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2008 Panasonic Toyota Racing TF108 Formula 1 Car

2008 Panasonic Toyota Racing TF108 Formula 1 Car
2008 Panasonic Toyota Racing TF108 Formula 1 Car Specifications
Wheels:BBS forged magnesium
Engine & Transmission
Manufacturer & Designation:Toyota RVX-08
Displacement cu in (cc):146 (2398)
Power bhp (kW) at RPM:est. 740(552) / 19000
Torque lb-ft (Nm) at RPM:n.a.
Redline at RPM:19000
Transmission:7-speed plus reverse
Length Width Height in:178.4 70.9 37.4
Weight lb (kg):1322 (600) - including driver and camera

Panasonic Toyota Racing Officially Kicks Off the 2008 Season

Panasonic Toyota Racing unveiled the TF108, its entry for the 2008 FIA Formula 1 World Championship and the car it expects to challenge at the front next season.

Toyota's challenging spirit and determination to meet ambitious targets has played a key part in the evolution of the TF108, with key features of the new car being a longer wheelbase, a major aerodynamic upgrade, revised suspension and a new gearbox. Wind tunnel tests and simulations show the TF108 is a marked improvement on its predecessor and the team expects to move closer to its long-term aim of winning races and fighting for the World Championship.

Chairman and Team Principal Tadashi Yamashina says: "Of course, our ultimate target is the middle step of the podium - we are in Formula 1 to win and we want to do that soon. Our clear target in 2008 is to make a big improvement in our results because we were not satisfied with our performance last year. We expect to have a truly competitive car so our drivers should be aiming to finish in the points regularly and challenging for the podium."

Using the renowned Toyota Way principles to encourage innovation and a spirit of challenge, the team have worked tirelessly to finalize the TF108 concept and put their innovative thinking into practice, as Yamashina-san adds: "At the factory everyone is motivated and pushing as hard as possible, always aiming for kaizen, continuous improvement.

"The team work is very impressive and communication is very good between all departments which has definitely helped in the development of the TF108. Everybody is working together as one unit so I am very happy with that. We have real team spirit.

"We have great potential in this team - we have the right people in place and the right resources so we have every reason to be optimistic."

Since making its Formula 1 debut in 2002, Panasonic Toyota Racing has strengthened and learnt from experience. The challenge of building the entire car - chassis and engine - under one roof, with a new team is significant but everyone at the Cologne technical centre is impatient to succeed and great strides continue to be made towards the ultimate goal.

The TF108 is significantly different to its predecessor, on the outside and the inside, as a result of the team's continuous search for improvement, as well as regulation changes.

Formula 1 technology is constantly evolving and the team's designers have kept pace, resulting in noticeable changes for the TF108. A key change is that increase in wheelbase, the distance between front and rear axles.

Senior General Manager Chassis Pascal Vasselon explains: "The main reason for making the wheelbase longer is to achieve more stability, but secondly we also expect greater aerodynamic development potential, giving our aerodynamicists wider surfaces and more space to play with."

As well as a longer wheelbase, the TF108 boasts a distinctive new aerodynamic concept and advanced suspension lay-outs.

Improvement is not restricted to chassis development and under the skin of the TF108 lies a new gearbox and, importantly, a new electronic control unit (ECU) for the RVX-08 engine.

In 2008, all teams must use the same ECU while electronic driver aids such as traction control and engine braking have been banned. The change to a standard ECU represented a major challenge, as Senior General Manager Engine Luca Marmorini explains: "On a Formula 1 engine, or indeed any modern car engine, even the mechanical parts are controlled by electronics so this is a big, big change.

"For a high revving engine, like in a Formula 1 car, the engine will definitely change a lot from a dynamic point of view due to a change in the control system. It is a big investment from a development point of view to adapt it."

Of course, the launch of a new car is only the first step. Panasonic Toyota Racing has set ambitious targets for its latest car and intense development will continue up to and beyond the first race of the season in Australia on March 16, when the final aerodynamic package will be available.

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