Toyota Corolla AE86 'Hachi-Roku'

Here’s why the Toyota Corolla AE86 is a very reliable Japanese sports car from the 80s

The Toyota The AE86 is an aging sports car that is already nearly 40 years old. Born in the 1980s, the AE86 has become a symbol of JDM (Japanese Domestic Market), with many fans eager to own an example. With its iconic status, the AE86 – also known as hachi-roku – has become an expensive Japanese classic to own today.

Interestingly, the AE86 may owe its popularity to initial d, a manga and anime series focused on street racing in various mountain passes in Japan. Its main hero, Takumi Fujiwara, drives the AE86 Panda Trueno to serve up tofu and outperform various cars in initial d Such as Nissan GT-Rs, Mitsubishi Lancer Evos and Mazda RX7s (FC and FD) in downhill competitions.

By the time Takumi began his racing exploits, the AE86 was already about 10 years old. Now, the AE86 is nearly four decades old, and a number of them are still operational. This reinforces the trusted character of the legendary sports car, which The latest iteration comes in the form of the GR86. However, one might wonder why the AE86 in the 80s was considered a reliable Japanese sports car.

The legend and spirit of the AE86

As for its origins, the Toyota AE86 was part of the fifth generation of the Corolla E80 series. The automaker offered rear-wheel drive hachi-roku like the Sprinter Trueno and Corolla Levin. They’re essentially twins, although the Sprinter had retractable headlights while the Levin had fixed headlights.

Interestingly enough, the AE86 wasn’t really the name for the car; Refers to the internal code that Toyota used during its development. The letter “A” stands for the 4A series engine, while the letter “E” stands for the Corolla designation. Meanwhile, the “8” denotes the E80 series generation, and the “6” denotes the sixth in the generation.

In fact, the Toyota AE86 wasn’t a powerful car—it came with a 1.6-liter inline 4A-GE engine, originally providing 128 horsepower of maximum output and 110 pound-feet of peak torque. But thanks to its lightweight character, balanced setup, and RWD configuration, the AE86 has become a favorite among not only pirates, but also Japanese (hashiriya) street racers. Pro racer and Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya considers hachi-roku his favorite vehicle.

Another reason for the AE86’s popularity is its reliability, a common trait among Toyota vehicles. This remained true for the last successor of the hachi-roku spirit. In fact, Consumer Reports once listed the Toyota 86 as one of the most reliable cars in its ratings.

RELATED: A look back at the Toyota Corolla AE86 ‘Hachi-Roku’, and why it’s so expensive today

AE86 is Toyota after all

The reliability of the AE86 is deeply rooted in Toyota’s character as an automotive manufacturer and engineering company. Thus, reliability is not exclusive to hachi-roku, as most Toyota vehicles are highly reliable and able to stand the test of time. An automaker can give a consistent amount of quality to its products.

While some say Toyota’s reliability is just a myth, the truth is the opposite. As proof of this, reliability reports almost always contain one or more Toyota vehicles from the past several years. In fact, Consumer Reports’ “10 Most Trusted Cars” list includes four cars made by Toyota – the 2022 Lexus GX, the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime, the 2022 Toyota Prius, and the 2022 Toyota Highlander.

In terms of how Toyota can make its cars ever more reliable, the automaker is implementing various approaches to ensure that its products are bulletproof in terms of improvement. Toyota built Total Quality Management The TQM system is based on the concepts of “customer first”, “continuous improvement” (or kaizen), and “total engagement”.

Furthermore, Toyota’s operations require constant detection and elimination of errors. The automaker tends to over-engineer and simplify its products, focusing on balance. That’s why Toyota’s sporty offerings don’t really offer much power.

RELATED: The real reason Toyota makes the most reliable cars

The truth about the reliability of Hachi-Roku

While the Toyota AE86 is a reliable ’80s Japanese sports car, that doesn’t mean things won’t break. It’s a car that’s about 40 years old, and any car of this age needs a repair part or two every once in a while. This is especially true of a car that tempts its drivers to drive more exciting, if not more reckless. After all, AE86 drivers might try to emulate Takumi and Keiichi, and then start experimenting with the things they do.

In the real world, even the most reliable Toyota cars still break down. The AE86 should be no exception, and the driver behind the wheel may find the temptation too promising and too powerful to be irresistible. Whether in modified or stock form, the AE86 is a car that strongly tempts owners to outpace everyday driving.

On the other hand, there is regular wear of parts and components, and AE86 owners can help extend the life of their hachi-roku with regular inspection and maintenance. They should be active enough to check the road suitability of their AE86 vehicles. Luckily, Toyota now offers genuine spare parts For the legendary hachi-roku.

In the end, the Toyota AE86 is reliable not because it is Toyota, but also because of the efforts that the owners make to ensure that the hachi-roku can drive on the road for a longer period of time.

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