Meet the brains behind the Toyota GT 86
A blast along Scottish highland roads with Tada-san and Sasaki-san in the slidey ‘86
Posted: 03 Jan 2013
Part of its dynamic excellence stems from Tada-san's philosophy of putting the driver back in control. Despite a background in chassis control systems - think DSC and ABS and such - he was adamant that the new 86 have no electronic nannies helping out the driver. "Toyota is obviously very closely associated with safety," Tada-san says, mutedly, "but we were very clear our new sports car would not have any driver aids. When I first told people about this in Toyota, they thought I was crazy. Really crazy!" He bursts out into a loud, rumbling, manic laugh. No, Tada-san, of course you're not crazy...
They toyed with the idea of fitting an electronic diff too, but quickly snuggled in a proper, fully-blown mechanical differential from Torsen, because - as Sasaki notes - "for the driver who needs quicker responses, we had to prepare a mechanical system". From there on in, the template was set - low centre of gravity, Subaru engine (with Toyota injection technology), rear-wheel-drive with a LSD, and of course, the same tyres fitted to a Prius. Narrow ones. Narrow enough to get nice and sideways.