NZ Performance Car - - News - WORDS: MAR­CUS GIB­SON PHO­TOS: ROD DUNN

When the Toy­ota 86 first landed in the mar­ket here, we weren’t the only ones hyped to see if it could fill the boots of its iconic name­sake, the AE86. The ’80s sports coupe icon is a tough act to fol­low, and not be­cause it’s over com­pli­cated, so­phis­ti­cated, or ground break­ing, but be­cause it is such a bal­anced chas­sis, with just the right amount of power to make for one hell of a driv­ing ma­chine for those with the balls and skills to drive it on the limit. So, when Toy­ota launched its suc­ces­sor, promis­ing that the Toy­ota 86 “does away with un­us­able horse­power [and] need­less elec­tronic in­ter­faces, and re­places them with a sports car de­signed to put the driver back in con­trol”, our hopes were high for a true driver’s car — one that bucked trends for ma­chines half con­trolled by a clever ECU and with no real soul.

Toy­ota cer­tainly de­liv­ered, but, like the old chas­sis, the stock power plant in the 86 is some­what lack­ing in the ‘go’ depart­ment, and the real se­cret to a great-driv­ing 86, new or old, comes through mod­i­fi­ca­tions. So, when Mike Saegers, a reg­u­lar mem­ber’s day at­tendee at High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park, landed his own GT86, it wasn’t long be­fore he, too, wanted to spice things up un­der the bon­net. This is where Si­mon Urquhart of Sur­fab comes into the pic­ture, hav­ing worked on Mike’s pre­vi­ous Beams-pow­ered AE86, which we fea­tured back in NZPC Is­sue No. 249. In the quest for the few ex­tra crea­ture com­forts that you just don’t get in a car from the ’80s, Mike de­cided to sell the old AE86 to Si­mon and fo­cus on the new 86.

Hav­ing been in Mike’s pos­ses­sion for some time, the chas­sis is on its fourth power-plant com­bi­na­tion. The first was the pop­u­lar

su­per­charger-kit route for the fac­tory 4U-GSE boxer. Si­mon tells us, “It went OK, but Mike soon de­cided that it was pretty av­er­age, so that came off, and it went back to stan­dard, and then we de­cided to go tur­bocharged. We got about three-quar­ters of the way through the build, be­fore swap­ping the heart was deemed the eas­ier way to get the per­for­mance Mike wanted but with­out the com­plex­ity.”

A VVTi 1UZ-FE V8 in com­plete stock trim was soon low­ered into the bay, backed by an R154, Exedy twin plate, and TRD lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial (LSD). In fac­tory form, the 4000cc 10.0:1-com­pres­sion eight-banger was a great up­grade, with plenty of torque to spin the wheels and power the nim­ble chas­sis out of cor­ners. This form kept Mike ful­filled un­til he stum­bled on the Hart­ley Mo­tor­sport race ver­sion of the 1U first de­vel­oped for su­per stock rac­ing. It wasn’t long till an order was placed, and, soon after, one of these en­gines was sit­ting pa­tiently on the floor of the shed. Now, de­tails of ex­actly what goes on in­side one of these speed­way fire-breathers are kept close to Hart­ley’s chest, but what we do know is that the heads are heav­ily CNC ported, with a new valve train, in­clud­ing a set of whop­ping lift valves, which give the 86 one of the mean­est idles you’ll ever hear. Com­pres­sion has been bumped a half point and the fac­tory rods ditched for forged units. They also come with a Barnes

Don’t let the LS-style in­take fool you; this is no GM eight­banger — it’s a dry-sumped Hart­ley en­gines–built 1UZ-FE VVTi race en­gine, which now revs to 8000rpm and has one se­ri­ously an­gry ban­shee idle. Mak­ing 500hp (373kW) on the en­gine dyno, it is sadly yet to hit the rollers in its cur­rent form

three-stage dry-sump pump hang­ing off the side.

Un­like in its speed­way coun­ter­parts, a Hol­ley four-bar­rel carb was never go­ing to cut it for an in­take. In­stead, Si­mon teamed up with Rob­bie Whitely to build a new in­take in order to re­tain the 86’s fly-by-wire throt­tle. The ta­pered lower in­take run­ners were first de­signed in CAD then 3D printed be­fore be­ing cast in al­loy. The lower half of the plenum was fab­ri­cated from sheet metal, while the top piece is ac­tu­ally an off-the-shelf Hol­ley item that once be­longed on an LS, the same model that also gave up its elec­tronic throt­tle body and X-Air in­take sys­tem. While this combo is yet to hit the dyno, on pa­per, the in­take flows more than the Hol­ley carb, so they’re ex­pect­ing good re­sults. On Hart­ley’s en­gine dyno, it spun 500hp (373kW) with a carb, so, with an 8000rpm limit, num­bers around 336kW at the wheels should not be out of the ques­tion.

This time around, the R154 re­mained, but the clutch was up­graded to a Til­ton twin plate, the LSD to a Cusco 1.5way unit, and a pair of Drive­shaft Shop 1000hp axles in­stalled. A sim­ple six­point roll cage was fit­ted, along with a Racetech seat for safety, but that’s where the chop­ping stopped. The fac­tory dash and most of the in­te­rior re­main, and, thanks to the MoTeC M150 plug-and­play ECU with a mod­i­fied en­gine loom to suit the v8, ev­ery­thing works as it should; even the stereo, if Mike ever grows tired of that howl­ing V8. It’s a race car in street car cloth­ing, and, while the ex­te­rior is sub­tle, un­der­neath is a com­plex ar­ray of com­po­nen­try from MCA, Parts Shop Max, Race Fab, and SPL Parts, en­sur­ing that it would han­dle track day rigours, while the brak­ing pack­age from End­less sees monobloc four-pis­ton calipers and two-piece ro­tors stuffed into the 17-inch Wed­sS­port wheels and Yoko­hama semi-slicks.

It’s a com­bi­na­tion fit for the track and would cope with

With MCA reds, a stash of af­ter­mar­ket arms, and Parts Shop Max drop knuck­les, the 86 pro­duces a great amount of grip. A set of The Drive­shaft Shop axles also adds much needed re­li­a­bil­ity

2013 TOY­OTA 86

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