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This episode of Up to Speed
is brought to you by Squarespace

Have I got a story for you.
I was driving home from a late night on the
mountain,

flying down the Touge, drifting the
turns like the Drift King that I am, when suddenly,

I spoted some headlights in my rearview, and they're coming fast.
I clutch kicked my car around the bend to
shake the little challenger off but I just

couldn't lose it, it's sliding right behind me.
Is that an 8-6?
I'm the number two driver of the Akigi Red
Suns God Damn it!

I slow for a turn but the punchy Corolla...
passes me?
Doesn't the driver even know this road?
After this slow right is a sharp left.
There's a ravine on the other side, he's
gotta hit the brakes!

To my amazement the 8-6 flicks its tail from
one side of the road to the other with ease.

The pulsing Eurobeat ends, and I am left
with is the sight of a white hatchback leaving

me behind.
You know what the fu** this is!
This is everything you need to know to get
Up to Speed on the Toyota AE86!

Hachi-Roku MOTHERFU****!
What makes the AE86 so cool is that for a
long time, it wasn't.

While everyone in the world was drooling
over the big dogs: The Skyline GT-R, The RX-7,

The NSX, and The Supra , the Carolla was riding
it's own wave.

Other cars have more power, other cars
are better looking,

Even in Toyota's own line up the Corolla
was a under dog.

The Celica Supra was at the top, the MR2 was
this weird spaceship little brother,

and the AE86 was just happy to be there,
knowing it would blow people's
minds if given the chance.

Back in the 70s You either bought American
or maybe german or british, because A.

there wasn't anything else and B.
It was basically your duty as an American.
But all of a sudden there were Japanese brands:
Datsun, Honda and Toyota.

And their cars were good.
The Japanese saw the weak points in other
brands and designed their cars to avoid them.

It might have been scary at the time but if
you bought something Japanese, like a Toyota,

you could expect it to be reliable, well-engineered,
and most importantly, affordable.

The Carolla had been all those things for
nearly 17 years.

When first introduced, the Carolla was the
smallest car in 'Yota's US lineup, and

maintained a rear wheel drive layout until
the early 80s.

But Toyota couldn't ignore the benefits front
wheel drive any longer.

It was more efficient, freed up interior space
and was cheaper to build.

So in 1984, Toyota released a front wheel
drive Carolla.

That's what the Corolla is, until this day.
So there you have it, everything you need
to know to get up to speed on the- wait,sorry.

Oh yeah, I forgot.
Even though there was a front wheel drive
version, Toyota also kept building

a rear wheel wheel drive version.
Using totally different layouts and platforms under the same name.
On top of that, the rear wheel drive version
also had two versions, a two door coupe and

a three door lift back.
And then, There were two styles of each: The
Levin, which had fixed headlights, and the

Trueno...Turino? Truno? Treno? No that was Trueno...
And the Trueno, which had pop up fu**ing headlights.
So, this rear wheel drive Corolla would be
it's swan song, the ultimate culmination

of everything great about the Corolla.
So what do we call it?
Well, it'll be powered by a 4A engine, I's
an E code chassis, and E80 to be exact, and

And it'll be the 6 variant.
I've got it, the AE86!
Corolla, Ultimate form!
"Wait! It's over 9..."
Toyota restyled the Corolla's Coupe and
liftback bodies, and dropped one of their

best engines EVER, one of THE BEST engines ever under the hood: The 4A-GE.
This fun size four banger was designed with
two things in mind: powering small cars like

the 86, and RACIN'.
It had a cast iron block for strength, an
aluminum head to add lightness, and a redline

of 7 and a half grand.
Do you know what that sounds like?
Do you?
Imagine your neighbor's a beekeeper, making
honey in his backyard.

One afternoon you sneak back there, you want a taste, just a little bit o' taste that sweet sweet nasty goop
You open up a hive to grab some of that sweet
honeycomb but it turns out he's not raising bees...

They're chainsaws, and they're pissed!
It sounds like that.
The 4A-GE only made 128 horsepower BUT the 86 had a curb weight of around about 2300 lbs.
The car had superb balance too, meaning the
weight was evenly distributed between each wheel.

