2017 Toyota 86 Is Just A Redesigned Scion FR-S With A Shameful Power Up

Scion FR-S Redesign continues to leave us hanging in the power department

Updated October 4, 2018

Scheduled for revealing at the New York Auto Show, the redesigned Toyota GT86, or as we better know it, the Scion FR-S, has surfaced the web. Toyota wants to tease us a bit as they have only released two pictures, but perhaps these pictures are all we need to assess the gravity of changes in the new FR-S redesign.

Scion FRS Redesign Front 3/4

Somehow, in the midst of discontinuation of the Scion, all the buzz is not about the redesign of the GT86, but the fact that the once rather peculiar FR-S is being renamed for marketing purposes. Also, we were wrong about its name up until this point in this article. This coupe, known as the GT86 in Europe, actually received a simple name in the form of two numbers for the US- the 86. You are reading about the new 2017 Toyota 86. Its name may sound like a name of an all new car (actually sourced from the legendary AE86 Corolla), but for all we can see, Toyota only applied exterior cosmetic changes and made the 86 a bit more contemporary than the FR-S.

Toyota 86 Redesign Rear 3/4

“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. “Enthusiasts have a strong association with the front-engine, rear-drive heritage of the ‘hachi-roku’ and the dynamic performance it offers.”

This is not the first time that a redesign brings an all new name for a car. OK, Toyota had more reasons for that than anyone else (they’ve ditched the whole brand), but for the last two years Mercedes-Benz has been doing the same – the M-class has become the GLE and the SLK has become the SLC – all through a redesign.

However, it seems that Toyota missed a point here. Bill Fay said that they changed the name by popular demand. Well, we are quite certain that popular demand wanted them to improve the power of the engine as well. And they did, but by such a low margin it does not even matter. Two liter Boxer Subaru engine, although reliable, fuel efficient, clean and smooth running, is not really a powerhouse. The Toyota 86 redesign received only a 5 hp power hike and 5 lb-ft of torque more. This equals to 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. Not really an exciting improvement, is it? However, drivers might feel the engine power a bit more frisky thanks to changed gear ratios. Aside from that shocks and spring rates were adjusted – although Toyota did not provide addition details about this matter at this point. This being Toyota we wouldn’t actually be surprised if they made them more spongy and softer.

Nevertheless, anyone willing to buy one will also get Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) as standard which is neat.

These small changes go hand to hand with exterior cosmetic improvements. The Toyota 86 redesign also includes new front and back bumpers as well as blacked out headlights that elevate the sense of sophistication. The 2017 Toyota 86 does not feel that outdated right now – especially at the back where new LED-filled lights and a quite striking diffusor play the main styling role.

Although we can’t see the interior here, Toyota’s press release mentioned some changes to it as well. “Popular demand” wanted them to improve the cheap plasticky feel in it too. Toyota responded like this: “The interior also features the 86 logo on the new “Grandlux” material used on the instrument panel surround. The same material adds a new, soft feel to the door trim. Drivers also will enjoy new seating material with silver stitching and a sporty steering wheel with integrated audio controls and an 86 logo on the center hub.

So, the new Toyota 86 redesign is here! Are you excited?


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Safet Satara
About Safet Satara

I do not have spare time. All there is is car time. 12 years and counting. I am a Central European gearhead, but you are probably thinking - aaa a disposable Borg drone! Well, actually, I like to dress up like James Bond too. The only thing I need to be him is an Aston Martin (and I love DBS more than DB5 because, reasons). That's something I guess.

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