Everyone remembers the legendary Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno for the Japanese manga Initial D. Perhaps the most loved car by tofu-craving vegans is indeed one of the coolest cars ever to be coming out of Japan. A lightweight, revvy and super fun hot hatch which could take the fight to bigger guns without losing a beat, the AE86 is perhaps everything drivers love, in just one single and clever package.
Gone are the days when car Companies were building sportscars on the chassis of your mom’s daily driver: it’s one of those cars which hails from a golden era of driver’s cars. It came with a manual and a tiny 1.6 liter naturally aspirated engine which can be tuned into a high revving tiny terror with just a few tweaks. The AE86 is JDM at its very best and it is already a highly sought-after collector’s piece.
Many love it for the highly successful manga Initial D, but for driving maniacs it is and will always be the weapon of choice of Keiichi Tsuchiya, the “Drift King”. If you are a fan of Best Motoring International, you know exactly what I am talking about. Clad in green racing overalls and gloves, this guy is a cult icon which will only ring a bell to those seriously passionate about JDM cars.
In Europe however, this little machine is incredibly rare: in Italy, only 4 are known to exist. It is the sort of car which “pre-selects” the crowd which will be attracted by it: people won’t look at you and better still, will think you’re a suburban bully and won’t even come near it.
Could this be the perfect car for Touge or mountain driving for Japanese motoring aficionados? Certainly, it is a great car for drifting, and with only 130 hp stock, it is a joy to drive.
While most cars nowadays will get you in trouble as fast as they accelerate, these light and performing machines will give you all the fun we’re missing from 0-100 times. Honestly, car makers should focus more on these sort of cars: after all, we all love cars for driving and the more we have fun cars the better. Long live the AE86.