When you think of cars that appeared in the famous car manga, I am sure most people would answer the Sprinter Trueno. But how about the others?
The manga that featured ‘touge’ racing
Initial D was the manga that made the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 famous. The manga originally ran on Kodansha’s Weekly Young Magazine from 1995 to 2013.
It features young racers, or “hashiriya”, who want to be the fastest driver on THE streets, and the manga later got an anime series as well as a live-action adaptation.
The story is about the protagonist, Takumi Fujiwara, who drives his father’s Sprinter Trueno, and while helping his family’s tofu shop deliveries in the early morning, he starts to acquire special senses and driving techniques, and later develops his talent as a hashiriya.
And in addition to the AE86, there are other cars driven by rivals in the story.
In this article, we have chosen five iconic cars among the cars that appear in the manga.
Takumi Fujiwara’s Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86
Takumi Fujiwara, a high school student who’s always in a daze, drives an AE86. Judging by the pre-facelift look and the two-tone paint job, the model used is Sprinter Trueno’s top sports model, the GT-APEX. The car itself in the manga is often called “Akina’s Hachiroku” after its home ground, or the “Panda Trueno” because of its coloring.
The car initially had no major modifications but later in the story, the AE86 underwent an engine swap using a Group A spec engine from a Sprinter Trueno AE101 competed in the Japan Touring car Championship (JTC).
So how did the AE86 itself handle in real life? The car had a lightweight body with a high-revving 4A-GE engine and was loved by many hashiriyas. But the fact that the AE86 had the same rigid axle rear suspension as the TE71 predecessor, the car could easily slide.
However, some hashiriyas thought that as an advantage when drifting. Many AE86s were used at drifting events held by car magazines in the ‘80s.
Today, the AE86 is becoming more popular than ever as a classic, but there are very few second-hand cars that still retain proper quality considering the fact that its production ended more than 30 years ago.
Ryosuke Takahashi’s Mazda Savanna RX-7 FC3S
Ryosuke is the leader of his own team, Akagi Red Suns. The team aims to become the fastest in the Kanto region with its talented drivers.
Since he could beat any opponent in local battles, he dared to focus on battling on his opponents’ home ground.
While he was never beaten in any races, as the eldest son of a hospital director, he was attending medical school and decides he will retire from racing once he becomes the fastest in the entire Kanto region.
In order for the Akagi Red Suns to dominate the Kanto region, Ryosuke founds a special team of elite racers from Gunma, ”Project D”, and Takumi joins the team later on.
Ryosuke drives a white Mazda Savanna RX-7 FC3S, or simply the “FC”. The car appearing in the manga is a late “∞ (Infini) III” two-seater model.
The car was modified several times for its side mirrors, wheels, and engine tunings. Even the exhaust tailpipes were changed from right to left. The drawn details for modifications are also an interesting point of the manga.
A white FC3S became popular in real life because of Initial D and is also a car whose second-hand price has risen in recent years. It’s true that some owners even painted their own FC3S in white.
Keisuke Takahashi’s Mazda RX-7 FD3S
Keisuke, the number two of the Akagi Red Suns and Ryosuke’s younger brother, is in charge of racing uphills in the team.
He used to be a “bosozoku”, a Japanese term for biker gang, and after riding next to his brother’s RX-7 and experiencing the downhill run at full throttle, he became fascinated with racing at touges.
Takumi’s first battle was against Keisuke, and since Keisuke lost the battle, he always had a rivalry with Takumi.
Keisuke’s yellow FD3S that appears in the manga is said to be an early Type R model because of its body color. Just like other cars, the RX-7 is depicted with details in the manga.