What started out as a visit to the Toyota History Garage had me making a bee-line to the neighboring Toyota Mega Web display when I saw some race-prepped 86’s making their rounds. Something was going on for sure, and with camera on hand it was the perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss was about.
What I found there was an event that we were lucky to chance upon and cover for everyone! It turns out I stumbled upon an event held by Toyota called the 86, BRZ, and New Copen World, an event wherein their current flagship sports coupe is showcased in various states of race prep and demonstrated in front of the crowds.
In cooperation with Option Magazine – yes, those guys behind Best Motoring – they’ve also gathered a host of 86es and BRZs from some of the renowned aftermarket brands in the market to display their product offerings for the car that single-handedly brought the Japanese aftermarket back to life.
Before heading out to see the racecars, I decided to stick around the Option area to see what the Japanese have been tweaking in their 86es. First up is one of the first BRZ’s to sport a TRA Kyoto Rocket Bunny kit, the BEE*R BRZ. BEE*R is a shop that’s known for their active participation in the D1GP with their rear-wheel drive Nissan Skylines, and their competition cars sport the same signature shade of yellow this BRZ is also coated in. The color of this car then, while not only unique and eye-catching, looks to represent BEE*R to their market.
The Rocket Bunny kit looks to make the girth of the 86 much wider, thus allowing more aggressive wheel sizes to be fitted. These Work CR Ultimate ‘Kiwamis’ appear to be the right set for the job, with its brushed gunmetal finish bringing a good contrast to the loud paint scheme.
You might’ve noticed that I’ve referred to this as a BRZ when in fact it has an 86 face. Prior to the release of the V2 kit of Rocket Bunny, the first kit only actually fit on 86es as the shape of the BRZ’s bumper was different. To get around that little problem, the whole front was converted to an 86 to meet the fenders and lines. Want proof it was once a BRZ? Check the fender garnishes on the sides!
Up next, we’ve got Trial with their take on an aggressive profile for the 86. While the wing looks to have a rather different shape, the rear bumper looks rather sharp with the rear faux ducting paired with the diffuser underneath the exhaust tips.
This pink example from R Magic is actually my personal pick among all the 86 kits present during the day! R Magic is more known for their work on Mazda RX-7s and rotary engines than for anything else, but it appears they’ve hopped on the Toyobaru bandwagon as well.
What sold me on this kit was this front fascia that changes the look of the 86 altogether. I think they’ve drawn inspiration for this kit from their rotary roots, as it somewhat resembles the pre-facelift bumper of the Mazda RX-8! A cue from Mazda’s design is never a bad thing after all. I wonder if they’ll eventually get to shoving a rotary engine in there, I mean there have been much wilder swaps done already (Read: Weapons Grade Performance BRZ) so it’s only a matter of time someone does a rotary too!
Going into the extreme side of the aesthetic spectrum, this Blitz 86 looks like it means business. With the wide front duct being all covered with a giant intercooler hinting at some forced induction installed to give more if not double the power of rolling stock 86es.
The widebody we see here is an original Blitz item. The fenders with rear air ducting probably there to aid in routing smoke coming out of the rear tires as it goes sideways. This kit looks mean enough to be attached to their Dp1GP competitor anyway!
Blitz even had a booth to display all their latest parts and offerings to the end users. From coils, to gauge pods, and coolers, it appears they’ve got plenty of bases covered when it comes to offering that extra edge in performance!
Chrome too flashy for you? How about this other big winged, time-attack oriented GReddy FR-S? This kit, while utilizing Rocket Bunny skirts, wing, and fenders appears to have a totally revised front splitter that serves to provide extra downforce for time attack runs.
It’s quirky how the Japanese bring in left hand drive cars just to have that extra bit of exclusivity in what essentially is the same car as something they can get fresh off the factory in their homeland!
Even the rear diffuser became a big chunk of carbon fins that allow for air to escape cleanly and keep the car planted to the ground!
