As new-generation Toyota GR86s and Subaru BRZs begin to permeate throughout American communities, so too have each respective brands’ marketing efforts across North American media. On the Toyota front, the Japanese brand has decided to cash in on the car’s enthusiast character to get its point across: The new GR86 is a fun car that loves to slide and is indeed equipped to provide endless sideways fun.
This was apparent when it partnered with the people behind the genius of “Initial D” to create a short, enthusiast-centric ad spot. Though Toyota’s gone one further by introducing a short series of videos, which are directly embedded on the GR86’s landing page, that tie into glorious oversteer fun as well: Fasterclass.
The idea behind Fasterclass is as follows: Get one head honcho to assemble a team of ace drivers to teach a variety of driving techniques, particularly techniques that involve sliding the GR86 around.
Who Toyota hired to take part is impressive: Stephan Papadakis is a legend of performance driving who most recently has been off-roading a two-door Rav4. He’s the lead instructor, or dean, or whatever you want to call him. The team he assembled includes pro drifters like himself, too: Fredric Aasbø, Hunter Taylor, Ken Gushi, and Ryan Tuerck. Each instructor dons a cheesy leather jacket, acts very serious, and proceeds to demonstrate the GR86’s capabilities in various short scenarios.
So far there are four commercials: “Escape Work,” “Claim Your Spot,” “Dance in the Rain,” and “Faster Food.” Each involves precision driving with a healthy helping of oversteer, and each helps bolster the point that this car is meant for enthusiasts who want to sharpen their precision-driving skills.
This is all neat stuff, and I’m glad Toyota is inclined to feature this car for what it is: a naturally aspirated, rear-wheel drive sports car made for fun. Though, it should be said that anyone who’s after actual, real-life instruction in this realm ought to pursue real-life methods, such as performance driving schools. There’s FastSidways, Drift School USA, and Dirtfish, to name a few, plus any local SCCA and/or NASA chapter is always happy to instruct on non-slidey performance driving on-track. There might be some great instructional resources in your local area, so ask/search around and see what’s up.
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