Ahh, Manga. It’s not all Pokemon and Akira you know. It’s cars, too, as was brilliantly demonstrated in the awesome comic-became-film, Initial D, which ran from 1995 to 2013. Initial D was a cult Japanese manga comic series in which the young hero, Takumi Fujiwara, famously drove a modified AE86. He drifted and power-slid his away around the mountain roads of Japan. Mainly delivering, er, tofu. Each to their own.

Questionable load aside, the series made an icon of Takumi’s AE86, with its black and white livery making it the ultimate poster boy for the early drift scene. And as you can see here, that’s something Toyota is proud of. Yeah, we know, a manufacturer giving some love to drifting. Great, isn’t it?

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Old and new. Animated and real

So, what has Toyota done? It’s taken its really rather ace GT86 and made it look just like a modern day version of Takumi’s ride. How cool is that? Very, in case you were wondering. Not a little bit. Very.

They’ve not just given it a liberal splash of black and white paint. Oh no, they’ve done much more than that. Custom-made RS Watanabe alloy wheels, TRD suspension, a Fujitsubo exhaust system, Cusco strut brace, and a carbon fibre bonnet all add together to make a faithful homage to the AE86.

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PR shots don’t get much cooler than this…

Even the livery of the AE86 is here. The text on the driver’s door says Fujiwara Tofu Ten, which translates as ‘Fujiwara Tofu Shop’. That’s pretty damn faithful to the original!

Finally, Toyota has used the car in a special video, bringing to life what the car would be used for should Takumi be behind the wheel today. Drifting around bends, engine revving, tofu container gently sloshing (no, really), it’s a wonderful take on a true cult classic.

For us though, it’s just great to see a manufacturer having fun with its offerings. Take note, everyone else, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing stuff like this. It’s actually pretty damn brilliant!