Things Everyone Seems To Forget About The Toyota AE86

January 5, 2023

Among the iconic JDM cars through time, the Toyota AE86 may be one model with the most interesting facts that the general public has not discovered.

Rising from the draft and being a drifting global star after all those years, this model still comes with under-discovered. With that said, we will now take a look at some fun facts to get to know the Toyota Corolla AE86 even more.

The Overview of The Toyota AE86

One highlighted model among the JDM line is the Toyota AE86, also known as the hachi roku. Basically, “hachi roku” in Japanese means “eight” and “six”. Toyota Trueno AE86 first appeared in 1982 and became a true legend of the 80s.

The secrets of the AE86’s success are a lightweight body and excellent balance so that it can fully step into the control of drift.

The sleek design

The Toyota AE86 is available in different body styles (including a three-door hatchback), but the coupe may be the most popular with a harmonious look. The design is a typical one of the ’80s, including chopped shapes, square lights, and minimal fantasy.

Typically, no parking spaces are painted for any model. But with the AE86, the manufacturer has already set up a fashion lip kit, making the whole look more aerodynamic and stand out even from a crowd of a hundred.

Overall, the Toyota AE86 legendary looks very efficient and elegant on classic discs.

Dimension and the ground clearance

The length of its body is 4.28 meters, its width is 1.62 meters, and its height is 1.33 meters. AE86 is a small Japanese car with a ground clearance of only 14 cm.

However, there’s the risk that the bumpy or rocky road can touch their bottom. Therefore, the AE86 automatic should be used on the dominant flat road for the optimal and smoothest driving experience.

toyota ae86 trueno
The Toyota AE86 is quite compact with not-so-high ground clearance. (Photo: MotorBiscuit)

The interior design

Toyota AE86 – a classic of the ’80s, bringing the vibe of the past. The Japanese love to use velour. It’s everywhere in the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86, starting with the rug, finishing with the decoration of the door tags and back shelves.

The steering wheel of the Toyota AE86 is on the right. The car dashboard has two main scales – a speedometer and a tachometer. The car doesn’t have any amenities but is purely a roundabout. There are no climate controls, power windows, and other bells and whistles for show.

However, for a drifter as Toyota AE86, with some minimal interior modifications, you can still turn it into a unique beast highlighting your style after all.

Technical specifications

Under the hood is the Toyota AE86’s 4A-GE engine. It is one of the most simple-designed engine designs with a camshaft and carburetor system. The maximum power the engine can produce is 103 horsepower, and the peak torque is 147 Nm.


You may wonder what kind of drift is possible on a 103-horsepower? But it seems like an easy task with the Toyota AE86, all thanks to the minimal curb weight.

The weight of the Toyota Corolla AE86 Trueno is only 850 kg. Therefore, the acceleration to one hundred only takes about 8 and a half seconds. The top speed is 193 kilometers per hour, a very impressive number in the 80s!

Toyota AE86 race car
Due to its light weight and robust performance, this car confidently entered the great races. (Photo: Speed Hunters)

This Japanese car also achieved unrealistic dynamics. It was the fastest Toyota JDM models in the range and could create high competition with German autos, which are long-known for their smooth and robust performance.


Two kinds of engine transmissions come with the Hachi Roku 1988. It’s either a five-speed mechanism or an automatic. After all, the machine has pretty good efficiency but the response to the gas pedal may be quite late.

Things Everyone Seems To Forget About The Toyota AE86

There may be a lot of things to talk about this iconic model. Below are some most interesting facts everyone seems to forget about the Toyota AE86.

Toyota AE86 and the recorded modifications

As you know, the AE86 may be the JDM model with the most modification projects in history. Modifying vehicles on the whole and even partly is always a tempting project for any car enthusiast. And a car with an iconic look like AE86, undoubtedly, can not be put aside in these large-scale makeovers.

People often drag the Toyota AE86 into the projects of drifting or speed and horsepower upgrades. You can also see this model in colorful coating modifications and many bizarre features and cosmetics on the exterior.

