The trouring car racing in Group A regulations, which was introduced from 1981, was the closest to the commercial-use model with limited modification. It gained popularity since the cars battled fiercely in racing field were familiar with the cars running on the streets. In Japan, the JTC(Japanese Touring Car Championship) started in 1985. Automakers participated one after another with the aim of the promotional effect of commercial-use cars, and the race went on to a great success.
Group A race was divided into three divisions depending on the displacement. The class with the largest displacement, along with the participation of the R32 Skyline GT-R and the fierce battles between Skylines strongly fascinated the audience. On the other hand, in the class with the smallest displacement, for cars that were less than 1600cc competed for supremacy. There was no cars that showed overwhelming strength in this class, and instead Toyota and Honda fought for the supremacy.
At the time of the beginning of the JTC, Toyota’s main force was the AE86 Levin. With a front engine and rear-wheel drive FR, the machine that debuted in 1983 adopted the newly developed DOHC4-cylinder 4A-GEU. The combination with a mature suspension system that took over from the previous TE71 was highly evaluated as a primer motorsport car. The rival, Honda, on the other hand, introduced the AT type, so-called Wonder Civic. In 1985 and 1986, Toyota defeated Honda, however, Honda took the place of Class Championship. The next year, in 1988, Toyota Levin Group A machine was changed to a machine based on AE92 in according with the model change of the commercial-use type of Toyota Levin in 1987. It was changed to a 2WD of FF with a fuel injected naturally aspirated inline-four engine equipped on the front. Honda Civic also continued to evolve restlessly and developed a heated battle as a rival to Toyota Levin. Honda Civic won the double title in 1988, but Toyota took the drivers’ title next year in 1989. The AE92, which came from many teams, including Toyota Team Tom’s and Tsuchiya Engineering with Advan livery, excited JTC fans in a rival showdown with Honda Civic until the second half of the 1991 season the AE92 gave its place to its successor AE101.