Image Credit: Toyota
Ding Dong, Scion is dead….Less than six weeks after Toyota pulled the plug, and little else left to do but to clean the carpets and lock the doors, the transition of Scion products to Toyota has begun. The public debut will take place at next week’s New York Auto Show, and sales begin this fall. The Scion iM will become the Toyota Corolla iM. The Scion iA will become the Toyota Yaris iA. The tC coupe has been discontinued. Last but not least, the Scion FR-S will become the Toyota 86.
“When we announced the transition of the Scion models to Toyota we hadn’t planned on changing the names of our cars, but by popular demand, for our sports car, we decided to adopt the global name of 86,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President Bill Fay.
While it may not be the European-spec GT86 moniker that many enthusiasts had hoped for from the start, it at least shares the “86” tag with the car as sold in Asia, South Africa, South America, and Australia.
The 2.0-liter boxer-four’s output grows to 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque – increases of 5 hp and 5 lb-ft – on manual-transmission models. The 86 still isn’t the turbocharged rear-wheel-drive coupe of some people’s dreams, but at least this is an improvement. (Buyers who opt for the automatic will have to make do with less power and fewer pedals.) Toyota also promises “additional performance” thanks to different gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission, and there’s now Hill Start Assist Control. New shock tuning and spring rates will affect the handling, too. No word from Toyota if its Subaru BRZ twin will be getting any upgrades.
The 86 will also wear a meaner look than the outgoing FR-S. The biggest change is a new front bumper with a large intake that stretches across the coupe’s width, and the two sharp points along the bottom look like teeth ready to chomp down. Toyota also replaces the headlights and taillights with LED units. The twist-spoke wheels are a great accompaniment to the more aggressive look, too. The tweaks are more modest inside, including silver stitching and new materials for the dashboard and doors.
Toyota is pumped about the 86 joining the team that it’s sending it out on the road with racers Ken Gushi and Ryan Tuerck, who will join series champion Frederic Aasbo in defending its title in the Formula Drift Manufacturers Championship. Whether these factors, including the name change and new venue of commerce, will translate into improved sales when the 2017 Toyota 86 hits showrooms in the fall of 2016 remains to be seen. and while we’re a bit disappointed with the drive train upgrades, we’re just glad the car is sticking around.