Toyota GT86 Initial D Concept is a tribute to the world of Japanese manga image
Japan is famous for many things, including the association between cultural references – such as manga and automobiles. But this comics-inspired coupe just makes us wish there was a themed venue for its meeting with the Walking Dead-inspired Hyundai concepts.
The manga and subsequent animated series Initial D was in many ways responsible for delivering a generation of auto enthusiasts, as well as fans of the Japanese sports cars. If you’re knowledgeable in the series, you may remember tofu deliver driver Takumi Fujiwara took his black-and-white AE86 Toyota Corolla on Japan’s mountain roads and managed to trump quicker opponents such as the Mazda RX-7 and Nissan Skyline GT-R. Now Toyota is paying homage to the both the comics and the AE86 Corolla by introducing the bespoke GT86, with the sports coupe ready to tour the United Kingdom this summer.
Toyota’s UK special projects division decided they shouldn’t try to copy the Fujiwara Corolla, instead opting to reference the modern styling of the GT86. As such, there are carbon fiber parts for the hood, door handle protectors, and mirror covers, while in the comics they were simply matte black. The coupe has classic-looking 17-inch RS Watanabe wheels with a black finish. The link to the manga series comes from the mud flaps, yellow fog lights, and tinted taillights. And translated from Japanese, the test on the side reads “Fujiwara Tofu Shop.” While only a show car, the concept still has some performance improvements: TRD suspension and Cusco front strut brace, as well as Fujitsubo exhaust.