Driving Cape Town’s Toyota AE86 Trueno

Meet Sergio Bergstedt and his very exclusive ride. This is it, an AE86 Trueno Coupe, the 4AGE rear drive Corolla hatchback that inspired the Initial D series and was the muse of Keiichi Tsuchiya, the other inspiration for Initial D. What we lose in Mt Fuji we gain with Table Mountain. Venture beyond the cable way and you’ll find a road that tries hard to mimic Akina. So we did. But before you enjoy the eye candy let me tell you why this isn’t just special, but also special to me.

“I’ve wanted an AE86 since the late 90s, inspired by Best Motoring’s Keiichi Tsuchiya, and the anime he himself inspired, Initial D.”

To say I was obsessed would be an understatement. I watched every video and saved every photo of an AE86 that could be found on the internet at the time. All of them. All. In fact the next few years of my life were directly affected by it.

MEETING YOUR HERO

I never got to it in the video but the AE86 didn’t disappoint. To fairly evaluate it, you need to dial back thirty years or so to appreciate the 4AGE motor for what it was, razor sharp and eager, happiest when climbing up the rev range till it kisses the red, responding favourably to quick shifts and rewarding a driver who likes to lean on the throttle. Handling is direct and cornering is flat if somewhat unforgiving in the mildly tuned state of Sergio’s AE86, especially on a bumpy (but Nippon like in appearance) tarmac like Table Mountain road. In short I loved it, and driving it back to back with my Supra even showed up some similarities, endearing me further to my own car instead of making me hate myself for ever buying it. But it did leave me speechless and somewhat emotional. I’m a softy like that.

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