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TOYOTA COROLLA AE86 --- ''Hachiroku'' ハチロク

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The ultimate sound compilation of the famous coupe from Initial D series and Keichi Tsutsiya's favourite sport car, the Toyota Corolla Levin / Sprinter Trueno (AE86)

To the untrained eye, Toyota AE86s - or Hachiroku (eight-six) - are ostensibly generic 1980s Japanese cars. While this may have been broadly true when it was released almost three decades ago, it’s since metamorphosed into something altogether more interesting. After a good few hours meandering along the lengthily back alleys of the internet, we've only been able to find one original and roadworthy Hachiroku for sale anywhere in the UK - a Corolla GT Coupe. The asking price? A healthy £11,500 - almost as much as some Ferraris of a similar vintage. Even cars without a valid MOT or Road Tax sell for upwards of £5,000, such is the clamour for unmolested examples.

With 123bhp from its 1.6-litre four-pot, you’d be forgiven for writing the AE86 off as slow - although to do so would be to miss the point of the car completely. But in reality it feels much more sprightly than its specifications would have you believe. It does weigh less than a tonne, after all. The engine is eager to spin all the way up to its 7600rpm red line, and once you get there, the gearbox is adequately precise and a pleasure to use. The steering does without power assistance. Though weighty, it’s precise and has excellent feedback - although this is undermined by the sometimes awkward way in which the AE86 rolls into some corners. A quick exit is occasionally hampered by a spinning rear wheel, too, given this particular car does without the optional LSD. The brake pedal is very long, and the throttle has a lovely feel to it. There’s a real delicacy in the way all of the major controls operate - driven smoothly, it really is great fun.

The AE86 generation of the Toyota Corolla Levin and Toyota Sprinter Trueno is a small, lightweight coupe introduced by Toyota in 1983 as part of the fifth generation Toyota Corolla lineup. For the purpose of brevity, the insider-chassis code of "AE86" depicts the 1600 cc RWD model from the range. In classic Toyota code, the "A" represents the engine that came in the car (4A series), "E" represents the Corolla, "8" represents the fifth generation (E80 series) and "6" represents the variation within this generation.

The Levin has fixed-headlights, and the Trueno has retractable headlights, both could be hatchback or coupe. The export model name Corolla covers both variations. The AE86 (along with the lower spec 1,452 cubic centimetres (1.452 L) AE85 and 1587 cc SR5 versions) was rear wheel drive (unlike the front wheel drive CE80, EE80 and AE82 models), and is among the last rear-drive cars of its type, at a time when most passenger cars were being switched to front-drive. In 1987, there was a limited edition model of the AE86 called "Black Limited" that served as a send-off model before the AE86 chassis was replaced later that year by the front wheel drive AE92 Corolla/Sprinter range.

In Japan, the AE86 was also known as the Hachi-Roku (ハチロク) Japanese for "eight-six". In Japan, the Sprinter Trueno was exclusive to Toyota Japan dealerships called Toyota Vista Store, while the Corolla Levin was exclusive to Toyota Corolla Store. The word "trueno" is Spanish for thunder, and "levin" is Old English for "lightning".

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#hachiroku #ae86 #corolla
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