Does the name ring any bells? If you’re one to be updated with Time Attack events (Read: Battle Evome, Super Lap Battle, World Time Attack) then Esprit should be a name that will come to mind as one of the top players in the sport.
Esprit has been known in time attack circles for their insane widebody Honda NSX time attack car, yet somehow this 86 is fairly sedate compared to that. You’d likely even assume that this is still somewhat mild compared to the other 86es on display, but then you take a closer look…
…and see that the brakes from a Porsche (993 if I’m not mistaken) have been adapted to fit! A single exit exhaust at the back has those distinguishable ‘lobster welds’ that can only mean that the whole system is made out of titanium. If these little details are anything to go by, then the Esprit 86 should also be something to watch out for in time attack as well!
While circuit oriented cars were abound during the event, Tein brought something different to the table. This BRZ sports some pretty lifted suspension and other evident parts that you can only associate with one sport: Rally. Talk about going against the hype, you’d probably want all that wheel gap if you’re plowing through a dirt road and suddenly find yourself mid-air!
It’s good to see that manufacturers like Tein put their knowledge of suspension building in various applications. From street-spec coilovers to full on Rally suspension it appears they’ve got all the bases covered for the discerning client with deep pockets!
Before I headed out to see the live demos, I came across this peculiar pair cordoned off in the middle of the 86 displays. As you’ve read from the title, this event also celebrates the debut of the new Daihatsu Copen, a compact kei-car roadster sold only in Japan. These two however serve as an example of how far Japanese tuners will go to alter the shape of the outgoing Copen!
This white example is a creation by Ducks Garden, and it looks to be a rather clean conversion of the Copen’s bodylines into a Porsche 356!
Yes, that go-kart like thing was once a full-bodied car. This is another one of those extreme design exercises to come out of NATS, or the Nihon Auto Technical School. I’d sure like a go in that though, it would make for a fun autocross car I bet!
Eventually I made it outside and found a spot amongst the crowds to get a good view of what’s going on. Throughout the day exhibitions were put on showcasing some of the 86 racing models from Gazoo Racing as well as from some Super Taikyu endurance teams.
Lucky winners of a raffle held a few days before got a chance to ride with the drivers as they made a fast lap around the Toyota Mega Web!
For the most part, this Hokkaido Rally Gazoo 86 was out doing rounds for the crowd…
…Albeit literally! Donuts were abound during the whole show, with two cones laid out in front of the main viewing area there was plenty of tire smoke to be had!
And when the cones didn’t prove enough to wow the crowds, this lady stepped in to act as a moving pylon! That surely got enough reactions already, right?
If it didn’t, then the driver stepping out to do some rodeo donuts surely did!
Soon enough the racecars were brought in for a quick break and these new Daihatsu Copens were laid out on display. At this point I spotted another group of tuned 86es hiding beside of the viewing area and decided to have a peek.
That clean pearly orange hue with a subtle wraparound kit only points to one brand. It appears Zele Performance have also given their 86 the same treatment as their GT-R, with a carbon fiber chin and fender arch moles to give a simple accent to the stock lines.
While I couldn’t tell which shop brought this 86 in, it had ‘Option’ plates attached to it later on in the day, perhaps it’s owned by one of the staff? I wouldn’t be surprised if it were, as it already has a fresh set of Volk Rays ZE40’s which have just only recently been released to the public!
The 86 just doesn’t run out of big names that breathe upon it! This Powerhouse Amuse 86 sitting meekly at the far end of the display looks to be a customer car more than a shop car since it still looks fairly stock aside from a couple of choice parts.
With its body remaining mostly stock, a set of Volk Racing TE37 RTs give a loud contrast to the white paint, with an R1 Titan titanium exhaust sitting pretty behind the car to remind us that this car is indeed from Amuse!
Well, for something that wasn’t on schedule for my trip to Toyota Mega Web this event was quite a fancy surprise! Good thing too, as we all got a closer look at the latest bits and pieces that the Japanese have been working on with Toyota’s much loved sports car. And after all that to see, we all have to have a treat! Here, have a cookie!