NZ Performance Car: Hi, Shaun. You’ve had a few AE86s in the past, including the original ‘TUFF 86’ — why the new shape, and is this an evolution of the original?
Shaun: Hey, NZPC. I wasn’t a fan of the new shape when they came out, to be honest, but they have grown on me over time, and four AE86s is enough (for now, anyway). I guess this is an evolution of the original, albeit just a tame version — apart from the lack of horsepower, it’s at least as fun to drive as the original, too.
The focus seems to be heavily on suspension and handling with this one — does the factory power (with a few treats) do enough for you?
For me, suspension upgrades are a must on any car, and the guard gap wasn’t doing it any favours. The aim was to have a comfortable daily that can be easily adjusted for track days, with no guard gap. The power isn’t great, but it’s enough to still have plenty of fun [with]. The minor tweaks have helped it to rev a bit more freely and sound a heap better. I’m a converted fan of the boxer, as I used to despise them, but, after driving this daily for a year, they’re not too bad. In saying all that, if it blew it up, I’d happily put a 3UZ in there instead!
With it being a brand new car, will it be relegated to spirited weekend driving, or will it see some track time?
Definitely not — it gets driven ‘spiritedly’ every single time I hop in; that’s what they’re built for. I’ve done one track day in it, at Taupo, and that was pretty fun. I acquired a set of 17-inch Regamasters and had old semis on the front, with Hifly [tyres] on the back — that made it quite entertaining. I’ve done the much-needed oiling modifications now, so will be getting it to Hampton Downs with a fresh set of semis real soon.
Will this build go as far as the previous cars in terms of modifying?
No, I won’t be heading down that path again. I’ve gotten way too old for all that, hence the more subtle appearance. This is more of a driver’s car to me, but, we always want nicer wheels, lower suspension, etc., so who knows? I enjoy no guard rub, clean lines, and more-refined driving — damn, I am old!
And, finally, do you miss the 4A-GE life?
Yes and no. This dirty boxer behaves like one anyway — the tiny bit of power it makes only starts around 5000rpm and needs to be whooped. I’ve owned a dozen different 4A-GE-powered cars, of all types, so that will do … but never say never, huh.
Too right — you never know when the right deal will arise. Thanks, Shaun.
2017 Toyota 86 (GT86)
Engine: Toyota 4U-GSE, 1998cc, four-cylinder; Xforce unequal-length headers, Go Fast Bits pulley kit, Mishimoto oil-cooler kit, K&N Typhoon intake, Cusco sump baffle plate, Cusco catch-can, TRD engine mounts
Drivetrain: Six-speed manual, factory limited-slip diff (LSD), Cusco diff-mount collar kit, Cusco gearbox mount kit, Cusco brake-cylinder stopper, Disc Brakes Australia (DBA) T3 slotted rotors, Znoelli pads
Interior: Cusco carbon gear-shift surround
Exterior: Cusco carbon mirrors, TRD rear wing, TRD louvres, TRD door stabilizers
Wheels/Tyres: (F) 18×8.5-inch (+30) Work Kiwami, 225/40R18 Toyo T1R; (R) 18×9.5-inch (+30) Work Kiwami, 235/40R18 Toyo T1R
Suspension: BC Gold coilovers, Cusco front strut brace, Cusco rear strut brace, Cusco C-pillar brace, Cusco rear lower-control arms, Hardrace extra-lock arms, Hardrace rear toe arms
Name: Shaun Borland // Age: “Old c**t”
Location: North Shore, Auckland // Occupation: Label printer
This article originally appeared in NZ Performance Car issue No. 258 — you can get your hands on a copy by clicking the cover below: