Toda at work by Alex Butti

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I am an avid reader of Japanese tuning magazines and anything related to the JDM scene. Every weekend I go to the local Kinokuniya to check out what’s available on the shells and what’s new. Several months ago I ended up buying the usual issue of Option Magazine, the most recognized-mainstream Japanese tuning mag. Many of you know that like every other magazine out there, Option Magazine showcases what’s coming up on the Japanese market as well as what Japanese companies are working on. As I read along, I ran into a tiny-little article displaying what seemed to be a Toda prototype coilover. Some of you might shrug your shoulder and say: “so what?”

Well, Toda has a lineup of coilovers named Fightex, which are thought to be excellent coilovers by many.
It’s no secret that Toda produces only high quality parts, and spend several months before releasing anything on the market. Reason being is testing and developing; on and off the track. What they came up with this time was something that I have never seen before on any coilovers out there. A coilover that incorporates a lower bracket made out of carbon fiber as well as the main shaft also made out of carbon fiber.

My first reaction of course was: “wow !!!” There was something so cool about this idea; not just the blig factor, but the fact that carbon fiber is a very stiff material and can withstand a lot of shock if done right. The weight savings of the lower bracket and the main shaft help lowering the sprung weight of the vehicle while providing a more precise input in the handling department.

At this point I started wondering: “what’s next?” My mind started dreaming about taking this Toda prototype a step further. How about a pillow mount also made out of carbon fiber? Could it be done? How about using titanium springs instead of generic steel? I recall Amuse testing titanium springs on their coilovers a while back. Titanium is very resilient and it’s an excellent choice for this type of usage; unfortunately it is also very expensive to manufacture. I’d like to think my idea is feaseble; although not for everyone. However, if this is the future, we are likely to see other companies stepping up their game with new technologies and new resources. I can’t wait this to happen.

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