Future Lab News

TAKENAKA: No.19 "Well whaddaya know! A mid-ship car!"

Hello everybody, it's programmer Takenaka here.

The F1 racing season has just begun, right? This year, Satoru Nakajima's son, Kazuki, is going to be taking up the F1 challenge.
I've been watching F1 since Satoru Nakajima was actively racing - so maybe about twenty years now...
That makes me feel kind of like I have a deep emotional attachment with F1, but it also makes me realize that I must be getting old...(haha)

But anyway, leaving aside the mumblings of an old man---

I'd like to tell you a story about when I went to the United Kingdom many years ago.
You often see unfamiliar cars made by unfamiliar manufacturers when you leave Japan for Europe, but I saw a particularly interesting car during my trip to the U.K.
It was a compact car with a "mid-ship" layout, but I didn't know what it was called.
Cars with a mid-ship layout, unlike normal passenger cars, have their engine positioned behind the driver's seat.
These cars, with no passenger seats, sacrifice interior comfort for increased performance.
The unique positioning of the engine in mid-ship layout cars gives them a style totally of their own.
(The Toyota MR2 in the Wangan Maxi series is a mid-ship car, and so are the F1 cars I was just talking about.)

When I got back to Japan, I tried to find out, using the few clues that I had, what kind of mid-ship car it was that I saw.
It turns out that it was an "Opel Speedster", a car rarely seen in Japan.
So you're thinking "What exactly was so cool about that car?", right? Well for a start the rear view is really stylish!
It has certain elegance in its power, and really says "This is how a mid-ship car should look!"

Feels kind of like I am a food comic critic or something chatting away like this (haha), but anyway, I really like the Opel Speedster.
The only mid-ship car that you see from time to time in Japan these days is the Porsche Boxster.

I really like the rear view of the Boxster, and of course its distinctive smart and glamorous curves.
Although it's actually not in production any more, the Japanese-made Toyota MR-S is a mid-ship car that you often see around. Just like other mid-ship cars, the Toyota looks cool from behind.
I've talked about a few cars with a mid-ship layout now, but I guess what they all have in common is a well-built rear section!

And I guess what my favorite cars have in common is that they all have a mid-ship layout.
I'm sure you all have a bunch of favorite cars too - you should try and work out what they all have in common - you might surprise yourself!

(Original article in Japanese released on 3.19.2008)

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