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Toyota Drift Cars

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Toyota Drift Cars



Toyota Drift Cars


Corolla AE86 (83-87)

Corolla AE86

This is the legendary drift car that was once the main character in the Japanese world of hashirya (street racers): The Toyota Corolla AE86. The last ever build Corolla models that were RWD are still being raced today by enthusiasts. It is said that it offers an incredibly exciting ride, something which you would not expect.


The AE86 is also known in Japan as the Hachiroku, which is basically nothing more than a translation of 86, where "hachi" stands for eight and "roku" stands for six.


Actually all of the Corollas that came out before the E80 series are RWD and so, perhaps with some drift modifications they are all good enough for drifting.


The AE86 had, and still has a massive cult status in Japan and was once even the main star in the popular anime series Initial D. This made it more famous and today it has actually become a pretty rare and expensive car. Expect high prices for a plus 20-years old model. And your chances of finding a stock AE86? Small!


Interestingly, as cars become something people consider as an investment, the bankers have noticed the steady popularity and rising rarity of this car. Fisher Investments UK lists this car as one of their recommended "potential investments" for people looking to put their money into classic cars. Pretty good for a small economy car built in the 1980's!


The Corolla comes with pop-up lights (Trueno) or regular headlights (Levin) and is available in many styles & trims. It handles very well and doesn’t flatter the driver at all. It shows all your mistakes and doesn’t allow much room for error. Therefore it is a very hard car to really become good in. Generally speaking it usually seems only to be appreciated by enthusiasts that know of the car’s capabilities.


The power output is more than enough, as this 940 kilo Toyota features a twin-cam 1.6 liter 4 cylinder and 16 valves 4AGEU engine. It’s known to be rev-happy and it delivers about 130hp. Still though, most of the competition that consists out of turbo-powered cars are usually holding more than twice the amount of power.


The 86 it is not so much about power, it’s much more about balance! And because of that it’s a very good car to learn drifting in. It comes with a learning curve, but once that curve has been overcome......


And the AE86 still drifts in the D1 competition today, even winning from much faster and newer competition. The AE86 is still today most definitely one of the finest Toyota drift cars available!


There are many Toyota drift cars out there, not listed here. Only the important ones are shown on this page, you know that the only requirement for a drift car is of course it to be RWD, so with a little research and creative work there are many variations of Toyota drift cars available.




Toyota Drift Cars


Altezza (98-05)

Altezza

The Toyota Altezza is a luxury sedan that is designed to take on the Mercedes C-class or the BMW 3-series. Unfortunately it never made it that far in terms of sales.


Famous for its distinctive taillights, the Toyota Altezza sort of followed in the footsteps of the AE86 as the successor of a cheap starter car to learn drifting in. Not that the Altezza has made as big of a name as the AE86 in the motorsports world, but it did become very popular amongst the young "Hashirya" culture. And as the 86 started to become more expensive and harder to find, the Altezza became a great alternative.


The basic RWD layout with a 2.0 liter naturally aspirated engine is not a bad starting car for drifting. The Altezza comes in two versions: the AS200 (150hp) and the RS200 (210hp).


The export version was released under the Lexus brand as the "IS" model offering a choice of a 2.0 or 3.0 liter engine. In Europe the 3.0 liter is only available in automatic transmission so the 2.0 liter is the one to look for. In the USA you can get 3.0 liter with manual transmission. Of course there is more than plenty of aftermarket support and you can soup up the horsepower to personal liking, or you can even swap engines with a 2JZ-GTE from the Supra


Toyota Drift Cars


Cressida (JZX) (92-00)

Cressida (JZX)

The Cressida family, also called the JZX series, is ranked amongst the flagship cars of Toyota and is one of the best Toyota drift cars out there. The family consists out of basically the same cars. Sold as the Toyota Chaser, Mark II and Cresta they all share the same chassis, but have slightly different body styles. The easiest way to distinguish them is by their head –or taillights.


It can get pretty confusing sometimes but simply put, the Cresta is the base model, the Chaser is the sports model and the Mark II is the luxury model.


Because most car manufacturers were switching over to FWD, demand for a true RWD sports car increased and this allowed the Chaser, Mark II and Cresta to gain so much popularity. Since it has a basic RWD layout and the inclusion of a high-powered reliable engine it was the obvious choice for drifters looking for 4-door sedan Toyota drift cars.


