Old vs new: watch two of Toyota's cult classics face off
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These are all excellent bits of news for the enthusiast consumer, but it's easy to forget that Toyota already has a funky, fun enthusiast-focused platform in showrooms already; the Toyota 86.
Since launching in 2012 (along with its Subaru BRZ cousin) the 86 has become the subject of a cult following. The tuner market has taken it under their wing too, via numerous memorable drift-car builds worldwide — including one with a bleeding Ferrari engine under the bonnet.
One of those builds belongs to Aussie drifter Beau Yates. You might remember him from his fleeting cameo in our D1NZ series last year. A multiple-time drift champ over the ditch, Beau initially became synonymous with competing in a Toyota AE86.
The 'Eight Six' was considered mere transport by many in its early days. But it's since been sucked into the vortex that is drifting, thanks to cheap prices (initially ... ) and hype generated by the likes of anime shows like Initial D. Not to mention, they're a truly wonderful little car with an equally wonderful engine.
Beau's move to the newer 86 platform might've peeved a few purists at the time, but with it has come the ability to dump more power under the bonnet. The new 86 now packs 750hp (560kW), which is more than double the 350hp (260kW) in the old girl.
While the AE86 doesn't necessarily make many appearances anymore, Beau and Toyota Australia got it together with its contemporary successor to lap what appears to be their Altona production plant in a dazzling display of smoke and precision hand-brake-engaged hi-jinx.
The sad part of this otherwise perfectly fun little video is that the Altona production plant (Altona being a suburb in Melbourne) closed down last year. It was one of the last to survive the culling of car production in Australia; cranking out Camrys and Aurions right up to the very end.
When it closed last October, approximately 2500 workers lost their jobs. For those people, seeing the halls in which they once resided getting torn up by some of Toyota's finest machinery could be both bitter and sweet.