What we are about to announce has been a work in progress over the last two and a half years, yet it hasn’t technically even started. I’ll explain:
Just as the first Toyota FT 86 renders started popping up, I immediately thought to myself that this is the drift car of the new generation. Built as a light and affordable, medium powered 2+2 seater, it had all the specifics of a true Drivers Car. As further concept cars were released and a final production version came on the horizon, I set my aim on getting our team one of these cars and prepare it for drifting.
Toyota Norway had kindly come on board our rookie Formula Drift “program” with some parts sponsorship in 2010, and without their support I don’t know what would have happened – we might not have been able to pull through. At that time, I carefully proposed an official, European Toyota GT 86 drift program, but there was a lot of uncertainty revolving around the model as no one really knew when, how and even if the car would become a reality. Plus, I know if I was a car importer, the thought of handing over the keys to a kid who aches to go through as many tires as possible and skim every concrete wall he sees would take a little bit of getting used to.
The breakthrough came last November, when I did a Toyota World Convention drift demo in Las Vegas. Lars-Erik Årøy, CEO of Toyota Norway, asked me how a smalltown kid from Ski, Norway, ended up sliding cars around in front of the 800 top executives from one of the worlds largest car manufacturers, accompanied by fighter jets, NASCARs and Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”.
I told him my story, and made sure to also tell him how I thought our future goals could align. Since then on, we have been working hard to make today’s announcement become a reality.
Please say hello to the Speedhunters Toyota 86-X drift car.
We receive the base car on June 5th, and its first drift car incarnation is scheduled to be ready for Gatebil in Norway on the weekend of July 13th-15th. We will adapt most of the running gear out of the Team Need for Speed Japan Auto Supra, including our 700hp 2JZ-GTE, before we drop in a Brian Crower 3.4 stroker later in the year. It will all be packaged in a TRA Kyoto Rocket Bunny widebody kit, along with several major and minor modifications.
I would like to use the opportunity to thank every single one of you who has been, currently is and will remain a part of this journey, for all of your efforts. As we move forward, I want everyone involved to remember what this project really is all about: Fun. As Toyota is bringing joy back into their cars, I am extremely excited to take on this project with all of you.
And yes, there will be Hold Stumt stickers on this one. Plenty!!
Follow the Speedhunters Toyota 86-X build across all Speedhunters outlets, as well as on the following social media channels:
86-X rendering by Michael Creighton.