The Scion brand name has disappeared, now bears the Toyota moniker. The model designation also disappeared, and what was the FR-S is now labeled the 86. We’ll deal here with the 2018 Toyota 86, which was originally the fifth model to join the old Scion family. Power is still delivered to the rear-wheels through either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with Sport mode, paddle shifters and Dynamic Rev Matching Management.
It was four years ago that two Japanese auto manufacturers teamed up to develop a formidable, but affordable 2+2 sports coupe. The result was an extremely fun to drive and most capable sports coupe, but under the guise of two distinctive marques. The vehicles in question were the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ, which were nearly identical in terms of basic design and mechanical composition. The two cars differed then (and still do) primarily in the front and rear fascia treatment, headlamp styling and naturally in badging.
Power continues to come from a 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve, flat horizontally-opposed “boxer” four-cylinder engine with D4-S (Direct and Sequential Port Injection) that cranks out 205 horses at 7,000 rpm, while developing 156 pound feet of torque in a range from 6,400-6,600 rpm in automatic transmission-equipped 86s or 205 hp and 156 lb.ft for models with the 6-speed manual gearbox. Premium fuel is required.
The FR-S drew from a long history of Toyota performance cars and motorsports. It was inspired by the AE86 generation Corolla, better known as the Hachi-Roku, meaning “86” in Japanese FR-S stood for – Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, Sport).. The AE86 was a front engine, rear-wheel drive, lightweight, well-balanced coupe that made it a prime choice of driving enthusiasts. The car was designed around the core goal of achieving “Pure balance”, beginning with the strategic utilization of a flat boxer engine in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration.
The compact size and flat shape of the engine allows for a low mid-ship mounting position, resulting in a dynamically favorable front-to-rear weight ratio of 53:47 along with a low center of gravity that is comparable to many exotic supercars.
Even with its powerful 100-horsepower per liter, the 86 manages to deliver an estimated EPA rating of 21 mpg in city droving and 28 mpg on the highway with the 6-speed manual transmission.
The Toyota 86 tips the scale at 2,758 pounds with the manual and 2,806 with the automatic. Weight is kept to a minimum by the implementation of an aluminum hood, a solid roof and by a trunk rather than a hatch design.
The dynamically tuned sport suspension componentry consisting of MacPherson struts forward, double wishbone setup aft and low weight is complemented by the positive steering feel is provided by Electronic Power Steering and the 86 rides on lightweight 17×7-inch alloy wheels. Ventilated disc brakes are standard at all four corners. Experienced performance driving enthusiasts will appreciate the Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control systems, which may be set in a combination of five configurations.
The stunning exterior visual appeal of the Toyota 86 reflects its inner power. Its aerodynamic profile draws its inspiration from the iconic (and now extremely rare and highly collectible) Toyota 2000GT, with a low, sleek roofline that directs airflow cleanly and efficiently over the gracefully curved cabin.
The stance is low and the face delivers a menacing competitive look with its sharp expressive lines and forms, such as the wide lower intake and angular headlight assembly that houses projector-beam headlamps. The front fenders protrude aggressively upward, and display the iconic “86” piston badge, highlighting the car’s AE86 DNA as well as its boxer engine.
Moving to the rear, the fascia is low and wide, with a diffuser panel that encases the sporty dual exhaust system. LEDs showcase the edgy taillamps along with center-mounted backup lights.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The interior features 2+2 seating with deeply bolstered, supportive and comfortable seats up front, with a rear seatback that folds flat for added versatility and functionality. A large, center-mounted tachometer is the focal point of the three gauge main cluster that also features a programmable shift indicator, allowing the driver to set rev limits in 100 -rpm limits beginning at 2,000 rpm. Speed is measured by both digital and analog gauges. The three-spoke steering wheel both tilts and telescopes and wears the new 86 model designation.
A soft skin dash cover delivers a flat horizon design with a raised centerline rib, which in combination with the pronounced front fender bulges aid in keeping the driver intuitively oriented with the car’s position. The 86 offers a connected multimedia audio system called BeSpoke™, powered by Pioneer’s Zypr™.
The Toyota 86 is equipped with a host of standard safety features including: six airbags, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Vehicle Stability control, Brake Assist, ABS and Smart Stop Technology.
My test 2018 Toyota 86 GT sport coupe wore an exterior finish of Asphalt Gray with a Black interior, adding a rear spoiler. The base sticker was set at $28,385., which rose to $29,280 after factoring in the Delivery Processing and Handling Fee. There’s an impressive list of available options for personalization and customization of one’s Toyota 86.
Considering the starting price point of the 2018 Toyota 86 GT sports coupe, and its performance credentials, the 86 continues to serve up a winning combination with its enhanced tuning and freshened appearance. The styling is attractive and appealing, showcasing harmonious and well-balanced lines and contours, while evoking a bold, athletic image even when parked.
Acceleration is most impressive, as are the precise handling characteristics. The ride quality is comfortable, but exceptionally firm for the sake of stability. The clutch take-up tends to be a little sketchy at first and the gearshift is somewhat notchy.
Now under the Toyota nameplate, the 2018 86 GT 2+2 sport coupe still delivers fun in large doses under normal driving conditions or on a racecourse with an almost unbelievably affordable starting price. The Toyotya 86 is a no-brainer for the 2+2 sports coupe set made even more attractive by Toyota’s warranty program structure along with their reputation for reliability.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Toyota 86 GT Two-Door Coupe
Base Price: $28,385.
Price as Tested: $29,280.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve naturally aspirated four-cylinder flat-opposed “Boxer” engine with dual variable valve timing and D-4S direct and sequential port fuel injection. Square Bore and Stroke of 86 mm.
Horsepower (bhp): 205 @ 7,000 rpm – M/T – 200 hp – A/T
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 156 @ 6,400 – rpm -M/T – 151 lb.-ft. – A/T
Transmission: RTL70-Six-speed manual or A960E-6-speed automatic with paddle shifters and Dynamic Rev Management.
Drive Train: Flat -opposed boxer mid-mount front engine / Rear-wheel drive w/Torsen limited slip differential.
Suspension: Front – Sport-tuned Independent MacPherson strut with strut tower bars, reinforced mounting brackets and 18 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear –Sport-tuned Double-Wishbone Limited Slip Differential and 14 mm stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD, BA, TRAC and VSC.
Tires: Michelin Primacy HP 215/45 R17 87W summer, mounted on 15 -spoke Matte Grey alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 101.2 inches
Length Overall: 166.7 inches
Width: 69.9 inches
Height: 50.6 inches
Turning Circle: 36.1 feet
Curb Weight: 2,776 lbs. – M/T (2,806 – A/T)
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city / 30 mpg highway M/T – 24/32 – A/T.
Drag Coefficient: 0.29
0 – 60 mph: 6.2 seconds – estimated.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.
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