Toyota 88C

Japanese Turbo Weapon

Dome’s Toyota powered spaceship brought four-pot fury to the fiercely competitive Group C class, with a mid-mounted 2.1 litre 3S-GTM inline-four, the 88C puts 680bhp to the rear wheels via a March 85T 5-speed manual. The Toyota-built powerplant used a belt-driven camshaft, Nippondenso fuel injection, a cast-iron block, aluminium-alloy head and sizeable Toyota CT26R turbocharger to generate massive amounts of power from such a small engine.

The 88C bears a striking resemblance to a KSE A-Wing...

The 88C bears a striking resemblance to a KSE A-Wing...

The Dome-built 88C is extremely light, weighing in at a mere 870kg, thanks to a carbon-fibre-reinforced aluminium monocoque chassis, rear subframe and carbon-composite bodywork. Despite using a conventional double-wishbone, coilover, ARB setup for the front suspension, the rear and was slightly more complex. Lower wishbones were partnered by top rockers which actuated inboard coilovers, with an ARB to keep things flat. Ventilated discs kept braking performance consistent in long stints, with rack-and-pinion steering keeping it on the black stuff.

The taka-Q livery suits damn-near everything...

The taka-Q livery suits damn-near everything...

Both aesthetically and aerodynamically, the 88C is a delight. Simple, smooth and svelte, the aerodynamic devices required to keep he thing in check at breakneck speed are integrated seamlessly, with the mighty rear wing even managing to look clean. The small opening at the front end allowed Venturi tunnels to join the party, increasing downforce without sacrificing top speed, while a flat floor and rear diffuser cleaned up the remaining air travelling around the car.

A Toyota 88C leads a Nissan 88C... Wonderfully creative nomenclature all-round.

A Toyota 88C leads a Nissan 88C... Wonderfully creative nomenclature all-round.

The 1988 running of Le Mans was somewhat of a flop for the car. The #36 car of Geoff Lees, Masanori Sekiya and Kaoru Hoshino finished 12th, 43 laps down on the leader, while the #37 of Paolo Barilla, Hitoshi Ogawa & Tiff Needell suffered a lengthy excursion to the kitty litter, which saw the leaders slip away. The #37 finished 24th, behind six C2 cars and three GTP Mazdas.

50% Dome Prototype - 50% JCB

50% Dome Prototype - 50% JCB

The poor outing in '88 didn’t stop the Toyota Team Tom’s squad returning with another creatively-named car for 1989. I’ll be covering that one soon.

Cheers!

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