It's a strange world indeed where 1980s Toyota Corollas change hands for hefty four and even five-figure sums, but that is the world in which we live. Of course, these Corollas are no ordinary 1980s Toyotas. Known worldwide, they might be called Trueno, Levin, or Corolla GT, but all share a common moniker: AE86. Despite spells in rallying and touring car racing, it's the sport of drifting which has brought the rear-wheel drive, high-revving Corollas to global attention. The lightweight, simple, live-axle design is the perfect recipe for sending the rear tyres on a different journey to those at the front. Whether immortalised by 'Drift King' Keiichi Tsuchiya or in the Initial D cartoon series, the Hachi-Roku ("Eight-Six") is the embodiment of what we love about cars - excitement. It's for those reasons its spiritual successor, the GT86, has been so well received. It may not wear the nameplate, but the latest Hachi-Roku is cut from the same cloth. Power, speed and frivolous luxury take a back-seat in favour of balance and response. Naturally, a quarter-century of progress has brought with it some advancements. You get airbags. You get air conditioning. There's even some degree of noise insulation, and optional sat-nav helps you find those perfect Touge routes. No dog-eared 1985 A-Z required. It's a product of its time, yet a child of a different decade. Those who label it as slow, or replace the Prius tyres with something stickier, could be accused of missing the point. But you knew all that. What we want to know is which one do you prefer? Would you want the past master, an ultimate 80s motor on your drive, or a car with the Hachi-Roku's spirit, dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century?
Sign in to your Car Throttle accountContinue with Facebook