Today afternoon, the Toyota Etios Motor Racing (EMR) program was launched on the track with the full lineup of 25 drivers taking the cars out on the MMSC circuit for an exhibition race.
[Left - Normal Etios vs Track Etios car; Right - Toyota Etios Motor Racing launched at MMSC this afternoon]
We've discussed most aspects of this program in the previous post. Many readers asked what these cars are capable of and why Toyota has not revealed their performance figures.
To the naked eye, the track cars look like a cosmetically different Etios with a lowered suspension. But are they any different?
Underneath the different skin, what's different on the EMR Etios?
Toyota have changed the intake system, they are running a free flow cold intake system. The exhaust has been changed, the cars run a TRD free-flow exhaust. The 90PS 1.5-liter engine has been retained.
The suspension system is changed - they are sitting on a performance damper and spring. It has a bolt on role cage. It has electric cut-off switches for safety. It runs a data logger, so each driver's speed and dynamics can be analyzed to help them drive better. It has a standard 5-point harness with a racing seat. Toyota has however not uninstalled the power windows!
Power output - Its about a 15% increase and the power-to-weight ratio is better because the seats and spare wheel have been taken out.
What's the Hyper Etios? Is it a body kit?
Not at all! This is the real deal.
The Hyper Etios is more like a demo car which can showcase what Toyota can do. They've turbocharged that car, runs about 8 PSI boost and fitted it with a fiber bonnet, fiber boot lid and fiber doors.
The brake lines are changed with braided hoses. It puts out 100% more power than the standard engine (approximately 180PS).
When can we see the Hyper Etios burning rubber on the track?
Its just a showcase of what TRD can do - how much the track Etios can be pushed to. There may not be any plans to implement it in the race.
To the naked eye, the Safety Car looks more aggressive and taut compared to the race cars. Is it more aerodynamic?
The body fitments on the Etios Safety car are purely for show and have no aerodynamic benefit.
The EMR series' first season begins next year. Can we see more powerful, faster cars making it to the starting grid?
[Left - Cars kick up dust in the first lap of the exhibition race; Middle - Plenty of rubber still to be burnt; Right - One car was forced to retire with damaged rear tire and body work]
The cars may go up on the performance next year, this year they wanted to keep it simple because it was a series for a lot of beginners. While we can't promise anything, we believe there are plans in place for a performance boost.
Is there any plans to bring the Liva into the EMR series?
The racing series' name is Etios Motor Racing, so Toyota uses the sedan, which is also in the view to promote the brand. Once the name and cars have registered, Toyota may use the Liva to race. Toyota had in fact brought an example to the race track, but little is known about its capabilities. Its future is a big question mark in 2012.