Toyota AE86 with the drift king

In the mid-80s, the AE86 became popular among the hashiriya (Japanese street racers) who raced the Japanese pass. It was during this time that Japanese racing legend Keiichi Tsuchiya, also known as the Drift King, helped popularize the sport of drifting and the AE86 was his car of choice.

toyota ae86 drift king
Toyota AE86 with the drift king, Keiichi Tsuchiya. (Photo: World Time Attack)

At some point, the AE86 was known as the Drift King’s Chariot. Keiichi used the AE86 on the passes in Japan, demonstrating the new sport of drift. He also demonstrates these skills in a video called The Drift Pluspy.

AE86 and the original Initial D

Only a few things or platforms can drive the popularity of cars, such as the mass media presence and popularity of the Toyota AE86 in the Initial D series, a hugely successful manga about a young street racer and his AE86.

The popularity of Initial D has increased the price of the Toyota AE86. This price increase is jokingly known as the “Takumi Tax,” named after the main character in “Initial D.”

Fast and Furious

Fast and Furious is a racing, thrilling movie franchise that has been around for about 10 years and continues to grow and leave impressive feelings for car enthusiasts in lots of aspects of life. In this movie, AE86 appears only for a moment.

As one scene that Sean raced with DK in the garage, the AE86 Panda Trueno, the famous car of the Japanese Drift King – Keiichi Tsuchiya, was parked at a conspicuous corner. This makes many car enthusiasts excited because they can recognize it immediately in just one glimpse.

Toyota AE86 is popularly-known for its codename.

Toyota AE86 codename
Toyota AE86 is popularly-known for its codename. (Photo:

It is rare for an automobile to be better known by its factory codename. As people only know about a car through their real made name, such as Mustang, Corvette, or Skyline.

However, the manufacturer’s made name is not the case for this car. As most people would call it the AE86 or even use its Japanese name Hachi-Roku when talking about it.

The champion car in races

Driving a Toyota AE86, driver Chris Hodgetts won the British Touring Car Championship in 1986 and 1987. The year after, the Toyota AE86 came to the top to earn the crown in the European Touring Car Championship. These records made its name fly so high in the UK and Europe.

With 150 hp, the lightweight Toyota AE86 beat cars like the BMW M6, Alfa Romeo 75, Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, Volvo 240 Turbo, Holden Commodore, and Mazda 929, winning the Championship of Manufacturers.

Admirers across the globe

Since its launch, the AE86 has not been sold in particularly high numbers in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. It is preferred in the central US (due to the size of the market) and in Ireland.

With time, the AE86 has gone from a well-kept secret to a beloved car. And as lively rear-wheel drive compact cars are a thing of the past, the value of AE86s has still been preserved. Everyone knows that owning an AE86 is more than just the car you drive.

Drift, rally racing, and circuit

In recent years, drift roads have been dominated by high-speed, high-horsepower cars, but this has not always been the case. The RWD AE86 isn’t too fast by today’s standards, but fast enough and with pure drifting skills.

Not only the Japanese art of drifting appreciates the Toyota AE86. The front-engine rear-wheel drive platform is also a fan favorite when it comes to racing, sprinting, and climbing.

Inspiration for the newest Toyota GT86

The GT86 builds on the legacy of AE86. This more refined product line is made possible by a collaborative effort by Toyota and Subaru to pay tribute to the famous drift king.

This partnership between Toyota and Subaru began in 2005 with a contract to manufacture cars. After some time, the brands agreed to jointly develop a rear-wheel drive sports car, which would be sold as the Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ.

Wrapping Up

So we have discovered what Toyota AE86 has in terms of specification and design as well as some of AE86’s interesting facts that not many people publicly know.

Despite its age, the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 is still preferred and sought by dynamic racers. It is the cheapest Japanese model on the rear drive with tons of charms, such as the system of gas distribution stages, variable geometry spray form, and so on.

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