Scion FR-S (North America)
|Manufacturer||Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industries)
Toyota Motor Corporation
|Also called||Toyota GT86, FT86
|Production||January 2012 – present|
|Model years||2012 – present|
|Assembly||Ōta, Gunma, Japan|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupé|
|Layout||Front mid-engine, rear wheel drive (FMR)|
|Engine||2.0 L 4U-GSE / FA20 H4 boxer engine|
|Wheelbase||2,570 mm (101.2 in)|
|Length||4,240 mm (166.9 in)
4,234 mm (166.7 in) (Subaru BRZ)
|Width||1,775 mm (69.9 in)|
|Height||1,285 mm (50.6 in)|
|Curb weight||1,190–1,298 kg (2,624–2,862 lb) (Toyota 86)
1,251–1,273 kg (2,758–2,806 lb) (Scion FR-S)
The 86 is a series of sports cars jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru and solely manufactured by the latter. It features a boxer engine, front mid-engine, rear wheel drive drivetrain and 2+2 seating.
It is sold worldwide under three different brands with respective model names:
- Toyota 86 in Asia, South Africa, South America and Australia; GT86 in Europe; both of the preceding names in New Zealand; FT86 in Nicaragua and Jamaica;
- Subaru BRZ worldwide;
- Scion FR-S in the US and Canada. For the 2017 model year, the Scion FR-S will be renamed as the Toyota 86.
Name and heritage
The development code of this vehicle is 086A and its main production names 86 (pronounced “eight-six” or Hachi-Roku (ハチロク) in Japanese, but more commonly pronounced as “eighty-six”) or GT86, reference historic Toyota front engined and rear-wheel drive sports coupés and hatchbacks, in the form of:
- the 1967 2000GT (Japan’s seminal coupé whose design cues adorn the 86 and which was also powered by a 2.0 litre engine); and
- the 1983 to 1987 AE86 range (renowned for its handling and drifting abilities).
Toyota also referenced to its first sports car, the Sports 800, given that both this car and the 86 share a boxer engine layout,as widely used by project partner and 86 manufacturer, Subaru.
In Europe, the GT86 was awarded the following titles in 2012:
- Car of the Year by Top Gear magazine (and Jeremy Clarkson) who also crowned it Coupé of the Year and winner of the Top Gear Speed Week (against competition including the McLaren MP4-12C, Porsche 911 Carrera S, and Lotus Exige S);
- Best Driver’s Car by Autocar;
- Performance Car by Auto Express.
In Australia, the 86 was awarded the following titles in 2012:
- Car of the Year award by Wheels magazine,Carsguide, and Drive (shared with Subaru BRZ);
- Best Performance Car under A$60,000 and People’s Choice again by Drive
- People’s Choice Best Performance Car under A$100,000 by Carsales (shared with Subaru BRZ).
Other awards received include:
- 2012 Car of the Year in New Zealand (Toyota 86 and GT86);
- 2012 Best Affordable Sports Car by US News (Scion FR-S);
- 2012 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick in the US (Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ);
- 2013 Top Ten Best Cars by the American Car and Driver (Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ);
- 2012-2013 Japan Car of the Year “Special Award” (Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ).
The Subaru BRZ was also crowned:
- Fun-est Car of the Year by Top Gear Australia (against the Toyota 86, BMW M135i, Porsche 911 Carrera, Audi RS5, Ford Focus ST, and Renault Megane RS265);
- 2012 Sports Car of the Year by France’s Echappement;
- 2013 Best Sports Car by Canada’s Auto123.
In addition, the Toyota-Subaru D-4S boxer engine was named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines in 2013.
In 2011, with the unveiling of the Super BRZ Concept STi, Subaru also unveiled their latest entry in the Super GT series’ GT300-category. R&D Sport would develop the BRZ GT300 to replace their Legacy for the 2012 season.The BRZ GT300 does not utilize the production car’s FA20 engine, instead opting for the Legacy’s EJ20 engine.
Toyota, in partnership with Gazoo Racing, announced plans to develop the 86 for motorsport use in multiple disciplines. Toyota and Gazoo will support private teams in the Super Taikyu Endurance Series and All-Japan Rally Championship.Gazoo Racing entered 86s in the 24 Hours Nürburgring, winning their SP3 class in 2012. Privateers Toyota Swiss Racing also claimed the V3 category in the same year.In the United Kingdom, GPRM is developing a turbocharged version of the 86 for classification in the SRO Group’s GT4 category for use in Europe. The engine developments are being carried out by Nicholson McLaren Engines.
In the United States, Ken Gushi utilized a GPP Scion Racing FR-S built by GReddy Racing for the US Formula Drift championship. The FR-S features a turbocharged EJ25 boxer engine from a Subaru WRX STI produced more than 450 kW (600 bhp). Ryan Tuerck drove a Scion FR-S powered by a stroked 2JZ-GTE producing more than 520 kW (700 bhp) for Retaks Backpacks and Maxxis Tires in the 2013 US Formula Drift championship. Also in 2013, the FR-S replaced the Scion tC for the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. In all cases, the competition FR-S were standard production units modified for racing safety and reliability. By contrast, the 86 entered by Nobuhiro Tajima to compete at the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb only used the production unit’s silhouette.
- 86 Racing / BRZ RA Racing
In October 2012, Toyota Racing Development and Gazoo Racing announced a production racing model for the Toyota 86. The 86 Racing adds brake and oil cooler modifications, as well as a 4-point racing harness and rollcage. The stock 86 wheels are replaced by simple steel rims, while the exterior colour was only available in white. Subaru followed in early 2013 with the BRZ RA Racing, featuring similar modifications. Both cars are only available in the Japanese market, and are eligible for a one-make racing series run by Gazoo Racing. Unlike the Toyota, the BRZ is available in any of the production car’s colours.
In February 2015, Toyota Australia announced a Pro-Am series with races exclusively during that country’s V8 Supercars events from 2016. Its inceptor was long-time Toyota racing driver, Neal Bates. The race cars are based on manual production models with key specifications (such as engine management, extractors and exhaust, suspension, brakes, oil cooler, wheels and tyres) controlled to ensure their suitability and reliability while keeping costs as low as possible.