Toyota want to rekindle the art of tinkering

The art of tinkering with cars is one that is slowly dying out. But Toyota are now looking to spark a newfound passion in today’s generation of car enthusiasts for dabbling with their machines through technology.

Back in 2012, Toyota and Subaru put a smile on the faces of motor enthusiasts worldwide by releasing a rear-wheel-drive sports car that was finally affordable. Toyota 86s, Subaru BRZs and Scion FR-Ss (U.S. and Canada only) were an instant hit with their target markets and gave people, at long last, something to rival the Miata’s entry-level fun.

However, one of the model’s slicker additions can only be found on the Toyota 86 (JDM). The $800 Sports Drive Logger is an optional extra that allows the owner to record and save a wealth of information relating to the car to a USB drive. The data, which is captured by a multitude of sensors, can even be imported into Gran Turismo 6 – providing it was recorded at one of a few select Japanese race tracks.

But while all of this is great for the Japanese domestic market, the rest of the world has been missing out this rather cool opportunity… until now.

Toyota are fully aware that the car industry has changed over the years. Gone are the days where guys would spend hours on end tinkering with their engines – in fact, at one time, working on a car was part of the overall enjoyment of owning one!

Next month, Toyota will host the Onramp Challenge in San Mateo, California. One of its aims is to get people interacting with Scion FR-Ss in new and innovative ways through technology – mainly via the Bluetooth-enabled CAN-Gateway ECU (a development of the Sports Data Logger).

The Onramp Challenge will be an opportunity for technologically-minded individuals to take raw data from the FR-Ss and create apps that are geared towards improving fun, safety and efficiency.

Toyota are looking to help people rediscover the joy of driving and if the Onramp Challenge proves to be successful, perhaps we’ll see more technological innovations from them going forward.

The CAN-Gateway ECU complete with GPS antenna:


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