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‘Initial D’ manga inspires Toyota’s new concept car

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With an eight-year run under its belt, the “Initial D” manga was a bona fide hit in Japan, where the care driven by protagonist Takumi Fujiwara is so iconic that it’s being remixed and updated by Toyota.

The new one-off concept car is actually a retrofitted Toyota GT86, which itself was inspired by the Corolla GT Coupe, otherwise known as the AE86, of “Initial D” fame, according to Toyota. The custom concept comes directly from Toyota’s U.K. special projects department.

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Watch the animated TV spot for Toyota’s Gundam-inspired car

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Because simply selling a Gundam-inspired car wasn’t cool enough, Toyota Japan has debuted a new animated commercial for the Zeonic Toyota.

Based on the franchise character Char Aznable, the customized Auris RS was introduced in 2012 as a concept car before being placed into production the following year. You’ll note the special edition’s Gundam accents, like the zeon insignia and stenciled lettering. Red-and-gold uniform is, presumably, sold separately.

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Bruce Banner and Doctor Strange take an ‘Incredible Drive’

Toyota has teamed with Marvel for “The Incredible Drive,” a four-part stop-motion animated adventure promoting the car manufacturer’s Yaris model. Created by the crew behind “Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?!” — Ben Morse, Jesse Falcon, Alex Kropinak and others — the first short features a Yaris-driving Bruce Banner forced into therapy with Doctor Strange, who suggests all he needs for his anger-control issues is a road trip. With him.

Yes, the guy who transforms into a 7 1/2-foot-tall monster drives a subcompact car — but, hey, it’s no weirder than him rooming with the Red Hulk or seeking mental-health advice from a magic-wielding neurosurgeon (apparently Doc Samson isn’t covered by Banner’s HMO). Strange’s Monarch-esque voice is a little much, but it’s definitely worth sitting through for the Marvel Universe-themed destination billboards and the late addition to the unlikely road-trip crew.

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