2017 Toyota 86

The Scion brand is no more, but the FR-S lives on as the Toyota 86. The brand change is the perfect time for a mid-life refresh, and Toyota has introduced some updates to the car as well.

Michael Thompson, a former FR-S owner himself, gives us a video tour of the new 86.

The most noticeable differences are cosmetic, with new bumpers and lights front and rear. My first reaction when I saw the 86 was that it looked much more like the BRZ. The fake side grill is similar, and the new front bumper has a “mustache” of unpainted plastic like the BRZ, though not nearly as wide. The boxer style 86 logo is gone, but the simple 86 itself remains on the front fenders. The new wheels look more appealing to me than the old ones, but they are still 17″ and wear the same skinny 215 width tires. This car wore Bridgestone Turanza tires rather than the much maligned Michelin Primacy HP “Prius” tires.

Toyota 86

The interior has been updated as well. Some people complained about the lack of buttons and controls on the steering wheel. Complain no longer – the 86 has them. Not many, but a few for vital functions. Rather than fake carbon fiber, much of the dashboard is now covered with a neat suede material, and there’s a new Pioneer stereo. The seats look more like BRZ seats but are otherwise the same.

Toyota 86

Power is up by a whopping 5hp and 5 lb/ft of torque. OK, that’s not very much. What I’m hoping is that in retuning the engine, Toyota has eliminated the infamous torque dip at mid-range RPMs. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen. The 86 has revised gear ratios. Toyota isn’t saying exactly what those revisions are just yet. They’ve also made some minor adjustments to the suspension. We’ll have to wait to get our hands on the new 86 before we can tell exactly what these changes are.

The FR-S may be no more, but its legacy is in safe hands under the Toyota brand.