Road car business won't be affected by Toyota pulling out of F1
4 November 2009

Toyota’s Formula One exit won’t signal a dramatic change in road car strategy for the firm, according to a senior company source.

The firm pulled out of the sport earlier today to cut costs, but a source told Autocar that it would be business as usual at the Japanese firm under new president Akio Toyoda.

Toyota pulls out of F1

Alan Henry blog: Car manufacturers can't cut it in F1Renault could also quit F1

“We entered F1 when we weren’t as big as we are now,” said the source. “It was about making a statement to the world about who we are and what we were about and you could argue either way whether we’ve achieved that.”

Under new president Toyoda, the firm wants to return to making exciting road cars, which is seen with the new Toyota FT-86 and Lexus LFA models.

When Honda pulled out of the sport last year, the firm made it clear that the money saved would be reinvested into road car development, specifically the development of green models. The source said, however, that this wouldn’t necessarily be the case with Toyota.

“Toyota is such a huge company that development and R&D on all different types of road cars would be going on anyway,” said the source. “Just because we’ve pulled out, we’re not suddenly going to be putting all our money saved into building new supercars or hybrids.”

The source also said that technology and understanding learned in the sport wasn’t likely to filter back down to road cars.

“When did we last see anything from an F1 car on a road car?” he said. “The R&D on roads cars is now so advanced and far removed from F1 that we’re probably ahead of what they know in many aspects already.”

The source said he didn’t expect the firm to “suddenly build a new Supra or Celica” with money saved from the F1 project and it remained committed to its plans to have a hybrid model in every range by 2020.

“As we’re such a big firm, we need models in every sector,” said the source. “We’re still going to see lots more hybrids, but Toyoda has made it very clear to R&D that we need more exciting cars and you’ll start to see that with future models.

“That means the next Auris, for example, can still have comfort, practicality and reliability, but a lot of the emphasis is likely to be switched onto improving things like the handling.”

Mark Tisshaw

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Comments
7

4 November 2009

"The source also said that technology and understanding learned in the sport wasn’t likely to filter back down to road cars."

There in lies the problem for most main stream road car manufacturers in F1. Sports cars and touring cars are far more relevant both from an engineering and marketing point of view.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

4 November 2009

-Toyota thought it was all down to cash and its not, Toyota just were not good enough.

-they should have used the technology in the road cars sooner i.e. the use of low weight materials and new build technique, they just did not use it to its full potential

-the other problem I think was they wanted to use it for PR i.e. as someone else said "the car in front is a Toyota" and it clearly was not! they were normally at the back of the grid!!

-Toyota are going through changes and they (I think) went into F1 with the wrong attitude, in the wrong manner and with the wrong overall intentions.

- they clearly (from the above statement) did not build the team into the rest of the company from the start, which (and considering) they could have done it from the start shows a lot about them etc.

-i will not miss them in the sport at all and as has been said Sauber can now come back; I am glad Toyota have left the sport (but sorry for all the now soon to be unemployed folks) as it can now get rid of some of the manufacturers that were part time trophy pegs and more about the racing with committed teams and committed manufacturers! (I cannot wait until next season!).

4 November 2009

'Toyota wants to return to making exciting road cars'.....................errr? Trying to remember the last exciting thing Toyota did.

4 November 2009

[quote Welsh Wizard]Trying to remember the last exciting thing Toyota did.[/quote] Enter F1 ;)

4 November 2009

"F1 tech not used on road cars"

Would that be , like , carbon fibre construction - paddle gearshift - ceramic brakes - multi-function steering wheels ?

4 November 2009

People judge you on how good your road cars are not how good,or otherwise,you are doing in F1.Toyota,like Renault need to get moving and make exciting and desirable cars that the public can actually drive day to day

5 November 2009

Why would it make a difference? F1 and road cars have little in common and little in the way of transferable technology these days it seems to me. KERS was an opportunity missed.

And in F1 terms, the car in front was never a Toyota.

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