What’s the recipe for passion with added smiles?
Both these values are something we hold really dear, ever since President Akio Toyoda personally highlighted that being rewarded by our customers with a smile is his key priority. From what I experience on Saturday, I’d say the recipe is: take a naturally aspirated, boxer engine, put it into a low centre of gravity, light-weight, rear-wheel-drive car, give it a sprinkling of a test track, and voilà!
Since the GT86 model launch programme began, there have been plenty of reviews and videos all over, heaping praises of our new sports car. But, not many employees have yet had the chance to really feel it for themselves. Ready to remedy that, our Internal Communications team organised a GT86 experience event. (More after the break)
The programme was simple enough. Using our own Proving Ground next to our R&D Centre in Belgium, bring three GT86’s, three professional track drivers, and give 150 employees a chance to be driven around the track with the drivers showcasing the car’s agility, precision and generally have a great deal of fun sideways.
With a 1-in-3 chance of winning a ride, I somehow managed to get a spot in the passenger seat. I would dearly love to have been behind the wheel instead on the day. But, you know what? Nah… As I’m not a track driver, I wouldn’t be able to do the car justice. See the video for yourself below and turn up the volume. Not only does the engine sound a treat, the tyres working double time, but my driver, Luke Kidsley, gives a great explanation about the car’s abilities.
Just a final thought. I was reading a comment by Chief Engineer, Tada-san, who worked on the GT86 in Japan and he said that he always noticed a smile on the faces of everyone getting out of the car after a drive.
I stuck around the sidelines on Saturday after my ride and had a look for myself, and he was right. There was indeed a genuine joy beaming out of every single person when they got out of the car. Notwithstanding my rather embarrassing startled look at some point half-way through my sideways ride, I have been beaming just the same since.
Click here to find out more about the Toyota GT86.
Bonus gallery (courtesy Dirk Christiaens from Toyota Europe Information Systems dept.)