Fitted with a high-revving and charismatic 1.6-litre, double overhead cam (DOHC) engine producing 124hp and mated to its engaging rear-wheel drive chassis and low-slung driving position, the AE86 was a real, undiluted driver’s dream. So much so, it quickly became the choice of serious race and rally professionals wanting a playful, reliable and fast rear-wheel drive machine.
What moved the AE86 into folklore was its pioneering role in drifting and film. Chosen by Japanese racing legend Keiichi Tsuchiya for its outstanding handling balance and control, the AE86 remains a mainstay at drift shows and competitions. But probably the most famous AE86 of them all is the white-over-black model that appeared in the classic Manga movie ‘Initial D’ in 1995: a film that told the story of Takumi Fujiwara, a delivery driver by day and drifting king by night. And his vehicle of choice – well, of course, it had to be the legendary Corolla AE86 Levin.