S2000-Powered Toyota AE86 is the Reliable Drifter of Our Dreams
In this episode of The Smoking Tire, Matt Farah takes a Toyota AE86 with a Honda S2000 engine and gearbox swap out on the track.
The AE86 is a curious beast. People insist on using the Toyota chassis code as identification because telling people you drive a Toyota Corolla just doesn’t sound cool. Even if it is a rear-wheel drive, 2000-lb Corolla. In reality, car culture outside of Japan would probably have forgotten about the AE86 by now if it wasn’t for Initial D. Even in its JDM form it only made 128 horsepower, but the affordable and agile chassis is where Japanese drifters fell in love with it. Because of that, the idea of putting a more modern, high-revving, VTEC engine in an AE86 makes sense.
And man, does it sound good in this one. The hilariously nicknamed Juan Jovi has built an all-out drift machine, and as a result of using a custom 3-inch exhaust system and a Varex electric cutout muffler, the S2000 engine positively sings to the driver.
He didn’t stop at just the S2000 F20 and gearbox though. The comprehensive build list features parts from specialist companies as well as parts pieced together from other car models. It has a Mishimoto radiator from a 2005 Civic Si, Nissan 240sx rear brakes, A MK2 Toyota Supra rear diff, and most importantly, a filler neck from a Toyota Yaris.
The end result is quite spectacular. After Farah gets the compulsory Initial D reference out of the way, he starts to get to grips with the car. He may have some skills but Farah doesn’t pretend to be the greatest of drifters, however he does take it by the throat to give us a window into what the S2000/AE86 Frankencar car can do. It also makes you wonder what other under-powered classics would suit an F20 swap.