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The carmaker’s AE86-style GT86 has racers and anime fans alike wishing for the keys.

When he started drawing Initial D, manga artist Shiuchi Shigeno didn’t set out to create one of the most influential pieces of sports car marketing ever, but that’s exactly what his underground racing comic became. Even with an extensive cast of charismatic racers, the first thing that anyone pictures when they think of Initial D is the hero’s car, an unassuming Toyota Sprinter Trueno, better known by its chassis code: AE86.

Sure, the AE86 had a cult following in Japan before Initial D began serialization in 1995, but since it’d been off the market for eight years by then, Shigeno’s manga was the initial point of contact with the car for many younger readers, and the first realization for many outside of Japan that with the right packaging and tuning, even a member of the Corolla family (which the AE86 is) could be cool.

Now, Toyota U.K. is returning the salute with an official Initial D concept car backed up by an awesome manga-style promotional campaign.

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The Japanese carmaker’s British branch commissioned U.K. artist Sonia Leong to create monochrome backgrounds and character artwork evocative of Shigeno’s, then added photographs of the GT86 Initial D concept car, based on the AE86’s spiritual successor, Toyota’s GT86 (also known as the Scion/Toyota FR-S in certain markets).

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The most eye-catching modifications are, of course, the “panda” paint scheme, one of a number of two-tone color combinations Toyota offered during the AE86’s 1983-1987 production run, and the Fujiwara Tofu Shop stickers along the doors, mirroring those on Initial D protagonist Takumi Fujiwara’s ride. A carbon fiber hood matches the one Takumi’s car is fitted with in later arcs of the anime/manga, while the yellow driving lights, blacked-out section between the concept car’s taillights, and rear lip spoiler delete are additional throwbacks to the original AE86.

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▼ The concept also gets racy carbon fiber door handles and side mirrors, upscale ringers for the real AE86’s more pedestrian plastic parts.

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As for performance parts, the car is fitted with a Fujitsubo exhaust, TRD suspension, and custom RS Watanabe wheels.

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▼ Proof that Toyota U.K.’s Initial D car exists in the real world

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Unfortunately, this special GT86 is only a one-off show car, so you won’t find any of its cool aesthetic accouterments for sale at Toyota’s dealerships. Still, the car will be making the British auto show rounds this summer, bringing together gearheads and anime otaku, just like its source material did.

Related: Sonia Leong website
Source: Toyota U.K. (h/t Jalopnik)
Images: Toyota U.K.

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s looking forward to some mountain pass driving this summer, possibly with his GT86-owning buddy.