This month, in addition to our usual Test Drive features, we have a Twin Test of two very different, yet in some ways similar cars. The two Toyota’s I am talking about have been built almost 40 years apart.
The AE 86 from the 1970’s is in the hands of a young enthusiast who has modified and upgraded it to some unbelievable standard. The car has a transplanted Nissan turbo engine that comes from a Skyline!
The GT 86 on the other hand is a current model car that is a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota. It comes standard with a turbo charged Subaru flat-four engine similar to that of the WRX Sti! Needless to say, the GT 86 (which we tested some months ago) is a “goer” in anybody’s language. This GT 86 too has been upgraded by its enthusiastic owner and is supposed to be even faster than when we tested it.
So yes, both cars are Toyotas… the AE 86 with a locally transplanted Nissan engine, whereas the GT 86 left the Toyota factory with a Subaru engine. And the bottom line is, both cars are tremendous fun to drive. Thanks again to the owners Heshan Jayawardena and Hiran Kevitiyagala for letting us have their cars for this feature.
This month we also have two S Class Mercs tested. One of course is the flagship S400 which is locally called the CHOGM model. As expected, the Mercedes S400 turns out to be one of the top true luxury cars that are available locally. I say “true” luxury cars because we find that locally, many cars with say an engine capacity of over 2 litres is refered to, in the local media as “luxury cars”!
The other Merc that we tested – in the Past Blast feature - of course is a 280S from the 1970’s. This car, as you can see is Left-Hand-Drive, and was a gift from the Chinese Government in 1971 to the then Prime Minister of Ceylon, Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranayaka. The car is now fastidiously maintained by Mercedes enthusiast Jeewaka Premaraja who has a collection of Mercedes Benzes, some of which we have previously featured in Motor.
Then of course we have tested Subaru’s crossover, the XV, with an “owner’s comment” by our very own writer Gishanka De Silva - and the Suzuki/Maruti Ertiga… also a car which can be called a MPV crossover.
We have also tested two “Big Bikes” which is imported to the country by Ceylon Cycle Works; the first official importer of true American bikes to the country.
So yes, we have a packed issue this month, and I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together!