The result was super predictable and agile handling.
To get the power to the ground, the 86 didn't
use fancy independent rear suspension,

this things gotta be affordable, 'member?
It had a live rear axle like a fu**ing muscle car.
This made doing fat skids super easy and pretty unavoidable.
The AE86 had no business being as good as it was.
It's a holy union of driving excellence.
The 86 was driven in pretty much every kind
of racing you can imagine.

There were 86 racing leagues, it raced in
the British Touring Car Championship and won

that whole series, twice!
And despite being two wheel drive the 86 was
also a killer rally car.

But above the rest, there is one sport the AE86 is most famous for:
Ever heard of..."drifting"?
The Corolla's small size and snappy handling made it perfect for charging down the mountains of Japan
A young man named Keiichi Tsuchiya would drive
these roads everyday in his own AE86.

He didn't have the money to race professionally,
so Keiichi honed his skills on the mountain.

And the kid was a natural.
Keiichi's sweet drift moves made him unbeatable on the mountain, and he gained a huge underground following.
Just like me.
Spending all your time drifting on snowy mountain
roads without killing yourself makes you a

pretty darn good driver.
But would sloshing around on a mountain make
you that much better on a track?

Fu** yeah!
Keiichi was so good, he got sponsored to race
professionally immediately.

He started winning so much, that he was like
"if I keep winning by this much,

people are gonna get bored.
And if people get bored, they're not gonna
watch me race."

So, he started drifting turns.
He gave 'em the ol' razzle dazzle.
And the fans frickin' loved it.
It's like he took a 5 minute phone call in the middle of a 4 Runner video.
Even while he was racing, he spent his free
time on the mountain.

Keiichi was enough of a star that he convinced
some sponsors to give him some money to make

a little short film of his oversteering exploits.
That film is called 'Pluspy'. 'Plus pee' 'Plusssspeee"
And it's like a legit art film.
Like, it's not just a drift tape, it's art.
The video took the car world by storm.
Just like me.
People were all like 'Whaaat?
"The fu** is going on?"
It was basically the Velvet Underground of drift tapes.
Without Pluspy there would be no Gymkhana,
no Fast and Furious, no Donut!

No me!
Toyota ended production of the AE86 in 1987,
with almost no changes over the course of its life.

In 2009 Toyota revealed the FT-86 concept,
developed in partnership with Subaru.

It was a two-door, four cylinder, rear wheel
drive coupe inspired by the 86.

Hail to the King, baby.
In the states it was released under two names: The Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S,
but in Japan it was just called the Toyota 86.
Just like the AE86, it didn't have a ton of power, but it was light, and it liked to drift like it's daddy.
Just like me.
It's ironic that the sport the AE86 helped
create, is the reason you can't afford one anymore.

The drift tax is a real thing.
The new 86 is a love letter to the age when the old 86 flourished.
A time when people wanted a no frills daily
driver that was also fun to drive.

Just like Jessica.
Maybe that time is gone.
But if the revived interest in the AE86 is
anything to go by, people will want a simple,

reliable, tofu-delivering underdog for a long,
long time.

This episode of Up to speed is brought to
you by Squarespace.

Whether you need a domain, website or online
store, make it with Squarespace.

Do it!
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If you guys make a website with Squarespace,
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BuyJamesPumphreyALambo.com
I wanna see it!
Click on the link below!
That's everything you need
to know to get Up to Speed on the Toyota AE86.

What's your favorite?
Are you a Levin fan or a Trueno fan?
Do you like Initial D?
Would you ever swap an SR20 into an AE86?
I wouldn't. I would do like ITBs...make it real loud.
We've got merch up again: shop.donut.media
That is: shop.donut.media
Get yourself a shirt.
Monday, we've got Wheelhouse, hosted by my protege Nolan Sykes.
Tuesday, we've got Matt Field's Drift Corvette build. It's insane!
Friday, we have The Bestest, it's ranking and listing all cool shit. It's the best.
Send me a dollar for a Lambo. 2238 Purdue Ave, Los Angeles CA 90064
Follow me on Instagram, @JamesPumphrey.
If I get to 25,000 followers, I will pick one of you at random and send you something weird...
Something friggin' weird...
We've had haters for the first time in comments and I really appreciate you guys.
I love you guys, you're all car boys, you're all car girls,
I love you!

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Toyota AE86 - Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

244 Folder Collection
Mike.J.Tsai published on March 26, 2018
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