The all new Toyota AE86 Hachi-Roku!

ae86

This truly iconic car from the 80’s is probably one the most recognizable vehicles in the world. Fans of Initial D would immediately recognize the AE86 as the car the protagonist Takumi Fujiwara drives. If you’ve ever read the manga or watched the anime and live action movie (featuring Jay Chou) you’ve probably dreamed of having one to drift with.

keiichi tsuchiya

One interesting fact that I gleaned during my obsession with everything Initial D is that there really is a “Drift King” who popularized the drifting style of racing and downhill driving. Keiichi Tsuchiya is a real life racer who started out in underground and street racing and the character of Bunta (Takumi’s dad) is actually based on him.

toyota 86 black

He drives a Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno and has appeared in Initial D as a special guest. He also had a cameo role in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. He actually said “This is fun! I wish that Toyota could make cars like this again!” when asked about the AE86.

toyota 86

His wish just came true.

I was at Sepang International Circuit for the all-new Toyota 86 and Camry launch and was suitably impressed with the launch gimmick.

toyota 86 launch

They drove the original AE86 and Camry into a garage and the new models came out amidst smoke and much fanfare. The car is beautiful. It’s a work of art.

hachi roku

It’s the new Toyota 86 “Hachi-Roku”!

I also went on a drive on the all new Toyota Camry with Rachel. :)

tetsuya tada 86

The chief engineer of the Toyota 86, Tetsuya Tada, came down to talk about the features of the brand new car. I had a lot of fun listening to him talk about the 86 – it’s illuminating to hear why certain things are done that way and the heritage from the man who designed the 86.

86

The Toyota 86 is the “spiritual” descendant of the original AE86 – I first saw photos of it in 2009, it was designated FT (Future Technology) then – a concept car. It has gone through some changes and there’s a lot of “86” features in there – the tailpipe is exactly 86mm, the bore and stroke of the engine is also 86 mm.

toyota 86 engine

It’s supposed to be a fun-to-drive sports car instead of a full-on competitive muscle car (though it excels in the latter too). I’ve talked to a lot of people about the Toyota 86 and all of them fell in love with it.

toyota 86 interior

Bucket seats, key-less ignition and advanced aerodynamics considerations makes this a beautiful car that performs excellently.

me 86

I just came back from Jakarta and brought the brochure along (it was in my bag when I packed) and it was the object of much lust from everyone who read it.

toyota 86 front

There’s a lot of technical specifications for you to gawk at – too many to list here, so surf on over to the Toyota 86 site for more information.

The 86 comes in six colors (love the Crystal Black Silica) and it’s priced at RM 243,000 for the manual transmission version and RM 249,000 for the automatic version.

toyota 86 back

The latter has a VSC SPORT mode for a more adventurous semi-manual driving experience.

toyota 86 usb

This is my dream car. I can’t stop talking about it and I want it sooo badly that it’s not even funny. I wish this is the real key to the 86.

toyota 86 pit girl

It’s a legendary car that I can’t wait to save up and buy for…drifting. :)

Drifting lessons

I wonder if you know how they live in Tokyo?

drift

I went for a drifting course courtesy of Rexona last Sunday. My entry snagged the first prize so I woke up bright and early to drive to Bangsar. I had to meet PPC and Kalai (who was there on Official Business (TM)) before tailgating them to the venue coz I wasn’t familiar with that area (it’s about 45 minutes away).

racer chicks

The full day car drifting course was held at MAEPS in Serdang and I arrived just in time to see Tina and Carmen working on one of the cars that was provided. I took Tina’s car (coz my car’s suspension is too fucked up for that kind of driving) for the drifting session, which I inadvertently overheated. >.<  I guess I can’t do the same things I do in my driftcompany online games that I play in preparation to these drifts.

briefing

The first part of the session (AM) started with a briefing by Sean and was more about defensive driving and emergency maneuvers. We also did a slalom course with traffic cones as obstructions. I was a little apprehensive about running down the instructors since some of them had the appalling tendency of standing in the middle. My driving history is not exactly pristine. ;)

I used my car for one exercise though; coz I figured it would be useful considering the unusual amount of accidents I’ve been through. This is the first part – it involves driving at high speed towards a cone barrier (without prepping yourself by letting go of the gas or brake anticipation) and jam the brakes after the last cone while swerving to avoid the barrier into the side lane before moving back into the center.

me

Joe-Han was instructing me most of the time. I like the guy, and he can drift something awesome! The basics were covered in the morning and we had a one hour lunch break at the nearby (which is 15 minutes away) mamak before the afternoon session.

