We wish this comics-inspired coupe had modern incarnations of other classic Japanese sports cars to race against.
The manga and subsequent animated series Initial D turned a generation of young people into auto enthusiasts, especially of Japanese sports cars. Tofu delivery driver Takumi Fujiwara hustled his black-and-white AE86 Toyota Corolla on Japan’s mountain roads and beat higher powered machinery like the Mazda RX-7 and Nissan Skyline GT-R. Now, Toyota is reviving the comic’s look with one-off GT86, and the sports coupe goes on tour of Britain this summer.
Rather than trying to mimic Fujiwara’s Corolla perfectly, Toyota’s UK special projects department brings some modern touches to this GT86’s design. For example, the stylists use carbon fibre parts for the hood, door handle protectors, and mirror covers, as opposed to the matte black parts on the car in the comic. The new coupe also rides on classic-looking 17-inch RS Watanabe wheels with a black finish. In a further nod to the manga’s AE86, this one has mud flaps, yellow fog lights, and tinted taillights. The Japanese text on the side even reads “Fujiwara Tofu Shop.”
This is a show car, so performance isn’t a major concern. However, the Initial D-inspired GT86 would probably excel at carving down a mountain road with its TRD suspension and Cusco front strut brace. The Fujitsubo exhaust should make it sound the part, too. The modern Toyota uses a boxer four-cylinder, but this one references the 20-valve 4A-GE in Fujiwara’s Corolla by painting the engine cover here silver.
We don’t yet know where in Britain the Initial D GT86 will appear this summer. But we’ll keep an eye out for the coupe drifting on the back roads late at night with a load of tofu to deliver.