Welcome to My Wheels, Onray. That’s a nice Toyota 86 you’ve got there. These cars were built from factory to be customised and modded by enthusiasts. What have you done to yours?

The list is pretty extensive; I have upgraded the air intake, exhaust, suspension, gearing, braking and have had it tuned. I recently added a functional front splitter and rear diffuser for the upcoming track days. Most of the major modifications were done by Lap57, its experience in racing in the 24 hour endurance races is definitely a plus point when you are trying to improve the car for the track. The tuning and getting those parts to work together was done by the guys at Kanzen Motorsports who are rather good at extracting potential from the naturally aspirated FA20.

Speaking of which, you’d like to get more out of it, right?

I would love to supercharge the FA20. I feel it would perfectly complement the current mods I have done. I am addicted to taking the car out on track so other mods such as sway bars and bushings will follow soon. The boxer engine is a proven platform. There is solid evidence of built FA20 engines pushing past 400 whp once they have been upgraded with a turbo. As for my engine, it is still a work in progress and as of now I have reached about 203 whp. Personally, I am not one to chase high power numbers on the dyno as I would rather my car be controllable while on track and reliable as a daily use vehicle.

What do you like best about yours?

That has to be the handling. Of course after I upgraded the suspension to coilovers that characteristic was greatly enhanced. This was a key modification that was needed to improve the car’s performance at track days and auto cross events. Other than performance, one aesthetic part of my car that I love is that I managed to get my dashboard autographed by Ken Block when he visited Dubai last year.

Make sure the car wash guys don’t rub that off! You are a member of a few clubs aren’t you?

Yes, most notably the 86 Club UAE, which is pretty much a community so to speak. It holds social events and sometimes other impromptu gatherings. I also attend autocross and track day events held by www.evolve.ae. Finally, on occasion I attend events held by Drift Republic whenever the need to go sideways takes over. This is my daily driver, so I pretty much get to enjoy it on the daily commute.

I bet your car sure has the ability to plant a great big smile on your face, doesn’t it…

You can say that again. I am very proud to own this car. Every decision with regard to the changes I have made have been after a lot of research into the parts that have gone into it and the way they will overall contribute and work together to achieve a better lap time.

Further to this, it has been a very pleasant learning experience; one that cannot be found when you buy a full-on performance car from the showroom, for that I am better off in my knowledge of how small changes result in an improvement in the overall performance.

Your number plate must get a lot of interest from other 86 owners…

It’s funny you should mention that — another random 86 owner offered me close to seven times the price I paid online to take it off me. The number is indeed unique to my car and suits it perfectly. Besides, almost every 86 enthusiast in the club knows it’s me on the road when they see the number.

You nearly bought the RS 4 instead of the 86; why didn’t you?

I guess the appeal of the 86 was that it was somewhat of a blank canvas on which to make it your car, and be tailored to the way you drive. Although one cannot argue with the capability of an Audi quattro you just cannot beat the driving feel of a rear-wheel drive car.

Finally, what is your dream car?

I am a devout fan of Lamborghini. I love the styling and the fact that unlike most manufacturers it hasn’t shied away from V10 and V12 engines. If I had to narrow it down to a model, it would be the Aventador 750-4 SV.


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