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Toyota pays tribute to Trueno with Initial D GT86 concept

Toyota is finally paying homage to the AE86 Sprinter Trueno in the best way possible, by taking a cue from the popular automotive racing manga and anime series Initial D.

Toyota has spruced up a GT86 and gave it that black and white color scheme that fans have associated with the Trueno for the past 30 years.

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The Toyota GT86 is the spiritual successor to the old AE86 from the 1980s. Both are real-wheel drive, both favor balance over power, and both tend to turn sideways in a sharp corner. The AE86 is beloved by fans, not only for its role as the scrappy “I think I can” car from Initial D, but because it was a reliable and practical performance machine for budding auto enthusiasts.

The AE86 from Initial D was inspired by Keiichi Tsuchiya’s personal Trueno. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, you may know him by his other handle, the Drift King. For the GT86 Initial D concept, Toyota tried to use every part possible to match the original. Things like the TRD carbon-fiber hood, the Fujutsubo exhaust, and the black Watanabe F8 wheels all get as close as possible. Even the door handles and engine covers were modified to give it that original look.

For the press photos, Toyota hired Manga artist Sonia Leong to create scenes and backdrops on which to superimpose the new concept.

Sadly this is just a one-off concept, meaning that it won’t be hitting dealerships. But all these parts are readily available, and die-hard Initial D fans can trick their own cars out to be incredibly close to the concept.

Toyota will tour its GT86 Initial D concept around the U.K. this summer at a number of motoring shows. Here’s hoping it comes stateside as well.