How Aussie passion created the Toyota 86 Shooting Brake Concept

The Toyota 86 Shooting Brake concept began as a secret “passion project” for its Australian design team.

Nicolas Hogios, Toyota Australia’s design chief, said his designers relished the opportunity to work with the 86 due to their love of cars, especially sports cars.

“Designers are always thinking beyond their current project – our creative minds are always wandering,” Mr Hogios said.

“Many of us drive the 86, including myself, and we wanted to explore ways to expand its appeal while retaining the purity of the coupe,” he said.

Development began with a series of thumbnail sketches and some “photo-chopping” created by the team in their own time.

“Very quickly, we realised the car’s silhouette lends itself very well to a Shooting Brake theme.

“The standard car has quite a good-sized boot, so the Shooting Brake idea with a larger opening at the back makes it quite practical indeed.

“As well as having more rear head room and cargo space, it also enables an owner to use roof racks to carry surfboards, bikes and storage pods.”

The local team developed computer-generated imagery and a one-quarter scale clay model of the Shooting Brake concept. They presented these to Tada-san, who was keen to see what the Australian design team could do with the 86, when he visited Australia in November 2014.

“Tada-san was impressed, not only with the design execution but also with the way we intentionally maintained the purity of the now-iconic 86 style by limiting our changes to the rear quarter and roof. We simply broadened the window of its appeal – sharing the love with a wider audience, so to speak.”

The Australian team fine-tuned its design and sent a fresh scale model to the global company’s Sports Car Division in Japan.

Tada-san involved his expert “takumi” craftsman to hand-build a functioning prototype using a manual high-grade car taken from the production line.

“In a normal design process, it could take years from when a design is approved to when you can get behind the wheel. Not so here. In a matter of months, we were able to assess the visibility and useability of a real car and see it being driven on a test track.

“The collaboration between our team, Tada-san, his craftsmen and the Sports Car Division was brilliant.

“The result is a Shooting Brake concept that would appeal to active couples or families, perhaps as their second car.

“For a driver who is keen to enjoy the 86 sporting potential, the added practicality could make it easier to negotiate permission from their loved ones to buy one!”