Daijiro Yoshihara - or Dai as he is known - grew up in Tokyo enthralled with the burgeoning sport and cultural phenomenon known as drifting. In these early days, Dai worked odd jobs, went to school, and raced his Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno in and around local mountain passes and down boulevards. After coming to the U.S. to pursue his passion, Formula Drifting, he unfortunately had to leave his trusty AE86 behind.
Now, with his career firmly established, looking to break into new opportunities, and never forgetting the AE86 that started it all, he set out to build an even better version. So he picked up a car - not much to look at first but it gets better, trust me! - and commissioned Eimer Engineering of Anaheim, California to begin the build.
While many think of the old AE86 as a relic, it possesses a lot of characteristics that make it both effective as a drifter and a great foundation for a wild mod. With a simple, lightweight, rear wheel drive platform, it's perfect for quickly cutting precision turns. And, the amount of aftermarket options is literally endless. In this respect, it's something like the Chevy LS of Japanese cars.
Eimer Engineering started by stripping the body down to bare metal and fabricating a race prepared chassis. It was then built up with a roll cage, Pandem Widebody Kit by TRA-KYOTO, Vision Autoworks headlights, and EVS carbon-fiber side-view mirrors. 15 inch BBS wheels complete the look. On the inside, Evasive Motorsports installed a custom interior with Sparco bucket seats, steering wheel, harnesses, and safety equipment.
The motor however is not what you'd ordinarily expect to see under the hood of an old school Toyota. Dai went with a turbocharged Honda Type-R K20C1 with Spoon valve covers and GReddy intercooler. Likewise, the transmission is a Honda 6-speed unit from an S2000 with a McLeod racing clutch. A Toyota MA46/47 7.5 inch rearend is out back to help this baby get sideways.
In the suspension department, Eimer Engineering installed a KW Suspension 3-way coliover set-up, StopTech Big Brake kit, and a Radium Engineering Fuel Cell. The finished product looks great with enough power to slay any canyon road with panache. Dai seems like a nice cat too. Check out the interview below with the Hoonigan crew over suds. Buckle up.