The Meaning of Kouki, Refining the Toyota 86
Engineers and related task staff of the Toyota 86, are working 24/7 for the last 8 years on this project, and even now, are very much involved in the refinement, and catering all this updates to us, for the 2017's revised version. There's many locations in the body structure spec alone that has been revised, all very minute in detail and very unusual, in the industry to spend such R&D on each tiny revisions, but collectively, refine the car to another level of defining identity.
This team is not driven solely by customer feedback or dealer level tides. This team has a goal and mission above and beyond generic cry for turbo or AWD requests. (The latter can be catered to another different car, that might better fit that description and character, right? And believe it or not, the same staff is on top of such thing, perhaps, as rumors say.)
However for this project, I think their goals are much deeper than to simply making a car go faster.
They are refining what is focused about the existing car, and making it reach another level without reinventing it, perhaps.
“A fun car should be driven, under your own controls, and operation. Therefore, we propose abandoning, all wheel drive, and forced induction, and replace this with a “simple” FR chassis, normal aspiration, and very low center of gravity packaging, where raw performance does not depend on the tires.”
That was said in the official press presentation in 2012... They are sticking to that, because that is why majority of us who bought it, came to love the car as such.
Dozens of new tiny parameter changes that might not make much sense to a generic buying crowd or on numbers that go into a catalog...
These changes are for the owners would-be, that will understand it by learning the car over years of ownership. The mind set here with this Team 86, is that they will not be veering from what they feel is the spirit of the 86 as set forth at the start. It is what gives an automobile, a defining character.
The updates are much more than just being "new" or "better" If we truly understand cars like this, there are elements that can be just different. And various elements and revisions on this car, can best be enjoyed immediately as a new car in 2017, yes.
But also, in 10 years as having all these different parts to build our own fun projects at all levels using so many different parts to make up the cars with subtle differences.
Perhaps having experienced fully the current model, would be a great way to take in the "Kouki," and therefore I would think too, that getting a 2016 model today would not be a bad plan at all, if we really want to taste the refined flavors of the Kouki at a later date.
This is why the Team wants us to refer to this car as the "Kouki 86" which means it is "Late model" and the early one, "Zenki 86" which means the "early model." And as such not particularly infer that the car is all-new, or reinvented in some meaningless way.
It has simply seen revisions to taste different, and just as highly studied, and addressing things they might have wanted over the last 3 years that Zenki was flavored... Something different that is basically another feel for the true aficionados, just like fine whiskey or coffee. No one who's understandings are shallow, and based only on numeric specs would appreciate it as much as those who follow the vehicle design, and through the experience of driving them.
It may be different from how best seller cars are made, but it certainly is how a very good sports cars are made, which are destined to be called classics in it's own definition.
All-New? That depends on our own definition of what this is.
Do we welcome it? Definitely!
If you like French Roast, this one will be Jamaican Blue Mountain, I think that is the way I'd put it... It's still very much, coffee as we come to love.