March 3, 2005 Toyota pulled one of the surprises of the Melbourne Motor Show when it announced a new sports Camry show car named after the marque’s Formula One drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher and both drivers were there to introduce the vehicle to the press. The car is the first built by a newly formed development team within Toyota Australia as a major statement of capability and will be used to evaluate motoring enthusiast reaction. The aggressive looking V6 Camry TS-01 develops 185kW – 28 per cent more than the for-sale Sportivo version, and 320Nm of torque – an increase of 12 percent.
The new section within Toyota Australia is now expected to develop into the performance division of the marque in Australia, in a similar fashion to Ford performance Vehicles and Holden Special Vehicles to cater for the heavily enthusiast and performance–oriented Australian market..
The supercharged Toyota TS-01 uses locally developed body parts, and has sourced mechanical components from Toyota throughout the world. The ECU which is at the heart of the engine’s management system was mapped by Toyota Australia’s engineering team in Japan.
The vehicle has been styled externally and internally by Toyota Style Australia, the in-house design team led by Paul Beranger. The team last year devised the Sportivo Coupe Concept, built after consultation with teenagers about their ideal dream car.
TS-01 is a major step towards developing the capability of Toyota’s Australian engineers and stylists and also to showcasing their skills to management locally and internationally.
TS-01 uses a Toyota Racing Developments (TRD) supercharger developing 0.5bar of boost, but returning reliability and quality equal to a Toyota production vehicle.
The additional power and torque is transmitted through a heavy duty sports clutch adapted from Toyota Team Racing’s rally Corollas. Gear ratios remain the same as used by the Camry V6 Sportivo five speed manual.
Engineers have made substantial yet subtle changes to suspension and steering geometry. The front spring rate has been increased by seven per cent and the rear spring rate has been increased by 3.5 per cent. Furthermore the ride height of the vehicle has been reduced to the ADR limit. Rear subframe reinforcements were added to increase suspension mounting rigidity.
High stiffness drop links on the front and rear stabiliser bars have been adopted to reduce roll. Front and rear shock absorbers have been retuned to match the revised spring rates.
Rear toe angles have been reduced to close to zero-degrees, approximating a race car set up, while still providing road comfort and compliance. The steering rack ratio is 14 per cent faster and the steering bushes are 100 per cent stiffer.
Front disc brake diameter has been increased from 280mm to 325mm using a PBR C6 two spot caliper and performance Ferodo pads. Rear disc brakes have adopted performance Ferodo pads as well. The brake package was ‘rounded out’ by retuning the brake booster, the pedal ratio and recalibrating the front to rear bias.
TS-01 uses 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot Sports tyres mounted on specially cast 14 spoke wheels which share the same offset as the current Camry Sportivo.
The exhaust is all new, from the catalytic converter to the tailpipe. Two two inch stainless steel pipes run through custom built mufflers which have been tuned to give a distinctive, and legal, note.
Engineers set out to make the TS-01 responsive and tactile, and fun to drive. Subtle changes include the use of a short-shift gear lever, with revised mounting points.
TS-01 features two bonnet openings, a new front bumper with major air intakes to feed cooling air to the engine and brakes. A carbon fibre engine cover complements the supercharger in the engine bay.
Wheel flares to accentuate the new larger wheel and tyre configuration, side skirts, a new rear bumper and a longer rear spoiler with a Formula 1 inspired centre mounted stop lamp were part of the external integration.
Inside, TS-01 has dark tan suede trim with the driver’s seat purpose built to provide more bolster around the shoulders and hips. Substantial use is made of carbon fibre in the interior garnishes.
TS-01 adopts Lexus flow down technology through the use of Optitron instruments to provide a more readable display in all light conditions. The TS-01 adopts Toyota’s latest MP3 compatible audio.
“TS-01 is a credit to the small team of dedicated enthusiasts within Toyota Australia who have developed it in less than six months,“ Greg Gardner, corporate manager Toyota Sports Conversions and Motorsport said.
“It is significant that this has been an official project – not a skunkworks,“ he said.
“Our board provided us with limited funds and the ability to undertake this project as a demonstration of capability.
“We were particularly pleased to work with our colleagues at our parent company, Toyota Motor Corporation, on the development of the ECU.
“It had been our assumption that we would source an aftermarket ECU, but instead we were overwhelmed with the assistance we received from our parent.
“The result is an engine management system – and a compliance with Toyota standards – that we would have been unlikely to achieve in any other way.”