Originally introduced back in 1983, Toyota’s AE86 — a front-engine, rear-wheel drive entry in the fifth-generation Corolla lineup — has been beloved by enthusiasts from the get-go for its handling and drifting. Thankfully, Toyota is finally resurrecting the car this year, updating 2012’s GT-86 with a modern release that’s music to the ears of Initial D fans. For Ron Ng, though, the original ’80s hatchback still holds a special place while getting behind the wheel of its contemporary equivalent comes naturally:
Whether it’s the AE86 or the new Toyota 86, they’re a blast to drive. I can’t get away from it… Driving the new Toyota 86, it definitely has the characteristics of driving the older Corolla. It’s engineered to be a driver’s car. It’s a momentum car. You always have to push it. You’ve gotta learn your brake points properly to keep your RPMs up… The new 86, or the old AE86 Corolla, both cars share an amazing driving spirit. It makes you want to go out and have fun and enjoy yourself.
Above, Ng links up with Petrolicious to showcase his own 1986 GTS Hachi-Roku and its 31-years-younger counterpart, taking to the hills and backroads of Southern California for a scene that will undoubtedly remind Initial D readers and viewers of their beloved manga and anime.