According to Torotrak, Toyota ended the contract because its IVT equipped vehicle had ‘unacceptable driveability in the form of a vibration’. Toyota had been using the UK-based company’s technology to develop a 3 litre rear-wheel drive transmission system, but decided to continue development without involving Torotrak.
‘We are disappointed with their decision,’ said Tortrak in a statement ‘having demonstrated to Toyota in Japan in August 2000 the excellent vibration free driveability of a Sport Utility Vehicle (‘SUV’) equipped with a Torotrak designed Series 3 IVT.’
Torotrak developed the series 3 IVT primarily for sports utility vehicles in the US market and will deliver the cars in January 2001. The company insists its business model is safe, saying, ‘The twin path launch strategy that Torotrak has been following for the last six years (developing its own products and licensing its technology) remains proven and robust.’