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86 Day: A Turbo Levin Constructed For The Circuit

As we speak, on the sixth of August, we have fun the legendary Toyota AE86, a humble automobile that within the palms of proficient tuners and drivers is able to fairly exceptional issues.

A whole lot of hundreds of AE86s rolled off the Toyota manufacturing line in Japan between 1983 and 1987, and this explicit automobile – a 1986 Levin GT – has been within the possession of Eiji Daito of Whole Create E.Prime for nearly 20 years. With so many shared recollections, the automobile is principally a part of the household, and the prolonged AE86 household is massive.


You all know the story… Cult traditional, motorsport underdog, unbeatable tofu supply car, old skool touge drifter’s holy grail and DIY modifier’s delight; the AE86 in all its guises – Corolla Levin or Sprinter Trueno, 3-door hatch or 2-door coupe/notchback – is a real legend on the planet of recent efficiency automobile classics.

It’s a superbly easy little automobile which completely deserves the love and respect it receives around the globe. From Eire to New Zealand and in all places in between, fans have been constructing, racing and refining this automobile in distinctive methods since its inception 40 years in the past.


Maybe the AE86’s straight edges and uncomplicated design lends itself to open interpretation for aesthetic customisation, however one factor’s for positive – gathering uncommon physique elements is a cult obsession in itself, and there’s an enormous aftermarket manufacturing market besides.

And it’s not simply the beauty parts that individuals obsess over. The AE86’s greatest attributes – its factory-fitted 4A-GE engine and light-weight, superbly balanced rear-wheel drive chassis – are simply tuned and modified, that means these vehicles are nicely fitted to a spread of various motorsport disciplines.


When it was new, the AE86 was entered into the European Touring Automobile Championship and took victory over the mighty BMW M6. It even beat the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth within the British Touring Automobile Championship – not dangerous for a Joe Common Japanese coupe.

However regardless of its circuit racing (and rally) pedigree, when the ‘Hachiroku’ comes up in dialog, drifting is what often involves thoughts, and for good motive too.


Whereas Daito-san positively doesn’t draw back from the reducing the rear finish of his Levin free when the event permits, that’s not what this automobile is about. It was throughout a quick foray into the Japanese drift world again within the late ’90s, that Daito-san skilled the AE86 chassis’ grip potential for himself, one thing that led to him to construct this automobile for circuit-based racing.

So what higher place to shoot this AE86 than on the observe, particularly slightly circuit known as Sports activities Land Tamada within the mountains north of Hiroshima.


In terms of modifying Levins and Truenos, Daito-san and E.Prime are proper up there with Japan’s greatest. And as you’ll quickly see, not solely is that this AE86 modified for max efficiency, the execution and end is of a present degree too.

Amazingly, Daito-san put the automobile (and others) collectively in a workshop no larger than a nook store, and he made numerous the elements himself besides.


These embrace the half-cut rear bumper, the FRP hood, trunk, doorways, entrance and rear fenders, and the {custom} carbon entrance diffuser and canards. I like how the side-exit exhaust sprouts out of the left-side fender and the tip contours with the three rib strains.


On prime of Daito-san’s handiwork, the Levin additionally contains a entrance bumper from NA Works, an Osaka-based firm synonymous with the AE86, custom-modified Mercury side-steps, HPI aspect and rear acrylic home windows, EC Works mirrors and a large rear wing from Storage BB, albeit with {custom} carbon fibre helps and aspect plates. The paint is Subaru’s Violet Blue Mica.


The Levin often rolls on Work Equip40 wheels, 15×9.5-inch entrance and rear (with -9 and -40 offsets respectively) wrapped up in 225/50R15 Yokohama Advan A050 semi-slicks, however Daito-san wasn’t going to overlook the chance to chuck on a pair of Work Meister CR01s with price range avenue rubber and chuck the automobile round a number of corners.

That blue and gold mixture is sort of good-looking, however then I could also be slightly biased…


The AE86’s inside exhibits the refinement of many years of possession. Every thing is evident, easy and nicely laid out, and there’s no pointless muddle or undesirable weight. A {custom} 16-point roll cage, single Bride Zeta III bucket seat, {custom} aluminium sprint, ATC Rallye steering wheel and an Extremely 10,000rpm tachometer are highlights. In fact, it wouldn’t be a correct JDM race automobile with out a few Defi gauges for good measure both.


Below the vented hood you’ll nonetheless discover an iconic 4A-GE, however with an additional letter thrown in…


The engine is constructed round a 4A-GZE block from a manufacturing unit supercharged AE92 GT-Z, however one which’s now specced with a Toda Racing crankshaft and pistons and AE101 connecting rods. For additional power, Daito-san has fitted an engine ladder body (AKA block girdle). Up prime sits an unique AE86 big-port cylinder head with HKS cams and custom-painted Toda adjustable gears, which is secured with a Kameari Engine Works metallic gasket.


All this work is in support of the true power-making piece of the puzzle – a Mitsubishi TD05-20G turbocharger on an E.Prime {custom} manifold, with enhance management by way of an HKS wastegate and consumption cost cooling from a Belief FD3S RX-7 intercooler.

There’s additionally a {custom} consumption plenum, Koyo aluminium FD3S RX-7 radiator, Setrab engine oil cooler, a modified oil pan and a Hyperlink G4+ Atom engine administration system.


With much more energy than what the Levin’s unique engine might muster, the inventory T50 5-speed transmission and driveline was by no means going to chop it. Surprisingly although, Daito-san didn’t go for an improve from the Toyota elements bin. He took a extra obscure route, finally discovering an answer in an R32 Nissan Skyline GTS-t 5-speed gearbox that includes a naturally-aspirated Silvia gear set and strengthening work by Takata Techno Service. The revised driveline additionally options an OS Giken clutch and a Cusco 2-way LSD in a MA46/47 7.5-inch rear finish.


For suspension, the Levin advantages from Bilstein coilovers and TRD arms, whereas the brakes function Infinite 4-pot callipers and 294mm discs up entrance, and a 270mm disc rear setup with Infinite pads all spherical.


Keep in mind that cool-looking aspect pipe? Effectively, to get there the {custom} exhaust system routes by means of the firewall and cabin. I’m not precisely positive why the massive pipe isn’t boxed in with some form of warmth shroud, but when the furnace-like temperatures reported by Daito-san after a number of laps of the circuit are something to go by, I’m positive that’s now on the checklist of issues to do.


And that’s the gorgeous factor with the AE86 – like all trendy traditional, there’s at all times one thing to enhance, refine and improve. The wonderful factor is, that as expertise and race expertise proceed to develop, these previous vehicles will solely get higher.


Nearly 4 many years after the AE86 first hit the showrooms, the tuning group continues to embrace this staunch little automobile with pure pleasure and admiration. Right here’s to a different 40 years of the legendary Hachiroku. 


Oh, and keep tuned for our subsequent E.Prime function automobile, a really particular machine you possibly can learn all about later this month…

Toby Thyer
Instagram _tobinsta_



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