Motegi Racing's Killer AE86 Corolla GTS
By Mike Kojima
The Iconic Toyota Corolla AE86 is one of our all time favorite cars. The last of the RWD econoboxes, the AE86 had timeless styling which still looks good today 26 years after it was first created. The rare GTS variant had the then radical 4AG engine which had an unheard of for its time, 4 valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams with a 7500 rpm redline. Its 1600cc's pumped out 114 hp at a time when your typical econo car revved to around 6000 rpm and put out 80 something hp.
|An old school car like an AE86 is a flexi flyer by today's standards and the chassis needs to be stiffened up to get decent handling with modern suspension and tires. An all inclusive cage ties the entire unibody together for both stiffness and safety.|
The GTS also had 4 wheel disc brakes, a 5-speed manual transmission, 4.30 gears and a limited slip differential, all radical performance features in the day. The GTS was bound to be a cult car from the day it was created. Fast forward many years later when the drift craze started to sweep the world and the anime cartoon “Initial D” became popular. Its hero drove an AE86 which hardened the car's cult favorite status.
|The cage ties into the shock mounts in the rear. The pyramid like structure in the center of the rear of the car is for stiffness, side impact protection and a mounting place for the trick rear suspension.|
These factors made the AE86 a prized car and nice examples are now collector’s items. I myself had an AE86 that was fully equipped with all of the TRD N1 parts made. I am now kicking myself for selling it. Thus I have a soft spot in my heart for the AE86 and one day I will own another one. When I heard the Motegi Racing was building a killer AE86 in collaboration with Papadakis Racing, I had to go and take a look at the finished product.
|At the center of this rear structure is the mounting location for the third torque arm of the three link rear suspension. The factory 4 link has a lot of bind and toe steer. It also has so much antisquat that the car wheel hops and wants to squirt sideways under throttle. The three link eliminates a lot of this.|
|The spare tire well has been covered by this nice bead rolled plate with a fuel cell underneath.|
|An Optima yellow top deep cycle battery is mounted on the passenger corner by the roll cage main hoop.|