Toyota Mark II


It’s another extremely popular tuning car that is often seen at the race track, for drifting as well as time attacks. Since the line-up of the JZX series is so versatile it is also popular to turn them into luxury cars. There are a lot of accessory-loaded Cressidas around in Japan, mostly the Mark IIs. In Japan these pimped out luxury cars, filled with options, usually black or white and with super low bodykits and suspension, are called VIP cars.


Due to its popularity on the race track the Cressida family has grown to be the best of both worlds, for racing as well as luxury. It all depends on the trim and how it’s tuned.


The most popular Cressida generations are the latest models, the JZX90 and the JZX100. The JZX series started as sedans with the coming of the JZX81 in the late eighties.


Toyota Cresta


Considering the popularity it’s no surprise that there is an overwhelming amount of aftermarket support for these cars. So which one should you go for? Basically all the rear-wheel-drive models are good enough for drifting, but because of the aftermarket support the best would definitely be the JZX90 or JZX100, and in particular the Tourer-V model.


The Tourer-V model features updated suspension and a more rigid body with a 2.5 liter twin turbo 1JZGTE engine, delivering 280 hp and very easy to upgrade for little money.


The model line-up can get quite confusing for the Cressida cars, but it’s not that hard to get familiar with them if you do some research. There are however many, many versions of this car. To sum it up: Cresta, Chaser and Mark II, as an Avante, Tourer-S or Tourer-V, with the different generations JZX81, JZX90, JZX100 and JZX-110.


To make things even a little harder there were also sub versions of these cars with minor modifications and different options (JZX91, 93, 101, etc). Besides the JZX version there was also a LX version, sporting a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine.


The JZX90 Mark II and JZX100 Chaser are probably the best looking cars from the JZX series, but of course taste is a personal matter. As long as you get the 2.5 liter 1JZGE or 1JZGTE engine. Manual transmission models are hard to find but they can be easily swapped from an other Cressida, a Supra or Soarer.




Toyota Drift Cars


Supra (92-00)

Supra

The Toyota Supra is another very popular tuning car you see on display at car shows all around the world. When you think of Toyota drift cars the Supra is probably the first car that comes to mind. It is Toyota’s answer to Nissan’s Skyline GT-R.


Being RWD you can get the older generations, the Mark I and the Mark II that started in the late 70s, but the more popular models are the Mark III and Mark IV. Especially the latest model, the Mark IV with the 3.0 liter twin-turbo 2JZGE engine, is highly popular.


It’s not a cheap car though, but most people know that in compensation it doesn't take a lot of money to upgrade the engine. The engines internals are incredibly strong and can withstand tuning up to 500hp+ without modifications. It's a great car, a great engine and has tons of potential. It’s the best performance car Toyota has to offer.


Unfortunately there are no plans for a new model. There were rumors that a new model was being tested on the Nurburgring in Germany, but it turned out to be the new Lexus LF-A.


Toyota Drift Cars


Soarer (91-00)

Soarer

One more from the selection of Toyota drift cars! The Toyota Soarer is another car from Toyota that is very good for drifting, but you don’t see this car as often as the other popular drift cars.


In the US this car is better known as Lexus’ 1st generation SC series. The SC series was Toyota's answer to Mercedes' and BMW's luxury coupe, offering both comfort and performance. They can be turned into some nice Toyota drift cars, but they are heavy and aren't cheap.


The one you want is most likely the 2.5 GT JZZ30 or 3.0 GT JZZ31, produced between 1991 and 2000. This one has the Twin Turbo 1JZ-GTE inline 6, and got later upgraded to an naturally aspired 2JZ-GE 3.0 liter I6. This one shares its chassis with the Mark IV Supra, making a lot of parts such as brakes, suspension and engine parts interchangeable.




Toyota Drift Cars


MR2 (90-99)

MR2

Although not the smartest choice for drifting, this mid-ship Toyota MR2 is still well suited for drifting. Because the engine is in the back, and thus most of the weight is towards the rear, the car is known to be tail-happy and has a natural tendency to oversteer. It does have quite a learning curve and especially as a beginner it’s better to stick with front-engine to learn the basics first.


Driving a car like this can leave the impression of a nervous steering response. It takes great balance and delicate care of weight distribution in order not to spin-out. If you still plan on getting one the SW20 that is pictured above is the one to buy. If you're buying a midship you also might consider the MR-S, which is the SW20’s successor.



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