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TS-01 Concept: Toyota Flexes Muscles

By The News Editor - 10/03/2005

Toyota TS-01 Concept
Toyota TS-01 Concept

Toyota TS-01 Concept
Toyota's Special Vehicle Operation
(SVO) is expected to open shop in 2007

As one of the few brand-new concept cars to debut for the first time at the 2005 Melbourne Motor Show, Toyota's TS-01 will have ardent fans of the Japanese car maker licking their lips.

While the Camry-based concept is great to look at and would provide potential drivers with a supercharged engine, it's the implications of this model that matter most.

With Holden and Ford both making great use out of performance car tuning houses (HSV and FPV), Toyota's planned SVO, or Sports Vehicle Operation, will go a long way to ridding the company of its current image, which can be argued is rather dull.

But as the new Camry TS-01 concept shows, Toyota's can offer Australian drivers more attitude, and the SVO unit is expected to to be up and running in about three years, and will work on upgrading four models: Camry, Avalon, Corolla and HiLux.

The Camry TS-01 concept – which coincidentally uses the initials of Toyota’s 2005 Formula One drivers Trulli and Schumacher - will never go on sale, but will test enthusiast reaction as it is currently on display at the Melbourne International Motor Show.

The aggressive looking 3.0-litre 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, resulting in a 0-100km/h dash in around 7.0 seconds, which would put both Holden's SV6 and Ford's XR6 on notice.

Toyota's new TS-01 uses locally developed body parts, and has sourced mechanical components from Toyota throughout the world. The Electronic Control Unit 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, who were last year responsible for devising 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. Its goal was to develop a sports-enthusiast variant of Camry that met all Toyota’s development requirements and also complied with Australian certification requirements.

It makes use of a Toyota Racing Developments (TRD) supercharger developing 0.5bar of boost (7.25psi), 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 5-speed manual and engineers have made substantial changes to suspension and steering geometry and the ride height of the vehicle has been reduced to the permitted limit.

The TS-01 concept uses 225/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Sports tyres mounted on specially cast 14-spoke wheels which share the same offset as the current Camry Sportivo. Wheel flares 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. Engineers set out to make the TS-01 responsive and tactile, and fun to drive, and we may end up seeing a force-fed Camry by 2007 when Toyota's SVO is up and running.

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