Toyota appealed to the hearts of hardcore 86 “Hachiroku” fans when they released their latest ad campaign featuring no other than the Drift King himself, Keiichi Tsuchiya challenging our boy Takumi Fujiwara and his iconic AE86 Trueno.
The video starts with Tsuchiya-san igniting the new Gazoo Racing 86 as he proceeds to race with the infamous tofu delivery AE86 of Mount Akina.
The two legends battle it out in a classic midnight touge run as Tsuchiya-san closely catches up to Takumi, before both cars slide in an epic twin drift.
Today I feel extremely happy.
Initial D has been a major part of my personal life, as it inspired me to pursue a career in the automotive industry. Countless hours of daydreaming about cars and fantasies of becoming a racer somehow led me to this. In a way, Initial D gave me a sense of purpose as young kid then.
Now as an adult, seeing Toyota take the initiative to collaborate with Initial D mangaka Shuichi Shigeno and Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya, in promoting the new GR86, is a real pleasure in my heart. I never thought such a day would come that all three would work together and make something great for the fans. It’s about seeing your childhood heroes finally get acknowledged for their contributions.
As of writing, I realized this was something Nissan missed when they unveiled the new Z. The iconic Wangan Devil Z needs its due recognition. For some reason, Nissan's marketing now feels incomplete. I guess seeing what Toyota did, Nissan may have to take down notes. Or maybe I’m asking for too much? The company after all, is set to compete in the next Japan Super GT with the new Z.
I guess deep down, I’m still a fan boy.
Article by: PAULO CUENTO
January 08, 2022