GTV 20Valve AE86 Trueno Sprinter

A hybrid 1984 Australian Sprinter,
spoiler kitted with Trueno front panels &
1997 Black Top 20Valve Twin-Cam 1.6 4AGE vvti

[Trueno] : Spanish for Thunder!!

"What is it??"

;) That is what people say when they see this car.
The Toyota Sprinter (or AE86 as known by its' model code) is a favorite of all Toyota enthusiasts; attractive for its' rear-wheel drive orientation, "plug-in" 4AGE bits and a great timeless shape. Known for its' "Drifting" sport history in Japan, still respected for being on of the best balanced handling cars ever made. Even though sold here in Australia from 1983 - 1986, Japanese only stopped racing them at Suzuka raceway in 1996 superceding with AE101's.

My love of this car comes from its' overall performance value. I believe performance is not in how fast a vehicle can go 0 to 100, it is an overall package. I DRIVE this car VERY HARD everyday! If it was a gas-guzzling rotary or V8, where is the value of that? This car for me has to be strong to handle constant racing forces and not cost me a fortune in maintenance or breakage's and be economical AND most important.. PERFORMANCE! Hold it's own in the pack zero to 100 light jumpers, cruise smooth at high speeds and the most fun ;) Dig in tight in breaking and corner and accelerate like it is on tram rails. ;)

I have never been ashamed by a car getting ahead on the straight.. ;) try keeping up through the corners... I have had Supras and BMWs' try and end up the guard rail or have to use both lanes to keep pace... that for me is performance and why as the years go by this car still keeps a smile on my face. Weekend mountain drives are where this car is most pleasurable.

"So what makes it handle?"

The sprinters' balanced body for a start, lower the center of gravity by 2+ inches, increase the spring rate, racing shocks, a good footing on the road with the 205/50's and the GTV fast steering rack. Complement with the breaking package and LSD rear-end and you have a car that can leave the brakes to just prior to the apex and then tramp the "go" pedal on the approach and on the outside, even when the rear shoots out beside you in a drift, it does not get "bogged" in wheel-spin or slide, it accelerates out progressively giving you control to keep the line; pulse the pedal and turn the wheel for predictable over and under steer.

"What is a 4A-GE?"

Toyota has supported the 4A series engine well, keeping many components interchangeable and TRD (Toyota Racing Developments) and TOMS (Toyota Motor Sports) building among many other manufacturers an endless number of add-ons and "go-fast" bits for the all manner or race and rally markets but what might have really pushed the envelope on the 4AGE's development was its' adoption for Formula Atlantic racing.

To think this car arrived to Australia with the 4A-C (carby) boring engine, replaced with the 1988 model RWD 100Kw twin-cam engine and now with a 1997 20Valve engine all coupled up to the same gear-box, mounts and peripheral parts.. that is a long history of technology.

As a 1.6 liter naturally aspirated engine.. it lacks torque but has a good packet of horse power. The 20Valve Black-Top is factory rated at 134Kw, I am not sure what it is putting out with the after-market EMS computer and other bits and pieces. But what I particularly like is the motorbike redline ;) not peaky like the 100Kw was which would SCREAM!!! At 6000rpm and catapult toward the redline (which I loved); but the 20Valve is FLAT all the way through so is unusual.. but just keeps revving! About 9200rpm is the limit without diminishing returns.

The flat and high redline is great for drifting where you need predicable handling and engine performance. If I wanted torque, the 4A-GE Supercharger is a low-cost easy addition to the 20Valve; just decompress its' 11 to 1 compression ratio by adding a copper gasket and engage on the EMS computer and we have TORQUE! But at a cost of fuel economy and lowering the red-line.. so there is the value performance judgement again.

I was lucky in finding this car owned by a previous enthusiast who was in the Jap Import business and had access to all the racing bits from the Suzuka racing teams - so his Australian sprinter had all the GTV bits and the Sparco wheels adapted to fit etc. He also was able to hand pick a Black-top 20Value with on 9000Kms on the clock direct from Japan for me... it took some time for me to eventually get it into the car but sourcing such a "new" engine was a great benefit.. so thanks here goes to Michael! Cheers mate!

BODY: Toyota Australia Import.
Japanese Trueno front panels with pop-up headlights
SSR Front spoiler, soft rear spoiler.
ENGINE: was: 4A-GE 100kw ('88)- standard internals. ERG Coil, leads, spark boost etc.

Now: Quad throttle induction 4A-GE 20 Valve Black-Top (1997) vvti converted to Rear-Wheel Drive
COMPUTER: EMS with Hand Controller.
GEARBOX: Sprinter standard T5 box
CLUTCH: 20 Value Heavy Duty
EXHALST: Stainless 2.25" system Jasma Extractors.
Hiflow cat, hot dog and muffler setup.
AIR INTAKE: HKS Filter (Opt: APEX Racing Filter)
SUSPENSION: Lowered 2+" King Springs with KYB & TRD Shocks
front strut tower brace
STEERING: GTV Fast rack Power Steering
WHEELS: 15" Sparco Racing two piece, white center, anodized chrome dish
TYRES: Yokahama 539's 205/15/50
BRAKES: GTV Ventilated 4 wheel disc
Modified lever for easy "hand brake" turns. ;)
INSTRUMENTS: TOMS Racing gauge panel:
  • 240Kph Speedo
  • 10,000 Rpm Tacho

    EMS Digital Handset: All guages and tuning here
  • WHEEL: Wooden Momo
    SEATS: Recaro front / Deep GTV rear.
    MISC INT: Razo gear knob,
    AIR CON: Climate Control Air-conditioning
    SOUND: Panasonic Double DIN Stereo with EQ & Spectrum Analyzer, 12 Stacker
    SPEAKERS: Kenwood 6x9s / splits up front

    Meet the pack

    Here is a meet at Suzuka or similar track in Japan.

    The AE86 has many variations:

  • Sprinter
  • Levin
  • Trueno
  • 2 Door
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