Word: The next story was excerpted from the October 2021 situation of Collectible Car journal.
Maybe one of the surprising automotive icons of the Eighties is Toyota’s humble Hachi-Roku, Japanese for “8-6.” This nickname refers to Toyota’s AE86 mannequin code for the highest 1600 GT APEX efficiency model of the Japanese-market 1983-1987 Corolla Levin and intently associated Sprinter Trueno. (The latter is a pop-culture star for its central position within the Japanese street-racing manga Preliminary D). Lesser identified is the pair’s American-market cousin, the 1985-87 Toyota Corolla GT-S. It’s the AE86 we need to wring out for Low cost Wheels.
Toyota’s fifth-generation Corolla break up into two distinct branches. The four-door fashions switched to a front-drive structure, however the sportier two-door notchback and hatchback retained a front-engine, rear-drive structure. When U.S. gross sales began for 1984, the two-door Corollas wore styling roughly equal to the home-market Sprinter Trueno with its pop-up headlamps. The most well liked variations had been the SR5s working an 87-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
The now-legendary AE86 landed in America because the ’85 Corolla GT-S. Each two-door our bodies had been out there and in comparison with the SR5 the spicier GT-S acquired a entrance air dam and bodyside decals. The hatchback additionally added a rear spoiler. Curb weight was 2450 kilos, and hatchback pricing began at round $9915.
The GT-S shared the rev-happy 4A-GE engine with Toyota’s modern MR2. It was a 1.6-liter dohc 16-valve 4 that ran an aluminum cylinder head with twin belt-driven camshafts and centrally mounted spark plugs, together with Bosch L-Jetronic gasoline injection. The engine was rated at 112 horsepower and 97 pound-feet of torque, and it mated to a five-speed handbook transmission.
Like many early 16-valve engines, the 4A-GE made its energy at excessive rpm. Right here horsepower peaked at 6600 rpm and the redline was a sky-high 7500 revs. In its Might 1985 situation, Scorching Rod reported the engine actually didn’t begin coming alive till 4000 rpm, and was buzzing alongside at 4500 at 70 mph in fifth gear. Their backside line, “If this mania appears like it could make you slightly loopy in regular site visitors, you’re proper.” Within the September 1984 Automotive and Driver, Csaba Csere wrote, “At decrease engine speeds, the GT-S doesn’t appear robust in any respect. Even at full chat, it doesn’t really feel like a pocket rocket—although a 9.5-second 0-to-60 time and a 113-mph prime pace are hardly shabby.”
GT-S’s suspension used MacPherson struts up entrance. Out again, the stay rear axle was positioned with higher and decrease management arms. Brakes had been upgraded to four-wheel discs, and there was a limited-slip differential. Alloy wheels wore 185/60HR-14 Bridgestone Potenza rubber. This set-up doesn’t sound unique, however within the corners all of it labored very nicely. Automotive and Driver known as GT-S a “great-handling automotive” with “very good stability.”
Within the February 1985 situation of Street & Monitor, the GT-S received a six-car hot-hatch comparability in opposition to (in ending order) the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo, Honda Civic S, Dodge Omni GLH, and Renault Encore GS. R&T favored the Toyota’s rear-drive dynamics and driver’s seat, however griped in regards to the Corolla’s extensively spaced gearing, particularly on the monitor.
- Properly-balanced chassis is confidence inspiring and supplies glorious dealing with.
- Eighties Toyota styling has aged nicely, and we particularly just like the hatchback’s appears.
- The engine’s energy band and the low gearing conspire in opposition to relaxed cruising.
- Racy hatchback roofline and rear-drive structure compromised rear-seat and cargo house.
This Corolla GT-S is a forgiving driver’s automotive, and for sure lovers there are few issues extra rewarding than driving a sluggish automotive quick.
Toyota Corolla GT-S Gallery
Click on under for enlarged photographs.