The Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 is a cultural icon, which was the most hyped car of its time. Toyota manufactured the compact sports car from 1983 to 1987. it was arguably the inspiration behind the market for sporty compact cars in the United States and Canada. If you are looking for a Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 for sale, read the overall review to see what you are going to get. Does the iconic car live up to the expectation of modern drivers?
Professional racing driver Keiichi Tsuchiya aka the Drift King popularized the car by using it for frequent drifting in racing competitions. A few years later, the enormously successful Initial D - a Japanese comic book series - skyrocketed its popularity.
But, is it worth to look for a Toyota AE86 for sale? Does the car can still match its iconic status?
Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 For Sale: Worth The Hype?
Does the legendary status of the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 translates into performance? The company manufactured and marketed the model from 1983 to 1987 in coupe and hatchback versions.
Before searching for a Toyota AE86 Trueno for sale, you should know that these are small cars with a front-engine/rear-drive powertrain. They belong to the 5th generation Corolla range - one of the all-time best-selling cars in the world. The cars were affordable, lightweight, and versatile to accommodate numerous modifications - quite suitable as a racing car.
Check the review to see if you should go for a Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 for sale.
Exterior & Interior
Looking at the Toyota Corolla AE86 won’t probably impress you. It looks like a generic Japanese car from the 1980s. The rear-wheel drive has retractable headlights (unlike its sibling Levin that has fixed headlights).
The interior has limited space.
Toyota brought minor cosmetic changes in 1986, which resulted in slightly different-looking corner lights, headlight trim lights, front and rear bumpers, tail lights, and grilles.
Before shopping for a Toyota AE86 for sale, you should know that it is a small car that weighs only 950kg (compare to the subcompact Toyota Yaris that weighs 10kg more).
The small size and boxy dimensions mean the interior has limited space. The back seats are mostly for decoration. There is very limited legroom in the passenger cabin for the adults to sit there. The front seats can accommodate grown-ups but forget about them if you are overgrown. Keep the dimensions in mind if you have planned to buy a used Toyota AE86.
The “A” in the AE86 refers to the engine (the 3A and 4A) while the “E86” means the 6th revised version of the 5th gen (E80 series) of the E model. The front-wheel-drive AE92 (in the Corolla/Sprinter) range later replaced the car in 1987.
Performance & Handling
The 1.6L four-pot engine with 123bhp may tempt you to rule the car out as slow but the AE86 engine is more impressive than what the numbers suggest. First of all, it is the famous Twincam (4a-ge) engine, which was still in its infancy period. But, it soon became popular due to its time refinement and revving capacity. The new technology convinced so many people that it became the base platform for many kit cars.
Don’t give up the idea of buying a Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 for sale just because it does not have a robust engine. Its performance is more vigorous than the specs. The lightweight structure actually helps in this regard. The car weighs less than a tonne and it helps the engine to go up to 7,600 rpm.
The car still provides a reliable performance.
Once the engine achieves the right RPM, the transmission kicks in and the steering works without power assistance. Driving the car is fun due to its decent engine power, long brake pedal, and responsive throttle. You will definitely enjoy how all the major controls and systems work together.
However, turning around the corners is not a pleasant experience with this car. As it has a rear-wheel drivetrain, the rear spinning wheel makes it awkward during quick exits and around sharp corners.
Overall, buying a Toyota AE86 Trueno for sale is likely to be a good deal for those who like to drift. The simple mechanism and the classic RWD balance make its a dream for the drifters. Also, it provides a good opportunity to learn driving a rear-wheel drive.
Does buying a second hand Toyota AE86 affect the reliability factor? Well, Toyota is known for manufacturing reliable, safe, and user-friendly automobiles. The AE86 is not an exception. You can drive the car up to 350,000 km with regular maintenance and servicing.
The engine mechanism is simple and you can replace the parts that are out of date. The overall construction is typical Toyota quality so nothing to be worried about.
When you are looking for an AE86 Trueno for sale, chances of scoring one with all the original parts intact are less. There will certainly be some mods and upgrades. Just make sure that the engine is running and you will still have enough mileage.
Toyota AE86 Price
It is not impossible to find a cheap used Toyota AE86. Plenty of dealers that sell secondhand automobiles have a few units of this classic model left in their stock. You can have a good, running unit at less than $20,000 but the prices can be more depending on various factors.
It is hard to get an AE86 without some modifications.
Remember that AE86 is a tuning car. You will hardly find a Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 for sale without any modification. People don’t purchase it for keeping in the factory condition. It’s not rare to come across a model that has undergone drastic body, exhaust, and intake mods. Finding a non-modified model is difficult and costs higher.
You can modify the AE86 by yourself. There are plenty of aftermarket parts and gadgets for this purpose. Remember that it is necessary to upgrade the rear suspension to make any modification in the suspension. It will be better to consult an experienced mechanic before finalizing the list of upgrades.