looks fantastic, but couldn't we let louvers die with the 80's?! Those are one thing I never wanted to see make a comeback. Synthesizers, sure. Hair bands, why not. Obscure soda flavors, definitely (New Coke, anyone?). But window louvers? Enough's enough.
It seems that window louvers are being offered by aftermarket suppliers for new cars aswell. I must say it looks right at home on this car.
I think it looks pretty dope! Lovin the louvers and the wheels are a nice change of style. Also a huge fan of carbon pieces so those interior touches are nice and subtle. Now if you can just pass on the word to TRD to hook it up with some more sc300 and 1J parts =)
I like the look of this, the wheels proportions look good to me and I like the fact that TRD have been daring enough to break the mould.
However I am a bit worried by how many articles there are mentioning "affordable race technology for road cars" with carbon stuff like this little front wing louvre - just because it's made of pre-preg carbon and is released by a big-brand tuning company doesn't mean it is optimised downforce-making kit. $500 spent on absolutely anything genuinely performance related will give more of a gain, so just bill it as a styling product.
JonathanW It very much is a styling product but TRD assured me it was tested/proven. $500 spent on proper aero under the car, as some respected aerodynamicists tell me, will yield far better results if you know what you are doing. These prices are for the Japanese market where there is no doubt people will go for stuff like the fender wings.
speedhunters_dino Yeah that's kinda what I'm getting a-; the benefit of parts like this compared to those with with aero performance genuinely in mind is worlds apart, and I feel like it's rather misleading to get $500 out of someone for a product that has more placebo effect than effect!
That said, in a previous life I saw lots of time race drivers reported being able to"definitely" feel the performance improvement from a new spec of engine, when it had gone from 760bhp to 763bhp, so there's hope yet!
Anyway, enough negativity, this was an enjoyable article mate, keep up the good work... thank god for Speedhunters to get my head a bit clearer on my lunch breaks!
There's NOTHING 80's about this car, window louvers and tasteless wheels on a modern age car. Stick to the theme please.
Looks absolutely terrible. That front bumper is hideous and the wheels are so far out of proportion with the rest of the car it's embarrassing. Why they tried to make a sleek, modern car look like a boxy 80's abomination is beyond me.
I don't know what TRD was thinking when they developed their aero kit. Myself, and most other FR-S owners, think it looks terrible and cheap. It especially looks bad on a whiteout model because the clips used to hold on the sideskirts are black and really stand out as "stuck on" items.
Dbee I can't help but agree with you there. It is a nice design and if it wasn't obviously "stuck on" it would look nicer. But it's only an entry level kit for now, there is more to come from TRD like the awesome carbon fenders that the Griffon concept wears. Make sure you don't miss Sean's post on that car. If TRD get good feedback they will put them, and other cool carbon bits and pieces into production
speedhunters_dino That's good to hear, I'm a sucker for a clean car. Even though many body kits for the 86 respect the OEM lines, none really look OEM. I guess we should all just be high rollers and pay to get parts molded in :)
I love the rear louvers, TRD really did it right with blending the oldschool feel with a new age car. and the "ghost" checkered stripe down the centre-left of the car actually looks nice.
Growing up in a townwhere the most common car (in the 80's to the '00's) was the F-body and Mustang, I certainly have mixed feelings on the rear window louvers. Too many butt-rockin' 80's 'maros might have ruined that for me. Though it doesn't detract from this particular get up at all. I'm a fan of those wheels, and the tires and the entire suspension set-up. Seriously, with just those few minor upgrades to the handling department, in conjunction with those wheels and tires, and I bet the handling of the TRD car is vastly upgraded over stock.
They should seriously consider tracking a stock car, and then tracking the TRD one and post results.