Relative to pretty much everything else Toyota touches, the Scion brand was nothing short of a failure.
Like a Hellcat in the rain, Scion failed to gain traction, culminating in its death after about a dozen years on the market. It wasn’t, however, for a lack of enjoyable and affordable products, with a handful of solid offerings throughout the youth-oriented brand’s lineup, including the FR-S coupe
. It was back to the basics in a market flooded with anything but; an honest-to-goodness sports car in the purest sense. So as the death knell tolls for Scion, the FR-S lives on, rebadged as the 2017 Toyota 86.
As one of only three Scion models to be salvaged — the others are the iM hatchback, rebranded as the Corolla iM, and the iA sedan, dubbed the Yaris iA (only two Scion models make the switch in Canada; the Yaris sedan was already on the market in place of the iA) — the 86, née FR-S, gets a fistful of new goodies as part of its welcome to the Toyota lineup
. Slight styling enhancements, including redesigned front and rear fascias, LED lighting all around, and a new 17-inch wheel design, round out the exterior updates, while changes to the interior include a smaller steering
wheel and synthetic suede trim on the seats, dash and doors.
Mechanically, the 86 gets a few minor tweaks, including revised spring rates and shock tuning, standard hill-start assist regardless of transmission choice to keep the car from rolling backwards, and new intake and exhaust manifold designs. And, like the Subaru BRZ
with which the 86 shares its platform, manual versions of the 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder-powered coupe get a modest five horsepower increase, for a total of 205, and a boost in the torque department for 156 lb-ft (automatic models make the same 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque as last year’s car). None of this, of course, is enough to write home about, but the changes don’t hurt, either.