Toyotas for Collectors: Corolla AE86

Few weeks ago, I came across a very special car in a parking lot of a car dealership. I walked down and stood there for a decent time looking at this car; the all time favorite Toyota AE86. The car was with collectors license plate and there was no doubt that the car was kept like a true love and collectors item.

The Toyota Sprinter Trueno / Toyota Corolla Levin is a compact sports car produced in Japan from 1983 – 1987. They are commonly known as AE86, or by the Japanese pronunciation ‘hatchi-roku’ (86).

The car was powered by a state of the art twin-cam engine jointly developed by Yamaha and Toyota. This vehicle has since become an icon of the JDM community, and is famous for drifting thanks to Keiichi Tsuchiya (Drift King). Tsuchiya and his AE86 invented the organized drift competitions in both Japan and America.

The AE86 is an old car by today’s standards, yet it performs well. The  115hp engine makes wonderful sound all the way up to 7200 rpm.The 4A-GE engine in the car is not going to win any speed records, but this is not the reason you buy an 86, Its actually a shear fun being owner of an AE86. The match between engine and transmission is a perfect combination. For a car to be 950kg, it has to be small. Just think of a Toyota Yaris (Vitz) which weights 960kg, its open for driver and front passenger but the rear is not very open for passengers. The downsides are that the engine gets its power after about 4500 rpm, and the old suspension geometry and solid rear axle leave something to be desired.


This car is a tuning car. AE86 lovers have not always  intentions of keeping it stock. Upgrades like intake, exhaust, and body modifications are common. Non-modified vehicles demand a higher price and are rarer. Naturally aspirated engines can make around 190hp, and Turbo or Supercharged engines may make up to 300. The rear suspension needs to be modified to accept aftermarket coil over suspensions.

As a Toyota, this car is extremely reliable. Examples are commonly driven up to 350,000 km with regular servicing. The internal design of the engine is very simple and there are few parts that can become out of tolerance. The rest of the body is common Toyota quality. Age of the vehicle is something to consider since many examples are over 20 years old.

AE86 was/is available in two trims. A base model and more factory modified GT-Apex. There is no doubt AE86 will always be a collectors item no matter what. Even after release of new GT86.

Ae86 specs

4A-GE 1.6lt I4 Twincam 16 Valve
3A-U 1.5 I4 Singlecam 8 Valve
5 Speed manual
5sp / Auto
Naturally Aspirated
Naturally Aspirated
3-door / 2-door
3-door / 2-door

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Fazal Wahab

I am Civil Engineer by Profession and have love for High Rise Towers, Underground construction and Carbon Fiber Composites, automobiles is my first love. Its my passion to know and share about anything new in automobile industry.