The 2017 Toyota 86 Is Here To Replace The Scion FR-S

They say that from death comes life, and that sentiment can be used to describe the introduction of the first bona-fide sports car to the Toyota brand’s North American range in over a decade, the 86, born from the demise of the Scion FR-S.

Unveiled today at the New York Auto Show, the 2017 Toyota 86 is the reincarnation of what would have been the facelifted FR-S had Scion not been axed.

It borrows its name from the international model offered in Japan, Australia, South Africa and other countries, however, if you ask us, the European market moniker “GT 86” would have done just fine.

“The name 86 is shared globally, and is passed down from the car that inspires it, the Corolla GT-S, known by its true fans as the AE86 or “hachi-roku,” which means 8-6 in Japanese,” said Toyota boss Bill Fay during the car’s presentation in the Big Apple. “As you can see, the name isn’t the only thing that has changed. We’re investing in the 86 to make it better than ever, with styling updates, new wheels and more premium materials throughout.

And by that, Fay means the 86’s front end got a little bit busier than the FR-S – a pattern we’re seeing on other recent Toyota models too, like the Prius Prime, with a larger front grille, new LED headlamp fixtures and turn signals, and a reshaped bumper. The rear was refinished with LED tail lamps and a new bumper design, with the car also gaining a new set of alloy wheels.

Inside, Toyota says it added a new “Grandlux” soft-touch material on the instrument panel surround and the door trims, together with different upholstery for the seats with silver stitching and a new sports steering wheel with integrated audio controls, and in the automatic models, bigger paddle shifters.

Beneath the skin, the 86 benefits from a retuned suspension to improve handling, and in the case of the 6-speed manual gearbox model, a change in the differential ratio and a 5hp bump for the 2.0-lite flat four engine that now produces 205hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. The automatic model keeps the same 200hp engine as the 2016 FR-S.

The new Toyota 86 will go on sale in US and Canadian dealerships this fall, by which time, we should see its Subaru twin, the 2017 BRZ facelift, that was caught undisguised earlier this week sporting similar number of revisions.

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  • MarkoS

    It’s a Celica! Call it what it is.

    • Matt

      The Celica was a bigger car.

      • MarkoS

        Not really. The 86 actually falls in-between in size of the 1st and last generation Celica. The 86 is in very much the same spirit as the Celica. Check the spec’s out on Wiki.

        • Matt

          You’re comparing a modern car with an old one though. All model lines have grown throughout the years.

          The Celica had at least room for two people in the back (for short distances) but the 86 seats are a token-gesture.

          If the Celica was never axed, it would today be larger than the current Corolla.

          • MarkoS

            If the Celica were brought back it would be this car, more like the original coupe. The FRS/86/GT86 for all intents and purposes is the Celica replacement.

          • TRD Matthew

            The Tc is the current Celica, end of discussion.

          • MarkoS

            TC falls well under where the Celica did the 86 also has RWD as the first Celica’s did.

    • Jim Ragland

      Man I loved the Celica when it was rear driver back in the day.

  • Kash

    Looks much better in the photos of it in the flesh than the ones in blue paint.
    Edit: it looks much more premium for some reason than before.

    • Matt

      It’s because they dropped the cheap-looking clear tail lights.

      • Kash

        Nah. the back looks the same to me. I’d like to see a clear version of these tail lights tbh.

  • john1168

    Looks great but it STILL needs a turbo!

    • Andrewthecarguy

      And a convertible. This is an instant cult classic, you would think Toyota would have released a bunch of special ones already. Mazda milked the RX8 nicely.

    • Mike Gonzalez

      and bigger wheels too

  • Javokhir_Sam

    Couldn’t they come up with different fog lights design? (triangle lights in diffuser) But the rest of it feels fresh and good looking.

    P/S: Those air scoops in the front wing looks exactly like what Bentley does.

  • marcin

    More interior shots please.

  • TheHake

    It might officially be the “86” in other countries, but everyone just calls it “GT86”. “86” just sounds silly.

  • #tyreslayer

    Hate the new steering wheel.. Why no 86 logo 🙁

  • “Grandlux”? Fuck off, Toyota.

  • nauticalone

    Looks much better than Scion, both the exterior and interior improvements. I prefer the European name “GT 86”.

  • Marc Nudelman

    The FRS was under-powered and they didnt fix that….big mistake.

  • Mintas Lanxor

    Five more hp and no change in torque over the FR-S. How impressive!