The afternoon (PM) session is the drifting course and the rain during lunch caused the track to be a little bit slippery, but it was a lot of fun. It was really hard to drift with a car that I’m not very familiar with, and most of the time, I didn’t make it at all. However, I managed to drift once without losing control and I was really pleased about that.

tent

Next up is the various methods you can use to do doughnuts. Watched Fast and Furious 3: Tokyo Drift? It’s the technique where one car goes around the other car in a circular motion, using understeer (or izzit oversteer?).

slalom

There are three methods to do that and the easiest is the e-brake method followed by the clutch pop, and I managed to somewhat perfect the technique with Tina’s car. It kinda overheated after that though, and I was told that I’m very “persistent” as in I go all out and wouldn’t quit until I have it right. I know…its part of my personality. ;)

Things I learned:
Always steer to the left while avoiding a probable collision – this is so you don’t run into incoming traffic.
The 9-3 position is the best way to drive long distance coz your heart won’t have to work as hard to pump blood to your extremities.
Do not drive with your thumb(s) inside the steering wheel; you’ll break them in a collision.
Push and pull with your hands mirroring each other when you drive. Don’t cross over coz if the airbags deploy on impact, the force will drive your arms towards your face, a Very Bad Thing (TM) if you like how you look. ;)

ebrake

Other interesting things about Tina’s car:

She has this really nifty e-brake which doesn’t engage per se when you pull it (it goes back down) but it works for drifting, perfect for rally driving.

group

I sure hope Tina doesn’t see this but since I added her on FB I seriously doubt it. I was having a rather crude discussion on MSN with a friend and the gist of it is replicated here:

trust me
when she’s drifting
fu yoh
damn
i nearly jizzed my pants

tina

Tina, it’s a compliment! Racer chicks are hot. ;)

cert

I got a cert for…er, Advanced Course Driving. I’m not sure I deserve it, so don’t look at me weird the next time I get into an accident. :p

Don’t Drift and Drive

drift drive

I met with a rather untimely accident on Friday night while driving back from Suanie’s house. We were at Mist on Friday night and got home at around 4 am Saturday morning. If you recall, it was raining Friday night and the roads were wet.

There is a stretch of road from Suanie’s place that I always have the urge to drift. Yes, it is possible to drift on automatic transmission; you just pull the emergency brake. I’ve always made it a point to drift at this particular stretch of road coz the curve is beautiful. I usually keep my speed at a safe 60 kmph while doing that though.

Always one to tempt fate, I was driving home on a wet road when I hit that stretch. Instinct kicked in and I pulled the emergency brake. Alas, I did not realize that I was driving in excess of 140 kmph at that time and the road conditions were not favorable to stupid stunts like this.

drift right

I felt the car drift and spin out of control. I went a full 360 degrees before my rear hit the sidewalk, went up and landed in a ditch. I didn’t actually feel much inside the car so I thought I just hit the sidewalk and thanked Aries (inside joke) that nothing untoward happened to me.

drift left

I tried to drive out but it seems that my rear wheels were not gripping anything at all so I went down to investigate this peculiarity.

It turns out the entire rear of my car was in the longkang. Sheesh!

I shall draw the sequence of events as it happened:

drift-paint

Well, there’s nothing left to do so I called Suan and asked if she knew a tow truck. She said she’ll find out but before that a roving car assistance squad (WTF?) came to my rescue. I didn’t even know such things existed.

drift attach

Apparently, some enterprising soul thought it would be good for business to send out roving squads of cars in search of traffic accidents. They provide all sorts of assistance with a hard sell to get you to send the car to their workshop. I declined and asked for a tow truck instead to get me out of the damn ditch.

drift pull out

The tow truck couldn’t attach the cable to the back of my car since doing so would cause unimaginable damage to the car while pulling it out. Thus, he came out with this ingenious idea of attaching the cable to my front right tire rim (!).

It worked. Check out the video.

Damage: RM 160

drift no damage

I’m officially broke this month. I mean, seriously. My car is surprisingly sans visible damage but I haven’t crawled under to see what can of whoop ass I’ve opened up to the suspension and other stuff underneath the car. :(

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