Probing the Toyota Vios One Make Race Prototype

We attended The World of Toyota Motorshow – in fact, twice. Among the many fine examples of motoring machinery from the marque, our favorite display was without doubt the Motorsports section. Set on a rotating plinth above a pair of Toyota-powered formula cars and other racers fielded by Bridgestone, the Toyota Vios One Make Race (OMR) prototype was our highlight.

According to Vince Pornelos of AI, this is not the first time that Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) will be organizing a motorsport series in the country. Late in the nineties, they organized the Formula Toyota and the Corolla Cup. Today, the Vios OMR is not only the revival of such endeavors but also part of Toyota’s regional motorsports initiative. Thailand, in fact, had their OMR for quite some time already, at least at the time when the first-gen was available.

Insert the word “race car” after any model name and you’d grab our attention. Thus, while the Vios OMR rotated slowly on its platform, we took a good hard look it. Read on for more for our insights regarding the car.

Front fascia. The 2013 Vios is no less than a looker in stock form. However, the OMR  has a body kit that enhances the radical lines. The front lip is evident in this shot. Notice the OEM foglights fitted on the car. You would desire for that area to have scoops for brake air ducting instead.

Stivo Concepts tow strap allows recovery when the driver inevitably loses shape on track. We will be installing one in Project Elantra. Again, the lip is nice. But does it generate measurable front downforce?

The OMR is shod with 17-inch Rota Fighter 10 wheels. We saw pics of this car on Rota Brescias, and we thought they was tits. The Fighter nevertheless is a good choice due to the design’s inherent lightness. Sorry, we were unable to get what tires were fitted, but we guess they were Bridgestones, based on the tire brand’s race cars being present near the OMR stage. [EDIT: The Vios Cup is now sponsored by Yokohama, and the actual race cars are running Neovas on 15″ Rota Wheels.]

That sliver of silver between the tire and fender is the threaded shock body of the TRD coilover suspension. Oddly, ride height of the car is adjusted to the stock altitude. It may be simply due to required approach angles while being loaded to and fro places. However, handling-wise, that setting may be for the best.

When we first saw the car’s cockpit, we were piqued at the fact at the beige interior, denoting that the prototype was constructed out of the 1.5G model. We were under the impression that the best starting point for a production race car is the stipper base variant. However, it has been pointed out to us that the 1NZ-FE is only available on the top-spec G trim.

The OMR’s rollcage design is top-notch. Check out the bracing making up the front hoop – that is FIA-standard right there. If you’ve read our article on rollcage fabrication, this is one design worth emulating.

OMP motorsport equipment abound, like the seats and the steering wheel. Besides fitting the cockpit with the racy and safety bits, Tuason Racing School handles the OMR vehicle preparation and series organizational legwork. We have a hunch that they did the work here, and hopefully the rest of the cars would be done by them too.

Exhaust gases are terminated via a TRD sports muffler. Other modifications not evident in our photographs include a free-flow intake, and a limited slip differential. All in all, the Vios OMR is not a full-tilt racing car. But that’s okay, as the aim of the OMR series is to provide safe yet close wheel-to-wheel racing and make true driving talent shine.

Want your own? The price of the Vios OMR is said to be less than a million pesos. It wouldn’t be a decent daily driver though, with the rollcage and all. Toyota has exhibited an option for people who want to buy into the race car pretense without the downsides on livability.

Introducing: the Vios TRD.

What do you guys think of Toyota’s motorsport initiative?

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